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The interview: Kike Sarasola, CEO of Bemate.com

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Room Mate, the design hotel chain founded by award-winning Spanish entrepreneur, Kike Sarasola, has launched an online portfolio of new and stylish rental accommodation Bemate.com, and we caught up with Kike to discuss his plans.

The website currently offers 2,500 handpicked apartments for rental, with this number expected to rise with the launch of new locations in the coming months, with predictions of BeMate.com being in 150 cities, including London, by the end of 2015.

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Why should holidaymakers use your business over others such as OneFineStay, Unique Home Stays and Airbnb?

The main differences are the services we offer. We launched BeMate because there was a gap in the market.  Luxurious and extremely expensive apartments were available, with all utilities included but without services. Bemate is a new concept in accommodation that blends the freedom of living in an apartment with the services that you can enjoy staying in a hotel.

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Who do you see as your main competitor? And what is unique about your business?

As we have just launched BeMate, I am not thinking about the competition.  The website is a unique accommodation concept and, for now, we are only focusing on what we can offer our customers not the competition.

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What can luxury travellers expect from Bemate.com?

A wide range of services from daily cleaning, to laundry, transfers to the airport, babysitters, chefs, and exclusive tickets to concerts and shows – anything that will make the customers stay a more memorable experience.

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How do you ensure the properties on your books are of high quality and safe?

To ensure that the guest gets exactly what they see in the photos online, all properties associated with the website are visited and reviewed by our dedicated sales team.

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What destinations are most popular on your website? 

New York, Madrid, Barcelona and Amsterdam are all really popular with our customers.

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What markets are you not covering at the moment, but are considering entering?

Before the end of this year BeMate accommodation will be available in Lisbon, Seville, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Milan and Cartagena, with an additional 150 cities planned before the end of 2015, including London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Chicago.

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Do you think it will change the way people travel?

Yes, because it is something that people were waiting for and asking for. There are many people who will always prefer to be in a hotel but there are other people, due to wants and needs, who want something different. But with the other platforms additional services were missing, this is our main difference. We offer the possibility of personalising the stay as much as guests want.

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Have you received any unusual requests from customers? If so, what were they?

We have received a number of interesting requests. However, my favourites are couples getting engaged. The team at Room Mate recently organised all the details for an engagement, which was really exciting.

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What sort of properties do you have on your books? Can you give us a few examples?   

All the properties have a perfect location in the city centre and a special design, but there are different houses for all kind of people and likes and dislikes. From very modern and minimal apartments to romantic and classic houses, the only requirement is it must have charm. For example in Madrid and Barcelona we have apartments with amazing design, terraces…. In Florence the style is more classical but the charm is so elegant. In New York all of our apartments are less than 300 meters from Times Square

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How are you attracting new customers? And what are you doing to promote the business?

We are always looking for new customers, it’s in our DNA and we do it through learning from our guests and what they want. We are a very popular brand in Spain with returning guests and are growing at a fast rate in Europe and the US. We firmly believe in the brand and have devotion to the client, which is why the word of mouth affect has been so valuable to our businesses.

To book a room at Bemate, visit bemate.com

Images courtesy of Bemate

About

Assif is a luxury travel and design aficionado currently working as a BBC content producer. He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Leeds. He is partial to tea and cake - Yorkshire Tea Gold Blend please. His favourite trips include island hopping in the Seychelles, a mountain escape in Kashmir and getting lost in Hong Kong.

Assif is the current editor of Adelto Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @journolista.

Love Interior Design & Exotic Travel? Follow us..

November 11, 2014 | Professionals | View comments

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