The AA is now taking applications for its new Serviced Accommodation accreditation scheme. Unlike the hotel scheme, which rates properties from one to five stars, the new scheme only accredits properties which achieve a quality rating of three to five stars. This expansion of the AA’s services is a response to the growth of the industry and reflects the increased consumer awareness of the sector.

In these videos experts discuss customer expectations of serviced apartments, and the similarities and differences to hotels.

There is an existing accreditation scheme within the industry run by the The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP). However, this addition could further expand interest in serviced products.

The AA Serviced Accommodation Scheme recognises 9 designators within the sector including Extended stay, Corporate Housing, Serviced Apartments, Budget, Studios and Aparthotel.

Product definition has been a continuing challenge for the industry. In its quality standards, the AA scheme clearly differentiates between Corporate Housing and Aparthotels, while ‘Serviced Apartment’ acts as a catch all designator. A separating criterion, for example, is that Corporate Housing would have a minimum stay and Aparthotels would not. Also aparthotels would have a fixed inventory and corporate housing would have flexible inventory.

The scheme scores the properties across 11 elements, which must all achieve a minimum standard to achieve a star rating. These elements include overall ‘hospitality’ (interaction and customer care), overall ‘service’ (staff performance and information provided), cleanliness, bedroom, bathroom etc.

The AA has been around for over 100 years and is one of the UK’s most recognised and trusted brands. The AA currently accredits Hotels, Restaurants, Guest Accommodation, Self-Catering accommodation, and Caravan and Campsites. The latest version of the AA Hotel Guide has details of over 3,500 establishments.

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Video clips produced by ybc.tv for the Hospitality Channel, including interview from industry conferences such as the IHIF conference as well as specific Hospitality Channel shoots.