The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP) has welcomed the announcement from Booking.com that they are reporting strong growth in demand from consumers who are increasingly opting to book a serviced apartment for their UK stay.

Image credit: Staycity

Image credit: Staycity Serviced Apartments

Jason Grist, Area Manager, UK Partner Services at booking.com confirms:  ‘Serviced apartments now represent a meaningful part of the accommodation offering on Booking.com, with over 3,000 available in the UK including more than 1,000 in London alone.  It’s easy to understand why, as our leisure and business travellers really enjoy the variety, range, flexibility and value for money that serviced apartments can offer.  As popularity in serviced apartments is forecast to increase, at Booking.com we look forward to providing our customers with even more choice in accommodation and even better places to stay in 2016.’

ASAP Chief Executive, James Foice, comments:  ‘It’s fantastic to see serviced apartments now established as a mainstream accommodation choice on Booking.com, such a key online booking platform.  This confirms our sector really can now offer the consumer the option of booking a serviced apartment wherever they choose to travel in the UK.   2016 will be a game-changing year for our sector with the Savills Extended Stay report released last month confirming the serviced apartment sector is set to be ‘The UK’s fastest growing hospitality segment’ in the next 2 years’, predicting the sector will at least double in size in the UK, which is hugely exciting for both the ASAP and its 130 members’.

The leaders of some of the fastest-growing operators confirm their significant new openings in 2016:

  • Staycity’s CEO Tom Walsh:  ‘After a very strong trading year across our entire estate in 2016, we are forging ahead with our European expansion plans which will take us from 1,000 to 3,500 apartments over the next 24 months. In 2016 we will open in Birmingham, London Heathrow, Marseille and York with further openings scheduled for 2017. With the locations we have yet to announce we are confident of reaching our target of operating 10,000 apartments by 2020’.
  • Go Native’s MD Shaun Prime:  ‘Our belief in the sector has never been stronger.  We’re set to more than double our current portfolio to just over 3,000 apartments with significant growth projected beyond 2017.  A key component of our growth strategy is the development of our regional UK portfolio where a significant portion of our pipeline properties will be launching in Manchester, Bristol, Newcastle, Glasgow & Reading. We’ll continue with our commitment to develop a high quality product sympathetic to the site history and location with excellent interior design tailored to the needs and feedback of both our business and individual guests.’
  • SACO The Serviced Apartment Company’s CEO Commercial – Stephen Hanton:  ‘Demand from business and leisure travellers for serviced apartments and aparthotels continues to grow strongly and to meet this SACO will doubling in size in the next few years.  In the next 2 years we’ll be opening 6 new properties in the UK & Ireland with a particular focus on Scotland where we’ll open new properties in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.  Our latest property in London’s Cannon Street will open in the first half of 2016, followed by our 170 unit at Leman Street at the end of the year.  We’re looking forward to expanding our aparthotel concept across key destinations in Europe.  We envisage that the public’s awareness and perception of aparthotels is evolving quickly and it’s exciting for SACO to be at the vanguard of this change and growth.’
  • Lamington UK’s MD Robert Godwin: ‘Under Lamington’s ‘Vision 2020’, a 10 fold growth to 1,000 rental units by 2020 is planned for Lamington and it’s new design-led apartment hotel brand, Room 2.  A combined 200 Room 2 units are already in the development pipeline, of which 100 are set to open across London and Southampton in 2016, with a further 100 serviced apartments to operate under the brand Lamington.’
  • Lateral City operating Old Town Chambers Edinburgh  –  GM Gavin MacLennan:  `We completely believe in the serviced apartment sector and want to be at the forefront of setting new standards in this expanding market. We have plans to develop a further 50 serviced apartments in the city centre of Edinburgh, along with plans to expand into Glasgow for the first time. It’s all about setting the highest of standards and being innovative when it comes to pushing this sector even further forward, something we are proud to deliver throughout each of our projects.`
  • Apple Apartments MD Billy Cowe: ‘Our aim is to provide an apartment for the same price as a hotel room in each city across the British Isles.  We aim to provide the ‘home from home’ experience for leisure and business travellers. Our rapid expansion since 2012 has shown us guests want more amenities when travelling for either short and long stays. We believe the time is right for expansion in the coming years and have now built a platform to roll out our brand.’
  • PREM Group’s CEO Jim Murphy: “We’re putting together a very exciting pipeline for growth of our extended stay brands, in particular our Premier Suites brand, over the next 3 years. In 2015 we opened Premier Suites Dublin Ballsbridge, added additional units to Premier Suites Dublin Leeson Street and opened Premier Suites Brussels Lounge. January 2016 has seen our first opening in Glasgow, Premier Suites Glasgow (George Square). We’re also looking at other locations in Scotland including Edinburgh and Aberdeen. Our acquisitions team are also working on a number of new opportunities in England to compliment the 8 locations that we currently operate.  PREM Group has also launched Premier Suites in Brussels (2015) and we’re working on a pipeline to include openings in Antwerp, Gent, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and the Hague. Overall, we’re looking to add 12 new locations to our extended stay portfolio in the next 3 years.”

Globally the sector’s growth is extremely exciting with 3 global operators confirming their phenomenal development pipeline:

  • The Ascott Limited – the world’s largest operator – is on track to double its global portfolio to 80,000 units by 2020
  • Frasers Hospitality will expand their global portfolio by 9,000 units to 30,000 by 2020 including 13 new openings in the Far East and India, in EMEA they have just launched their Geneva property (13 January), to be followed by Berlin, Hamburg, Istanbul, Doha, Riyadh and Dubai as well as their first property in Africa in 2016 (Abuja, Nigeria).
  • Oakwood Worldwide is expecting 2016 to be ‘the year of the serviced apartment’ – they plan to triple the number of Oakwood-branded properties worldwide.