“We are launching A-Stay, a brand new concept in the city stay industry for expats, millennials, business travellers and tourists. A-Stay was created from the synergies between A-Star Group’s disruptive creativity and BESIX Group’s entrepreneurial spirit and international footprint. An A-Stay studio will be the place where you will be comfortable and where you won’t want to leave!”, announce Ben Van Loo, current Chairman of A-Star Group, and Rik Vandenberghe, CEO of BESIX Group
A-Star Group and BESIX Group will co-develop 7,000 studios around the world within the next five years. A-Stay’s hybrid formula encompasses solutions for stays from one night up to one year. Always in central urban locations, A-Stay wants to offer homes away from home to a connected generation that is always on the move and is looking for sustainable solutions and seamless customer experiences – whether travelling for business or for pleasure.
The first four locations have already been announced: Antwerp and Diegem (Belgium), Bursa (near Istanbul, Turkey) and Chisinau (Moldova). A-Stay’s first 55 studios will open in Bursa in September 2018, followed by 192 studios in Antwerp mid-2019.
BESIX Group and A-Star Group have signed a partnership for a 50/50 co-investment in the new global company. Rik Vandenberghe, CEO of BESIX Group, will be appointed as new Chairman of the Board of A-Star Group, while Eric Thoelen, current CEO of A-Star, stays at the head with a widened vision and additional business clout.
Rik Vandenberghe, CEO of BESIX Group : "I’m very excited by this project which will transform the city stay experience. We firmly believe in A-Stay’s unique concept for offering clients a modern, customizable and playful solution to urban accommodation needs for short, mid and long term stays. We bring to the table BESIX’s strong expertise, strength and international footprint which is going to allow the A-Stay formula to scale up quickly and efficiently.”
Ben Van Loo, current Chairman and founder of A-Star Group: “This transaction will mark the next step in the development of A-Star Group and A-Stay. Our ideas are based on the first-hand experience we gained in creating the XIOR student housing company. After the IPO, I decided to move real estate investments to the next level by responding to the fast changing needs of millennials, tourists, business travellers and expats for their short, mid or long term city stays.”
A-Stay has developed an innovative new stay concept that offers a solution to the increasing demand for short and extended city stays. The classic hotel market cannot meet these needs and hostels do not offer the professional structure and security that hotels can.
With A-Stay’s in-house developed technology, guests will be able to define and steer their needs with a simple click on their smart device, from booking to check-in, from extensive personalisation of the room to the level of tailored services each guest is willing to pay for. This digital customizability allows A-Stay to set a competitive price without compromising on quality.
The technology is also carried through to the in-house developed Property Management System that sets new standards in operational efficiency for all aspects of property management, including the integrated management of all the smart rooms in each property. Modern technology (artificial intelligence, speech-steering interaction, state-of-the-art domotics, … ) is integrated throughout each venue.
The ground floor common areas will offer food (“food wall”, automated fridges and taps), laundry facilities and gyms, combined with meeting rooms, cosy corners and garden areas for a real homey feeling. Whether for business meetings, playing games, sipping cocktails or enjoying a healthy lunch, everything blends in perfectly, far from the anonymity of traditional hotel lobbies. Our studios will definitely be places guests will hate to leave.
A-Stay is part of the A-Star Group, a holding company mainly specialized in residential real estate development and founded by Ben Van Loo in 2016. M. Van Loo was the co-founder of XIOR student housing, which went public in 2015.