What Is A Serviced Apartment?

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Many of our guests are new to serviced apartments - although they soon become converts – and we are often asked the question, ‘What is a serviced apartment?

The simple answer is that a serviced apartment is a cross between a hotel room and a holiday rental apartment. It’s a home away from home.  Serviced apartments give you the flexibility of renting a fully-furnished apartment (with your own lounge, kitchen and bedroom/s) combined with excellent concierge style services and in-room freebies such as ground coffee and breakfast packs (plus paid extras such as champagne).

Enjoy the advantages of the independence of an AirBnb-style trip, but be supported by  a concierge team with a wealth of local knowledge.  You’ll also be able to leave any cleaning and the washing up to the housekeepers.

You can hold a meeting then have a drink and rustle up a meal; play with your kids and then enjoy some ‘me’ time while they sleep; relax together on the sofa in front of a great film; share with frends or family for a long overdue reunion. In other words, feel completely at home.

  • Relax
    Guests in serviced apartments enjoy 30% more space
     than in the equivalent hotel room according to the ASAP (Association of Serviced Apartments).1  A hotel room is generally just that – a room - while a serviced apartment gives you a separate living space to relax in plus a kitchen.  You’ll enjoy great value and have more space to relax when you choose a serviced apartment. Say no to service charges, outrageous mini bar prices and working at a tiny desk often while paying for Wi-Fi.
     
  • Eat Well
    With well-equipped kitchens and dining areas, serviced apartments give you complete freedom about what you eat and when.  Eat out, eat in, order food to be delivered or, if you’re feeling flush, ask your concierge to book a private chef…. Have a relaxed start to the day over a private breakfast,  stay on the healthy-eating regime you rely on at home, rustle up a bowl of pasta for a hungry toddler, collapse on the sofa and enjoy a well-earned cuppa.  Serviced apartments open up all of this and more.
  • Travel light
    Quality serviced apartment providers put a lot of thought into what will make your stay easier. For example, at Staying Cool’s Birmingham serviced apartments (UK) you’ll arrive to find towelling robes and towels, toiletries and a full-size hairdryer. In the well-equipped kitchen,  fresh milk, olive oil, balsamic vinegar plus teas and coffees are on hand.  All apartments also have a washing machine, iron and ironing board hidden away. 

    To add to that feeling of being at home, Staying Cool provides a top-of-the-range Sky TV package plus fast, reliable fibre optic broadband.

  • Spend Wisely
    Prices for serviced apartments are for the whole apartment not per person so you can often save money  if you are travelling with friends or family. INSIDER TIP: If you are planning  to stay more than a day or so or visit regularly then always get in touch with the serviced apartment provider as you may be able to enjoy a discount.  It is also worth bearing in mind that it should always be cheaper to book directly with the serviced aparment company rather than through an online booking agent.

  • Stay Flexible
    A serviced apartment gives you the chance to make yourself at home without commitment. If you need to stay for a few days, weeks or months in a new place without the hassle of contracts and deposits or buying new furniture then they could be the perfect solution.

Serviced Apartment Industry Stats
Serviced apartments are the fastest growing growing sector of the UK hospitality market according to research undertaken by the ASAP in partnership with Savills.1

According to The Apartment Service the number of serviced apartments across the globe increased by 18.2% between 2014 and 2015.2


Serviced Apartment FAQ
What should I search for to find a serviced apartment?
Depending on what country you are in, a serviced apartments may sometimes be known as an aparthotel, corporate housing, extended stay, residences, suites or studios. The UK tends to favour ‘serviced apartment’.

How can I guarantee the quality of my serviced apartment?
We’d recommend booking a serviced apartment that is accredited by the ASAP (Association of Serviced Apartment Providers). The ASAP operates in nine countries including the UK and represents over 100,000 properties.  Look for quality accreditation in the region you are travelling to. In the UK, excellent schemes are run by Visit England the The AA.    

What is the minimum stay in a serviced apartment?
Traditionally serviced apartments were favoured over hotels for stays of a week or more, but nowadays guests are staying for much shorter periods  as guests appreciate the benefits of a home-away-from-home  for just one night. Some operators may have a minimum stay but most operators now accept one night stays.

Who stays in a serviced apartment?
In our experience, there is no typical serviced apartment guest. We welcome business travellers; solo adventurers; people who are relocating to Birmingham; families; couples; and people who want to share living space with their friends or family.

They certainly appeal to those who want to be a name and not just a number. Charles McCrow, CEO of The Apartment Service, said: “Unlike homogenous hotel products, we believe that the inherent individuality of serviced apartments is one of the major factors in the sector’s success.  Guests – and millennial travellers in particular - want the variety of options that brands present to meet their individual needs; they want to sample local styles, culture and experiences.”3

How can I book a serviced apartment?
We’d recommend booking direct via the property’s  website, but you can also use specialist serviced apartment agents such as Silver Door, City Base and TAS Alliance or GDS for corporate bookings.  There are serviced apartments all over the world and it’s a very fast growing sector. Research from Savills, the global real estate services provider,  forecasts that the number of serviced apartments will grow by over 70% between 2015-2018.1


Conclusion
The serviced apartment sector is a vibrant one that’s growing globally at a fast rate. The number of serviced apartments in the world grew by 80% from 2008-2016.3 If you were asking “What Is a Serviced Apartment?” give the concept a try using our hints and tips above.

Sources
1 Benefits of Using A Serviced Apartments by the Association of Serviced Apartments
2 Extended Stay: Uk Stock Set To Doubleby Savills and the ASAP 
3 Flexible Living, Short-term Thinking, Long-term Rewards  by Knight Frank 
4 The Global Serviced Apartments Industry Report 2015/16 by The Apartment Service Worldwide


About the Authors

Staying Cool’s serviced apartments Birmingham are found in a Grade-II Listed building called the Rotunda. The apartments range from VIP penthouses with wraparound balconies to chic studios. Prices start at £99 and Staying Cool welcomes guests from around the world.