For Craven House, and the wider serviced apartment industry, 2017 was a great year. I can honestly say it was a year for awareness of serviced apartments and it’s also been a year of breakthroughs for us, with acclaimed awards, ever-improving customer reviews and more guests than ever.
The awards and recognition
There’s no hiding in the hospitality sector. With the huge variety of choice available, and the high standards set by the industry bodies, only the very best providers succeed.
So we’re delighted with the two accolades we’ve attained this year. During the summer, Visit England awarded us Gold for the second year running – and we retained our 4-star status. Like many things in life, maintaining the highest standards can be even more difficult than achieving them in the first place, so this was hugely gratifying. Then more recently, we were overwhelmed to receive a Visit England Rose Award for service excellence. Only 100 businesses receive this award each year – so it’s safe to say it was a hugely proud moment for all of us.
But it’s worth also noting customer reviews too – which ultimately are the most important measure of any business. And this year, our TripAdvisor rating has stayed at 5 out of 5. We think our accommodation offers something special, and when guests recognise that, we couldn’t be happier. Of course, in addition to this, we remained an accredited operator from The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (The ASAP) which means that our guests have the confidence that we are delivering a consistently high standard of customer care, comfort and health and safety.
Like all industries, the talk in ours has been about Brexit and a stagnant UK economy. And yet, it’s been a year of consistent growth for the serviced apartment sector. While other industries flatlined, in the first half of 2017, ours grew by 5.5% – and in London, it was a massive 15.5%. The strength has continued throughout the year, and record numbers of apartments are being built across the UK. Ultimately, a weaker pound has actually given tourism a boost – especially for accommodation in iconic locations like Craven House. And Airbnb’s ceaseless progress has actually been beneficial to independent providers like us, as it’s changed perceptions for the better. In 2017, business and leisure travellers alike started to realise that apartments gave them more space, more flexibility, more luxury and more privacy for less money. It’s great news.
As we move into 2018, I am driven to keep up the high standards that have been recognised in 2017 by the industry and customers alike. And for us, that means continuing to find ways of making every single stay special. As always, we’ll be emphasising the fact that we can adapt to the needs of every guest. We’ll also keep on adding those luxury touches to every apartment.
We are proudly renowned for service excellence, and we are determined to keep it that way.
From everyone at Craven House, we wish you all the very best for 2018.