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Ser­viced apart­ments don’t just save you money, they are a life­style choice. Marisa Can­non rounds up new op­tions

Business Traveller - - NEWS -

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

Pic­tured: Eden Locke, Ed­in­burgh

From top: Mar­lin Water­loo; Ci­tadines Bar­bican; Res­i­dence Inn Lon­don Bridge; La Roka Can­ning Town Fac­ing page, from top: Stay­bridge Suites Liver­pool; Stayc­ity Manch­ester Pic­cadilly

From left: Eden Locke Ed­in­burgh; Room 2 by Lam­ing­ton

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