When looking for a place to stay temporarily away from home, there are several factors which need to be considered before making a decision on where to put up. These factors include the location of the place, the price range, the services provided, the availability of room for flexibility, among others. Serviced apartments and hotels are among the most preferred choices in the business, but distinguishing one from the other has proved to be a major problem among customers.
What is the difference between serviced apartments and hotels? A serviced apartment is an apartment which is fully furnished with a well-equipped kitchen system which is available to guests for both short term and long term periods. A hotel, on the other hand, is an enterprise which provides accommodation to tourists or travelers for a short period of time. The services provided by both hotels and serviced apartments differ depending on the price paid.
The decision to stay either in a hotel or in a serviced apartment depends solely on your needs or personal preferences. Often, one is easily confused for the other. This article, however, is going to help you compare and contrast between hotels and serviced apartments in order to determine which serves you best. Here is a detailed comparison between hotels and serviced apartments as well as the pros and cons of each.
What you will find in a serviced apartment vs. what you will find in a hotel
1. The amount of space available
The amount of space available in a serviced apartment is generally larger than the amount of space available in a hotel. A serviced apartment generally can be a fully furnished studio apartment or have one, two or three bedrooms. This is unlike a hotel room where the amount of space is limited.
2. The privacy enjoyed in a serviced apartment vs. in a hotel
When you stay in a serviced apartment, you get to enjoy more privacy than when you stay in a hotel. The privacy you will have in a serviced apartment is similar to the privacy you would have in your own home since you are able to do what you would do if you were at home. In hotels, on the other hand, privacy is limited since a lot of people are checking in at the hotel at the same time. You will probably experience many people knocking on your door because they have probably confused rooms among other reasons. There is also the interference of room service, unlike in serviced apartments where you can do the cleaning on your own, or call a cleaner at your own convenience.
3. Room capacity
The number of people that a serviced apartment can accommodate is also different when compared to the maximum capacity of a hotel room. The usual maximum number of people a hotel permits per room is four, usually depending on the suite, you have chosen. If the suite has separate beds, then the maximum number of people the room can accommodate is four, with the exception of a baby, where the hotel may provide a cot. If the suite has a single bed, the maximum number of people the hotel room can accommodate is two. The situation is different when it comes to serviced apartments since as a guest you can comfortably accommodate your family depending on the size of the apartment.
4. The price of accommodation in a serviced apartment vs. in a hotel
The difference in the price of staying in a hotel or in a serviced apartment comes when you take into consideration the amount of time spent in them. In both establishments, payment is done on a per night basis. Staying in a serviced apartment is very cost effective since you are able to perform tasks such as cooking and laundry on your own, plus you get a much larger living space. Staying in a hotel for long, on the other hand, is very expensive since you are either depending on room service or purchasing your own food from the hotel lobby or at the bar, which ends up being very expensive.
5. The duration within which you can stay
In serviced apartments, accommodation is provided for both short term and long term guests. The guests can stay for periods ranging from a few weeks to several months. This is because the biggest clientele for serviced apartments are business travelers who have to stay in different locations for extended periods of time. In most hotels, however, there is a limit to the amount of time the person can stay at the hotel. This is particularly common in hotels which offer discounts on the rates per night for people who stay for long at the hotel. This is because the hotel will be better off giving the room to a new client who will pay the normal rates, than accommodating a long staying customer who is on a discount.
6. The amenities provided by a serviced apartment vs. in a hotel
The number of amenities provided by a hotel also vary compared to those provided by a serviced apartment. Hotels have the luxury of room service, a minibar in the room, a restaurant in the same building, a spa, sauna, nail salon among others, which lack in serviced apartments. Depending on the serviced apartment, some apartments may have access to the gym, lounges for residents, a pet park, terraces, play stations, and roof decks. Most of the serviced apartments have access to WI-FI. The WI-FI is usually included in the apartment fees, unlike most hotels which usually charge the WI-FI separately.
7. The kitchen space
Although some hotels have kitchens, the kitchen space is too small and they lack the equipment which you can use to cook. This is because cooking is not allowed in hotel rooms since food is already being provided by the restaurants present in the hotel. On the other hand, serviced apartments have kitchens with large kitchen space which are fully equipped with equipment such as an oven, pans, a microwave, a refrigerator, etc. In a serviced apartment, you can be able to prepare yourself a homemade meal.
You are more likely to find a hotel next to a place where there is a huge attraction such as beaches or airports. This is because these areas are centralized and are convenient for the location of hotels. Serviced apartments are more likely to be found next to residential areas, a place where there are other apartments.
Opting to stay in a hotel comes with both advantages and disadvantages:
- Booking in a hotel can be done in advance, such that when you arrive, the room is already prepared and preserved for you, thus saving on a lot of time.
- Hotel rooms are prepared to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible. The bed and beddings are comfy ensuring that the guest gets good sleep.
- Presence of cafes and restaurants which are on site, therefore you will experience no trouble in finding food.
- The presence of various amenities a hotel such as spas and swimming pools which ensure that you have a memorable stay in the hotel
- It is expensive to stay in a hotel, therefore staying in a hotel is unsuitable if you are considering something long term
- There is also the risk of food poisoning in hotels, or the food may be too salty or overcooked.
- Lack of proper privacy due to the presence of room service, or in the case of the peak season of hotel booking where there is usually a lot of confusion.
Staying in a serviced apartment also has its advantages and disadvantages:
- Staying in a serviced apartment is cheaper than staying in a hotel when you compare the amount of money you pay per night for each space.
- Availability of a fully functional kitchen where you can prepare a homemade meal, therefore avoiding the problems usually associated with hotel food.
- The living space in a serviced apartment is much larger than the living space in a hotel, therefore serviced apartments can accommodate more people than a hotel.
- It can be difficult to get good service such as plumbing, especially since you are living in a residential unit.
- The level of comfort experienced in hotels is higher than what you will get in a serviced apartment since you will have to do almost everything by yourself.
- Are guests allowed in hotel rooms? Guests are not allowed into hotel rooms if they are not registered by the hotel. They can however meet the person they’ve come to visit at the hotel lobby or bar.
- Are more than two adults allowed in a hotel room? Most hotels do not allow more than two adults in a single hotel room. This applies for both single and twin bed hotel rooms. Hotels usually only allow for a maximum of two adults and two children below the age of eighteen in a single room.