Tuesday, December 18, 2012

What is serviced apartment?

Serviced apartment is a residential apartment which serviced as a hotel. Serviced apartments are alternatives to hotel accommodation for long stay leisure or business travellers. There are two types of accommodation to which the description serviced apartment applies, with an ever-growing list of sub categories: Extended stay hotels and Corporate housing[1].

Extended stay hotels

Extended stay hotels which are marketed as serviced apartments mainly offers studios, one bedroom with a few two bedroom apartments typically in urban locations, ranging in standard from budget to deluxe.  All are fully furnished and include: en-suite bathrooms, fitted kitchen or kitchenette, lounge/dining area sometimes including a sofa bed or pull down bed, working area, desk, office chair, internet access & direct telephone line, The hotel services usually available from extended stay hotels include reception desks, daily or weekly cleaning. & laundry service. There are typically no restaurants, bar or lounge areas, although the level of services is generally higher than those found in hybrids Apart-hotels or Apartotels, which are usually a leisure or resort based product, and also come in standards of accommodation and range of services from budget to deluxe.

Corporate housing

These type of serviced apartments are residential apartments up-graded for stays of 30 days or more and packaged  together with services such as weekly cleaning, utility charges, local taxes, telephone and TV, guest services - telephone support for maintenance etc. This type of serviced apartments- also referred to as suite living, residence living and condotel - works as company apartments for either regular visitors or those on extended projects.  There are two types of corporate housing: (a) apartments rented and maintained by the operator on an on–going basis and (b) those rented specifically for a particular housing requirement and length of time, after which they are handed back to the owner. This is also referred to as virtual housing.

Mayfair Bangkok Marriott Executive Apartments
Why Serviced Apartments?
According to the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers, here are the top 5 reasons why business travellers choose serviced apartments in preference to a conventional hotel:

More space - On average you can expect to enjoy 30% more space than an equivalent standard of hotel.
You can choose a studio, one or two bedroom apartment or even a 4-bedroom house – but each one will offer a separate kitchen area, a properly equipped living/working area and bedroom/s. Guests can therefore work remotely very productively.

Cost effective - With travel budgets increasingly under pressure, business and leisure travellers find serviced apartments offer excellent value for money. There will be no ‘hidden extras’ (drinks from the mini-bar, room service charges etc). Guests staying for longer periods of 7 nights or more will normally benefit from a reduced price/per night. Stay for 28 nights or more benefit even further with a reduced rate of VAT (4%). 
Prices start from approximately £80-£100 per night for a studio apartment to London, or approximately £60-£80 per night in the rest of the UK.

Flexibility - Guests enjoy the flexibility of being able to choose to eat in or out. The well-equipped kitchen means meals can be easily prepared and therefore further money saved from dining out.

Quality - Serviced apartments offer a very high standard of contemporary furniture and everything you would expect of a hotel room and more:
  • A fully equipped kitchen, normally with both dishwasher and washer/dryer
  • High quality bed linen, towels and toiletries
  • First –class home entertainment facilities – Sky TV, DVD, CD and the very latest in-room technology
  • Welcome ‘breakfast’ pack for the first 24 hours of the stay
  • Each of our members has had an audit visit from an independent assessor to ensure they are delivering the quality of product they are promising guests
Privacy - Generally serviced apartments offer a greater degree of privacy. An apartment block in a major city will on average have anything from 30 to 50 apartments and therefore a maximum of around 100 to 150 people compared to a hotel with 100 to 200 bedrooms, which combined with the public areas, could mean up to 400 or 500 people.

[1] - The Apartment Service Worldwide - The Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report 2011-12

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