SCMP - Home at last
Luxury accommodations offer a sense of convenience, privacy and comfort.
by John Cremer
"There is definite room for growth in the "shorter-stay" market - representing anything from a few days to a few weeks - something clear from the number of local and international players entering the sector in Hong Kong and elsewhere in the region." Pilar Morais, CEO of Hong Kong-based CHI Residences.
"This will make things more competitive in terms of rate packages and services provided by the apartment operators," Morais says. "We have a 'stay for three, pay for two nights' offer for holiday and business travellers, and a 'welcome home' special rate for returning guests."
Regular feedback shows that a few things contribute to that feeling of being somewhere like home, not in just another hotel room. Most often, guests mention the kitchenette, a baby- and child-friendly environment, having somewhere to do one's own laundry, and free Wi-fi as key factors. When away from home base - and possibly budget-conscious - comfort and convenience is often all about sorting yourself out, rather than waiting for room service to bring a snack or housekeeping to wash the children's T-shirts.
"People like the flexibility of making their own meals or doing the laundry quickly, and a familiar routine makes their stay more comfortable," Morais says. "Serviced apartments are usually in areas where dining, shopping and entertainment are easily accessible, so guests have no trouble seeing and experiencing what the city has to offer."
CHI is ready to pre-book tickets to family attractions, such as Ocean Park and Hong Kong Disneyland. Each property has a DVD library with plenty of cartoons and movies for different age-groups. Staff are always available to offer transport tips, tourist advice and "what's on" information for visitors keen to make the most of their time. "We can also provide a pre-arrival service to stock kitchenettes with a few basics," Morais says. "We are still targeting longer- term stays, but we can also focus on the growing demand from travellers and families staying less than 28 days."