Why did you decide to expand into the serviced apartment industry?
What I love about serviced apartments is the space, flexibility and diversity in apartment configurations. As a father of three I find them a great option, especially for families. I also think that the flexibility of having your own kitchen allows for a fantastic cost saving. With having the best of both sides of the industry, we want our guests to come and experience our serviced apartments and eat and drink with us as well. We’re striving to push the serviced apartment side of our business at the same time as trying to up sell our hotel facilities in our spa, salon, gym, banqueting suites, bar and brasserie.
I think the industry is still trying to define itself, as the line between serviced apartments and aparthotels is sometimes blurred. What Richmond does is effortlessly blend that. I think in the future more and more operators will let serviced apartments at the same time as offering their guests great facilities. Facilities such as restaurants and gyms are what is needed to be competitive within the market. I think it’s that value-added aspect that’ll be the catalyst for serviced apartment sector growth.
How’s your first year been operating in the serviced apartment industry?
It’s been interesting, especially as we’ve only been open six months so there’s something different everyday. We have the best of both worlds because we have serviced apartments with all the facilities of a hotel. We’ve merged them both together to create an exclusive yet comprehensive product. We love working in the hospitality industry!
Have you had any funny stories from your first year?
We had David Gest stay with us and he asked me personally to make his bed for him. He’s a lovely guy and very demanding, but in a funny kind of way. He had someone follow him around with an umbrella when it wasn’t even raining, shouting “David Gest loves you” to people in the streets. David has probably been our favourite, and by far the most fun guest we’ve had.
Quick fire round:
Chocolate or sweets? Chocolate
Twilight or Harry Potter? Twilight
Home-cooking or takeaway? Takeaway.
Hannah and Steven disagreed on all but the last question of the quick fire round. What do you think?