Serviced apartments don’t just save you money, they are a lifestyle choice. Marisa Cannon rounds up new options
From designer interiors to communal gardens, serviced apartments are upping their game – we suggest new ones to try
If you’re working away for an extended period or simply taking a holiday, a serviced apartment could be right for you. The creature comforts offered are growing, with many operators building more inviting, well-designed spaces and investing in extras such as communal gardens, yoga mats and smartphones with free data. The industry is thriving, with apartment stock set for a record 13.8 per cent growth this year (equating to 2,600 new units), according to Savills’ 2016/17 UK Extended Stay report. Occupancy stands at 79.2 per cent so far this year, up 1.7 per cent on 2016, while in London alone, occupancy has risen 4.8 per cent on the previous year, according to a recent report by hotel data analysts STR and the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers.
Erica Livermore, who is chair of the HBAA Business Accommodations Committee, says the sector “has definitely become a mainstream choice for many buyers globally”. It can be cost-effective, too – not only can you find cheaper rates but also more space than hotel rooms provide.
From Locke to Staybridge Suites, both young and established brands are responding to demand with new openings and revamps across the country – here is a round-up of some to try.
LONDON Marlin Waterloo Marlin is the largest owneroperator of serviced apartments in London, with more than 900 units in seven locations including London Bridge, St Paul’s, Canary Wharf and now Waterloo. Launched in June, a ten-minute walk from Waterloo station, this is the group’s first “aparthotel”, comprising 236 rooms. Overlooking the railway or an interior courtyard, all feature wooden floors, sofa beds, 40-inch TVs with Sky, free wifi, L’Occitane toiletries, kitchens and free Handy smartphones loaded with data and hotel information. Executive and Club rooms also come with Nespresso machines. There is a 24-hour concierge, a good-sized bar, a gym, nine meeting rooms and a laundry. marlin.com Residence Inn by Marriott The extended-stay brand’s first property in the capital, the Residence Inn London Bridge, opened in August in Southwark, offering 87 suites in walking distance of the Shard. Rooms are a mixture of studio, one-, twin and two-bedroom set-ups and are equipped with kitchens, Nespresso machines, Samsung smart TVs and USB sockets.
The 307-room Residence Inn London Kensington is set to open in December on Warwick Road in Earls Court, a ten-minute walk from the Olympia exhibition centre. Like the London Bridge property, it will offer a grocery delivery service, a gym, a 24-hour shop, free breakfast and free wifi. marriott.co.uk Citadines Barbican Aparthotel brand Citadines unveiled its renovated Barbican property in May. Its 120 studios and nine one-bedroom apartments – 74 of which have kitchens – feature Scandi furnishings, warm colours and contemporary art. All come with a Handy smartphone and free mobile data. An independent food and drink store has opened on-site, in partnership with Sourced Market, offering seasonal and artisan goods from brands such as Origin Coffee, Crosstown Doughnuts and Dalston Chillies. A new gym has been added, along with a business corner for printing. citadines.com La Roka Canning Town Roomspace, which now has nine properties in London, launched in Canning Town in July, hot on the heels of its Camberley apartments in Surrey, which opened in April. A two-minute walk from Canning Town underground station, the property comprises 18 oneand two-bedroom apartments featuring smart TVs, Apple docks, hand-tufted woollen rugs and Himalayan duvets – warm in winter and cool in summer. All rooms have balconies and are cleaned weekly. The minimum stay is three nights. roomspace.com Room 2 by Lamington Lamington opened the first aparthotel property under its Room 2 brand in November last year, featuring “apartment-style rooms and a focus on friendly, community living”. A six-minute walk from Hammersmith Tube station, the property offers 16 units (from 14 sqm to 25 sqm), featuring 40-inch HD TVs with mirroring functionality for Apple and Android devices, queen or king-size beds, and kitchenettes. Larger rooms also have a dishwasher, and all bathrooms are stocked with toiletries. Guests can also take advantage of a communal herb garden, healthy vending machines and yoga mats. room2.com
Citadines Barbican apartments feature Scandi furnishings while on-site store Sourced Market sells artisan goods
Cheval Calico House Situated off Bow Lane, this property is set to launch nine (of 45) renovated one- and two-bedroom apartments in November. The refreshed residences will introduce new design flourishes such as bespoke sofas, Vitra chairs, bed wall lights by Kartell Light Air and luxury Asanderus wallpaper, along with engineered oak throughout the living spaces and marble-effect ceramic tiles in the bathrooms. Units come with kitchens, smart TVs and video-entry phones in all apartments, free wifi, plus a weekly maid service and linen change. Airport transfers, couriers, and theatre and restaurant bookings can be arranged for a fee. Minimum stay three months. chevalresidences.com LIVERPOOL Staybridge Suites IHG’s extended-stay brand unveiled a £1 million renovation of its Liverpool property in the spring. Located a few steps from Albert Dock, its public areas have been upgraded, and its 132 suites have new flooring, lighting and refreshed décor with bright colours, multifunctional furniture and design accents inspired by the Beatles and the area’s maritime heritage. A free breakfast is served, and there is also a 24-hour pantry, gym and laundry room. staybridge.com MANCHESTER Staycity Piccadilly Open since May, Staycity’s newest property is located in Gateway House, next to Piccadilly station.
It has 182 one-, two- and threebedroom units, each with a living room, kitchen and dining area. There is also an on-site café, a lounge, gym, 24-hour reception and four meeting spaces. staycity.com EDINBURGH Eden Locke Saco’s design-led aparthotel brand, Locke, made its Scottish debut in June, in a six-storey townhouse on George Street. It has 72 studios ranging in size from 29 sqm to 33 sqm. All come with kitchens and living areas designed by New York architects Grzywinski+Pons, featuring monochrome and pastel shades, plus cocktail kits and toiletries from Kinsey Apothecary. The brand’s Hyde and Son coffee and cocktail bar serves artisan spirits and local craft beers. Weekly yoga, meditation, cooking and running classes are available, alongside one-toone training, while in-room spa treatments include massages, facials, hair cuts and make-up. lockeliving.com/eden-locke Aparthotel Adagio Edinburgh Royal Mile Accorhotels opened its third UK Adagio property in December last year. It is the first worldwide to feature the brand’s new-look design. The 146-unit property is located in the city’s £150 million New Waverley development, and comprises a mix of studio and one-bedroom apartments, measuring from 26 sqm to 54 sqm. All feature air conditioning, black-out curtains, free wifi, LCD TVs, smartphone docking stations, kitchens and coffee makers. Some apartments have lounges with sofas. Other amenities include a laundry room and dry cleaning service, a 24-hour fitness centre and reception, daily breakfast and weekly cleaning. adagio-city.com
From top: Marlin Waterloo; Citadines Barbican; Residence Inn London Bridge; La Roka Canning Town Facing page, from top: Staybridge Suites Liverpool; Staycity Manchester Piccadilly
Pictured: Eden Locke, Edinburgh
From left: Eden Locke Edinburgh; Room 2 by Lamington