Magazine article Newsweek International

A Home Away from Home; Serviced Apartments: With Their Focus on Decor and Serious Service, Long-Stay Accommodations Are Earning New Respect

Magazine article Newsweek International

A Home Away from Home; Serviced Apartments: With Their Focus on Decor and Serious Service, Long-Stay Accommodations Are Earning New Respect

Article excerpt

Byline: Michelle Jana Chan

Louis Vincent-Gave, a director at the financial research house GaveKal Research, used to travel between the company's London and Hong Kong offices several times a year. What he wanted was a home away from home, so instead of staying in a five-star hotel, he opted for one of Hong Kong's many serviced apartments. "The big thing is space," he says. "Hotel rooms can get a bit stuffy. If you're staying somewhere for three or four weeks, it's nice to hang out in a living room. "

The concept has long been popular with business travelers who have to spend months in a foreign city. Serviced apartments generally come with several rooms, a fully equipped kitchen, a private entrance and the option to entertain. "There's something a bit depressing about hotels and all that elevator music," says Vincent-Gave. "It's nice to come back to a place that feels like your apartment." Now serviced-apartment facilities are upgrading their packages to compete with long-stay rates offered by traditional hotels, in an effort to appeal to shorter-term travelers. The blocks of shabby apartments with token weekly maid service are giving way to smaller, more intimate establishments with an emphasis on contemporary design and serious service.

Take the newly opened Hong Kong JIA--"home" in Mandarin--designed by Philippe Starck. The one-bedroom apartments measure 72 square meters, with work, living and dining spaces separated by sheer curtains. The fully equipped kitchen is concealed behind sliding screens. Guests can either prepare meals there (with in-room delivery of gourmet groceries), order from the 24-hour room-service menu or dine at the hotel's restaurant, Grain. The monthly rate of $2,565 is less than half the cost of the same stay in a one-bedroom suite at a four-star hotel like the Excelsior. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.