Design hotel chain Room Mate has launched a new apartment concept that ties into the services of its hotels.
The new brand, named BeMate, is taking on the likes of Airbnb by signing up residents’ apartments but offering the support and facilities of its Room Mate hotels nearby.
However as founder Kike Sarasola tells Travel Daily, the firm scrutinises properties before they are introduced, and will cull any that drop their standards.
“Short-term rental has its problems, you do not always get what you see on a booking platform and the logistics can be difficult,” he explained. “In our concept Room Mate becomes the BeMate ambassador by being the location where guests can pick up and drop off their keys or luggage, and they have a concierge service available to them.”
This concierge offering has recently been boosted by BeMate’s announcement of an exclusive tie-up with isango! in the rental sector so it can offer attraction and tour tickets to guests.
BeMate’s launch came from Sarasola noticing that some customers needed more space, while others wanted an apartment experience but with service too.
Apartments are already available in more than 10 cities through Spain, the US and Mexico but will soon be available worldwide, with 2,500 in the pipeline.
“BeMate is important as it enables us to reach out to more markets such as families or those on business as well as our usual clientele,” Sarasola said. “We can grow faster this way and fill a gap in the market for apartments where people still want a service.”
Could you launch a serviced apartment brand with your own properties, we ask.
“There is a possibility, yes,” Sarasola replied. “But BeMate is unique and with the criticism that rented accommodation currently faces we want to get the best possible for our clients. BeMate provides a new accommodation option for this new generation of travellers in the sharing economy, but with a host and service.”
In cities where Room Mate is not currently located the firm will team up with independent hotels that will become ambassadors. However, the design hotel brand is growing just as much as its sister firm.
Room Mate recently opened a hotel in Amsterdam while Sarasola would like to see openings in London, Paris, Bangkok, Singapore and Bogota.