The UK economy might have dodged a triple dip recession, according to the latest figures, but that doesn’t mean we’re back in the land of milk and honey.
Quite rightly there has been relief in many business quarters after the news from the British Chambers of Commerce who have said, after surveying 700 of their members, that they think the UK has avoided falling into a third recession. It is good news, particularly for those in the service sector whose strong exports are what are believed to have heralded a return to a bumpy growth.
It is good news, but it would be remiss to think we’re out of the woods. Gone are the days when businesses have unlimited budgets for travel to different capitals around the world. It’s still important for them to visit their offices in major cities, or for staff to be relocated to meet demand and to make the most of opportunities and emerging economies but no longer will they, or can they, write a blank cheque.
You can draw a direct line of comparison between a reduction in the size of business travel budgets and the rise of serviced apartments. Increasingly, for long term stays, businesses have identified that they can make savings by staying in a serviced apartment instead of a hotel.
If you are staying more than seven nights, it is more cost effective to stay in a serviced apartment over a hotel. There are a range of benefits that travellers might not have been aware of; on average you get around a third more space in a serviced apartment compared with a hotel room; you can prepare your own home cooked meals; you have a fully fitted kitchen (particularly in the apartments on offer through Clarendon) so you can do your own laundry and look after your wardrobe, although you do get a laundry service for towels and bedding. The effect of this is that you get a home away from home. Quite often in a hotel it is the hidden extras that push up the cost. When we’re managing household budgets it is easy to trim expenses, for example cooking in bulk or buying less expensive detergent and household essentials. It is difficult to do that in a hotel; every extra seems to have a cost like the mini-bar, dry cleaning, room service etc etc. The lifestyle benefits of a serviced apartment not only make life more comfortable and bespoke, they are also cheaper.
There is also added value stemming from the flexibility of the serviced apartment. A stay starts at seven nights but for those on longer term business contracts, or relocating to a new city, then a serviced apartment is a better option. There are no tie ins like an estate agent might offer, for example three to six months minimum: That flexibility makes it much easier if someone is working in a new city, needs somewhere to live but is also looking for a more permanent family home or base. A serviced apartment provides a luxurious an comfortable place to stay, with a weekly housekeeping service, but that can also be a stepping stone to a new home in a new place.
Clarendon Serviced Apartments work hard to find the ideal solution and location for their clients. Depending on budget and where they want to be based we work on finding a bespoke place to stay that’s close to the office, meets their lifestyle requirements and is the right size to accommodate their needs. Clarendon also embraces the latest technology helping to suit the needs of business travellers. For example, if you’re researching where you want to stay on your smartphone we have an app for both Android and Apple devices. Search for ‘Clarendon Serviced Apartments’ in the App Store or Play Store to find and download the app. It’s free and it provides guests with a detailed summary of their locations as well as a review and information about nearby attractions; you can’t work all the time.
Flexibility is truly key as we negotiate our way out of the global downturn. Business travellers have not yet regained the confidence they had before the recession so they are still looking for ways to make their budgets travel further. Yet why should they have to compromise on comfort and location while they do that? Clarendon Serviced Apartments works with their clients finding solutions that fit them, their needs and their budgets.