• Queen's Garden

Service Apartment Upsurge

Recent years have seen a boom, in Hong Kong and other East Asian cities, in serviced apartments hong kong, which combine hotel-standard, resort-style living – with swimming pools, gyms, and club­house facilities – and the domestic conven­iences of a well-appointed, efficiently run block of flats.

But who typically lives in Upscale serviced Apartments, and how has this demographic altered over time?

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Transient businesspeople who don’t remain long enough to lease a flat and ship personal possessions from their home coun­try, but who stay too long for a conventional hotel room to be practical, form the usual customer base.

Advertisements from the period show that Hong Kong’s hotels offered competitive daily, weekly and monthly rates, with costs varying depending on whether breakfast, half- or full-board were included. The more luxurious rooms had attached bathrooms, but most residents had to make do with shared facilities, usually found along the corridor.

European bachelors were particularly suited to the residential-hotel lifestyle; club membership elsewhere provided meals at all hours, libraries and reading rooms, lounges, sitting rooms and, of course, a well-stocked bar. The High-End Apartments provided the rest – a shifting scene of personalities and conversational possi­bilities with all the conveniences of home, and few of the nagging nuisances.

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In particular, there was no need to engage and manage servants, or purchase, maintain and replace the household necessities – from sofas and wardrobes to lavatory brushes and tea strainers – that a private home required; for a periodic management fee, someone else dealt with this, just like in a serviced-apartment complex today.

A long-term serviced apartment, its use rotated across different generations, and between couples and indivi­duals as circumstances dictate, offers economical, trouble-free accommodation for this expanding demographic.

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