A serviced home from home for S'poreans

A serviced home from home for S'poreans
Home-grown The Ascott, which owns Ascott Raffles Place (above), started with a property in Singapore and one in France in 1984, but now has 33,000 apartments in 82 cities - making it the world's largest serviced apartment operator.

Finding a home away from home is the goal of most people when they are posted overseas, but Singaporean Lisberth Sng-Komatsuzaki actually managed it when her husband was posted to Bangkok three years ago.

The plan was to move from their house in Ibaraki prefecture in Japan and to stay for a while in a two-bedroom serviced apartment in the lively Sukhumvit district.

Mrs Sng-Komatsuzaki, her husband and two sons had initially intended to spend only a month at the Singaporean-run Somerset Lake Point Bangkok, but ended up living there for three years after getting used to high service standards that mirrored Singapore.

It may sound unusual, but Mrs Sng-Komatsuzaki is part of a growing trend of Singaporeans choosing to stay at Singapore-run serviced apartments when overseas.

Serviced apartments are an alternative to hotels for guests on longer stays, typically a week or more.

Singapore-based operators say they are benefiting from a ready pool of Singaporeans looking to stay at their properties overseas.

Singaporeans account for 10 per cent of Frasers Hospitality's guests in Europe and make up 10 to 15 per cent in Beijing and Seoul.

The number of nights booked last year by Singaporeans at The Ascott's properties all over the world has also risen by 65 per cent from 2011, according to the firm.

Each year, about 40,000 to 50,000 of the one million guests at The Ascott's properties are Singaporeans.

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