Guests expect the usual comforts and privileges, but the key is to make them feel at home Hong Kong's hospitality industry is renowned the world over for its quality of service. Management and staff are trained to cater for guests' daily needs and comforts as if it were second nature to them. That professionalism does not stop with hotels and airlines; it is firmly embedded in the serviced apartment sector. As the economy continues to flourish, more expatriate professionals and their families are setting up a temporary home in Hong Kong in an ever-increasing number of managed facilities. While the size, style and location of the serviced apartments may differ, there is a common thread linking them all - quality service. From fresh fruit and newspapers delivered to the room every day, to the ironed laundry and free use of fitness equipment, guests lead a privileged lifestyle. And there are no estate agents' fees and sometimes no government rates to pay whether the apartments are in Central, Tsim Sha Tsui or the New Territories. Established chains and new operators pride themselves on the quality of what they provide their tenants and with client satisfaction. V Serviced Apartments managing director Vivien Chan said service was paramount when looking after guests. 'We try to provide our tenants with a true home they will feel safe in and with hotel-type services,' Ms Chan said. 'These services give our tenants the opportunity to live in a hip property associated with a luxury lifestyle.' As well as standard housekeeping, regular linen changes, room cleaning and help with laundry requirements, all guests at V Serviced Apartments receive a V welcome pack that includes shampoo, conditioner and a V teddy bear. 'The V bear is something fun,' Ms Chan said. 'We hope to make our tenants feel pampered but not to make the service too invasive. The service must be just right.' Ms Chan knows the company is getting it right because of the positive feedback she receives from tenants. This has led the company to expand. V Serviced Apartments operates 48 guest rooms in its Happy Valley facility and will soon open 25 more suites in Wan Chai and 170 in Causeway Bay. 'Our furnishings, finishings and service distinguish us. One of our strengths is the standard of our services. The quality of service is paramount to us along with providing tenants with a certain lifestyle.' Quality service is also an essential element for the larger companies operating apartment complexes, such as Harbour Plaza Resort City in Tin Shui Wai. General manager Stephen Chu said it was an important part of the business and was the difference between the company's rooms and regular residential apartments. 'The concept behind serviced suites is to have an all-inclusive rate that encompasses fully furnished custom interior design, utilities, management fees, gym facilities, 24-hour concierge and security, air-conditioning and much more,' he said. Mr Chu attributed the success of Harbour Plaza Resort City to the time, money and effort that the company invested in its staff. 'Training is a key part of keeping the team at peak performance in the competitive hospitality industry,' he said. 'The human resources team conducts regular training and team building seminars in areas such as English, computer training and customer services, as well as others.' Apart from the high standard of staffing, the Harbour Plaza Resort City provides guests with all the regular services of a hotel, including a 24-hour concierge, housekeeping, clean towels and linen, and a shuttle bus to the airport and Tsim Sha Tsui. Telephone, internet access and free wireless broadband are also available in the suites. For Mr Chu, quality service is more than simply the hardware and gadgets that the resort supplies; it is the software of the interactive personal skills of the staff that makes the difference. 'Small details are important in service and [there must be] hotel hygiene levels,' Mr Chu said. Even a warm hello from a front office receptionist to a guest can make someone's day. It was not just expats that were attracted to the lifestyle associated with serviced apartments, Mr Chu said. 'Hong Kong citizens are among the busiest people in the world,' he said. 'The serviced suite concept fits perfectly to match this need. It's a hassle free style of living that has become more popular, especially over the past seven to 10 years.' Mr Chu tries to make all guests feel as if they are living in their own homes. 'Living in a serviced suite is even better than living in one's home,' he said. 'You have all the services of hotel living with the warm feeling of living in a small-town neighbourhood.'