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General Information: Serviced apartments and its benefits

What are serviced apartments?

Serviced apartments are self-contained and fully furnished apartments (usually condo units) designed for short term to medium term stays with all the facilities and fittings you need for an extended trip away from home. It is like having a condo unit that is serviced like a hotel.

Serviced properties give a more homely feeling because of the space they offer guests, with separate living and sleeping areas. However, space is not the only advantage to serviced apartments.

Serviced apartments do not have to cover the same salary outgoings as a hotel does; there are no costs for chefs, kitchen staff, laundry staff, room service, bar staff and waiters. The overheads for a serviced flat are considerably lower. There are also no running costs for communal facilities such as the restaurant, bar and meeting rooms. The guests see the results of these savings on overheads and salaries.

With many companies looking to reduce their travel budgets, serviced apartments can offer considerable cost savings compared to stays in traditional hotels. With today’s trend of outsourcing and off shoring business services, offering short-term assignments and fixed term contracts, serviced apartments are a real alternative to hotels for short-term stays for the corporate traveller.

Here are the important advantages and benefits of serviced apartments:


The cost-effectiveness of serviced apartments attracts corporate clients and is one of the reasons why the market for this type of accommodation is growing steadily. Not only is the rental price for these apartments lower on average than a corporate rate for a hotel, but the incidental business costs are substantially lower too.

The most notable savings on these extra costs results from the absence of restaurant bills, room service charges and bar tabs. Serviced apartments have a kitchen as standard so that guests can cater for themselves. This means that guests pay supermarket prices for food instead of marked up restaurant prices, and of course, there are no service charges for the company tab.

For a family on vacation, costs saved on eating out for every meal are substantial. In all cases, every coffee, juice or beer consumed costs far less than it would on a bar tab.

Entertaining business clients in a serviced apartment, instead of a hotel restaurant, can also amount to savings for the company, as well as perhaps providing a more informal atmosphere for discussions.

Another cost saving factor is that serviced apartments include laundry facilities, eliminating the need for external laundry services and the associated high costs, as is the case in hotels. Telephone and internet costs contribute to the total financial savings too, as rates for calls and internet access tend to be cheaper than the average hotel offers.

Multiple occupancy of a serviced apartment also offers major savings for either business or leisure travellers. Colleagues or family groups sharing a two or three-bedroom apartment with en-suite facilities do not sacrifice their privacy, but the total bill for two weeks will be dramatically less than two or three hotel rooms for the same period. In addition, serviced apartments often offer an additional pullout bed in the living area to put up the occasional guest as required, incurring no extra cost as is the case in a hotel. For corporate clients flying in an additional resource for a couple of days this already amounts to a considerable cost saver.


The flexibility of terms with regard to the duration of the stay makes serviced apartments attractive for both companies and private bookings. In most cases, the requirement to stay a minimum of one week is no longer applicable and terms are becoming more and more flexible to compete with hotels.

Renting a two or three-bedroom apartment provides more space for a group or family than a hotel room, giving more freedom to those parents who have to tiptoe around a hotel room every evening so as not to disturb their sleeping children.

In addition, if family, friends or a colleague comes for a visit there is usually a sofa bed to accommodate then at no extra charge, a service for which hotel guests will most certainly find themselves incurring additional charges.


Fully equipped kitchens are a standard element of serviced apartments, and the option to self-cater plays an important role in attracting guests. This has an even bigger appeal when you factor in specific dietary requirements or a family with small children in temporary accommodation looking for a more permanent abode. In such circumstances eating out every night in a restaurant in unlikely to be the optimal dining solution, particularly if there are few healthy options available on the kid’s menu.

Furthermore, the lone worker may tire quickly of eating out alone night after night for weeks on end in a busy restaurant, ordering from the same menu repetitively. Clearly, having your own kitchen facilities provides guests with choices. There are, of course, also the smaller benefits to consider:

- Coffee and tea are on hand without having to call room service or go down to the hotel bar

- The facilities are on hand to entertain business visitors or family and friends popping by

- No rush down to the restaurant for meal serving times, or late night search for an open restaurant when working hours are long

Serviced apartments also include laundry facilities, high on the list of convenient facilities for any traveller. A housekeeping service usually cleans the accommodation at least weekly, and the apartment comes stocked with towels, bed linen and kitchen linen.

Other Advantages of Serviced Apartments

Finding the right serviced apartment for you should be easy, since serviced apartments tend to be located in city centres and popular areas, convenient for transport networks and entertainment amenities, exactly what many tourists and expatriates are looking for, albeit for different reasons. A serviced apartment also provides the resident with direct mail address, convenient on both personal and business levels.

Additional services may be available, depending on the apartment you have chosen. Some complexes offer meet and greet services, travel bookings, airport parking, foreign exchange facilities or a restaurant booking service.

From the business viewpoint, serviced apartments go further in answering the call for more Corporate Social Responsibility than hotels do. It is no longer acceptable to confine employees to a hotel room for weeks or months at a time.

To add to the advantages for the corporate sector, serviced apartments are also more cost effective than hotel rates for longer stays, in some cases saving more than a third of the cost of a hotel. Additionally, business travellers keep their incidental expenses low. Of course, the same is also true for holidaymakers, as catering and laundry costs are lower than they would be for a traditional hotel stay.

Without a doubt, serviced apartments offer more freedom, space, choice and flexibility to the demanding business and leisure travellers of today, and there are considerable financial cost savings to boot.

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