A serviced apartment and hotel are in many regards very similar. You might say that a serviced apartment is one type of hotel.  Consider that in both cases:

  • You book at a nightly rate.
  • You check-in to collect your keys at a reception.
  • You stay in a building segregated into many individual rooms or apartments.
  • You don’t pay separately for utilities or maintenance.
  • Staff are on hand to assist during your stay when needed.
  • You can even use OTAs like Hotels.com to book either type of accommodation!

But there are some key differences, and it’s worth knowing what they are so that you can better chose the accommodation style that works best for you.


Hotel alternatives

It used to be that when looking for somewhere to stay away from home, a hotel was the default choice, and for many is still is. If you couldn’t afford a holiday cottage, you booked a hotel or packed the tent.


But travelers have been discovering the alternatives. The growth of services like AirBnB and Coachsurfing.com is evidence of that. More than ever before, we can all find the accommodation type that fits our circumstances, our tastes, and our disposition, and in doing so avoid many of the little annoyances we have grown to associate with staying away from home.

It’s great! Science says that travel is part of the secret of happiness, so let’s get it right.

One of the major alternatives to hotels are serviced apartments. They are what we, William’s Serviced Apartments, provide — because, well, we kind of love them. You should find out why below.

You won’t find unsubstantiated gushing here, though, and we’re not trying to convince you to book with us — there are other times and places for that! This article is all about giving a balanced look, so you can better chose the accommodation style that will works for you. We will look at what’s in the rooms, what the price difference is, and when to choose one over the other.


What is a serviced apartment?


The idea of a serviced apartment is a full apartment that you can rent, without contractual obligations.

That basically means an apartment that you rent similarly to how you would rent a hotel room, but that comes with multiple rooms, a kitchen, and certain cleaning facilities.

There is certainly some crossover here, and the variety of terms can be confusing. For instance, what we at William’s call a serviced apartments, in line with the guidelines of the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP), might be called self-contained apartments, self-service apartments, aparthotels, extended-stay hotels, or something else entirely. Some providers that we would consider serviced apartments simply call them hotels!

Therefore it’s a little tricky to pin down hard definitions. But we will paint you a picture as clearly as possible:

Pictures of serviced apartments in Sheffield.

You should be able to live in a serviced apartment in broadly the same way your do in your own home. At least, you can do in the good ones. You’ll have the facilities needed to cook your own meals, and perhaps to wash your own clothes. Additionally, you will usually have more than one room, not including the bathroom — so you might have a living room and a bedroom, or a bedroom and a kitchen.

The main difference from a hotel, then, is self-catering and space available.

In comparison, a hotel typically offers just a room. What they lack in in-room facilities, though, they make up elsewhere in the building: a typical hotel has a restaurant, a bar, and staff that provide room service, which serviced apartments typically do not.


That said, when you consider hotel suites or hotel rooms with kitchen and kitchenettes, or serviced apartment complexes with additional faculties, you see that the lines are a little blurry.


The benefits of each

One way of thinking about it is this: in a hotel you are the “valued guest”, and in a serviced apartment you are part guest and part host. We all like to enjoy the former, but the latter can be quite empowering way to

The difference is that between ordering a nice looking meal from a the restaurant and having it served to you, compared to cooking up a recipe you found yourself with your own food that you keep in your own kitchen. Both have their merits.

We do think serviced apartments effectively eliminate many of the small inconveniences of a typical hotel room. For instance, having your own kitchen means better access to drinking water. Have you ever been a little irritated while sitting in your hotel room to not have a free source of drinking water nearby that didn’t come from the bathroom sink?

The extra space has a few key advantages:

  • better storage that makes living a tidy, organized life away from home that much easier.
  • you can host guests, for business or otherwise, much more comfortably.
  • if travelling with other people, perhaps friends or family, you can have an area to share but also have enough space that you won’t be treading on each other’s feet.

