“Value for money” is a moving target at the best of times. So when we are asked “How do your serviced apartments for corporate travel compare to other forms of accommodation in terms of value for money?” we try to do more than just compare the bills.
Money, though, is a good place to start and it’s worth exploring briefly how serviced apartment operators, like Cotels, are able to drive costs down. One of the most significant costs for hotel owners is general housekeeping and maintenance, not just of the rooms, but communal areas, restaurants, gyms, spas, lobbies, lounges and receptions. In a serviced apartment, lounges are not required as each apartment has its own area to relax; they are usually located in town centres where a wide choice of restaurants is available, or guests can cook for themselves in the fully-fitted kitchens; and some of our apartments even have inclusive access to an independently-operated spa in the same building.
Value for Money
And because average guest stays are much longer than in a hotel, housekeeping is much less intensive. A typical hotel will be servicing its rooms daily – but in an apartment where guests might be staying for a few days or a few months, cleaning and a change of linen and towels will happen on changeover or weekly – whichever is shorter. Longer stays also help to drive costs down by reducing the volatility of void periods, making planning and investment much easier.
The starting point for a cost comparison between hotels and serviced apartments is the daily rate. Our business travel accommodation in Milton Keynes starts from as little as £75 a night (+VAT) for a one-bedroom studio apartment – very comparable to a three or four-star hotel room, but with plenty of space for two, a fully fitted kitchen, dining area and laundry facilities. At the other end of the scale, one of our two-bedroomed, two bathroom serviced apartments in Milton Keynes, with access to a roof garden is just £145 (+VAT) per night. Sleeping up to four in luxury, this represents incredible value for money.
If you‘re responsible for booking accommodation for corporate travel, you’ll be aware that the room rate is not the only cost your staff is likely to incur. A hotel bill is often accompanied by charges for room service, laundry, parking, internet access and so on. This is another area where serviced apartments can help to keep your travel budget under control.
In Cotels apartments, secure parking for one car is always provided; Sky TV is standard and even a high speed broadband connection is included at no extra cost. Each apartment has a wash/dryer as well as an ironing board and iron so there shouldn’t be any laundry bills and the fully fitted modern kitchen with hob, oven, fridge/freezer, microwave and dishwasher mean that your employees don’t have to eat out every night.
There are other cost advantages too. Apart from the compact studio apartments, all others have a separate dining and sitting area – perfect for business meetings and for entertaining customers.
Home from Home
It’s not just on direct costs that serviced apartments can score over hotels for corporate travel. The benefits of staying in an apartment with all the facilities you would expect at home are considerable. It’s a less stressful environment particularly if your staff has to be away for more than a couple of days and can make a big contribution to productivity. Serviced apartments are often used now for much longer stays, for example when relocating staff and can often be a more practical and cost effective alternative to house rental. There is greater flexibility on length of stay, logistics are simpler – there’s no need to manage and pay for removals and packing twice – and the employee will be able to focus on the new job rather than having to cope with the stress of multiple moves.