During the past five years, the property supply for travelers has significantly changed with the influence of the internet, especially with the boom of online marketplaces such as Airbnb which enable individuals to rent out their property for short-term stays.
Another growing trend that appears as an alternative option to hotels is to convert apartments into hotel-like properties. These are known as serviced apartment or aparthotel.
A significant share of travelers now prefers this solution over the traditional hotel room, mostly because of the price. Serviced apartments are indeed usually more affordable as the services offered are still below those from hotels.
Serviced apartment or hotel room?
As in a hotel, a serviced apartment allows you to choose the number of nights you want to stay, the type of room you want and must include some services such as housekeeping, laundry, etc.
They are also like to have a convenient location for travelers, whether it is in the city center or near a popular tourist spot.
One major difference with hotel is that serviced apartments and studios tend to be more personalized than hotel rooms which are usually standardized. These properties are often warmer to allow travelers to feel truly at home. For instance, serviced flats are usually fully furnished and include a bathroom, living room and kitchen so you can cook your own meals.
Serviced apartment or apartment rental?
Be careful not to be confused: a service apartment is not a private rental. The aim is to combine the advantages of traditional rentals with hotel services.
In appearance, they look like property rentals: studio with bed, living room with TV, kitchen area, WIFI and everything that allow travelers to live in complete independence. However, in order to turn your property into a serviced apartment, you will need to offer a number of additional services that you can find when booking a room in a hotel.
You will need a reception with dedicated staff where clients can ask for information about the region and places to visit, get assistance to book some travel services and so on. You will need to add a housekeeping service as well as a laundry service usually included in the price of the apartment.
A new type of accommodation already popular in Asia
If serviced flats are not widespread in Europe yet, it is already a huge industry in Asia as it becomes the preferred way of staying abroad for business travelers. The property supply is much broader than in the West with a growing trend of luxury apartments. In China, this rising demand has compelled hotels to adapt their offer and build kitchens in their rooms and decrease prices. For instance, a high-end serviced apartment in Shanghai can be 25% cheaper than a luxury hotel room with similar services. Nowadays, business travelers are looking for home-like properties and find in this alternative accommodation the perfect solution as it combines the convenience of hotel services to the independence of an apartment.
Before converting your property into a service flat, be sure you have enough time to dedicate to this activity. Indeed, this should be considered as it is not a simple rental but a real added-value to your house.