What you might miss, if you are used to a hotel, are the breakfast bars, the 24 hour room service, and the extravagant lounges. Serviced apartments have the everyday conveniences, but hotels have the luxuries.

It might also be worth pointing out that hotels seems to be better at flamboyant decor. In a serviced apartment you will probably be seeing a lot of white walls and laminate flooring.


Which one costs more?

There are two variables here: the room rates, and the “additional living costs”, which here mainly means the cost of eating.

We jumped on Booking.com and averaged a small selection of room rates for both serviced apartments and hotels. We simply took entries from the top of the booking.com listings of those accommodation types (though we ignored our own apartments). All rates looked were for an average week in August, and we made an effort to control for the standard/star rating of the buildings.These were our findings:

This was just a casual study with a small sample size, but it reflects the trends. Serviced apartments tend to have a slightly higher cost per night, but a much lower cost per square meter.

Cost of eating

For any one meal, you are likely to find yourself paying several times more in a hotel restaurant than if you cooked roughly the same food for yourself at home. That makes sense — in a restaurant you’re paying for someone else to do the work for you, as well as to enjoy the space, the decor and the environment. But when you don’t have the option to cook for yourself, the costs can really add up.

Now, some hotels do provide breakfast in the room rate. For me, the breakfast is one of the key pleasures of a hotel, because when in an unfamiliar part of the world, and having just sleep in a unfamiliar bed, I certainly appreciate the comfort of having a large hot breakfast and coffee prepared for me and served to me by some great in-house staff.

Of course, if you do stay in buildings without their own restaurant, as is this case with most serviced apartments, you always have the option of eating breakfast, lunch or dinner out when you choose to. You can weigh up the costs. That flexibility, giving you power over your own budget, is part of what makes a serviced apartment great value for money.


A quick comparison in pictures

To give you a better, “ground level” idea of the experience of staying in each apartment type, we’ve compared some pictures of our own buildings to that of a Premier Inn just around the corner from us. Walk with us as you enter your room…



The weather hasn’t been our friend lately. The chilly nights and foggy mornings have given way to delayed flights at the Chennai Airport. No wonder we are more often than not left stranded having nothing to do except for gazing into nothingness. While we do understand how utterly disheartening it can be to wait, there are a lot of things do in and around the Chennai airport making your wait pleasurable. Here are some suggestions to try during that annoying Chennai layover.

If you’re stuck inside the airport, here’s what you can do:

”Catch up on that sleep at the Sleeping lounge”


We know how uncomfortable it can get to take a nap at the airport with so much activity going around you. It gets all the more difficult for the late arrivals. Travel Club is your new place to be while you are at the airport. It offers the guests the avenue to sleep on an hourly basis, mostly ranging from £ 13.50 to £ 18.50 for single and double occupancy. the Travel Club lounge affords terrific views over Chennai Airport.

Location: Inside the Security Hold Area, take the elevator opposite Gate 5 to the 3rd Floor and the lounge is located approximately 10 meters straight ahead.

Shop at your Favourite Brand :



Let’s face it! Being stuck at the airport doesn’t really get boring and especially if you’re a shopper. No less than a mall for the shopaholic, the airport has stores of Armani, Fabindia, Marks & Spencer, Gini & Jony, Satya Paul, Shopper’s Stop, UCB, Tommy Hilfiger, Zodiac, COVO, Da Milano, Ethos, Hugo Boss, Metro,

Location :   arrival or departure at the Chennai airport by showing the passport and boarding pass.

Eat. Slurp. Repeat :



Who doesn’t like to unwind over good food and drinks? Whether you are travelling alone or with friends, the cafes and bars located at the Chennai airport can be your best place to take some time off your hectic life. Café Chennai Heights, offers a laid-back ambiance and range of items on their menu to switch your mood from gloomy to happy.

Location : just beside the VIP Lounge and the washroom.




