What is a Serviced Apartment?

Serviced apartments have been around longer than most people think – making an impact, in fact, for over a decade.

Officially, ‘Serviced Apartment’ is the umbrella term for a type of furnished apartment available for short-term or long-term stays, which provides amenities, housekeeping and a range of services for guests and where most taxes and utilities are included within the rental price.

Serviced apartments offer facilities much like a traditional hotel but with added space, convenience and privacy like home, so you can enjoy living like a local when travelling. They have private cooking facilities, sometimes a kitchenette but generally a full-size kitchen with dishwasher and washing machine and larger living/sleeping areas than most standard hotel rooms.

‘Serviced Apartment’ as an expression has been relatively little used outside the corporate relocation and business travel markets. Most online booking sites have long offered them as booking options, but with no separate category – most are just labelled ‘apartment’ and offered as another option alongside regular hotel rooms.

But the sector is increasingly having an impact on leisure travel as people find serviced apartments are available all over the world as a credible and cost-effective alternative. They are especially economical for longer stays, group travel or family parties, allowing savings on dining out and offering in-house entertainment as well as allowing you to live like a local.

But unlike certain unregulated parts of the sharing economy, such as home-share sites where you might move into someone else’s home for your stay and take a chance in terms of health and safety and standard of accommodation, we as a trade body aim to ensure the consumer has confidence in what they will find when booking serviced apartment accommodation anywhere in the world.

Serviced apartments are very appealing in the corporate travel world and has long seen the advantage of this kind of accommodation for executives on longer business trips or during relocations, as they allow the traveller a more ‘normal’ way of life outside hotels, with the chance to cook, relax and plan their time away from hotel operating hours.