Accommodation is a big deal in the travel industry, especially when it comes to where people stay. UK households splash out more than £20 billion on places to crash every year, whether it’s in the UK or somewhere sunny abroad. The heavyweight in this game is hotels and similar spots that offer a helping hand in making your stay comfy. Back in 2018, hotels raked in a whopping £21 billion, leaving other types of digs trailing far behind.
Now, when it comes to places you can crash in the UK, there are two main categories: serviced and non-serviced. Serviced spots are where you get a bit of extra love, like meals and a tidy-up service. Think hotels, guesthouses, and good old bed and breakfast joints. On the flip side, non-serviced spots are more hands-off. They’re the self-catering kind of places, like rented apartments, youth hostels, holiday parks, campsites, and motorhomes. Each has its vibe, but they all play a part in the accommodation game.
If you’re thinking about going for an apartment, you’ll probably run into the terms ‘serviced’ and ‘non-serviced.’
What is a serviced accommodation?
A ‘serviced accommodation’ is a furnished place you can stay in for a short or long period. It’s got everything you need to feel at home – space to chill, phone and Wi-Fi, and the rent covers utilities and local taxes. Oh, and it’s serviced, meaning you get housekeeping, 24/7 customer support, and beefed-up security. Some places, like Dolphin Square, go all out with on-site staff, round-the-clock reception, and fancy guest perks.
These apartments are run by pros and up for rent all year round.
If a place, like Dolphin Square, is part of The ASAP (The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers), it means they’ve promised to keep things top-notch. That includes a ‘Stay with Confidence promise’ covering customer care, safety, and security.
Why do people dig serviced apartments? Well, they’re great for all sorts – business pros on short trips, executives needing a long-term spot, families and groups on holiday, and folks moving during home renovations. They’re flexible, private, and darn convenient.
What is a non-serviced accommodation?
A non-serviced apartment is a place you can crash for a short or long period of time. It’s often privately owned and rented out, maybe through a site like Airbnb. These places vary in size, style, and quality, and they can be fully, semi, or unfurnished.
As the name suggests, these apartments aren’t serviced. That means no security, no housekeeping—none of those extras.
And it’s not just apartments; non-serviced digs can include things like cottages or caravans.
For short stays, these apartments might only be up for grabs when the owner’s away. If it’s a longer deal, a letting agent might be in the picture.
This kind of place could work for someone moving to a new city or as a short-term spot for a group or family holiday.
Serviced vs non-serviced accommodations: The key differences
Here’s a quick rundown of the good and not-so-great bits about non-serviced apartments:
PROS OF NON-SERVICED ACCOMMODATION:
- Lots of options if you know where to look
- DIY meals
- Many have a washing machine or laundry access
- Can be budget-friendly
- Hidden gems to discover
- Feels like a home away from home
CONS OF NON-SERVICED ACCOMMODATION:
- Limited security
- Dealing with private property owners has its risks
- No staff on-site
- Quality can be hit or miss, no guarantees
- No set health and safety standards
- Might take some digging to find your perfect match
- Extra guests could shake things up during your stay
PROS OF SERVICED ACCOMMODATION:
- DIY cooking setup
- Lots of choices
- Customer support around the clock, depending on the place
- Housekeeping is part of the deal
- Utilities and local taxes sorted
- Quality assurance from accrediting bodies
- Pros at the helm
- Easy access to booking sites and renting tips
- Security measures like electronic safes, CCTV, and doormen
- Often in prime spots
- Bonus amenities like gyms, pools, bars, and restaurants in some places
- Extending your stay is a breeze
- Many are family-friendly
- Feels like home but with hotel perks
- Hosting guests is flexible, depending on COVID rules
- Good bang for your buck
CONS OF SERVICED ACCOMMODATION:
- Some places have strict cancellation terms
- Facilities on-site can vary, no guarantee of a gym, restaurant, reception, or parking
- Limited or zero staff at more residential-style spots
- Around 80% occupancy, so better book early to avoid missing out
Why choose a serviced accommodation?
In simple terms, serviced accommodation has most of the advantages of a non-serviced apartment but throws in extra convenience and luxury.
The big difference is the level of customer care – it’s a step up. This means a better experience and peace of mind, thanks to added security and immediate help if anything goes sideways.
Regular cleaning and fresh linens save you the hassle of managing housekeeping during your stay, giving you more time to kick back and enjoy.
A serviced apartment is like having the best of both worlds. You get the luxury and top-notch service of a quality hotel, mixed with the freedom, flexibility, and homely vibe of a private rental. It’s a chance to live like a local while enjoying the perks of being a valued guest.
Go for an ASAP accredited provider, and you can chill, knowing you’ll get a consistent level of care, security, and quality assurance, all handled by committed pros.
You get to choose how you use your space, and many places offer extra perks. Plus, these spots are often in prime locations with great transport links and cool local spots to check out.