The term "serviced apartment" is used when referring to an alternative for hotel accommodation for short and long-stay leisure and business travelers, but distinctions can made between the different types:
First is the "extended stay Hotel" or "aparthotel," which generally offers a 24 h reception, is located in city centers, and attempts to give the guest a home away from home feeling, within a hotel-like environment. It can range from budget to deluxe, and rooms range from studio apartments (one room that can be used as living area and sleeping area, a little kitchenette and a separate bathroom), to two- or three-bedroom apartments, which offer a separate living area, a kitchen, one or more bathrooms and separate bedrooms.
Because of the availability of kitchen facilities in the apartments, extended stay properties and apart-hotels usually offer no extra services, such as restaurants and bars. However, some extended stay properties have been built as an annex to existing four- or five-star hotels, and the guests in the apartments can make use of the hotel's facilities at no extra charge.
Second is corporate housing. These are residential properties that have been upgraded for shorter term rentals and packaged together with services such as cleaning, utility charges, local taxes, telephone and television for stays of 30 days or more. They can be in city centres but are more often than not on the outskirts of town, within easy access to main business areas.
What both types have in common is that the units are all fully furnished and equipped and the guests will enter a home away from home, with cooking facilities and all modern conveniences such as television, DVD, and internet access. Some are equipped even have luxury features such as European-style gourmet kitchens, generous closet space, full-sized washer and dryer, ceramic tiled bathrooms, oversized tubs, and high-tech wiring/networking capabilities. Having a kitchen means that the client can opt for eating in instead of eating out and so make an instant saving. Other benefits of a serviced apartment include, added space to both work and play, more privacy, and more comfort.