Start-up Staycation is setting up shop in London with the ambition to change the hospitality sector

After a false start in 2019 due to the start of the pandemic, Staycation is finally coming to London. An arrival marked the first international step for this French start-up, whose idea was simple: to give the possibility to reserve a hotel room within 24 hours within prestigious establishments and so on. will live an experience there. uniquely defined for each of the partner hotels. The goal is to allow customers to escape from everyday life without leaving far from home. Because it is “city service” is aimed at local customers who want to disconnect within a day, without having to travel.

Two million subscribers in France

A concept that has been pleasing for five years, Staycation has been able to seize the French market, with hotel partners including the prestigious Parisian palaces Le Lutetia or Le Bristol, and has succeeded in convincing a community of over two million subscriber. This is particularly thanks to an offer of nearly 500 different experiences thought out from themes such as well-being, the extraordinary, the ultra-luxury. “We adapt to all desires and all needs”, assured Kevin Hutchings, one of the three co-founders.

This application was born in the summer of 2017 in his head and that of two of his friends, Mathieu Ecollan and Mathieu Dugast. “Talking to a hotelier, we realized that Sunday was a complicated day for the sector, due to the crossover of customers, between the departure of tourists and the arrival of business customers at the beginning of the week, most rooms remained empty “, says Kevin Hutchings. Thinking about it, the three future partners discovered that by separating hotels from the travel dimension, these establishments have become high places. lifestyle at “Pleasant”where it is good to take advantage of interesting services, such as a swimming pool, spa or gourmet meal…

Win-win

The local clientele is the ideal target: residents close to hotels, not necessarily away from home, not having too much budget for a unique experience, but looking for a “break” in their daily lives. “This is a very virtuous model for hoteliers, as they can offer ‘last minute’, with price reductions, for rooms not rented”, says Kevin Hutchings. Staycation’s role will be to consider offering unique experiences tailored to each establishment, which will also be seen as a way of challenging themselves and finding new leisure activities. “This new client can bring strong added value to the hotel, as they will post on social networks. It is also an asset to show traditional customers that the establishment is very popular with locals”. To book, it’s pretty simple. Everything happens through the application, where every Wednesday morning offers, updated every week, for the next Sunday are proposed. The principle? “First come, first served”.

After its success in France, Staycation decided to take the international step. “London is an interesting city for us, not only because it is the second hotel city in the world but also because it offers a cultural and urban dimension that matches Staycation standards”, says Kevin Hutchings. So logically the French company wanted to start its international development in the English capital. A “soft launch”, kind of “beta version” to better understand the London market, has already taken place between 2019 and 2020. “Our ambition, when we wanted to launch in London, was not only to attract French customers living there. But British as well. And for that, it was necessary to understand their needs to adapt and adapt the offer. ”.

As the first launch began its acceleration phase, the Covid pandemic lasted. So Staycation had to postpone its ambitions in London, the time to let the storm pass. “We have finally made the choice to tighten our activity in France and continue our development there”, explains Kevin Hutchings. The team has not forgotten London, however, and is preparing for a future return behind the scenes. “We’re also back with more resources and more information for this new launch.”

There are already big names in the hotel industry in London

In the list of London partner hotels, Staycation already has great names, such as Portobello Hotel, Henrietta, Haymarket Hotel, Corinthia Hotel, Courthouse Hotel Shoreditch, Novotel Canary Wharf. Each establishment offers a different experience. “We’re starting little by little”, says Kevin Hutchings. Twenty packages will be available before others are added to the list in the coming months. A group of five people were present in London to think about development.

Coming to London however is not considered starting from scratch for the co-founder. “Customers come for the same reasons, the desire to recharge their batteries and discover new things. The development of Staycation around the world is like translating a novel from French into English. The approach remains the same, we just adapted the concept to a new environment ”.

After London, Staycation doesn’t stop you from looking beyond the borders of the English capital, as in Manchester for example. “What we offer is something international and we can also think of markets other than the UK”. The co-founder thinks specifically of the United States and Asia. “We really want to thrive in big capitals, especially in a post-Covid world where people’s consumption of hotels varies. For establishments, Staycation is also the way to get them closer to new customers. ”. One client whose average age was 31 in France. “In general, the customer profile of a hotel is 55 years old, there we bring a new generation of buyers”.

Leave a Comment