Most guests at serviced apartments are music season visitors
T.V. Krishnan’s three-bedroom flat in Raja Annamalaipuram is waiting to receive a bunch of guests. They are non-resident Indians, foreigners and backpackers who are more than happy to get the morning coffee, a cosy room and an attached bathroom for their short stay.
It is a business Mr. Krishnan has been into for the last four years, and come December, he has a fondness for most of his paying guests. “They come to attend the music season,” says the 73-year-old, who only lets out to men.
The Rs.450 he charges per day is enough to ensure good use of his flat as well as give the bachelor company. There are many such owners who let out a portion of their home to tourists this time of the year, and some guests book well in advance. A room abutting theirs with basic amenities and, maybe, breakfast are the features of these accommodations.
Residences near Mylapore, Alwarpet and T. Nagar are most preferred by those coming to attend ‘kutcheries,’ as the sabhas are close-by. Foreign tourists, on the other hand, look for beach-facing accommodation in Besant Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur.
The Viswanathans, a retired couple residing in Alwarpet, are also hoping to receive “friendly guests” in their two-bedroom flat. The couple usually let out their home during this season, a tradition they have been doing for the last seven years. “A majority of our guests are the music season visitors, who stay for 15 days to a month,” says Raji Viswanathan.
Websites such as Kutcheribuzz also ensure music lovers to the city have plenty of choice, be it giving information about independent homes looking for paying guests, serviced apartments or hotels (premium or budget).
For those looking for value-added services and yet not the environs of a hotel, serviced apartments and the Tamil Nadu Tourism Development Corporation-promoted Bed and Breakfast schemes are other options.
A homely atmosphere and reasonable cost are reasons why this service clicks. “We are not competing with hotels. My clientele is those who come for a much longer stay. They get the comfort of a house as well as pay 15 to 20 per cent less than what a star hotel charges,” says Muruga Bharti, managing director, Star City Serviced Apartments. Other players also agree that they see buoyancy in the season with the economy also opening up and are doing their best to woo guests.
The Lotus serviced apartment, an associate of the GRT Hotels and Resorts, offers features of a hotel and services of a serviced apartment. “We even have weekend offers plus tie-ups with travel agencies,” says Jayasree Vummidi, MD, The Lotus.