Boutique Apart-Hotels Take On AirBnB
A new offering in the world of hospitality is designed specifically to marry the services of a hotel with the ease of an apartment. But this is no ordinary, sterile apart hotel. This is a boutique apart-hotel. We take a look at this new phenomenon.
Putting the ‘boutique” in apart-hotel
The traditional hotel industry is by now well versed in the grapple with the competition that homesharing sites like AirBnB pose to their industry. Hotel giants like Marriott and Accor have diversified their portfolios by acquiring homesharing sites and branching out into offering more varied services and brands to their clients. But a new swathe of independent brands are seeking to marry these two types of lodgings into one new hybrid accommodation – the boutique apart-hotel. In this model, you get the convenience of the serviced apartment with the design and lifestyle offerings of a boutique hotel. Perfect for Instagram and an extended stay in some of the world’s most desirable destinations, with the added benefit of reception services and additional facilities such as gyms and laundry rooms, meaning you don’t have to wait for your AirBnB host to meet you in a random cafe to give you the keys.
AirBnB to thank for boutique apart-hotels
While AirBnB might be a thorn in the side of the traditional hotel industry, owners and operators of boutique apart-hotels say that AirBnB has actually made their business model thrive. By opening travelers’ eyes to the possibilities of an extended stay residence, they found that combining this with other aspects that discerning travelers were looking for allowed them to break away into a niche of their own, which only seems to be going from strength to strength. CEOs of some of the world’s pioneering and most successful apart-hotel brands such as Locke and AKA confirm that their brands have been helped by the position that AirBnB and what is offers occupies in the public consciousness. Steve Kent, the founder of Goldman Sachs’s hospitality investment group, says, “Over time, major hotel companies will be pivoting towards this opportunity. It’s aligned with both consumer and developer interests, and hotel operators are very quick to evolve and embrace what both of those constituents desire.”
Remote workers are prime candidates
As the number of digital nomads signing up to remote working programs increases, so does the demand for apart-hotels. Remote working programs are becoming more and more popular, with digital nomads signing up to spend a month in twelve different cities over the course of a year, and so apart-hotels provide the perfect place for them to stay. Millennials in particular are often those who sign up to these programs, and this is the demographic that has evaded traditional hotels since AirBnB has risen to prominence. Millennials want to be connected 24/7, have a central urban location to stay in and to be able to do laundry and hit the gym at a moment’s notice. They are far less concerned about buffet breakfasts and concierge services, so the low overheads of apart-hotels provide the perfect type of accommodation to house millennials in for extended stays. It seems that boutique apart-hotels will only get bigger, better and more prominent in the future, to traditional hotels should take note.
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