Five-star hotel vs serviced apartment – do the guests know the difference

It is always interesting to me when we get guest feedback on our apartments, when they didn’t really know what they booked.  This happens more often than you would think as many people book on aggregator sites.

On the majority of occasions the feedback is overwhelming positive – they didn’t know about serviced apartments, but will not stay anywhere else from now on.  They couldn’t believe the space they get for a similar price to a 5 star hotel room.  Or often, how pleased they were to have the use of a kitchen and a washing machine.

On occasion we have guests arriving who thought they had booked a five star hotel and this can prove tricky, the difference are subtle, but they are important.  Serviced apartments are there for the independent traveller – guests who want to be able to pick up the phone every two minutes to order room service will be better served in a hotel.

What I particularly love about serviced apartments is the space and being able to get some much needed me time from the hustle and bustle. It’s difficult to seek sanctuary in a hotel room unless you lock yourself in the bathroom, but as soon as you unlock that door you’re back in the thick of it and all your best relaxation efforts have went to pot!

But in a serviced apartment, you often have at least double the amount of space for the same – if not less –money than a hotel room. There is normally a bathroom and an en-suite meaning there are no fights or queues to get in first and best of all, the bedrooms are separate meaning if there is a snorer in the group you’re unlikely to hear them, unless you happen to be the unlikely one sharing a bed.

There is also the flexibility aspect as well. If you decide you’re peckish long after dinner, if you’re in a hotel the only option you have is what is in the mini bar. But in a serviced apartment, you have your very own kitchen and can create whatever tickles your taste buds in the wee small hours.

Staff as well play a key role in making a stay enjoyable. Hotel reception areas are undoubtedly manic at times – they have a great number of check-ins, phone calls and footfall, whereas in serviced apartments staff are more likely to be able offer their own personal insight into where to visit and what to see.

However I suspect we will continue to find that sometimes guest turn up who should really be in a 5 star hotel, disappointing, but a fact of life!

Julie Grieve