Serviced Apartments – A brief definition by The SPOT

For the past years the hospitality industry has experienced a massive evolution. Many new terms are being used and lots of new concepts developed on the worldwide market.

Here are some of the most common ones:

  • Hotels (classic, everyone knows it!)

  • Hostels (=usually for low budget travelers, young people, who don’t mind sharing rooms with strangers, very limited or no service)

  • Pensions (=often privately-owned smaller properties, which offer rooms and sometimes breakfast)

  • Bed & Breakfast (=room and breakfast)

  • Aparthotels (=Hotels with kitchen(ette))

  • Apartment house (=Serviced Apartments or Boardinghouse)

  • Boardinghouse (old term for serviced apartments or Apartment House)

  • Serviced Apartments (=Definition as below)


  • Shortstay (usually from 1-6 nights)

  • Midstay (usually from 1 week – 3 weeks)

  • Longstay (4 weeks and more)

Also, new trends, such as “homesharing” are revolutionizing the hospitality industry, by offering private homes to business-,as well as, leisure-travelers.

Unfortunately, with all of these great new trends and terms, also a lot of confusion evolves.

What is what? And what should I, as a traveler, expect from my chosen accommodation.

Generally, it’s always good advice to read the descriptions of the properties, prior booking, but we all know that time is limited and many booking platforms somehow hide much of the important information in the fine prints, written in very small letters. (FYI – usually the properties do not have any direct influence on this, but can only provide the necessary information to the platforms and they decide on how to present it.)

But usually, you can already get the most important information from the names of the properties.

Let’s take us as an example: The SPOT – Serviced Apartments

What’s the definition of a serviced apartment/boardinghouse/ Apartment house?

  1. It usually includes an equipped kitchen(ette)

  2. It is serviced, which means, it includes (weekly, bi-weekly) cleaning services, as well as, towels and bedlinen

  3. It has (limited) reception service (e.g. not 24/7, closed on weekends, etc.)

  4. It includes utilities and internet

  5. It usually doesn’t offer any gastronomy services and restaurants

Now, where would you say lies the biggest difference between a classic hotel and serviced apartments?

Sure, they both offer similar services, however, there are a few major differences:

  1. Hotels usually have a 24/7 reception service

  2. Most hotels include daily cleaning

  3. Hotels do not have any cooking equipment or kitchen(ette), except for Aparthotels

  4. The daily rates of hotels are usually higher, since most of them do not focus on longstay-bookings

  5. Most hotels offer gastronomy services/breakfast (included or not included)

Certainly, our industry still has a lot to learn and needs to tidy up the mass of terms, which are flying around and it is certainly working on it.

What can you do as a traveler, in order to get the accommodation, you want?


Inform yourself prior booking about the accommodation you are looking at and try to read all provided information, in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises. We are certainly also very happy to answer all of your questions beforehand, if this means we can help you find the accommodation you desire!

It really means a lot to us, as hosts, that you feel comfortable and enjoy your stays with us. This is why we chose our occupations and this is what makes us happy too.

Happy Guest = Happy Host and the other way around ;)

Thanks for reading!


Cheers, Sabrina