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The difference between a hotel and a serviced apartment

The difference between a hotel and a serviced apartment

Deciding whether you want to stay in a hotel or serviced apartment? There are some features that set them apart and it’s handy to know the difference between the two before you make your decision.


Size matters

Space matters when you’re staying away from home and it’s worth comparing the difference in size between the space in a serviced apartment versus the room in a hotel. Generally, the smallest room in a serviced apartment will be at least the same size or larger than a hotel room. Also, you will access to having accommodation with multiple rooms and beds, especially if you can book the whole apartment. This is often useful for groups travelling together since everyone can stay in the same location. Serviced apartments provide all the facilities which are provided in hotels like Wi-Fi and room service with the addition of a washing machine and dryer. Travellers like to stay in the serviced apartments so that they can feel like they’re staying in a home away from home. 

The rooms ins serviced apartments can be substantially bigger, giving guests more space to relax or entertain guests, in privacy. There is also the added benefit of more privacy as compared to lodges and hotels, since there is a lower turnover of guests coming in and out, leading to a quieter atmosphere.



While price will vary depending on the size and style of accommodation, one thing to note is that with serviced apartments, you get the added benefit of privacy and comfort included in that price. Hotels will come with some amenities, including basic entertainment, but you cannot prepare your meals or do your washing so the costs those services and going out to eat should be calculated on top.

Serviced apartments also come fully furnished with a kitchen, dining area, and bedrooms. Kitchens come with a stove, toaster, kettle, microwave, cutlery and a dishwasher.  In the living rooms, you will find all the common facilities like a TV, books, a comfortable sofa and roomy living space that is beautifully furnished. Serviced apartments also come with amenities like a pool, gym, and rooms with a view are often available. Hotels may not have all the same amenities and are generally more costly as a comparison to the service apartment. For getting access to additional facilities, there may be additional costs.


In hotels, there are a few additional administration restrictions such as different refund policies and having to put your card down with additional charges before you check out. Rooms are booked according to budget and sometimes you might be stuck with a small room with not many amenities in it. You can’t cook your food in the hotels but there is flexibility to do so in a serviced apartment. Room service and recommendations are likely to be a lot more flexible with their available hours at service apartments as opposed to hotels that have more strict timeframes. With serviced apartments, there is the option of customising the facilities you require and having a more personalised stay. You also have the option of customising the duration of your stay with some travellers choosing to do long-term accommodation at serviced apartments which will work out more cost-effective than if they were to do so at a hotel. Having the choice of a short or long stay at a place that feels like a home away from home is a big drawcard for corporate travellers.

Check-in at a serviced apartment is usually organised by a meet and greet and you don’t have to put your card details down for any additional holds or charges. The check-out process is also usually quicker than compared to a hotel.


You can cook and prepare your food

Whether you’re a little bit fussy about food or just have a preference to prepare your healthy meals, a serviced apartment offers you the option of cooking in your apartment kitchen as opposed to being limited to ordering expensive room service or dining out at the hotel. This flexibility means you can eat what you like when you like and don’t have to go out to have a meal if you don’t want to.


An affordable option for frequent travelers

Traditionally, business travellers were limited to staying at hotel rooms which only consisted of a TV, bed, telephone, coffee or tea facilities, bathroom, and biscuits if the hotel room offers them. While these items are great for any traveller, a serviced apartment comes with many customisable options, hence being termed as a home away from home.
If you are a business person who is continuously living out of suitcases staying in these hotel rooms, you will appreciate simple additional luxuries like being able to make your meals, washing your clothes and having additional entertainment options. Serviced apartments allow you to take off your shoes, close the door, watch your favourite TV show in the lounge or cook your meals in the kitchen. A serviced apartment allows you for space and privacy in your surroundings. And you can do exactly what you would want to do if you were at home.


A range of services and amenities available

Serviced apartments are fully furnished with a kitchen, dining area, and bedrooms. The kitchen includes all the utensils and appliances you would expect in a regular home. Whether you’re travelling alone or in a large group, you can pick the services and amenities you need to best suit your travel requirements.

Often, additional facilities aren’t available to travellers staying in basic rooms and some are only available in expensive hotel suites. These will generally be more costly compared to a serviced apartment and smaller in size.

Length of stay

One thing to consider when deciding whether you want to stay in a serviced apartment or hotel is how long you will stay in the temporary accommodation. If you are planning to stay within a temporary location for a few months or nights, it will be clear to see how the price of a hotel’s stay may add up. Serviced apartments, on the other hand, come with flexible price ranges, and they too will depend on the length of your stay but are negotiable to fit budgets.

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Live like the locals

Staying in a serviced apartment will allow you to stay in a place that lets you live life in a city like the locals. Usually, hotels are stock standard in their look, feel and accommodation style. With serviced apartments, you get to immerse yourself in the culture of the place you’re staying at.

Monica Limanto