Xavier Desaulles, directeur général d'Adagio. Xavier Desaulles, CEO of Adagio.

How has the activity of your establishments evolved in recent months?

Xavier Desaulles – It has always been very volatile, with a roller coaster ride over the past 18 months, a number of sites closed at the beginning of last year, reduced activity before picking up again in the summer, and a final quarter that was almost at the same level as 2019. Which was very encouraging. But the fifth wave has led to a lot of cancellations, especially in the Ile-de-France region, where we have some 40 Adagio aparthotels. However, there are positive signs, whether it be the February vacations or the corporate clientele, which is positioning itself for new assignments starting in the spring. Even if the beginning of the year was complicated, I am confident that we will see a rebound from March onwards. Our longer-term assumption is that business will return to normal by the end of the year or early 2023.

The health crisis has had the effect of highlighting the resilience of the long-stay hotel industry. How do you explain this?

X. D. – We are already fortunate to have a good balance between leisure and business customers. As far as the business clientele is concerned, the fact that we have succeeded in attracting sectors that are less affected by the country’s closure has helped us. These are, for example, companies in the construction and public works sector or IT services companies working on major projects requiring the presence of their employees on their client’s site. This cushion of “reserve” business customers has enabled us to resist better than the rest of the industry. In addition, we also provide social housing in partnership with charitable associations or prefectures to welcome vulnerable people to our facilities. All in all, we are outperforming our competition by around 7% to 8%.

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With the recovery on the horizon, how do you see the future?

X. D. – There are two elements to consider for the future, starting with the extension of our network. The development dimension is very present in our plans

, firstly to extend our network in France, but also internationally. We have a dozen openings planned for 2022, representing an additional 1,500 apartments. In the first half of the year, these openings will focus on Western and Southern Europe, with new residences in Glasgow, Rome and Hamburg. In the second half of the year, they will turn to Eastern Europe, notably Warsaw. There is a real desire to expand our network beyond the 13 countries where we are present. We will be adding several others, including Qatar and Malta. The other element is to be daring, with innovative offers and products.

In this context, Adagio had announced a project around coliving. What is the status of this project?

X. D. – This co

ncept is currently being finalized at Adagio Paris Bercy

. We will soon unveil our showcase apartment, consisting of four studios organized around a multi-use common space, where business groups or friends can gather, work and dine together. Tested in Bercy at the beginning of the year, this idea will then be extended this summer to our Brussels Grand Place residence. From there, we’ll see how this product takes off, but we have a lot of faith in it, because it meets the needs of companies that want to mobilize their teams around projects.coliving-adagio-hubAdagio is extending its offer to coliving. Here, the shared living space.

In November, you also launched a commuter offer, aimed at teleworkers who have moved to the provinces. Is it a success?

X. D. – We don’t have much experience yet, as the fifth wave arrived at the same time. But it also responds to a real need, that of all those employees who wanted to change their life

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, but need to come and work at their company’s headquarters on a frequent basis, and often at their own expense. If they have decided to improve their quality of life, they are also sensitive to price. This offer is designed to offer a volume of stays at attractive prices to people who have visibility on their agenda. We offer them not only prices, but also a deposit service, the possibility, if available, of taking back the room occupied the last time to create that “like home away from home” feeling. The offer is well thought out. We will see in a few months how it will take.

More generally, how does the widespread use of telecommuting affect your offer?

X. D. – The fundamental movement to work remotely obviously has an impact on us, as hosting providers. As a result, we have already invested in how to better integrate the office into the apartment, as we were able to present in our new show apartment in Bercy. In the apartment, the kitchen, bedroom and office spaces are well separated without being too partitioned, all in a 25m2 space. The apartment is designed for commuters or all those travelers who would like to extend their stay by working remotely for a day. But for that, it is necessary to be well installed, hence the office in the apartment and the quiet spaces in the common areas, with quality WiFi.

Could this “workplace” dimension be further strengthened?

X. D. – Meeting this need is one of Adagio’s investment priorities. In our Circles

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, there is already a space set aside for this. The client Businesses can spend the morning or the afternoon there and work quietly, but also hold a meeting, make a presentation. On the other hand, as we are partners with Wojo, their know-how on coworking opens up new perspectives. Their experience feedback can be interesting to think about the design of these work spaces within the common areas. The mobility inherent in new forms of work will create opportunities for the accommodation industry.

Business and leisure customers: the appeal of residences is basically quite broad.

X. D. – Indeed, and this stimulates us, it invites us to be daring in the pricing formulas we offer. It forces us to be granular about our clients’ needs. We can no longer think in terms of standard products, with the same studio, the same two-room apartment for everyone. We have to have a coherent brand promise, while trying to modulate the spaces, to define offers according to the identified targets, whether they are commuters, seniors, couples, city breakers, etc. Without diluting ourselves too much, we have to be able to offer our customers a wide range of products. Without diluting ourselves too much, we need to be more and more personalized.