SAN talks to Naveen Ahmed, director of Roomzzz Aparthotels.
• What is your background and how did you move in to the
serviced apartment sector?
"Parklane was created in 1977 by Naveen's father, Naveen and his brothers then took over the company and currently look after seven different companies. Naveen saw an opportunity in the market place for aparthotels which was inbetween hotels and serviced apartments. He identified a niche, realising serviced apartments were lacking the flexibility of hotels and wanted to create an improved product."
• You have been opening properties in English regional cities. Why do you think these markets have strengthened so significantly in the last couple of years?
"Most regions have been doing better since the recession. We're very fortunate that we didn't suffer during the economic down turn. We believe our continued growth is down to our unique offering of flexible aparthotel accommodation that makes us stand out in the market."
• Which cities have you targeted for future openings and why?
"Our current list of target locations includes London, Birmingham, Oxford, Milton Keynes, Edinburgh and Glasgow."
• What sets Roomzzz apart from other apart-hotel brands?
"We believe our strand branding sets us apart from other aparthotels. Excellent customer service is obviously a given, we also have a number of USPs that set us apart from serviced apartments and also hotels. These are a fully fitted kitchen, complimentary Wi-Fi, free UK nationwide calls, ultimate comfort bed, 24-hour concierge, around the clock fresh coffee and complimentary morning fresh pastries."
• What has been the impact of Airbnb and its ilk on your properties, and what can the serviced apartment sector do to meet the challenges of the shared economy?
"We haven't yet had an impact from Airbnb and don't believe we will. We are already advertising some of our Roomzzz on Airbnb and using it as another online platform."