In the city's serviced apartment sector, where location, interior design and services are highly prized, it is the quality of service that is drawing new tenants. Operators are constantly improving their services to maintain a competitive edge. With housekeeping and concierge services, and gym memberships and state-of-the-art in-room technology taken for granted at many high-end serviced apartments, it is the little extras that really make a difference. Large apartment buildings, such as the Wharf Holdings-owned Gateway Apartments in Tsim Sha Tsui, have an advantage as they can partner with other companies to offer various services and activities. Gateway Apartments has partnered with Pacific Club, which is next door, to offer some of the most comprehensive facilities and services in the city. All tenants have free access to the private club. 'These facilities and services are part of the total package we offer. Everyone has nice apartments with good hardware; we try to differentiate ourselves by giving more,' says Rene Holenweger, assistant general manager of Gateway Apartments. 'These activities are value-added to tenants, and are particularly pertinent for expatriates who travel extensively for work. 'These executives would naturally be concerned about their spouses and want them to be well looked after during their absence. 'These social activities and services help as they allow someone who wants to integrate into the social life to do so very easily.' With more than 140,000 sqft of space, complete with clubhouse facilities that include tennis courts, a gym, indoor swimming pool, spa, and an array of dining options, new tenants can also tap into a ready-made social network through activities ranging from wine tasting to casino nights, special interest workshops and classes. The Gateway Ladies, a social club formed by a group of female tenants a few years ago, regularly organise lunches, attend special-interest classes and go shopping together. 'If you are new at the apartment, you may be approached by one of the ladies. It is very easy to make friends, especially for people who are new to the city,' Holenweger says. The services and activities, plus the spaciousness of apartments, with its smallest studio at a generous 712 sqft, to three-bedroom units of 2,931 sqft, have attracted long-term tenants to Gateway, with more than 70 per cent of them signing on for at least a year. Though other operators may not have the same facilities, many are attempting to provide equally interesting and unique facilities. Hanlun Habitats offers tenants monthly wine tasting sessions and discounts at its wine shop. 'We are also looking to convert one of our ground floor premises into a spa, restaurant, deli or bakery,' explains Cynthia Wong, director and assistant general manager of the company. It owns and manages 216 units in Mid-Levels. Home2home, which runs five serviced properties, sees quality service and activities as must haves. 'Serviced apartment living is geared towards making life easy and living well,' says Heddy Li, home2home's director of operations and projects development. 'Our belief has always been that tenants look to serviced apartments as an effortless way to live in Hong Kong. 'This not only includes location, space, design and comfort, but also encompasses lifestyle. Our aim for activities has always been to provide guests with a seamless integration into a Hong Kong lifestyle, with a focus on living well.' That has translated into providing tenants with a credit-loaded Octopus card upon their arrival to help kick-start their stay. It also provides a grocery delivery service, offers a discount to rent the company's yacht, and gives special entry rates to Ocean Park. Tenants at the V Serviced Apartments, a group of serviced designer units that are in Causeway Bay, Happy Valley, Wan Chai and West Kowloon, automatically become members of the V privilege and rewards programme at check-in. They use the complimentary V living card to accumulate points that can then be used to redeem lifestyle gifts from V, and enjoy discounts and privileges at restaurants.