Have you just discovered the all time worst kept secrets of the hospitality industry? Not only is staying in a short-let apartment less expensive, it provides you with more space, more privacy, and more freedom than staying in a hotel room!
But what is it – “a Short-let Apartment”?
Short-let or Serviced Apartments in Europe are also known as Serviced or Corporate Apartments (UK), Short-lets (UK), Apartment/Apart-Hotels (Europe-wide), Boardinghouse (Germany), Residence (France).
Indeed the name varies between different countries, between different languages and even within the same language, moreover, the services provided also vary, blurring product descriptions and concepts. This lack of clarity is challenging for the industry because clients might be misled in their expectations of the level of services.
The present article aims at bringing clarity and at conveying to clients what they have as a right to expect from Short-let/Serviced Apartments in comparison to hotel rooms.
The term ‘Short-let Apartment’ is traditionally used to describe an apartment alternative to hotel accommodation for short/long stay leisure or business travellers.
Short-let Apartments – mainly studios (one room that can be used as living area and sleeping area, a little kitchenette and a separate bathroom), or 2 or 3 bedroom apartments typically found in urban locations, ranging in standard from budget to deluxe. All are fully furnished and include:
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- En-suite bathrooms
- Fitted kitchen or kitchenette
- Lounge/dining area sometimes including a sofa bed or pull-down bed.
The hotel services usually available from Short-let Apartments include:
- 1. Reception desks – some manned 24hrs, others on limited hours, or none at all
- 2. Daily or weekly cleaning & laundry service. (Most properties have either shared laundry facility or an in-apartment washing machine)
In the past few years, the Short-let/serviced Apartments concept has continued its rapid growth in Europe; it is now a well-established model in Sweden as well. The drivers behind Short-let/serviced apartment usage are space, the ability to self-cater and price. Three years ago, the main factors were independence, comfortand the ability to entertain friends. This reflects the growing maturity of the sector and the steadily increasing understanding amongst leisure and business travellers of the benefits apartments can offer over traditional hotels.