Quick Q&A: Vedrana Riley, Ciel Capital

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• Can you give us a brief career background?
"I have been involved in hotel, hostel and aparthotel developments and investments for the last decade. I am now CEO at Ciel Capital, an innovative real estate investor, joint venture equity partner and asset manager. Prior to Ciel, I was a corporate finance manager at Pacific Investments and previously a managing director of IPIN Global Capital and BridgePoint Ventures UK Ltd."
• When did you first become aware of the serviced apartment sector?
"I looked at my first aparthotel in early 2010. At the time the sector was still in its infancy and there only were a handful of active managers and investors."
• Tell us about the Stow-Away brand and why Ciel Capital is involved with the project?
Stow-Away is beautifully designed aparthotel made for comfortable short and long stay living. The concept is sustainable and eco friendly: Stow-Away Waterloo is our first London base made from 26 re-purposed shipping containers, stylishly designed to provide a snug, comfortable Stow-Away sleeping experience. We feel that the aparthotel sector remains underserved in the UK and we have spent the last couple of years developing a design-led yet affordable product."
• The first Stow-Away is due to open in London by the end of this year - what will differentiate it from other aparthotel brands, and who do you envisage will be your target guest demographic?
"Stow-Away's focus is comfort (great showers and mattresses) and ease of use; guests will be able to check in and check out using our mobile phone app and even use their smartphone as their room key. Taking residence in the ground floor restaurant is Unwined, a boutique wine bar and restaurant for the new generation of wine lovers. We are targeting both corporate and leisure travellers."
• What are the roll-out plans for the brand?
 "We have recently acquired the Central Hall in Birmingham which we will be converting to a lifestyle hotel and a Stow-Away aparthotel. We are also looking at opportunities in Manchester, Glasgow, Dublin and continental Europe."
• Does Ciel Capital have plans for any other other investments in the serviced apartment/extended stay sector? If so, where and when?
"Our core focus is the roll out of Stow-Away but we remain opportunistic and are looking at a number of other hotel investments in the United Kingdom."

Vedrana Riley will be speaking at next week's Serviced Apartment Summit Europe 2017 in London. Click here for more details.


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