Weekend Property

Serviced apartment operators are raising their game to bolster business in Hong Kong

Cosy designs, hi-tech services and new locations are indications of more competition in the industry

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 1:00pm
UPDATED : Friday, 30 September, 2016, 2:30pm

When it comes down to it, it’s all about innovation, convenience and comfort. Hong Kong’s serviced apartment operators are constantly looking at ways to improve their portfolio to make residents stay that much longer.

Operators are now turning to cosy designs or are offering various hi-tech services to beat the competition, and they are also seeking new locations to open for business.

Earlier this year, Gateway Apartments, a luxury serviced apartment complex on top of Harbour City in Tsim Sha Tsui, completed an extensive two-year refurbishment and launched two-bedroom and three-bedroom apartments, which it says are designed to “accommodate families with children while allowing adequate space and privacy for each family member”.

It has also introduced studios, one-bedroom and one-bedroom with a study, which are suitable for executives and professionals on extended business trips to Hong Kong.

Ascott, the flagship serviced residence business unit of Singapore-based CapitaLand, has expanded its portfolio in Hong Kong with the launch of two Citadines properties. The new 52-unit Citadines Harbourview Hong Kong and the rebranded 55-unit Citadines Mercer Hong Kong have boosted Ascott’s presence to more than 300 serviced homes.

“Ascott has bolstered its network in Hong Kong with the opening of four properties in the past three years,” says Tan Tze Shang, Ascott’s regional general manager for greater China. “The newest Citadines Harbourview will provide travellers with another choice on Hong Kong Island.

With the rebranding of The Mercer into Citadines Mercer, we will have three Citadines properties in Hong Kong, enabling us to leverage resources to boost brand recognition
Tan Tze Shang, Ascott regional general manager for greater China

“With the rebranding of The Mercer into Citadines Mercer, we will have three Citadines properties in Hong Kong, enabling us to leverage resources to boost brand recognition.”

Citadines Harbourview Hong Kong in Sai Ying Pun comprises 52 one-bedroom, 1,000 sq ft units, boasting panoramic harbour views. All units have an integrated kitchen, home entertainment system and ample storage space, according to Ascott.

Residents can use smartphones with unlimited 3G mobile data, unlimited local calls and international calls to 10 selected countries, and access to a 24-hour fitness centre and alfresco rooftop terrace.

The rebranded Citadines Mercer Hong Kong is in Sheung Wan, close to trendy SoHo and Lan Kwai Fong. The building offers 55 residences and includes a gym, an outdoor swimming pool and a lounge.

In May, ONYX Hospitality Group rebranded 24 serviced apartments at Kennedy Road, as Shama Midlevels. Each 646 sq ft, one-bedroom apartment occupies a full floor and comes with a fully equipped kitchen, en-suite facilities and appliances. Commanding an open view of the city, the communal rooftop is the perfect spot for residents to relax.

ONYX manages five Hong Kong properties – four serviced apartments under the Shama brand, and a select-serviced hotel under the OZO brand. Hotel 108, the first-ever Mosaic Collection property in Hong Kong, is scheduled to open later this year.

Signature Homes, the luxury residential leasing arm of Sun Hung Kai Properties, says it has improved its website to offer a more user-friendly interface.

“Our in-house leasing team will advise the expat family on the type of housing and location that best meet their needs out of a wide range of options in our portfolio,” says Elee Lee, a senior leasing manager at Signature Homes.

SignatuRep, a team of on-site service staff, is on hand to provide personalised services to the family, from helping with setting in and arranging orientation tours, to organising social activities for residents.