The term ‘Serviced Apartments’ refers to fully furnished apartments that are available on rent either as short term or long term accommodation. The earliest serviced apartments started out in the USA and the concept became an instant hit amongst business travelers. Those who had to stay in new cities away from home for lengthy periods of time found that they could save a lot of money by renting a serviced apartment instead of staying at a hotel. The popularity of serviced apartments grew exponentially over the years and today this concept is an established and well recognized vertical of the hospitality industry the world over.
Serviced Apartments offer you the kind of flexibility, economy and extended stays that hotels can’t provide by any length of imagination. Though the hotel industry has a unique customer base and its own advantages, the serviced apartment industry has carved a niche segment of its own. Hotels are still the ideal choice for short stay travelers. With restaurant, pools, bars and various other facilities, hotels have an edge in wooing the short stay crowd. The apartments however are in a league of their own when it comes to offering convenience and value for money.
There are a few exclusive serviced apartment chains that would put even the most expensive hotels to shame. But mostly, the apartments are no frills living spaces that provide practicality and comfortable stays at considerably lesser costs. These days most of such accommodation have started looking like hotels with receptions, room service, etc. However, the basic concept of flexibility still remains. The highlight of such apartments is that they are available for long term stays. By definition hotels can turn out to be extremely expensive for long stays, but the apartments can rent you a fully furnished room or an entire apartment for long stays at very reasonable prices.
Serviced apartments like to position themselves as a ‘home away from home’. Indeed, their most appealing proposition is the prospect of living in a fully furnished apartment with all the facilities you would have at home. Your get your own kitchen, your own clothes iron and various other simple things which make you feel quite at home. There are many kinds of such apartments, but the most common types are the apart-hotels and corporate housing. Apart hotels are regular serviced apartments that function just like regular hotels except that they don’t offer facilities like restaurants or bars.
Corporate housing apartments are large residential blocks that are rented on the whole and converted into serviced apartments that offer all basic facilities like laundry, internet access etc. The only complexity involved with staying at such an apartment is the booking process. The process is not as straightforward as is the case with hotels. Generally, an agent can get you the best rates with diligent negotiation. Even then you may have to pay a large security deposit for longer stays. In spite of these minor drawbacks, such apartments are a very popular choice worldwide amongst travelers who like to feel at home wherever they are.