Amazing Tourist Places that prove Chennai is not a metropolitan City!

chennai-centralMetropolitan cities are usually considered lands of concrete jungles – refuge to the aimers, entertainment hub of millennials and paradise for extravagant shoppers. Chennai  is that one city the mention of which conjures images of giant IT companies, multiplexes and palatial malls as well as lot of Beaches. However, there is more to this city than these…there is cultural heritage and most importantly a lot of natural attractions! Here is a list of intriguing places that can make Travellers go awe and support the fact that Chennai is just not a Metropolitan City!

The Marina Beach :

”Early Morning Sun Rise”

The Marina is a natural urban sandy beach along the Coramandel coast on the Bay of Bengal. Primarily sandy, the beach spans about 13 km (8.1 mi), running from near Fort St. George in the north to Besant Nagar in the south and is the longest natural urban beach in India.

The Guindy National Park :

”Best place to enjoy with kids and family”

Guindy National Park is a  Protected area of  TamilNadu  located in Chennai, South India, is the 8th smallest National Park Of India and one of the very few national parks situated inside a City. The park is an extension of the grounds surrounding Raj Bhavan, formerly known as the ‘Guindy Lodge’, the official residence of the Governer  of TamilNadu, India It extends deep inside the governor’s estate, enclosing beautiful forests, scrub lands, lakes and streams.

The Kapaleeshwarar Temple :

Kapaleeswarar-Temple                                                               ” A Temple of Shiva”

Kapaleeshwarar Temple located in Mylapore, Chennai in the Indianstate of Tamilnadu. The form of Shiva’s consort parvati worshipped at this temple is called Karpagambal is from Tamil, (“Goddess of the Wish-Yielding Tree”). The temple was built around the 7th century CE in Dravidian architecture.

The Lighthouse :

”We can Feel the Whole Sea ”

The Madras Light House  is a lighthouse facing the Bay of Bengal on the east coast of the Indian Subcontient. It is a famous landmark on the Marina Beach  in Chennai, India. It was built by the East Coast Constructions and Industries in 1976 replacing the old lighthouse in the northern direction. The lighthouse was opened in January 1977. It also houses the meteorological department and was restricted to visitors. On 16 November 2013, it was reopened to visitors. It is one of the few lighthouses in the world with an Elevator It is also the only lighthouse in India within the city limits.

The Vivekanandar Illam :
”Impact on Indian culture and Swamiji’s life”

Vivekanandar Illam or Vivekananda House earlier known as Ice House or Castle Kernan at Chennai, India is an important place for the Ramakrishna Movement in South India. It is remembered as the place where Swami Vivekananda stayed for nine days when he visited Chennai in 1897. Vivekananda House now houses a Permanent Exhibition on Indian Culture and Swamiji’s Life, maintained by the Chennai Branch of the Ramakrishna math and is a source of inspiration to thousands of people who visit it every year.

The Anna Nagar Tower Park :

”Kids Park”

Anna Nagar Tower Park, officially known as Dr. Visveswaraya Tower Park, is an Urban Park in the suburb of Annanagar, Chennai. It is the tallest park tower in Chennai,The park covers an area of 15.35 acres and is one of the few remaining lung spaces in the city. The main component of the park is the 135-foot-tall, 12-storied tower located at the centre of the park. The tower has cyclic ramp spiraling to the top. The tower also has an elevator at the centre. The park, along with the tower, is maintained by the . Chennai Corporation ,The park has an Amphitheatre, a bird-watching deck, badminton courts, play area for kids, a skating rink, a lake, and convenience facilities for the visitors.

The Theosophical society :

“To Promote Brotherhood and Strive to Serve humanity.”

Theosophical society  Known as the “Huddleston Gardens”, the Theosophical Society garden lies on the south bank of the Adyar River and covers 260 acres. The garden has migratory birds, fruit bats, snakes, jackals, wild cats, mongooses, hares, and a variety of spiders. Trees include the rare Mahogany and other trees from across the globe. The garden also had a 450-year-old Banyan tree , which was known locally as Adyar Aala Maram, whose aerial roots covered some 60,000 sq m. It fell under its own weight in 1996.


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