The extended stay in London – hotel or apartment? Why not a serviced apartment instead?

The extended stay in London- hotel or apartment?
Why not a serviced apartment instead?

If you are considering an extended stay in London, there has been plenty of debate whether you should stay in an apartment or a hotel.

There is no doubt that for the larger group – for example a family with teenage children relocating, or a group of business people needing their own private living and working space – they will undoubtedly find an extended stay hotel difficult, because there are rarely separated rooms offering any degree of privacy. Instead, the typical hotel room is set up like a studio apartment, affording little seclusion and not much in the way of quiet space to either work or live in.

The only alternative is renting several rooms – and a very expensive alternative it can be too. However, a short stay in a hotel, up to a week, does often tend to be the most appropriate option.

If you rent an apartment for your extended stay, utilities such as electricity, water, phone, cable TV, internet access all have to be set up. Deposits are usually requested, and sometimes application fees apply. And yes, while all these are already built into the price of an extended stay in a hotel, and the price you see in reception is the price you pay in total, most hotels pack their prices with amenities and services that really aren’t important to you when you’re not staying simply as a tourist who is passing through.

Many people don’t realise that the answer to an extended stay can lay in renting a serviced apartment. Like in an apartment rental, all utilities in a serviced apartment – gas, electricity, water, TV, phone and internet – are provided, together with a full-facility kitchen.

However, the difference is that all these facilities and services are already set-up and included in the price you pay, so there is no worrying about the cost of extras. And bed linen and towels are also provided, yet unlike a hotel room, which tends to be cleaned by a maid in an hour, a professional team of between four and six people will spend a couple of hours each thoroughly cleaning a serviced-apartment prior to the arrival of a guest.

More recently, there has been increased recognition of the value of serviced apartments as a result of the Olympic Games. Not only those directly connected with the games, but workers in the professions connected with the games – the media, legal and even their guests – have all recognised the value and independence an extended stay in a serviced apartment can bring.

They enjoyed the freedom of being able to come and go as they pleased, unhindered by the strictures of set times for meals, having to check keys in an out, and not being disturbed by other guests, many of those who can quite noisily check in and out, or, when occupying their rooms, not keep their noise levels down to an acceptable level!

As the financial crisis continues to affect Europe, coupled with the recession here in the UK, serviced apartments for one, two or three month and longer stays offer the sensible cost-effective alternative to hotel stays and apartment rentals.

With its unique, no-waiting, immediate housing style, professional management, problems prevented or remedied directly and quickly, and even the potential for rentals being extended to odd times of the month, it’s the alternative and independent accommodation extended-stay visitors to London should perhaps consider.


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