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Richmond vacation rental firm dips toes into running hotels

A Richmond-based vacation rental platform is branching out into managing hotels.

A Richmond-based vacation rental platform is branching out into managing hotels.

And one of the first properties Cozystay will be running is the Abercorn Inn Vancouver Airport on Bridgeport Road, just a few kilometres away from its own head office on Viking Way.

In a bid to ensure the quality of the accommodation it rents, Cozystay – launched in 2015 by CEO Galen Cheng and primarily aimed at Chinese-speaking markets – has decided to take over the running of some hotels.

It recently started managing Lake Okanagan Resort in Kelowna, which has been re-branded as the Cozystay Signature: Lake Okanagan Resort.

The same re-naming is expected to happen soon at the Abercorn Inn in Richmond.

“This property is an exciting addition to Cozystay’s portfolio because it is the first hotel that we have chosen to introduce into our collection,” said Cheng.

“This historic hotel is an iconic property in Richmond and being able to bring it into our expanding portfolio is a meaningful milestone for the team.”

According to a news release, Cozystay has recently added 25 new team members to “support its rapid growth.”

“I believe that one of the key drivers of our success is our strict adherence to our Vacation Rental Service Standard (VRSS) protocol that ensures consistent, quality service,” added Cheng.

“We are bringing this service consistently to all of our properties so that guests can have that same feeling of home whether they are staying at our vacation rentals, resorts or hotels.”

VRSS is a strict set of guidelines and procedures that includes safety certification and insurance coverage, professionally furnishings, a bonded and insured cleaning team, highly trained account managers, high-quality towels, linens, and premium luxury mattresses and smart-lock property entry system.

“We are seeing great consolidation in the hospitality industry, people want the convenience and amenities of vacation rentals - with the consistency in quality and professionalism that hotels have traditionally offered,” said Cheng.

In April, AirBnB and the Marriot group made similar moves to Cozystay, with AirBnB planning to manage several floors of 75 Rockefeller Plaza in New York, and Marriot launching its own vacation rental platform.

Cheng said he believes it’s “not a battle between vacation rentals and hotels - there is a place for all kinds of accommodation, but what’s really going to enable growth in this industry is the dedication to a consistent, quality experience and a strong, technology-first approach.”