Hotels vs. Serviced Apartments: What’s the Difference?
09th Feb 2024
When it comes to travelling, choosing the right place to stay is pivotal. Deciding between hotels and serviced apartments is often at the forefront.
Hotels provide a standard yet familiar experience. They're ideal for short stays, with well-designed rooms and on-site amenities.
On the other hand, serviced apartments offer a dynamic blend of the comforts found in private residences and hotel-like services, catering to both short and extended stays.
In this article, we'll help you understand how the distinctions will shape your travel experience by comparing key differences. We compare hotels and serviced apartments on topics including space, facilities, duration of stay, service levels, dining options, location, cost, and the balance between privacy and independence.
Ready to learn more? Let’s get started.
What’s the Difference Between a Hotel and a Serviced Apartment?
Hotels provide temporary accommodation in furnished guest rooms for travellers, typically staying for a few nights up to a couple of weeks at a time.
They offer all-in-one hospitality with amenities like dining, daily cleaning services, front desk assistance, and shared public spaces.
Hotels often have a mini-bar with snacks and drinks available for a fee. Serviced apartments offer fruit and snacks in the fridge and cupboard at no extra charge.
In comparison, serviced apartments provide homelike amenities and spacious living, allowing you to maintain your daily routines comfortably. Fully equipped kitchens, in-unit laundries and services like regular housekeeping and on-site maintenance provide convenience and a feeling of support.
Serviced apartments or serviced residences lend themselves to both short and longer stays. Travellers can expect the hospitality of a hotel with the cosy freedom of their own furnished space.
Traditionally, hotels offer convenience, comfort, and familiarity. Hotels cater to the transient nature of travel and are well suited to leisure travellers. They offer well-designed rooms, on-site dining, and an array of services tailored for short-term stays.
While hotels undoubtedly provide a certain level of luxury, the modern traveller seeks more. That's where serviced apartments step into the spotlight.
Serviced Apartment Accommodation
Serviced apartments redefine the concept of a temporary residence.
These spaces seamlessly blend the cosiness of a private home with the convenience of hotel-like services and amenities.
Whether your stay is short or extended, these residences promise a unique blend of comfort, flexibility, and personalised spaces and services.
Serviced apartments are well suited to business travellers who need to stay for an extended period and may prefer to cook for themselves.
Comparing Hotels and Serviced Apartment Accommodations
There are a few key things to consider when choosing your accommodation, like space and layout, inclusions, facilities, and amenities. Let’s explore how hotel accommodation and serviced apartments compare.
Space and Layout
Hotels: Compact and often standardised layouts that combine sleeping and living areas. Ideally suited to short stays where travellers simply require a base to return to after work or leisure activities.
Serviced Apartments: Layouts that celebrate the expansiveness of separate living, dining, and sleeping areas, providing a sense of home-like comfort. The space and floorplans of serviced apartments are ideal for short and longer stays.
Hotels: Travellers can enjoy the convenience of room service, on-site dining options, concierge services, and daily housekeeping.
Serviced Apartments: Travellers experience the added convenience of in-unit laundry facilities, a dedicated workspace, utility connections, regular housekeeping, maintenance support, and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi in a home-like setting.
Facilities and Amenities:
Hotels: Commonly offer on-site amenities like gyms, swimming pools, day spas, restaurants, bars, and conference facilities.
Serviced Apartments: Offer personalised amenities, including laundry facilities and often a dedicated fitness centre and access to community leisure amenities. Some locations also offer conference and meeting facilities.
Duration of Stay:
Hotels: Primarily designed for short stays, hotels potentially lack the comforts of a longer-term residence.
Serviced Apartments: Tailored for both short and extended stays, serviced apartments provide the flexibility and space to make it your own. Separate bedrooms, living spaces, and fully-equipped kitchens make it much easier to settle into a serviced apartment for longer stays.
Service and Experience:
Hotels: Standardised services with a focus on short-term needs, offering less opportunity for personalised interactions.
Serviced Apartments: Experience a higher level of personalised service, with staff attuned to your unique requirements, creating a sense of belonging and being genuinely cared for.
Food and Dining:
Hotels: On-site dining options, like restaurants, cafes, bars, and room service are commonly found in hotels. These options can lack variety and are more expensive than eating out locally or self-catering, particularly for stays longer than a few nights.
Serviced Apartments: The dining options available when staying in a serviced apartment are abundant, convenient, cost-effective, and flexible. Immerse yourself in the local food scene, explore markets, and prepare meals in your own kitchen.
Ambience and Location:
Hotels: Central locations often prioritise proximity to tourist attractions, business hubs, and event centres, sometimes at the expense of local charm.
Serviced Apartments: Nestled in local urban neighbourhoods and regional cities, these apartments allow you to become part of the community, offering a more authentic experience while offering convenient access to business districts, industry hubs and project sites.
