18/09/2014 – Expansion
Recently, the hotel sector has taken a legal action trying to fight activity of such web pages as Airbnb, which mediate on holiday rentals between travellers and apartment owners. Their main argument was that there is neither control over quality of the rented properties nor over the service.
Room Mate, led by Enrique Sarasola (pictured), launches new on-line platform BeMate allowing tourists to find an accommodation in holiday apartments in city centers and enjoy some of services of a nearby hotel of the Room Mate chain. The BeMate community is born with a database of 2.500 dwellings located in ten cities in five countries: Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Salamanca, Granada, Florence, Amsterdam, New York, Miami and Mexico DF. They are one to four-room apartments offered for rent at prices ranging from 80 to 400 euros.
The flats, supervised by the Room Mate team, are found a 15-minute walk away from the hotel chain establishments in these cities. Moreover, guests of the apartments dispose of a 24-hour concierge surveillance, key delivery and luggage storage. Likewise, BeMate offers other paid services like airport shuttle, daily room cleaning or ticket purchase for events.
The project, driven by ‘demand for a new way of travelling‘, has been developed in the last two months and half. Mr. Sarasola assures he is ready ‘to share BeMate with other independent hotel owners‘.
He particularly means finding partners in the citites where Room Mate has no establishments. The chain would charge a commission on each booking, 5% from the apartment owner and 10% from the tourist.
Expectations of Mr. Sarasola, who holds 56% in BeMate, is to reach 200 cities (50.000 flats) by the end of 2015. The businessman already eyes the markets of Seville, Istanbul, Lisboa, Rome, Milano, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Singapur, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
Room Mate, set up in 2001 and holding the remaining 44% in BeMate, currently operates 19 hotels. Within the following 15 months, the chain is going to add 10 establishments more and it hopes to cross €200 million of capital gains by 2017.
Original article: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)
Translation: AURA REE