Serviced apartments come in all shapes and sizes, and this is one of the best things about them – it means that, in major cities at least, there’s an apartment to suit everyone’s needs. But this choice can be overwhelming so, to make things a little easier, here’s our guide to the different types of serviced apartment available.
Broadly defined, serviced apartments are a cost-effective alternative to hotel accommodation. They are cleaned once weekly and provide home comforts for longer-term stays, while allowing guests a degree of independence by providing cooking facilities (all come with a kitchenette as a minimum) and plenty of space.
At SilverDoor we divide serviced apartments into four categories:
Apart-hotels provide a cross-over of serviced apartments and hotels, offering the best of both worlds. They generally offer hotel-style facilities such as breakfast, room service, gyms and even swimming pools, as well as a living area and kitchen facilities. Sometimes apart-hotels are part of a regular hotel and share on-site amenities with the rest of the hotel, such as the bar or restaurant. Key collection is usually from a 24-hour reception and maid service can often be provided more than once a week if necessary.
The standard features of apart-hotels vary from country to country. Caen Centre Apartments are within a historic French city. This city has been built up over time and inevitably space is at a premium in the city centre, but the apartments make the most of the space on offer and feature modern design and furnishing, with all the facilities you need inside your apartment. Towers Apartments is a luxury apart-hotel in Dubai. The strong growth that Dubai has had in recent years has meant that many of the new developments feature luxury facilities as standard. This property features facilities such as a swimming pool, cinema, gym and on-site restaurant.
These facilities may suit travellers who are used to hotel accommodation, but the seasoned business traveller may prefer something a bit quieter which provides them with more independence. Furthermore, the fewer members of staff required – and the fewer amenities on-site – the cheaper the apartment is likely to be.
Dedicated apartment buildings place an emphasis on privacy. They often have on-site concierge during office hours, and usually offer a self check-in facility or a meet-and-greet service. Emergency phone numbers are provided for assistance outside office hours. Leyshon Apartments are a good example of a typical dedicated apartment building, providing guests with independence and flexibility. However, there are always exceptions to the rule – our Buxton Apartments are a dedicated serviced apartment building, but include facilities such as a 24 hour reception, a business centre and a fitness room.
Individual apartments within a residential development are serviced apartments in a development that may include privately let or privately owned flats. By staying in a residential development you can feel like you live in the area and are able to build up relationships with the neighbours – in other words, it’s more like living in a normal apartment. These properties are unlikely to have on-site receptions or staff, providing more privacy and independence. Belfast’s Adelaide Street Apartments are a good example of apartments within a residential development.
Individual apartments (owned by a serviced apartment company or by a private landlord) usually do not have any on-site staff, and use self check-in facilities or a meet-and-greet service. An emergency out-of-hours number is provided. Individual apartments are perfect if privacy is high on your list of priorities. Oosterdokskade Apartment fits the individual apartment criteria, but isn’t your typical apartment – it’s an elegant one bedroom houseboat in the centre of Amsterdam with a view of the city’s canal.
There are also some apartments that break ‘the rules’ and have unusual features for properties in their category. Kingfisher Apartments are an example, with some of the two bedroom apartments featuring an outdoor hot tub, and Fortress Hill Apartments, which have a private bar in each apartment. Therefore, the categories mentioned are not definitive, and there are many apartments that have characteristics which cross over between two or more types of serviced apartment. This can cause confusion and is another reason why the SilverDoor team are here to help!