From the strangest behaviour they’ve ever witnessed in a serviced apartment to their mutual dislike of shower curtains in a game of hotel pet hates, this week Melanie Degand and Kylie Mann from The Apartment Service reveal all in our Inside Scoop.
Now that we’re nearly half way through the year, have you seen any particular changes in the serviced apartment industry in 2013 compared to last year?
Melanie: I thought that the start of the new year would be different once the Olympic hype had passed. I imagined things would go a lot quicker, but we’ve actually found that it’s been quite slow.
Why do you think this is? Can you predict any trends?
Melanie: I think years ago you would’ve been able to pick up on peaks and trends, but you can’t do that anymore. Now it’s a case of being ready and prepared to react to whatever comes your way.
Can you tell us about any new projects or properties you have in the pipeline?
Melanie: We do but they are probably ones that we shouldn’t talk about! We’re trying to expand in many of the areas that we’re busy in at the moment, such as Guildford, Kingston and areas in Surrey. I can share that we’re looking at a couple of brand new areas to expand into within the next three to six months.
What is the strangest request you have ever received from a client?
Melanie: It’s more the behaviour than the requests. When I started at The Apartment Service nearly 11 years ago as part of the reservations team, I went to see an apartment in Mayfair, a very expensive one at that, only to find out that a client had started a fire. They had been cooking in the middle of the room. I’ve never seen anything like it; I don’t know how they managed to not set the whole place on fire! It’s probably one of the most shocking things I’ve seen.
And now for a quick game of “would you rather”:
Clingy shower curtains or non-removable coat hangers…
Kylie: I’d rather a non-removable coat hanger. Seriously, you do not know where those clingy shower curtains have been or who they have touched.
Melanie: Yeah, me too.
Inflexible check-in time or chargeable Wi-Fi…
Melanie: I’d definitely go for inflexible check-in times. Hotels charge a ridiculous amount for Wi-Fi. It’s so unnecessary.
Kylie: Me too. Especially when you can get it for free in reception and then it’s chargeable in your room. What’s that all about?