In essence, this question is asking us to define the serviced apartment itself, in terms of its layout and the services that may be appended to it. What is it, in other words, that makes a place a serviced apartment; rather than a hotel room or a normal flat?
The first definition of a serviced apartment is clearly that it is serviced. It is, in other words, served by one or a number of staff members, whose role involves the upkeep or maintenance of the place: normally taking over domestic chores that may otherwise have been left to the occupants. In this respect, a serviced apartment is much like a room in a hotel. There are chamber staff in hotels to change linen and tidy rooms; in serviced apartments the same amenities are provided though on a more structured weekly basis.
The second element by which a service apartment is defined is its layout. This is where the “apartment” part comes into the equation. Unlike a room in a hotel, which normally consists of a bedroom with an en suit shower room or bathroom, a serviced apartment features the full range of rooms a person would expect in a normal home.
These include a bathroom, and often en suite bathrooms as well; a living space; and a kitchen area – all in addition to, or separate from, the bedroom areas. The purpose of separating the elements of the apartment like this is to create a more homely or domestic environment, yet to retain the service aspects of the hotel.
It is, however, in the minutiae of the serviced apartment that we find the real defining characteristics. The kitchen will normally be stocked with the pots, pans and other cooking implements required to make food like one might get at home. These could include toasted sandwich makers; rice cooker; anything, in fact, that removes that hotel feeling and replaces it with something more domestically defined.
Why is it so important to draw a line between the serviced apartment and the hotel room? In basic terms, because a hotel room is designed for temporary accommodation while a serviced apartment is meant for a more long-term occupation.
The serviced apartment is built, normally, to accommodate people for anything up to six months. It may, in fact, be referred to as a short stay apartment for this reason: because in terms of apartment living, anything below a six month lease is automatically defined in this way. As such, the serviced apartment must use its amenities to get away from the transient feel and nature of a hotel room.
A hotel room, in essence, is used for sleeping. You stay in a hotel room – you live in a serviced apartment.
The amenities that define the serviced apartment may all, when you look at them from this point of view, be seen as items used to facilitate a normal life wherever possible. They have specifically been included to take the impermanent sheen away from the installation and render it more domestically appropriate.
About Author : Emma Hamilton is a freelance content writer and writes travel articles found on short term accommodation in Cambridge.