„Travellers who live and work far away for weeks and months experience the country and its people more intensively than others – that is clear. Serviced Apartments, which have so far mainly been available in big cities, specialise in long-term living in a “second home”. Many providers are increasingly focusing on bleisure options, also accelerated by the remote work trend.” Sylvie Konzack
No, business trips were few in 2020, and thus hardly any classic bleisure extensions. As a result, hotels in the big cities often remained empty and closed – in contrast to Serviced Apartment properties and aparthotels. “In Germany alone, around 70 percent remained open during the spring lockdown,” reports Anett Gregorius, owner of the reservation and consulting company Apartmentservice. For those who had to stay longer in one place for a project or had moved to the city for the first time, especially in the Corona year 2020 and now, appreciated the security of the self-contained accommodation units with kitchenettes and often contactless access, the service offers and flexible rebooking and cancellation conditions.
Even stranded business travellers or employees of medical institutions and authorities like to book Serviced Apartments these days (photo example on the left: Joyn Serviced Living). For even more security, reservation services such as Apartmentservice have developed their own Stay Safe label. Providers like Living Hotels have thermoscans in the lobby or UV disinfection for mobile phones and laptops. At Pearl 1 in Berlin, e.g. in the “Aeronaut” or in the flats such as “Lotte”, there is a hygiene airlock at the building entrance and exit as well as mobile air purification in the aprtments. While the Serviced Apartments of the Aeronauts in trendy Berlin-Neukölln themselves offer feel-good comfort – with armchair or couch, anti-allergenic mattress, fully equipped kitchen including Thermomix and Nespresso coffee machine as well as bathrobe and whirlpool on the terrace on the seventh floor.
“Even though classic hotels are currently offering long-term deals – many of them do not have separate living and sleeping areas and a kitchenette, which are obligatory in Serviced Apartments and enable self-catering in central locations. Serviced Apartments are simply the originals when it comes to temporary living,” emphasises Anett Gregorius. In addition, there is the more relaxed non-hotel atmosphere with real living room elements and people in the neighbourhood you will meet again for weeks. Live like a local – in Serviced Apartments this is possible even more intensively than in classic hotels.
My Westend, your Westend
“Frankfurt, my home city, is completely underestimated in terms of tourism,” says an employee of Adina Hotels with this in mind and has therefore written a guest blog post about the Westend, which usually stands for banks and villas. Adina has an aparthotel in Frankfurt itself, but also wants to attract guests from and to its hotels in Hamburg, Berlin, Nuremberg, Copenhagen or Budapest. After all, if you live in a foreign city for weeks, you can also discover other cities nearby on the weekend. With the new openings in Cologne in April 2021, in Munich at the end of 2021 on an old potato silo or in Vienna, the spectrum expands even more. As premium providers, the Serviced Apartments are at least 30 square metres in size (photo above left), they always have a living area with sofa & co. as well as a fully equipped kitchen and washing machine. In addition, there is a restaurant and often a pool and fitness area. If you want, you can also accommodate your guests in the larger apartments and discover the area together.
Föhr excursion or temporary emigration?
“Since October 2020, Joyn Serviced Living has opened a serviced apartment building in Cologne in the old headquarters of the perfume brand 4711 in the middle of the Veedel with a lot of multicultural flair. The building itself also provides a lot of “lively normality”, as the 112 business apartments including a community lounge meet 136 student apartments on the lower floors. Business apartments guests can also take advantage of local restaurant deals on site, a shopping service, e-bike rental and fitness cooperations.
At The Spot – Serviced Apartments in Munich, e-scooters are also available for free use, and there is a cooperation with My Fitness Card as a fitness flat rate with over 200 participating studios in Munich. Apart from the lobby for chilling out (photo above) and the 62 suites, which have adopted the New York living style, the adjacent Olympic Park invites you to run and relax. On weekends, under pandemic-free circumstances, there are also frequent folk festivals, flea markets, open-air cinema events and concerts here.
Also in Munich and numerous other German and Austrian cities, Living Hotels have now set up a “fitness studio for the mind”: Mindset Coaching is the name of the app (photo above), which guests can download onto their smartphones for up to three months with a personal, free access code. It includes twelve four-week plans for individual goals such as “Thinking more positively”, “Acting more confidently” or “Having more focus”. Divided into daily 10-minute exercises, they thus provide the right “motivational push” in the mind during everyday life away from home. And don’t be surprised if you also see Living Hotels employees using the app. Many also use the Mindset Coaching themselves, because the last few months at Corona were just as challenging for them.
On the other hand, those who are busy in Hamburg and like it more Scandinavian will also be inspired to combine work and leisure in the two houses of the von Deska Townhouses. In the Ivy House, an old brick villa, there is a sports house in the garden with yoga classes, a personal trainer and a sauna. In the White House, stucco ceilings and herringbone parquet flooring meet balconies or a private garden in a city villa. There is bicycle rental, guided city tours with picnic baskets and stand-up paddling. The highlight, however, is the excursion option to the North Sea island of Föhr: here von Deska offers several country houses of its own (photos below) and knits special packages for guests of the Hamburg townhouses for a short break or even a change of remote working and living place.
And whoever is drawn even further afield because they can really work from anywhere: The Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts in Portugal (photos below) can now also be rented for several months. There is a choice of apartments as well as villas in the family resorts Martinhal Chiado and Cascais in Lisbon or in Sagres on the Algarve. If you bring your family, you can also use the kids’ club. And for school-age children, the Singaporean-Swiss entrepreneurial couple Chitra and Roman Stern, who are behind Martinhal, have even opened an international school in Lisbon. Bleisure travel, bleisure work, remote work – everything is possible in a fluid new form.
Sylvie Konzack …
has been observing for about ten years how Serviced Apartments are developing into a charming temporary living alternative compared to classic hotels. Because business travellers, city travellers, leisure travellers – everyone is increasingly everything at the same time. Pigeonhole thinking was yesterday, at least that’s what Corona has helped to change.
Photos, from top to bottom: © Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts (Aufmacher), Joyn Serviced Living, Adina Apartment Hotels, The Spot – Serviced Apartments, Christian Behnke (Foto Living Hotels / Mindset Coaching), von Deska Countryhouses, Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts