Serviced apartments and aparthotels are the fastest growing segment of the UK’s hospitality accommodation market, according to new research by commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), which shows how innovative new concepts and products are emerging to meet consumer demand.
LSH’s latest hotel market research Va Va Vroom! reports that the serviced apartment sector, which includes aparthotels, currently represents just 3% of the total hospitality accommodation in the UK, a significantly lower level than in many international markets.
In the US, the sector takes a 9% market share, the report says, suggesting that there is considerable room for growth in the UK. Reflecting this potential, the sector is now expanding at an accelerated rate, with approximately 6,000 new units scheduled to open over the next two years – making up around 13% of the UK’s total active pipeline.
While serviced apartments have historically been targeted at single travellers on long stays, Va Va Vroom! highlights that the sector is now appealing to a much broader customer base, with aparthotels increasingly popular for short-term stays. Newer aparthotel concepts are tapping into the changing consumer demands of the Airbnb era, it says, by providing flexible accommodation that offers more of a ‘home-from-home’ experience.
Innovative formats are also blurring the distinctions between serviced apartments, aparthotels and traditional hotels, it reports, with operators such as Native, Locke and Roomzzz developing increasingly stylish, design-led products. Ideas from the co-working sector are also being introduced to create home-office hybrids. While London has historically been the main focus for operators, key target markets for aparthotel operators now include regional centres such as Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool.
Commenting, Simon Stevens, LSH Hotels Director said: “The aparthotel sector is currently one of the most exciting parts of the market. While the rise of the Airbnb sector is sometimes viewed as a threat to more traditional types of accommodation, it is actually benefiting aparthotels by making consumers more receptive to alternatives to conventional hotels.”
“With new brands being launched and established operators reinventing their products, serviced apartments and aparthotels will continue to innovate and grow. The sector will remain a melting pot for new ideas; borrowing from alternative concepts such as co-living and co-working to create inventive new hybrids.”