In the UK and globally, for example Dubai, the aparthotel segment has experienced a boom over the last few years, driven by people seeking a more economical approach to travel and also a home-from-home environment.
NFS Hospitality have been at the forefront of this trend by providing an affordable solution to aparthotel owners. roomMaster developed by InnQuest Software Corporation based in Tampa, Florida, is a fully integrated, cost-effective management solution that includes reservations, check-in, spa management and restaurant management.
Adrian C Sellens, who manages operations for NFS Hospitality & Leisure, says aparthotel and apartment businesses differ from standard hotel businesses in that they have normal and long-stay guests. roomMaster can help with this mix by using daily, weekly and monthly room rates; it can also automatically handle the VAT change element for long-stay guests after a 28/30-day stay, and is able to raise monthly invoices, thus keeping up-to-date with outstanding monies.
Aparthotel businesses like to raise pro forma invoices prior to the guest stay, which is easy to do in roomMaster. The system can also handle apartments at different locations, managed at a central location, with separate reports available per location.
Included in NFS’ hospitality offering is roomMaster.net, also developed by InnQuest Software. The web bookings solution enables 100% commission-free reservations, created directly from the hotel’s website. Guests can book directly from roomMaster.net into roomMaster, all without picking up a phone. The online group feature is exclusive to this web solution; group managers can view their rooming and block status information online, saving sales departments valuable time.
Adrian comments that many aparthotel clients are now using travel agents, who can log straight into roomMaster.net and check availability before making bookings. “Certain rooms and rates can be made available to them for this purpose,” he says.
The roomMaster Suite is used by many NFS clients in the UK aparthotel segment, including Pepper Street Properties, Posh Pads at the Casartelli, Arc Serviced Apartments, CW Lamley and Glasgow Lofts.
A recent client is Micasa Aparthotel, a luxury Aberdeen property that houses some of the largest apartments in the city, with stylish design, modern decor and exceptional standards of accommodation and service. Formerly a department store, the building has been completely refurbished to form 34 top-of-the-range flats that are available for both short and long stays.
Martin Simpson, Director of Micasa, says a number of reservation and web booking systems were considered before roomMaster was selected, but felt this was the best system for them overall. “It does everything we need and much more,” he comments, “with all the core requirements and a wide range of easy-to-use applications.“
Simpson adds that following a straightforward implementation process, the excellent follow-up service helps with system queries. NFS have set up further reports and made modifications to suit Micasa’s changing needs.
“roomMaster is quick, efficient and accurate, with many applications and reports that help us run our business,” says Simpson. “It works very well in house and for online bookings, saving time and hassle.“
Kensington House Aparthotel, in Newcastle’s leafy suburb of Jesmond, is a more experienced user of roomMaster, having been an NFS customer for a few years.
The aparthotel offers 23 luxury, serviced apartments. These spacious flats have been imaginatively designed and individually furnished to the highest standards. All are available on a nightly basis with no minimum stay, making them ideal for both corporate clients and leisure visitors. Guests at this prestigious property benefit from the convenience and services of a hotel whilst also enjoying the space and freedom of apartment living.
“We have been using roomMaster for almost two years now and all the staff love it,” says Gillian Hall, General Manager of Kensington House. “The system is so easy to use and with staff turnover we all find the Training option using real-time data very useful.“
Gillian is very pleased with roomMaster’s reporting functionality, and says, “The number of reports available gives us all the information we need, whether it be historical or for forecasting and marketing. I believe we made a really good choice and we have no hesitation in recommending the solution.“