Gireesh Swaroop, an MNC executive, is always on the move. His work requires him to travel incessantly, and he is never in one city for more than six months. His wife accompanies him everywhere, and till recently, was happy with the nomadic existence, parked as they were in five-star hotels. But things changed once they had a baby. Suddenly, even five-star hotels were not convenient enough. “A confined room makes the babies crabby. So I decided to switch to serviced apartments, no matter which city I was in,” says the 38-year-old, who currently stays in a two-bedroom serviced flat in Chennai.
|HOTEL VS SERVICED APARTMENT|
|Weekend||Rs 7,800||Rs 8,800||Rs 1,000|
|Seven-day stay||Rs 23,400||Rs 26,400||Rs 3,000|
|15-day stay||Rs 54,600||Rs 61,600||Rs 7,000|
|Rates are indicative for 3-star category and similar facilities, and doesn’t include savings if you cook yourself|
Think in-house gym and pool, round-the-clock check-in and check-out facility, travel desk, restaurant, if you don’t fancy cooking—or a cook for an additional charge—butler, and more. Little wonder then that the trend is finding more takers, be it in Mumbai or Manali, Kashmir or Kolkata. Krishna Menon, marketing head of Goa’s newest serviced apartments, La Mansion, claims that all their 16 flats are usually sold out. “Right now, we have managers from Volvo and Eicher staying with us on a holiday with their families,” he says, adding, “Which other threestar hotel will offer rates as low as Rs 900 per head per night?”
Till 2007, most such projects were started by big hoteliers, such as the Taj Hotels and the Marriott Group. Last year, leading global players in the serviced apartments space like Ascott and Oakwood leaped into the fray and raised the benchmark. Because of the sudden interest, the serviced apartment segment, pegged at Rs 1,500 crore, is growing at 15-20% a year, while hotels are posting a 6% growth.
Things are likely to become more interesting in the near future, with real estate giants like DLF, Ansals and Vatika taking on serviced apartment projects. While many of these upcoming projects are in the National Capital Region, courtesy the upcoming Commonwealth Games, the trend is spilling over to Tier II cities like Ahmedabad, Pune and Chandigarh. So Parsvnath Developers is in the process of executing its first serviced apartment complex in Bhiwadi, Rajasthan, and TDI reportedly plans it in Tier III cities in Haryana. The customer is surely going to be spoilt for choice.
Hot dealsInteresting packages to look out for
Cost: Rs 34,498 per couple
Would you like to celebrate Christmas in a luxury cottage with a private pool? This resort is offering a two-night weekend package that includes all meals, a guided bird watching tour, a cycle tour of the surrounding tribal villages, a special candle-light dinner and all applicable taxes. The offer is valid till 19 December and again from 1 January to 31 March next year.
Cost: Rs 18,000 per couple
The luxury resort is offering a weekend package that includes stay in a deluxe room, breakfast and dinner for a couple, a 15% discount on health club facilities, and two massages during the stay. Also, you get a complimentary third-night stay, with breakfast, if you book in advance. Offer valid till 31 March 2009.