Berlin, July 23th, 2007. What some years before had still been an insider’s tip in Germany only has gained significant popularity since: Serviced Apartments as an alternative to classic hotels. Having much more in common with private flats than with monotonous hotel rooms, these apartments provide a home from home for the highly demanded business traveller as well as for the family on a city trip.
This in Germany relatively young sub segment of the hotel business is distinguished by several factors – firstly, this is the fully equipped kitchen for self-catering; secondly, the spacious floor plans mostly allowing for a separation of living room and bedroom. Despite this offer of “more space, more privacy” the rates often lie significantly below those of qualitatively comparable hotels. The trick: Guests pay for those services only which they really make use of. For instant, many apartment houses abolished the 24 hour reception; the obligatory breakfast is replaced by an optional offer as the guests always have the - often preferred - possibility to prepare their meals in their own kitchen. This abdication of superfluous or only partly demanded services supports the feeling of being at “home”– for hardly anybody will have his private flat cleaned every day or go out for breakfast every morning.
Although the apartment conception had originally been developed for long term stay only, addressing guests who would stay for a month or longer, nowadays most units are available for single nights, too. Correspondingly, the largest independent platform for Serviced Apartments in Germany, Apartmentservice, serves a wide variety of clients: For the challenging project manager expecting high standard as well as for the budget orientated tourist the team can find the perfectly tailored temporary home from more than 5,000 available apartments in all larger German cities.
Anett Gregorius, founder of Apartmentservice, recognized the trend years ago as one of the first in Germany. “In Great Britain or the US, the concept of Serviced Apartments is already quite common”, knows the 31 year old business economist. “Germany had a late start but has caught up considerably since.“
According to the existing demand, the market concentrates on the economically relevant destinations: Berlin leads the list with more than 3,000 units, followed by Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and further cities. The units range from studios of 20 sqm to penthouse apartments of 150 sqm. “Multi-bedroom units are highly requested, as the comfort of separate sleeping options in a shared apartment is valued by colleagues as well as family members.”, says Gregorius. “The last few years showed a number of openings in this segment – and all of these houses already exhibit above-average occupancy.”
Gregorius does not limit her efforts to the mere presenting and selling of Serviced Apartments, though: Together with the TUV Rheinland Industrie Service GmbH her company Boardinghouse Consulting developed a system two years ago that provides the guest with a qualitative overview (comparable with the well-known hotels stars) in the growing jungle of various apartment concepts: During extensive audits the apartment houses are certified and sorted into categories from “Value – AA” to “Excellent – AAAAA”.
Serviced Apartments in Germany have long outgrown the status of being a secret known by initiates only, by now they find grateful acceptance throughout the wide range of traveller types. They strike the right note – offering an individual home from home instead of uniform hotel accommodation – and at the same time feature an excellent price performance ratio.
Anett Gregorius Berliner Allee 96 13088 Berlin Germany phone: +49 (0)30 96 06 09 49-0 fax: +49 (0)30 96 06 09 49-19 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.apartmentservice.de www.apartmentservice-international.com