Variety of room size is key to sector growth, and if the consumer is willing to adapt, so should brands.
Over the last two years, I have been invited to see many new prototypes of proposed rooms within the sector; these range from 20m2 to 60m2. A question that I’m often asked is at what size is it no longer a serviced apartment or an aparthotel room, but, in fact, a hotel room. The market is changing, and fundamentally rooms sizes are under pressure from increased land and build costs, with competing assets all striving to be in the same place. The simple solution is to compress the room size and deliver more rooms, to rationalise the costs to buy and build.
With some of the larger aparthotel brands, we already see in effect a new sector of “micro” serviced apartments. No one can stop this from happening and does it matter. Perhaps we get caught up with labels rather than just accepting that there are hospitality beds in every city, which are a blend of different offerings, room sizes, and service levels. It’s all about the brand delivering clear marketing messages as to what the proposition is. The reality is the smaller the room, the shorter the stay and therefore, the expectation of an enhanced service level and different operating model.
So what size is too small for the sector? The short answer is, don’t get too caught up in personal opinions on room size. The consumer has demonstrated its flexibility to adapt; brands should listen to this and do the same.