For this week’s Inside Scoop we journeyed into central London to chat with Rachel Wookey, Sales Executive at COMO Hotels and Resorts, over one of the city’s most scrumptious afternoon tea offerings. Our discussions about the extra perks their Metropolitan Apartments offer guests, market segments and the latest properties on the market were even sweeter over delectable butterfly cakes.
How was business after the Olympics?
Our short term business has been satisfactory, with many last minute enquiries. However, for us now it’s really about focusing on the September/October period to get a little more long term business. We’ve seen a lot of business from the Middle East since Eid but that’s more of a seasonal market for us, so once summer is over we hope things will go back to normal.
What value-added services do your guests enjoy when staying at the Metropolitan Apartments?
For us, the services and facilities we provide are our main added extra. Obviously guests have the luxury of space when staying at the apartments, but they also enjoy all the services and facilities that you would expect when in a hotel. From the service side we provide 24 hour room service, valet and dry cleaning services, and 24 hour reception and concierge teams which are completely at our guests’ disposal.
In terms of facilities, we have our recently renovated our gym, where we can organise yoga and Pilates sessions with our personal trainers. We also have the Met Bar which is open from 8am to 2am. It serves a light breakfast, a great lunch menu and a small plates menu in the early evening, as well as afternoon tea and great cocktail selection. And not forgetting our spa, which all our apartment guests are welcome to use – it was renovated last year and includes six treatment rooms with a really fantastic team of therapists. We recently had a guest staying who wanted to have a “ladies’ day in” at her apartment so we organised lunch followed by spa sessions with our therapists, which is another benefit of staying in a serviced apartment – in a hotel room there usually isn’t enough space.
Can you tell us a little about the different market segments at The Metropolitan?
For us at the apartments it’s a complete mix. I think it is quite a seasonal business and you do see seasonal changes, so during the summer we have a lot more leisure business; for example, families use our apartments as a base from which to explore London. From September onwards we begin to see a lot more corporate business. This segment is made up of relocation agencies looking for long-term stays, the entertainment business and production companies. I really like this mix because it keep us on our toes and makes our work interesting.
Are there any new properties or renovations in the pipeline?
We haven’t had any major renovations, but our premium apartment has just become available after a long-term let. It’s a really stunning property, very much a resident’s perfect pied a tier in Mayfair. It has its own entrance, two bedrooms and a private terrace at the back so I’m hoping that you’ll find a lovely guest for it and get it picked up rather quickly.
What does SilverDoor do for your business?
I think the thing with SilverDoor is that it’s completely different from any other agency we work with. It’s really dynamic, really forward-thinking, and I think for people like us who really want to push the concept of serviced apartments, SilverDoor is a fantastic partner to work with. I think also the level of service that we get from the Sales Team – the knowledge they have about the industry and how well they understand its demands – is really amazing. As I’ve said before, everyone in the industry knows of SilverDoor and it’s a fantastic name that carries a lot of merit.
And now for the quick fire round:
Shoes or handbag: Shoes
Clean-shaven or scruffy: Scruffy
Diet Coke or regular Coke: Diet Coke
City breaks or beach holiday: Beach holiday
Brad Pitt or George Clooney: George Clooney
Look out for next week’s Inside Scoop with Clare and Mark from SACO, who gave us one of the most entertaining quick fire rounds we’ve had so far!