Serviced apartments: the case for value

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Serviced apartments offer more than just comfort and amenities, but also cost savings when stacked against a pricey hotel. With kitchens, free Wi-Fi, and fitness centres, serviced apartments offer the same - if not more - features travellers can find at top rate hotels.

Features such as access to a fitness centre can cost travellers nearly 31 per cent more in a four-star hotel in San Francisco, according to analysts from 2nd Address, an online marketplace for furnished apartments. A serviced apartment with fitness centre costs about $203 per night, compared to $266 per night in a four-star hotel or $252 in a three-star hotel.

How do serviced apartment operators price their units as compared to hotels? When travellers come knocking at the door of your serviced apartment, what do they expect you to offer?

Data analysts studied the seven most sought-after features offered by serviced apartments and hotels and how much each feature costs, based on data from 2nd Address and Booking.com.

Paid TV
Serviced apartments allow travellers to feel at home with features such as paid TV services - the ability for them to binge watch their favourite Netflix show during their downtime.

For apartment managers, it costs about $3.60 a day to have cable/satellite TV, according to Fortune. On average, they charge $179 per night for serviced apartments with a paid TV. It's a great deal compared with hotel - a three-star hotel with TV runs about $243 per night and four-star hotel costs $263 per night.

Cleaning Service
Cleaning services are standard for serviced apartments and hotels, but the price difference is huge. Serviced apartments with cleaning services are $192 per night, compared to $239 and $264 per night for three-star and four-star hotels, respectively.

Free Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi, which is a necessity especially to business travellers, doesn't seem so free in hotels. In most hotels, travellers need to purchase Wi-Fi, which ranges from $10 to 20 a day. If a hotel market itself as it has free Wi-Fi, the charge is usually incorporated in the room rate. A four-star hotel with free Wi-Fi charges $267 per night and a three-star hotel charges $238, compared to just $185 per night at a serviced apartment.

Offering free Wi-Fi at your serviced apartments has a high return on investment, as it's easy and cheap to install. The average Internet package costs $1.7 a day, according to highspeedinternet.com.

Kitchen facility
Serviced apartments differentiate themselves from hotels by providing a full-size kitchen, as many travellers like to cook themselves so that they feel more like at home.

Serviced apartments offering a kitchen facility, with stoves, refrigerators, and small appliances, run $193 per night, while three-star hotels charge $215 a night and four-star hotels with a kitchen run $229 per night.

Not to mention, serviced apartments typically are more spacious, providing several useful living areas instead of one big multi-use room, as is found in a hotel. This can be a big attraction for travellers that are combining business travel with leisure.
 
Swimming pool
A swimming pool is a nice-to-have feature that adds to the appeal of a serviced apartment. An apartment with a pool will run $216 a night, meanwhile, access to the same service will cost $246 in a three-star hotel or $262 in a four-star hotel.

Air conditioning
Even an expected amenity such as air conditioning costs travellers more at a hotel. A cool, comfortable room will run about $228 per night in a serviced apartment, meanwhile, those travellers staying in a three-star hotel will pay about $251 a night, and those in a four-star hotel can expect to pay $265 a night.

Austen Chen is the director of strategic partnerships at 2nd Address, an online marketplace of furnished apartments for business travelers.

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