Travelers are inundated with a number of choices when they plan a trip, the primary concern being the type of accommodation. In the past, only hotels were the obvious choice. From the dawn of the new millennium, the concept of business and leisure combined to create an innovative concept called ‘bleisure’ which radically changed the way business travel is conducted at the enterprise and corporate level. This also gave rise to the idea of extended stay when a business traveller has to spend days or even months to strike a deal or enable companies expand their business in new geographical domains or markets. The cut-throat competition in today’s business world has pushed many businesses to cut down on travel and accommodation costs.
Most enterprises and corporations have dedicated travel managers or admins that manage business travel programmes. Their primary functions include establishing travel management policy for corporate travel that includes controlling travel costs, reimbursement of travel expenditures, prioritising business traveller’s well-being and maintaining vendor and partner contracts. In a bid to reduce accommodation costs for business travellers, travel managers should prefer serviced apartments to hotels for extended stay. So what is a serviced apartment first?
A serviced apartment is a fully furnished apartment for short-or long-terms stays; millennial travellers too these days choose serviced apartments instead of hotels. There are several differences between serviced apartments and hotels, and understanding these differences will help you decide which is the right choice for your upcoming travel. Here is how a serviced apartment scores better than a hotel.
Roomy & Spacious
Serviced apartments are roomy and spacious for the purpose of extended stays. What if your family and friends want to stay with you over the weekend? A quick comparison of making them stay in a hotel vs. an apartment will throw you the actual figures. You will start to appreciate the cost-savings when you prefer staying in a service apartment to a hotel. The cost of booking extra rooms or double rooms for your family or friends is totally eliminated, guaranteeing greater peace of mind!
Staying in a serviced apartment takes the hassle out of eating unhealthy, not-so-nutritious food outside. Service apartments are equipped with well-furnished kitchens stocked with major home appliances including refrigerator, freezer, microwaves, toaster oven, mixer, blender, coffeemaker, electric kettle; cooking implements such as roasting pan, frying pan, large pots, and many more. Some service apartments may have bakeware, kitchen utensils & tools, and tableware & serving and linens & towels. It is also nice to have the required kitchen supplies for house guests.
Furniture & Equipment
Most hotels come with basic furniture and equipment little more than a bed and a bath; wardrobe, a dresser, desk or small couch for guests. Serviced apartments, comparatively, are equipped with washing machines, dishwashers and dryers to even laundry baskets. Therefore, they are completely equipped with whatever basic you need to work, live and cook.
The biggest advantage however is that serviced apartments are designed for extended stays. Nowhere will business or corporate travellers be able to cope with the stress involved in long and tiring business activities including on-site or onshore assignments, conferences, etc. Even from a cost differentiation point of view, hotels may prove out of budget. And most hotels or mansions may lack even the basic amenities like food, sanitation and recreational activities. A service apartment, therefore, is a hybrid model integrating the twin benefits of cost and convenience, or may be luxury offered in premium service apartments in tier-I and tier-II cities in India.
Today’s bleisure travellers expect more in terms of affordability and convenience such as kitchen, gym or laundry facilities. When it comes to accommodation for a period of extended time, what more can they expect than the conveniences and reasonable price point provided by serviced apartments. It is more likely that service apartments are the future of extended stay (for a month or longer).
Health is Wealth
The ongoing pandemic emphasizes the need for good health and healthy living. Staying healthy is the need of the hour, and for business travellers especially who need to take wholesome home-made and nutritious food, a service apartment presents itself as the best stay option post-pandemic due to safety and hygiene factors. This is also one of the reasons why service apartments are becoming popular in the metro cities. The safety of food and living in a service apartment is unparalleled and almost guaranteed.
Service apartments have an edge over hotels in terms of offering amenities and conveniences like gym, fitness centre, pool, W-Fi, etc. It’s not that hotels don’t offer these facilities, but they come at a premium tag for the same accommodation period compared to the likes of service apartments. At the same time, it is important to understand the differences in amenities that a hotel and service apartment can offer. You can’t expect service apartments to offer a mini bar, room service, continental breakfast, spa or an on-site restaurant. Serviced apartments, on the other hand can offer all the conveniences of a typical home set-up, and there are ones which offer amenities like a pool, fitness centre, roof deck, terrace, laundry facilities, attended lobby, and resident lounges depending upon the structure of the building.
To conclude…location, location, location
There is one factor that can ultimately decide whether one wants to stick to a hotel or accommodation: location. Serviced apartments are usually located in a prime area of a city or town, whereas hotels that fall outside the city limits do pose problems in terms of accessibility. This is also one area where service apartments trumps hotels advantage-wise. But again if business travellers think staying in a hotel that is nearby the local airport is convenient, they don’t have to necessarily go for a service apartment located in a residential area.
This article has tried to cover the advantages of serviced apartments to the maximum. But there are some disadvantages inherent to the design of serviced apartments as well. If you’re looking for service apartments in Coimbatore near airport, do a quick search online and you’ll see names crop up like Hiline Apartments and others. Ensure you do a quick research on the different services offered by Serviced apartment before you book a room for your extended stay.