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Won't You Stay a Bit Longer?

by Daniel McGinn

Hip, new extended-stay hotel chains cater to road warriors who expect amenities like flat-screen TVs, stainless-steel appliances and outdoor fire pits.

Some chains want to move even further upscale. In the past year, Philadelphia developer Korman Communities has expanded a nascent chain called AKA, which now has nine locations in Manhattan, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. AKA's suites, which are meant to draw guests away from luxury hotels like the Four Seasons, feature Sub-Zero appliances and tons of space; rates start at $695 a night and decline to $295 a night for long stays. Co-president Larry Korman says AKA is routinely used by CEOs, affluent urbanites undergoing apartment renovations and A-list actors shooting movies. Another key demographic: rich folks whose marriages are on the rocks. Korman says one AKA location has a dozen long-term residents in various stages of divorce. That's hardly surprising: at low-end extended-stay properties, so-called marital dislocation can account for 20 percent of guests, which is one reason some executives refer to them as "heartbreak hotels."

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