ApartHotel! A new way of Living!

Aparthotels have been a popular source of accommodation option among business and leisure customers in cities across Asia Paci c, the Americas and recently in Europe. In recent years, the trend has spread throughout the ME, particularly into Dubai and Beirut. Serge Chamelian, managing partner of h-hotelier applies a case study approach to discuss the multiple facets of this phenomenon.

An aparthotel, also known as an extended- stay hotel, is a serviced apartment complex that uses a hotel-style booking system, but provides a serviced “holiday home”. It is similar to renting an apartment, but with no xed contracts and occupants can “check- out” whenever they wish, with length of stay varying between a few days to months or even years. Aparthotels are regulated and provide a guarantee of standards and quality, with comparable nightly rates to traditional hotel rooms. They ll the space between structured hotel accommodation and non- standardized Airbnb accommodation.

Customers’ buying habits and preferences have really changed; this has been signi cantly demonstrated by the evolution of the sharing accommodation market (i.e. Airbnb). Business or leisure customers want to experience the destinations’ local best o ers in terms of restaurants, attractions and shopping etc. and this quest has to do with value, convenience, and quality. Due to increased lodging alternatives and boosted professionalism, customers are keen to choose private apartment hotels, with diversi ed o ers and listings now on uni ed platforms such as Booking.com or TripAdvisor.

Four-star deluxe fully-furnished, The Key ApartHotel, opened recently in Beirut’s Museum District, within close proximity to major attractions, shops, restaurants and bars. The Key o ers guests the comfort of a hotel, as well as the privacy and independence of an apartment. Its wide range of amenities include; complimentary high speed Wi-Fi, self-service launderette, the Key Car service within Beirut from 7:00 pm to 1:00 am for free drop o and pick up, complimentary use of bicycles and a convenience store. The project is owned by JRW Hospitality.

Walid Baroudi

'A key success factor for the aparthotel industry is cross-distribution throughout different channels, enabling visibility for today’s traveler'

In an interview with h-hotelier, Walid Baroudi, co-owner of The Key Aparthotel and partner in JRW Hospitality said, “It’s true that the aparthotels’ business is still opaque with very few branded operators in the world. There are several levels of service and so far what has been lled up is really much more than the 3-star kind of demand. As a world trend, my personal belief is a demand from increasingly sophisticated travelers for very high levels of service in this sector. And in Lebanon, this is what we aim to o er at The Key Aparthotel!”

The shift towards aparthotels is great news for budget-friendly family travel. With a fully equipped kitchen (with the exception of a minibar) and in-house washer and dryer facility, families can pack lighter and prepare meals in their rooms. Customers can even bene t from the opportunity to order food delivered by the local restaurants or pro t from the exibility provided at The Key by going to the convenience store located on the ground oor. For the business traveler, aparthotels popping up in major cities allow for more convenient, comfortable business trips, especially for extended stays.

Baroudi said that the players in the aparthotel sector should make better use of the shifting patterns of customer behavior; they should focus on one priority - the
end customer who sleeps at their property and ideally leaves with good memories. An aparthotel should also not be a service- limited, minimalist alternative to a hotel; rather, it is recognized as a new preferred way of guest accommodation.