Hotels: Additional charges for services like Wi-Fi, laundry, and food and beverage may accumulate, impacting the overall cost of your stay.
Serviced Apartments: Transparent pricing and cost-effective options, plus amenities that will save you money, like in-unit laundry and kitchen facilities, ensure you get value for your money, especially for longer stays.
Privacy and Independence:
Hotels: With features like restricted floor access and manned reception desks (often 24 hours a day), your privacy is catered for well in hotels. Your independence may be reduced by a lack of space and facilities in your room.
Serviced Apartments: Designed to focus on the privacy and security of your own space, serviced apartments foster a sense of safety, independence, and comfort.
Why choose serviced apartment accommodation?
Discovering our optimal state involves finding a balance of safety, support, and a sense of worth. Beyond being a mere place to rest, travellers actively seek an environment that aligns with them, fostering a sense of comfort and belonging.
Serviced apartments fulfil these needs, providing a platform for travellers to not only rest but also maintain their daily routines. These residences are designed to be an extension of your lifestyle, whether that’s a sweat session in the on-site fitness centre, a few laps at the local pool, or brewing up a fresh cup of coffee when you first rise.
Understanding the importance of a functional home, serviced apartments go beyond mere accommodation. The thoughtfully stocked kitchens, featuring appliances, crockery, cookware, utensils, and cutlery, encourage the joy of home-cooked meals. Meanwhile, the ample storage found in wardrobes, drawers, and bathroom vanities provides the convenience to unpack and settle in.
For procurement professionals seeking more than a secure haven for travellers, serviced apartments stand out as a strategic choice. Beyond offering a sanctuary, these residences contribute significantly to curbing travel expenses. They provide a unique sense of connection through services dedicated to enhancing overall well-being – a consideration that aligns seamlessly with the social aspects of sustainability.
The value proposition of serviced apartments becomes even clearer when you consider the financial aspect. While the upfront cost may appear higher, a closer look at the inclusions, such as utility connections, Wi-Fi, housekeeping, and maintenance support, coupled with the substantial savings from the convenience of self-catering and laundry, reveals a cost-effective and value-driven solution.
In essence, serviced apartments not only cater to the immediate needs of travellers but also address the broader aspects of well-being, sustainability, and financial savvy, offering an elevated accommodation experience.
Other reasons to choose serviced apartments over hotels include:
Enjoy the warmth of a fully furnished residence, curated to provide a genuine feeling of home when you’re staying away from yours.
It’s the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen, laundry, designated living and sleeping zones, and ample storage that allows travellers to truly settle into a serviced apartment.
Serviced apartments are typically less transient, with fewer check-ins and check-outs, meaning the teams that operate these properties can dedicate more time and focus to personalising the experience for those staying. This also allows team members to provide a high level of service.
Flexibility and Transparency
Serviced apartments typically offer transparent pricing. This ensures you know exactly what you're paying for. Without smaller incidental expenses adding up, like room service and laundry, serviced apartments make it easy to budget for your travel.
The biggest difference between hotel accommodation and serviced apartment accommodation is generally the size and convenience of the accommodation.
Designed for shorter stays, hotels will often tick the box if you’re looking for one or two nights in your desired location.
Serviced apartments lend themselves to short and extended residencies, where you have the flexibility and convenience of preparing your own meals, doing your own laundry, and separating your bedroom from your living area.
There are many subtle differences, too, as we’ve covered in this article, and now, there have never been more hotels and serviced apartments to choose from.
When it comes to making your accommodation choice, be sure to consider what’s important to you when you stay away from home. Your needs should be your accommodation provider’s top priority.
Corporate Living Accommodation - Serviced Apartment Accommodation
Corporate Living Accommodation provides a simple solution to corporate housing.
Our spacious serviced apartments are in premium urban locations, and our personalised service tailors your residence to your needs.
The flexible way to stay, Corporate Living Accommodation allows you to make your residence your home for as long as you need.
We understand how important a functional home is. Our residences are larger than most hotel rooms and serviced apartments, with thoughtful inclusions to create that home-like feel. Fully stocked kitchen cupboards and drawers, ample wardrobes, and bathroom storage allow you to settle in easily.
Our residences come fully furnished and move-in ready. We personalise your accommodation to suit your needs, no matter how long you stay. Enjoy your private, secure, comfortable sanctuary with access to your building’s resident facilities and partner amenities in the local community.
A residency with Corporate Living Accommodation is safe and secure and offers flexibility to suit the ever-changing needs of travellers.
Our elevated level of service is designed to make your life easier, giving you the freedom to do more of the things you love.
Book your next stay with Corporate Living Accommodation, and get ready to experience the definition of hospitality.