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Shortlet/Serviced Apartments vs Hotels

Traditional hotels compared to serviced apartments have a number of advantages such as easy search and booking option, low deviation in standards (especially in chain hotels), breakfast included, in-house sport and leisure facilities, room service and supportive staff 24 hours a day, superior location in the city, free parking.  However, most of these advantages have downside as they boost hotel rates and lock you in a lower space room with constant dependence on the hotel staff and services. For objective conclusions, however, there is a need for more detailed comparison indeed:

A home away from home

Although a classic hotel operator and a short-let/serviced apartment provider share the same objective — selling an accommodation for a night —Short-let/serviced apartment providers attempt to provide ‘a home away from home’, personalized service and larger living spaces. Moreover, short-let apartments are also aimed at guests seeking to stay for an extended period of time in hotel-like accommodation. In meeting guests’ needs, apartments tend to be larger than standard hotel rooms and include kitchen facilities. The attraction of short-let apartments is that they offer the comfort and facilities of a hotel, with the privacy and facilities of home.

— Quality of fit-out and amenities

Unlike hotels, Short-let/serviced apartments are fully furnished and contain en-suite bathroom facilities, a fitted kitchen or kitchenette and a lounge/dining area that includes a sofa bed. The standard of a property is likely to define the level of amenities provided. Commercially oriented shortlet/serviced apartments generally provide a working area, a desk and an office chair. Internet access and direct telephone/fax lines are important.

— Public areas and services

In comparison to traditional hotels, public areas provided by Short-let/serviced apartments are usually limited to a small reception/lobby and, potentially, one small communal lounge/breakfast area or none at all. In case there is no reception area any customer service or concierge service usually is only a phone call away. Short-let/serviced apartments may also provide a small meeting room or meeting rooms, but that is not very common compared to hotels. The services offered by the apartment provider are usually limited to apartment cleaning (commonly once or twice per week, with optional daily service at extra cost), laundry and reception. Upscale properties may provide laundry equipment in each apartment, whereas properties of a lower standard may provide access to shared laundry facilities.

—    Food and beverage facilities

Short-let/Serviced apartments may in rare occasions provide a breakfast room but because of the availability of kitchen facilities in the unit, Short-let/serviced apartments unlike hotels usually offer no extra services, such as restaurants and bars. If a restaurant/bar is provided, it is often leased out or operated by a third party. In many instances, Short-let/serviced apartments providers recommend a range of partner restaurants nearby.

—    Price & Savings

Short-let/Serviced apartments are usually cheaper than hotel room stays due to the following reasons: hotels require a larger staff, maid service for short-let apartments is generally provided less frequently than in hotels, hotels have at least one restaurant which is costly to run, most hotel rates include a daily breakfast cost. Moreover, having the kitchen facilities in the apartment gives the client the option to eat home instead of eating out and so make an instant saving.

—    Preferred family accommodation

Larger space in comparison to hotel rooms, the ability to self-cater and price make serviced apartments perfect type of accommodation for family travellers especially on extended visits. Short-let/Serviced apartments offer more space, privacy and convenience when travelling with a family let it be leisure or business trips. In case of the latter short-let apartments can definitely ease the stress of business trips and reduce the necessity for return trips home – a strength from the perspective of the corporate employer.

Short-let/Serviced apartments providers offer all the amenities of traditional hotels, but with the space, comfort and privacy of a full residential apartment. Apartments give you the ultimate combination of space and value.

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