Starbucks kiosks will pop up in the lobby of selected Citadines properties in the new initiative.
Starbucks kiosks will pop up in the lobby of selected Citadines properties in the new initiative.

Serviced apartment operator, The Ascott Limited, has launched a pivot from its traditional business model in an effort to adapt to lower traveller numbers, opening up a selection of its apartments as spaces for hire to other industries.

Dubbed its ‘Work In Residence’ initiative, available at selected properties, businesses of all sizes can rent an apartment to use for non-traditional enterprises, with some examples put forward by Ascott including offices, yoga or fitness studios, satellite kitchens, parcel pick-up centres and even Starbucks pop-up coffee kiosks.

Ascott has partnered with Nestle to set up Starbucks self-service kiosks in the lobby of some of its Citadines branded properties around the world. Guests at these participating properties can make use of Starbucks coffee at special rates. Currently available in Singapore, more of these pop-up kiosks will roll out to other parts of the network, beginning from next year.

Guests will be able to lease apartments for their business use, including as fitness studios.

The purpose of the initiative is to maximise the available space in its buildings if traveller markets are low and making use of flexible room design to allow alternative use of the space.

Ascott Limited CEO, Kevin Goh, said the company’s strengths in the long-stay market and recent portfolio expansion has provided it with ammunition to withstand the COVID-19 pandemic.

“To ensure that Ascott remains a dominant lodging player in the new normal, we must be agile, continually adapt and develop new business strategies to future-ready our company,” Goh said.

“We are evolving our lodging products and services to cater to new customer segments, uncover alternative revenue streams as well as deliver greater value for our guests and business partners.”

Ascott has signed a bevy of new ‘Lyf’ branded properties, including Collingwood in Melbourne.

Chief Development Officer, Leong Teng Wui added: “Ascott’s award-winning interior design service team1 will work with the properties and owners to leverage our deep design capabilities to reconfigure and customise Ascott’s spacious apartments, to not only provide a home away from home, but also create a conducive, productive and well-designed workspace for our guests.”

Under the initiative, both studios and larger apartments will be available, depending on the hirer’s needs for separate living and dining areas, kitchens and bathrooms. Guests can book either daily, weekly or monthly packages, with operational workstations also available if needed. Daily housekeeping, complimentary tea and coffee and other perks are available to those hiring the spaces, subject to availability.

Ascott is reaching out to multinational corporations, small businesses, entrepreneurs and students to offer “space as a service” as co-working and short-term commercial space. Currently, more than 60 properties in 30 cities have signed up to take part.