Serviced apartments are fully furnished establishments that provide hotel-like resources such as restaurants, housekeeping, fitness centres and room service. They are also equipped with home comforts such as a dining room, personal kitchenette and a living room. Sometimes serviced apartments are called furnished apartments.

 

It is increasingly becoming a popular phenomenon within Kenyan’s capital city of Nairobi. Serviced apartments are fast emerging in Kenya, Nairobi to be specific as an alternate accommodation for companies providing standards services available at a much lower cost than hotels. 

 

According to the Kenyan National Bureau of Statistics Statistical  Abstract 2018, the demand for serviced apartments has been on the rise and they record a relatively high occupancy rate above 70% compared to hotels in Nairobi at 35.5%. A report by Cytonn Investments indicated that serviced apartments outperformed hotels in returns and occupancy. The report showed that the average occupancy for serviced apartments was 90% and the revenue per room per night was Ksh 12,700. Also, the Cytonn hospitality sector revealed that the concept of serviced apartments continued to become more popular in the market. It states that Kenyan’s capital Nairobi has approximately 3,414 serviced apartments as at 2015 and an additional 1,174 set to be completed by 2020.

 

Nairobi continues to become a hub for regional and international investors, due to an extended preference for extended stay options in the city attributed to the increase in popularity of serviced apartments. 

 

There is a high demand for short term rental and accommodations as Nairobi and other areas provide small and upscale service apartments which are affordable, efficient and spacious compared to other hotels. The popularity of serviced apartments is also influenced by the growth of global corporates seeking to establish regional hubs within Nairobi. Such firms prefer to host their employees within serviced apartments in the city. This kind of accommodation is also offered to professionals visiting the city for a short term period on conferences, meetings or short term working.

 

One of the reasons that contribute to the high uptake of serviced apartments is due to the space of rooms and availability for accommodation.

 

Suitable for guests 

Nowadays families prefer going for vacations to fully enjoy themselves and serviced apartments are a perfect choice for the families to maintain bonds and enjoy the holiday. Investors are putting up serviced apartments to create a feeling of being home, something that is not common with traditional hotel settings. 

 

Serviced apartments have a high-quality finish with a luxurious and tasteful lifestyle for guests looking to stay for a short term and extended period.

 

Feeling of home

Serviced apartments provide a homely feeling. Unlike regular hotels rooms serviced apartments provide a comfortable apartment-style living which is suitable for guests who travel as a family or guests prefer a homely feel.  

 

More prefer serviced apartments as they are affordable and less expensive resulting in the high demand. Lower operating cost is a factor that is driving investments in serviced apartments as it requires less working staff, cheaper to run, lower ancillary costs for food and amenities. 

 

Big spaces

Another factor that is leading to increased demand in service apartments is that they offer bigger room sizes than hotels. Unlike a hotel, a serviced apartment can easily accommodate a family. Besides, it allows someone to cook for themselves. 

 

Kilimani and Westlands lead in terms of occupancy within the Nairobi Metropolitan area at 28% and 37% respectively due to global hotels offering branded service apartments. Areas such as Upperhill and the Nairobi Central Business District (CBD) registered approximately 6% and 9% respectively in terms of occupancy of serviced apartments.

 

Serviced apartments also offer other services such as housekeeping services, laundry services, food delivery for both short term and long term guests. Developers in the hospitality sector will gain increased returns should they turn to the addition of serviced apartments in their accommodation establishments.