The serviced apartments industry has been steadily growing in recent years. The Association of Serviced Apartments has reported a 2% increase in overall occupancy at 78% and a 3% increase in the net weekly rental for the UK.

Despite its ever growing popularity, at the determent to the hotel industry, serviced apartments are still a novel idea for some consumers who don’t even understand what they are and how they differ from the traditional hotel stay. To simplify what I’m talking about, here is a basic definition – a serviced apartment is a type of furnished apartment available for short-term or long-term stays, which provides amenities for daily use. Sound very similar to a hotel? Well the differences are actually vast, the main of which are space and privacy, price, length of stay and amenities.

We sometimes take for granted our home environment; being able to relax and make the most of our own space and privacy. Business executives who are continuously living out of a suitcase travelling and staying in hotels every night will appreciate this luxury. Serviced apartments aim to provide a home from home environment. Typical hotel rooms consist of a bed, TV, telephone, a bathroom, coffee and tea facilities and sometimes a biscuit if you are lucky; the rooms can feel very isolated. Apartments allow you to close the door, take off your shoes, relax and watch something on TV in your own lounge or cook your favourite meal in the kitchen, etc. Working away from home can be very lonely, especially on an evening after the working day has ended, so you need to be comfortable in your own surrounding and be able to do exactly what you would do if you were at home.

One of the major differences between hotels and serviced apartments is price. There is a massive preconception that serviced apartments are expensive in comparison to hotels and that they are only for the elite of society. On average serviced apartments are more than 30% cheaper than a hotel stay and that’s with the added benefit of all the comforts that are associated with a home-away-from-home plus guests services.

A typical price for a one night stay in a 4* hotel is £85+ whilst in a 4* apartment it is £70. So there is not much of a significant difference there, however what does that price actually get you? The hotel price will be for one bedroom, a bathroom and basic entertainment and amenities with use of some facilities in the hotel if available. In comparison the serviced accommodation price will be for the full apartment, which typically consists of two bedrooms (available for up to four people to stay), two bathrooms, a kitchen, lounge plus home from home amenities, entertainment and mod cons, and facilities, not forgetting guest services.

The more staggering difference in prices comes when considering your length of stay. If you are staying within a temporary location for a few nights or even months it is clear to see how the price of a hotel stay may add up. Serviced apartments typically have flexible price ranges depending on length of stay thus are negotiable to fit budgets. Likewise group bookings, for a number of personnel staying within apartments within the same general location can be acquired and at a significantly lower cost.

Small luxuries, such as a fully equipped kitchen and entertainment systems plus mod cons, are the most significant advantages of staying within serviced accommodation. Having the ability to cook or prepare your own meals may sound small but is a major cost benefit, avoiding eating in the hotel or surrounding restaurants daily, and provides you with flexibility. The majority of all serviced accommodation also comes with the latest entertainment systems and mod cons, including satellite television, WiFi internet, DVD players, docking stations, etc. Like a hotel, serviced apartments offer guest services within the price, including cleaning and turndown services.

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