Differences Between Serviced Apartments and Hotels

Hotels and serviced apartments are two popular options for people seeking lodging in a different city or country.

These temporary residences differ in many ways. It is important to understand these differences before choosing whether to stay in a hotel or a serviced apartment.

In this guide, we will discuss these differences in great detail to help you make the right choice.

Differences Between a Hotel and a Serviced Apartment

Hotels and serviced apartments differ in numerous ways. This includes:

  • Space
  • Number of Rooms
  • Facilities
  • Parking
  • Comfort
  • Length of Stay
  • Pet-Friendliness
  • Security Deposit
  • Price

Each of the aforementioned differences can impact whether a hotel or a serviced apartment is right for you. 

For example, let’s say you’re looking to stay somewhere with your family for several months. In this situation, a serviced apartment could be the better choice.

This is because a serviced apartment is larger than a hotel. It also charges lower rent. Conversely, if you intend to stay alone for a few days, a hotel could be the better option.

Let’s look at each of the differences mentioned above in greater detail.

Differences in Space

One of the most noticeable differences between hotels and serviced apartments is their size.

The average hotel room in the United States is approximately 300 square feet in size. By contrast, the average rental apartment size in the United States is 882 square feet. 

Just about any apartment can be converted to a serviced apartment. So it could be said that the average serviced apartment is more than twice the size of a hotel room.

All this extra space means you can comfortably fit more people into a serviced apartment than a hotel room. 

This makes them a great choice for families or people who would like to host social gatherings during their stay in the city.

Differences in Numbers of Rooms

The vast majority of hotels around the world consist of a single bedroom with an ensuite bathroom. You may also occasionally find options that include a connecting room. 

This arrangement typically links a connecting bedroom with a neighboring bedroom. This simple setup limits the amount of things you can do in a hotel room.

By contrast, a serviced apartment typically has multiple rooms. This includes a kitchen, living room, dining room, bedroom, and more than one bathroom. 

This means you can do multiple things such as laundry, cooking, and eating your meals away from your bedroom. 

You can also do these things in a typical apartment. This makes serviced apartments relatively indistinguishable from an ordinary apartment in many respects.

You should note that studio apartments that have been converted to serviced apartments typically have only one room with an ensuite washroom. 

This might make them sound similar to a hotel room. Your studio apartment still has the added bonus of a kitchen. So you can prepare your own meals as needed.

Differences in Facilities

Many hotels entice people to stay at their establishment by hyping up their facilities. This includes pools, gyms, spas, recreation rooms, and even meeting rooms. 

Such facilities are the norm for high-end hotels, and many people appreciate being pampered by having access to them.

Serviced apartments rarely offer the type of luxurious facilities that hotels offer their patrons. This makes them less attractive for short-term stays.

Some serviced apartments do have gyms and pools. However, they don’t usually include meeting rooms or spas. 

This makes hotels the more luxurious option for people looking for special facilities during their stay.

Differences in Parking

Hotels and serviced apartments also differ in terms of the parking options they offer. Let’s assume you have brought a rental vehicle for your stay in the city.

In this situation, the hotel will park your car for you using its valet services. These valet drivers will then park your car in any available slot in the hotel’s dedicated parking area.

Serviced apartments offer parking options similar to ordinary apartment rentals. This means you will be assigned a dedicated parking spot in the apartment’s parking area.

There is no valet service for serviced apartments. Therefore, you will need to park and retrieve your vehicle from your assigned parking spot as needed.

Both hotels and serviced apartments may or may not charge for parking. A hotel could charge you a fee each time you use their valet services or need to park your car. 

Serviced apartments charge a fixed fee for a parking spot. This allows you to park your car in your dedicated spot as many times as you would like.

Differences in Comfort

It is difficult to say whether hotels are more comfortable than apartments. Hotels do try and draw in potential patrons by advertising how luxurious their rooms are. 

They also offer things such as laundry service and room service. These can add to your comfort during your stay.

Serviced apartments might not offer all the bells and whistles that hotels provide. However, they can be comfortable in other ways. 

For example, many people enjoy the comfort of having their own kitchens and a spacious living space. 

Based on this information, it could be said that both hotels and serviced apartments are comfortable. 

Differences in the Length of Stay

Hotels and serviced apartments also differ in terms of the way they accommodate patrons with different lengths of stay. 

The average hotel has dozens, if not hundreds of rooms available for potential patrons. These hotel rooms are rarely fully booked. 

Therefore, hotels are under no pressure to evict existing patrons from rooms to make way for new ones. This means you aren’t likely to have a limit to how long you can stay in your hotel. 

You should note that some places have laws that dictate the maximum stay length at a hotel. However, some hotels might be able to bypass these using special stay packages.

Serviced apartments tend to be different due to their limited availability. This can impact how long you are allowed to stay there. 

It’s not uncommon for serviced apartment owners to book several different patrons each year. Each booking may also have short gaps between stays. 

This means you might not be able to extend your stay if the apartment owner doesn’t have spare units. This happens frequently, so you might have to leave once your lease ends.

Differences in Pet-Friendliness

Many people enjoy traveling with their pets. However, this also creates the issue of finding hotels or apartments that are pet-friendly.

Some hotels are pet friendly and allow you to keep your pet in your room. However, they may charge an extra fee for this purpose. 

Additionally, hotels can be very picky about the kind of pets they allow. It’s not uncommon for hotels to allow dogs in their rooms, but not birds.

Serviced apartments tend to be less stringent about the types of pets you can keep in your apartment. Many apartment owners will let you keep whatever type of pet you wish.

You should note that this comes down to the apartment owner’s preferences. If your lease explicitly states you aren’t allowed to keep pets, you must abide by this rule.

Differences in the Security Deposit

Hotels and serviced apartments both take precautions to ensure that they are compensated for any damage that patrons do to the facilities. They do this using security deposits.

Hotels may ask you to pay one night’s fee when you initially make your booking as a security deposit. 

Alternatively, they might not ask for a deposit upfront. Instead, they may charge your credit card if they find any damages at the end of your stay.

Serviced apartments also take security deposits that vary based on the length of your stay. Many serviced apartments ask for one month’s rent upfront for a six month stay. 

Similarly, they may ask for two months’ rent as the security deposit for a twelve month stay.

Differences in Price

One of the most significant differences between hotels and serviced apartments is rental prices. Hotels are meant for short-term stays, so they can charge patrons high prices. 

People who are eager to find short-term accommodation in a city often don’t mind paying such high prices for this convenience.

Serviced apartments tend to charge lower rent than hotels. This is because they don’t offer all the special facilities that hotels provide. 

The people who own such apartments are generally fine with charging people lower rent. This is because it saves them the trouble of having to find new patrons every few days. 

For this reason, it is better to go with a serviced apartment than a hotel to save on costs.

Also read: Apartment vs Villa

Choosing Between Hotels and Serviced Apartments

There are plenty of differences between hotels and serviced apartments. Each of these offers distinct advantages depending on the length of your stay and the facilities you seek.

So be sure to consult the above guide when deciding between a hotel and a serviced apartment. It could make your next visit to a new city a lot more comfortable and affordable.

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