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Hoteliers, Look Out – Your New Competitor Is Here

Don’t let this industry get the upper hand, you have an advantage.

One of your hidden competitors has always been on the sidelines, but they’re growing in popularity.

Serviced apartments, also known as extended-stay hotels, are accommodations that offer a combination of hotel-like services and apartment-style amenities. They are designed to provide long-term or extended stays for guests who want more space, flexibility, and the comforts of home.

More and more often, guests are looking for accommodations that will allow them to afford and feel comfortable with longer stays, according to hospitality-centric tech company GuestRevu. The software group says that “over the past decade, serviced apartments have risen from being an outlier in the hospitality industry to being one of the fastest growing sectors with even properties like Marriott, Accor, and Hyatt making moves to maintain their share of the market.”

Not only are serviced apartments seen as better alternatives for travelers hoping to take more time enjoying new cultures or distant friends and family, but it’s also a growing choice for business travelers. Business Travel News says that 53 percent of employers are using serviced apartments more often than they were in the 12 months prior. Another 89 percent of businesses expect their use of serviced apartments to either grow or stay the same in the coming years.

Still, hotels have advantages that serviced apartments don’t. For one, hotels can offer a wider array of amenities. Serviced apartments might provide things like room service, kitchens, or pools – but they’re less likely to provide all of the above.

So how can you convince these travelers to run back to your hotel?

Provide extended stay options

Hotels can create special packages or rates designed for guests seeking longer-term stays. These packages can include discounted rates for extended durations, complimentary services like breakfast or laundry, and other perks such as access to business facilities or exclusive amenities.

These are all major draws to serviced apartments, by providing long-term packages you’re taking a major competitive edge away from them. This can also include adding stovetops, larger refrigerators, microwaves, and cooking utensils to a select few rooms to provide guests with the option to prepare their own meals while staying over a longer period of time. This isn’t a must, but it is a great opportunity. Even families on shorter trips could find this appealing.

Options, options, options

Hotels can offer customizable services to cater to the unique needs of long-term guests. Providing room options with various suite sizes and layouts allow guests to be a bit more choosy. A cheaper alternative you can take is providing a selection of pillow types, deluxe bedding, in-room amenities like coffee, and allowing guests to personalize their stay based on their preferences.

Provide special benefits

Hotels can introduce or enhance loyalty programs  to reward guests for their long-term stays. These programs can offer exclusive benefits, discounts, or points accumulation that can be redeemed for future stays or hotel services. Hotels can also partner with local businesses to provide more services to guests that serviced apartments might not be able to.

This can include partnerships with nearby restaurants for meal delivery or discounted dining options, collaborations with local fitness centers or spas, or providing access to workspaces for guests who need a space away from their room.

Be involved

Businesses have a habit of maintaining distance from their guests after they’ve checked in. At most, guests might receive a feedback survey after their stay. That’s a solid minimum, but hotels can do more to show that they care – this will benefit their business too!

Hotels should actively seek feedback from long-term guests and communicate with them regularly to understand their needs and expectations. This will allow you to actively address any problems in real time instead of letting your guests walk away with an unaddressed issue. Consistent check-ins can also demonstrate how your staff really does care, making a guest’s stay feel more personalized and homey.

This can be done through feedback forms left for housekeeping to retrieve or emailed surveys during the stay. The sky is the limit.