5Qs with Astrid Bray
General Manager at Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living
Astrid first joined Jumeirah in 2005 as director of business development for Jumeirah Carlton Tower and Jumeirah Lowndes Hotel in London. She was appointed as General Manager for Grosvenor House Apartments in 2012 when it was first opened. Over the past two years, the demand for serviced apartments has been increasing steadily with a 10% increase predicted for 2014 alone, according to the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers. EP asked Astrid a couple of questions on the sector to find out more
What are the factors that are causing an increase in this sector?
Speaking for Jumeirah, we have led the way on providing a luxury option in the serviced apartment sector in London. The majority of our guests have come to us from other more conventional hotels as they now have an option that meets their service expectations but also provides the generous space and privacy that a serviced residence can offer. More serviced apartment options in the market will persuade some guests to move away from hotels.
Like any brand, defining what you offer should match meeting the expectations of your guests. At Grosvenor House Apartments we have tailored our services to anticipate the needs of our guests, but such services would not work for all operators.
What is your typical type of guest?
Our location on Park Lane attracts high net worth clients and those seeking the ultimate address and service in London. Given our product range from studios through to one of Londons largest Penthouse Suites, our clients vary tremendously. Many of our guests are regular business travellers, staying for a few days at a time each week, and these are balanced with those who have chosen to be based with us for longer periods we have some guests that have lived with us for over a year already, and their apartment with us has become their home in London.
How was the sector affected by the recession?
At the luxury end of the market, the recession probably had a lesser impact on the typical guests travelling, but Im sure the market as a whole, particularly those at the mid-range level, were more affected, as was the conventional hotel industry.
What is the one item you cant live without?
My team they are awesome!
What three words would you choose to best describe yourself?
Passionate, practical, fun
If youd like to find out more about the hospitality leaders selected or have a question youd like to see asked, please contact Nicole Thompson