In the last few years, the travel industry has changed a lot. Many tourists have opted to move away from hotels and look at other ways of travelling. Luxury Serviced Apartments reported that it has seen overall occupancy increase by two percent, up to 78%, and also seen net weekly rental income increase by three percent for properties in the UK.
This increase in popularity has come at a cost to the hotel industry, but there are still many tourists who do not have a familiarity with serviced apartments, and who consider them to be something that is only for those who are very rich. They are not convinced of the differences, or the benefits, between a traditional hotel stay and a stay. To put it simply, a hotel is designed only for short stays, and the visitor gets a bedroom and bathroom, and perhaps served a breakfast, and gets room cleaning services and a concierge. With a serviced apartment, there are still cleaning and turndown services, but the renter gets a full apartment, furnished, and with modern amenities. This makes them great for a short and long stays.
Are Serviced Apartments More for Business Travellers?
Many business travellers find that being on the road for a long time is hard for them because they miss the comfort and privacy of being at home. Staying in a hotel is nice when you are going away for a short time and want to eat out, and relax in a different environment, but a serviced apartment is a compromise between being at home and having the convenience of being at a hotel. Serviced apartments are like being at home, but out of town – they have the standard TV, phone, bathroom and coffee facilities of a hotel, but also a lounge, a kitchen, more entertainment facilities and more privacy. You can be comfortable and spend some time recharging your mental batteries.
Serviced apartments can be less expensive than hotels. Many people think that it would be expensive to rent an apartment because they are bigger than hotel rooms, but they can often be surprisingly affordable – even as much as 30% cheaper than a standard business-calibre hotel. This is particularly interesting when you consider the additional amenities.
In the UK it’s not uncommon to pay £85 or more a night for a 4* hotel, but you can stay in an apartment for around £70. The longer the stay, the cheaper it can get. When people go on longer business trips, where they are going to want privacy and flexibility, an apartment is a logical choice. For longer stays, the apartment owner will often offer a block booking discount, and it starts to make sense for the people who are in an apartment for a longer time to start cooking their own food and turning the apartment into their own homes.
Longer Stays vs Shorter Stays
Hotels are a good for shorter stays, where a person is arriving late and just wants to rest, and the concierge and other hands-on services make sense. For longer stays, the negotiable prices and the home-away-from-home features start to make more sense.
Many companies will have a long-term rent for an apartment and will use it to put up employees on a rotating schedule, depending on who they need to have in the area at any given time. This is good for employee morale, because those little luxuries – things like having an entertainment system, fast WiFi and a proper kitchen, will make it easier to be away from home. It is far cheaper than the other option, which would be to eat at restaurants on a daily basis and have to put those charges on the company accounts. Apartments can be cheaper for large group stays as well, whether for business or for a leisure trip.
Hotels and apartments both have their place, but they serve different audiences, and they cater to different markets. Consider both when you are planning your next trip.