Also written as ‘apart hotels’ or aparthotels’, these unique accommodations are a blend of hotel luxury and apartment convenience. Sometimes they are single apartments in blocks of flats that are otherwise privately owned, but most often the hotel chain will buy or build the whole block.
Communal Seating and Dining Areas
In the case of the entire block of apartments being given over to the apart hotel model, the management often choose to make over the ground floor, and sometimes the first floor as well, into a range of facilities that provide the hotel touch. This can include a swimming pool, gym and spa, a restaurant and bar – or two, and a lounge or library area where clients can relax for a change of scenery or while waiting to be collected by friends or colleagues.
Room Service and Housekeeping
Again dependent on the model of service apartment being offered, you may get a weekly house-keeping service where the bare minimum is done on your behalf – change of bed linens and towels, vacuuming the floor, etc – or you might get a full 24/7 housekeeper at your beck and call, just waiting for you to have a spill, or invite people over and make a meal that then needs tidying away. Room service can be as handy as it is in a hotel – especially in those apartment blocks where management has installed a full commercial kitchen – or it can rely on you phoning for a take-away to be delivered! Often the food offering is somewhere in between these two, with agreements with nearby hotels and restaurants to provide meals and snacks, more or less on demand.
Do It All Yourself
Of course, if you have opted out of the hotel life because you abhor everything about it, you can always go to the other extreme, using your apart hotel exactly like an apartment: cooking and cleaning up after yourself, and generally making no demands on the apart-hotel’s personnel.
Convenient Lease Times
Apart hotels differ from regular hotels in that they tend to be available for larger blocks of time. While hotels tend to be fully booked for ages in advance, making it hard to extend your stay by another unexpected week, you can book an apart hotel for any amount of time, usually starting at about three days as the minimum, but with an unlimited option for the duration of your stay – you can even extend it weekly, or outright book it for six months or even more. Breaking these leases is often considered acceptable, as long as you have paid the bare minimum for the lease to be successful (hence the three-day minimum booking!), which makes them an even more desirable residence for businessmen who are travelling for their work, and who may have to stay longer to hammer out the fine details of the deal, or cut their stay short to fly home to sort out different issues brewing there!
In general, booking an apart hotel is just like booking a hotel, just with more space, more flexibility, and a price that is kinder to your pocket than you might expect!