Apr
11
2016

On AccorHotels’ purchase of onefinestay…

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AccorHotels Purchases Onefinestay

Accor Hotels has announced it has purchased serviced apartments provider onefinestay.

On Tuesday, the largest hotel consortium on the continent announced that the ink was already drying on a deal that sees it snap up British-owned onefinestay – a major player on the serviced home rentals stage.

AccorHotels is actually the fifth largest hotel group in the world, according to Reuters, and the deal will cost it a reported 148million euros, plus another 64million euros it is said to be pumping into onefinestay’s global expansion.

Onefinestay came into the vacation rentals picture frame about six years ago, and since then it has managed to grow a portfolio of around 2,600 serviced homes in the UK, United States, France and Italy. According to various reports, it will remain an independent commercial entity under the terms of the deal, and it will still be led by original co-founder Greg Marsh.

A view of the reception area at the Home Select Flagship Lounge & co-working Space on Calle Hermosilla

A view of the reception area at the Home Select Flagship Lounge & co-working Space on Calle Hermosilla in Madrid’s exclusive Salamanca neighbourhood.

At Spain Select, we welcome the news with open arms. As a company that has been in the business of adding value to what may otherwise become ‘lost property’ for more than 12 years, and there are plenty of reasons why:

Hoteliers are investing in serviced accommodation

This is a great sign. It means that the rise of companies and startup initiatives like Airbnb, onefinestay etc. – and the consequent shift in preference by holidaymakers and travellers – is forcing heavyweight hotel brands to sit up and take notice of the value they bring on a large scale.

This model is disruptive

This is not the first ripple in the ocean. More and more we are seeing the consolidation of the hotel industry on a global scale: brands joining forces to stand united against threats from the serviced rentals layer of the cake (the likes of us). Recently, Starwood succumbed to a $13.bn advance from Marriott after a bid-off with a Chinese insurance company. And in December, Accor went Christmas shopping and came back with $2.9bn worth of presents in the shape of the Raffles and Swissotel hotel chains.

We’re already ahead

Asked why Accor didn’t just go ahead and make its own version of onefinestay, its chief exec. all but admitted the strength of the private, serviced rentals model and practically conceded that companies in the sector have made significant progress.

“To get to where Onefinestay is today would have taken between two and three years,” he said. “It would have been a terrible idea to do it by ourselves.”

The time has come

Those are the words of Greg Marsh himself:

“This is an idea whose time has come. Hotel industry and travel industry players recognise that.”

People still matter in this business

We couldn’t agree more, and it is especially pleasing news for more ‘traditional’ businesses within the sector that do not rely as much on technology as they do on people. Another great Marsh soundbite from the press conference came when he described onefinestay as “humans providing hospitality”.

And that’s exactly how we see it here too. We are wholeheartedly looking forward to seeing how the inevitable investment into technology, marketing and new international markets that follows these kinds of deals pans out for the industry as a whole in due course.


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