The international business traveller is a different animal to what they once were. Corporate suits sealing the big deals over dinner and then hitting the bars are dwindling as a face from the past. The new face of the corporate traveller is more in line with the open-minded, experience-seeking Millennial. Their wants and needs are different to the international businessman of the past, and as we’ve found, are far more suited to finding a home-away-from-home, as opposed to a more traditional luxury drop-in, that’s little more than somewhere to sleep.
Advantages of serviced apartments
1. There’s so much more space
An apartment will offer up to half as much space again over what a traveller would typically get from a hotel room. If a few people are sharing, whether it’s family or a handful of colleagues, there’s always somewhere to go to avoid getting under each other’s feet.
There’s also a real sofa and a proper-size TV. A real sofa. No more squinting at a tiny screen mounted high in the corner from a single, stiff chair propped up against a wall…
2. You have a real kitchen
Creating a schedule that’s more in line with how they’d operate at home, gives our business traveller room to relax, to feel like they’re living, instead of treading water until they can get back to their usual life.
One of the biggest contributors is being able to make the meals they usually would and when they would. Restaurant dining may be a lovely luxury, but when you’re trying to retain a sense of normality, a kitchen and a fridge full of your own creature comforts are invaluable.
3. There’s much more freedom
Living in an apartment, there are no such things as a mealtime schedule or services and sittings. You don’t have to be in and out at certain times.
Do you need to hold a meeting? There’s no need to book a conference suite, just clear the dining room table and put on a fresh pot coffee.
4. You have more privacy and security
In an apartment, there’s far less chance of being disturbed by noisy guests, cleaners or other service staff. If you need a break from your colleagues or family, there’s enough room for that too. And as the only people with access to the apartment, everything you take with you is so much safer too.
5. A real home-from-home
This is the real bonus of staying in an apartment. Your temporary ‘life-on-the-road’ lifestyle can be moulded into as near to the one you have at home as possible. You have the freedom to eat, relax, and sleep, as you want, in an environment that feels like you’re much more than a temporary fixture.
6. It’s cost-effective
There’s a good chance you’ll always be able to find a great deal on a hotel, especially with the online platforms fighting to earn your booking, but an apartment can be far more cost-effective for many travellers.
If you’re travelling as part of a group, several hotel rooms will add up to quite a significant cost. The added extras of dining out, meal surcharges, and the dreaded mini-bar, will all bump up your total bill. So much of those additional costs can be contained by apartment living and could stand to save you quite a sum.
7. Your apartment has a unique personality
For many travellers, the anonymity of a hotel room and its lifestyle is just what they need during a short-term stay. For anything a little longer, it can start to feel claustrophobic and soulless.
Every apartment has its own personality, fittings and furnishings. It doesn’t take long for an apartment to feel like home and much less like a temporary measure while your usual life is put on hold.
Advantages of staying in a hotel
1. Your room is always clean and tidy
I can remember my first handful of hotel visits—a mix of business and pleasure trips, and my favourite part of both was watching my tip of a room be restored to its pristine state by the magic tidying and cleaning fairies.
It’s considered a small thing, but it’s a huge luxury not having to make any effort in putting life straight again after each busy day.
2. Effortless dining, without the work or the cleaning up
I don’t usually eat breakfast, but when I stay in a hotel, I need a 3-hour nap to get over the indulgence of the magical affair.
The selection of meals available from your hotel restaurant is excellent, as is the quality of the food and its preparation. There’s no cooking to take care of and no tidying up or pots to wash afterwards. What’s not to love?
3. There’s an army of helpers ready to serve
At the reception desk, at the end of a phone, or secretly performing behind the scenes, it’s almost always somebody else’s job to take care of your every whim and want. From booking a taxi, a restaurant, pressing your trousers, or bringing you a tuna melt when you haven’t got the energy to leave your room—there’s a member of the hotel staff to provide you with whatever you want.
4. Complete anonymity
As much as a hotel stay can be considered a faceless and soulless experience, that’s often just what so many of us need from a short business visit.
If you’re only in town for a day or two, it’s a great chance to treat it as a mini-break in between work commitments. Take in some of the sights, eat some of the local cultural street food, and go people-watching in a city-centre café or bar; then drift back to your hotel room and fall into your ready-made bed. It’s a little taste of luxury without the commitment or hard work.
5. Unrivalled leisure facilities
It’s quite unlikely your apartment will have a complete working gym, a swimming pool, a restaurant, a spa, a masseur, a personal trainer, a trained chef, a laundry, maybe even a tennis court and a golf course… shall I go on?
6. Central locations
The major chains are sure to have a hotel right at the heart of the action. Everything is accessible and without the fuss. Whatever you choose to do and however you’d like to spend your time in between conferences or functions, it’s all on your doorstep.
7. Your work trip will feel like a holiday
Enjoying the luxuries a hotel brings—the lack of responsibility and effort your stay requires—and the teams behind the scenes making sure everything is taken care of for you, can leave you feeling basked in luxury. Does that sound like work to you?
This world is made up of over 7 billion people, all quite unique, with different tastes, desires, needs, and ideas of what’s hot and what’s not. It would be remiss of us to say either one of our options—serviced apartment or hotel room—is an out-and-out winner when every guest is so different. Only you can decide what you want, and how you want it packaged.
What we can tell you, though, is, if you’re taking a trip, for work or pleasure, we can help you find a beautiful apartment in many of the European capitals or major cities that will take your break to the next level. Why not give it a try? You might be missing out on everything you’ve ever wanted.