Sleeping in London: What’s the cost?
For Australians looking for a bed in London, the cost of sleeping in the city may be a lot more than you bargained for.
Whether you’re searching for a hotel room, serviced accommodation or a flat to rent, prices have soared across London’s most desirable postcodes, reaching new record highs.
Prime Central London (PCL) has always been both attractive and expensive, however, recent price increases now show that the hotel suite and rented apartment markets have become surprisingly similar. In order to investigate this fully, Wetherell’s Mayfair market report, ‘Sleeping in London’, highlights the latest trends in London’s luxury accommodation market, and comprises of a detailed analysis of 5-star hotel rooms/suites; serviced apartments and rented flat rates across Mayfair, making comparisons between the Mayfair market and other similar districts such as Knightsbridge, St James’s and Whitehall/Strand.
Hotel or apartment?
Due to rising property values in PCL, 5-star hotels are the only viable option in the most desirable areas of the city. However, with the average cost of renting a 1,038 sq ft 1 bedroom 5-star hotel suite in Mayfair being £2,050 per night, it is now eight times more expensive than privately renting a similarly sized furnished apartment. With the average weekly rates in Mayfair working out at £14,347 for a 5-star hotel suite, the average weekly rental in the heart of PCL is an incredible 700 per cent more expensive for a hotel suite when compared with a rented apartment.
In order to analyse like for like, the Wetherell report took into account the price per sq ft for each accommodation type. However, the findings still showed that 5-star hotel suites were the most costly at £13.83 per sq ft, while private rented accommodation offered the best value at just £1.90 per sq ft, comfortably beating the rates for 5 star hotel superior rooms and serviced apartments.
Although this report appears to make out that privately rented accommodation is the clear winner in terms of value, this all depends on the length of your stay. Although privately rented furnished accommodation is clearly the best value for money, landlords normally require a tenancy of at least six to 12 months, making short stays impossible. Even serviced apartments typically require a minimum stay of between three to seven days. For those seeking immediate, short-term accommodation, a hotel still offers unbeatable flexibility, at a price. And, of course, suites aren’t the only option in hotel accommodation.
The middle ground
With the need for high quality, furnished accommodation never ceasing in PCL, serviced apartments and private rented apartments are becoming increasingly similar to hotels in the product that they offer.
More often, apartments in PCL are being rented fully furnished, with stylish interior designs that rival the splendour of the hotel sector. As well as this, serviced apartments now increasingly offer house-keeping and leisure facilities in a similar style to hotels.
The similarities work both ways. Now, the biggest and best hotels in PCL also offer in-room dining and basic kitchenette facilities in their bid to ensure hotel suites can offer the comforts of home. Many 5-star hotels now offer ‘signature suites’ – apartment-style suites with bespoke fittings, furniture and works of art.
Perhaps the most interesting attempt to bridge the gap between private rented apartments and hotel suites are branded residences. A relatively new development, branded residences form part of luxury hotels, but are located in a separate wing which is set aside purely for private sale or serviced apartments. Some of the most famous in PCL are One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge, Shangri-La at The Shard in London Bridge, and The Residences at W Hotel in Leicester Square.
Most interestingly, the success of this new type of accommodation could see itself expanding from PCL to outer London and the key commuter hub locations in the city.