What Is Serviced Accommodation UK?
Serviced accommodation is becoming an increasingly popular accommodation type across the UK, especially in major cities and tourist destinations. But what exactly is serviced accommodation and what does it offer compared to other accommodation options?
Essentially, serviced accommodation provides guests with comfortable, flexible, self-contained accommodation combined with regular housekeeping and maintenance services. It aims to deliver an experience similar to a hotel stay but with added space, privacy and amenities geared towards longer stays.
Fully Equipped Home Away From Home
The key defining feature of a serviced apartment or house is that it is fully equipped with all the facilities and amenities needed for both short getaways and long-term stays. Serviced apartments provide spacious, thoughtfully designed living areas, well-equipped kitchens, comfortable bedrooms and modern bathrooms. Guests can enjoy facilities including Wi-Fi, flat-screen televisions, DVD players and iPod docks.
What sets quality serviced accommodation apart from other types of self-catering accommodation is the high standards of furnishings, appliances and overall attention to detail. Serviced accommodation properties should feature high-quality beds and linens, sumptuous soft furnishings and plenty of storage for clothes and luggage. They aim to provide a “home away from home” environment.
Kitchens or kitchenettes come fully equipped with all the appliances, cookware and utensils required for self-catering. This includes essentials like stoves, ovens, microwaves, dishwashers, refrigerators and freezers, as well as smaller appliances like kettles, toasters and coffee makers. Kitchens are usually stocked with basic cooking ingredients, tableware, cutlery and glassware. Such facilities allow guests the convenience of preparing meals in-house.
In addition to premium accommodation facilities, serviced apartments provide regular housekeeping and maintenance services. Services can be customised based on the client’s preferences and requirements. Standard housekeeping services include cleaning, bed-making, laundering of linens and towels, disposal of rubbish and periodic upkeep like dusting and vacuuming.
Some providers also offer specialised or more frequent services like daily housekeeping, linen and towel changes, shopping services and restocking of pantries or cleaning supplies. Additional services like airport transfers, car rentals, travel bookings, dry cleaning, laundry services and babysitting can also be arranged upon request. Such customisable services make serviced accommodation ideal for both leisure and business travellers seeking maximum convenience during their stay.
Location and Choice
Serviced apartments are found in most major UK cities like London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham and Cardiff. Availability is highest in destinations which attract large numbers of business travellers who need spacious, flexible accommodation. As demand grows, quality serviced apartments are now found countrywide including in historic towns, university cities and even rural areas. They are especially prevalent near city financial districts, business parks, exhibition centres and tourist attractions.
Serviced accommodation offers tremendous choice, available in studio, one, two and three-bedroom layouts to suit solo travellers, couples, families and groups. Accommodation ranges from modern high-rise apartments to cosy cottages and unique historic buildings converted into serviced residences. Guests can choose based on preferred locations, space, length of stay, amenities, services and, of course, budget. Reputable providers ensure quality benchmarks are met across their entire accommodation portfolio.
Business and Leisure Travel
A growth driver for serviced accommodation is its immense popularity with business travellers who require professional lodging solutions. Companies frequently arrange long-stay accommodation for project teams, relocating employees or visiting executives and VIPs. Serviced apartments score highly for providing spacious, comfortable environments optimal for productivity. Fully equipped kitchens, dining areas and living rooms allow travelling professionals to continue their daily work routines. Some even include workstations or designated office areas. Complimentary Wi-Fi enables effective remote working. Such facilities make serviced apartments ideal for extended corporate stays.
Meanwhile, leisure travellers are drawn to the extra space, flexibility, cost savings and amenities serviced apartments offer compared to hotels, especially for longer holidays or family getaways. Groups appreciate multiple bedrooms, customisable services like daily housekeeping and self-catering facilities for convenience. Tourists have more living areas to relax and unwind after a busy day’s sightseeing. Overall, serviced accommodation appeals to business and leisure guests seeking an independent, customisable accommodation experience.
Booking Ease and Cost Savings
A significant advantage of quality serviced apartments is the associated cost savings compared to equivalent hotel rooms, especially for longer stays exceeding 5 nights. With fully equipped kitchens, guests can save substantially by preparing meals in-house rather than eating out for every meal. More space and customisable services provide added value without the expense of upgrading to larger hotel suites. Self-catering and onsite laundry also reduce incidental costs that mount up when relying on room service and hotel laundries. Group and long-stay discounts can cut costs further.
Reputable providers enable easy online booking comparable to hotels. Guests can conveniently browse listings, check unit sizes and availability at specific locations, read past guest reviews and directly book accommodation matching their needs and dates. Most accept online payments with flexible cancellation policies akin to hotels. Some providers even offer loyalty programs providing additional savings for frequent guests. Overall, booking serviced apartments is simple while providing noteworthy value for money over conventional hotels.
The Growth of Sharing Economy Lodging
The rising popularity of serviced apartments ties in with the explosive growth in shared economy hospitality led by companies like AirBnB. However while AirBnB units merely provide peer-to-peer accommodation rentals, quality serviced apartments differentiate by incorporating exceptional design, facilities and services meeting stringent industry benchmarks. Reputable providers conduct rigorous apartment vetting and training of housekeeping staff to ensure uniformly high standards matching hotel-standard ratings. This explains the rise of professional serviced apartment providers focused on maintaining consistently high accommodation and service standards across locations to meet the expectations of discerning business and leisure travellers.
The Future Looks Bright
With demand expanding across corporate, government, diplomatic and consumer sectors, industry experts predict rosy prospects for the serviced accommodation sector. The UK serviced apartment market is forecasted to grow over 25% from 2022 to 2027 as this lodging segment wins greater market share from hotels. Serviced apartment operators are responding by expanding nationwide. More luxury urban developments now incorporate serviced apartments alongside residential, office and retail space. Tourist destinations are welcoming more serviced holiday rentals. Even remote rural areas are providing charming serviced holiday cottages and farm-stays.
As guests seek greater lodging flexibility, choices and value, quality-assured serviced accommodation delivering home-style comforts, customisable services and cost savings looks set to establish itself as the discerning traveller’s accommodation of choice across Britain.
Serviced accommodation brings together the convenience and services of hotels with the spaciousness, flexibility and self-catering facilities which come with apartment or house rentals. Quality serviced apartments provide premium in-room amenities, customisable services, spacious fully equipped living spaces and cost savings that make them attractive for both extended business and leisure travels. With demand expanding countrywide, convenient online booking portals make reviewing and choosing between the best-serviced residences simpler than ever before. Overall serviced accommodation looks positioned to deliver the optimal blend of services, facilities, flexibility and value needed to exceed guest expectations and continue reshaping Britain’s hospitality landscape for the better.