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.
Over recent years I have often accommodated people in our serviced apartments who’ve sadly suffered damages to their homes because of flooding – either from building problems, the washing machine leaking or from natural causes.
My serviced apartments in the beautiful Surrey village of Claygate are popular for many reasons – but above all, because they give business and leisure travellers the best of both worlds. And by that, I mean a genuine slice of English village life, just a short train journey away from central London. Bliss!
We are delighted to have been awarded the 2017 Rose Award from VisitEngland this week. The Rose Award is given to only 100 businesses per year for ‘Recognition of Service Excellence’ (ROSE) and as you can imagine, I, and the Craven House team are extremely proud.
There are a number of reasons why serviced apartments are growing in popularity across the world. Recent stats have revealed that the serviced apartment sector in the UK has outperformed expectations in the first half of this year, and it’s no surprise. They offer value, luxury, flexibility, and all the convenience you expect in a home away from home.
I often make the claim that my serviced apartments are luxurious – offering those fabulous extras that can make a trip even better. And I’m not alone; in the tourism industry, ‘luxury’ is probably an over-used word. But I wanted to explain just what I mean by luxury when talking about Craven House Serviced Apartments; because we really do go the extra mile to make every detail special.
It seems that the first half of this year saw the serviced apartment sector record a 5.5% growth in terms of revenue per available room. London, which accounts for 55% of all serviced apartments in the UK, is the major contributor of that growth – with a huge increase compared to 2016 of 15.5%.
For family days out in London, Hampton Court Palace offers a bit of everything. As well as being steeped in history, many of the best events and exhibitions take place outside – letting you enjoy some summer sun. So, to keep you and your kids busy, here are a few of my highlights for this summer at Hampton Court Palace – just own the road from Craven House!
Relocating to London is as stressful as it is exciting. But you can multiply those stress levels several times over if you’re relocating with family, and therefore finding your children a new school.
Earlier this month, Quality in Tourism visited us here at Craven House for our annual review.