The change in traveller behaviour since the pandemic of 2020 is likely to be bad news for the hotel industry. Research shows that more and more consumers are opting for serviced apartments over a single bedroom in an overpriced hotel because of the flexibility and personalisation they offer (among many other things).
As Gen Z and Millennials become the main demographics for the travel and tourism industry, hotels are finding it increasingly difficult to keep up with evolving demands and trends – without charging a fortune in booking rates -.
Stay tuned as we discuss exactly how serviced apartments are getting ahead of the game and will continue to do so in 2023 compared to hotels.
An Evolving Travel Market
The impact of COVID-19 has forever influenced consumer behaviour and trends. The retail industry has seen an enormous spike in online shopping, while many other tech-lazy retail brands have shut down. The arts, theatre, and performance industries had to reinvent themselves overnight – and the travel industry transformed an unbelievable amount.
Even after the world “opened up” again for travel, we saw a huge rise in demand for serviced accommodation over hotels, as consumers started prioritizing things like longer stays, more space, cleanliness, and the biggest one of all: the easability to work from remote locations.
The pandemic has also brought mental health-related issues to the forefront, and we believe this is also one of the subconscious reasons why serviced apartments are likely to perform better than hotels in the long haul, as hotel rooms are being frequently described as “soulless”, “stuffy”, and too clinical to be able to relax and unwind completely.
Serviced Apartments vs. Hotels
When doing a direct comparison between the guest experience at a serviced apartment, compared to the guest experience at a hotel, it’s easy to see why the former is more in demand. While hotels have that “classical” feel about them – and are still favoured by business travellers, it’s likely that as a new generation of business leaders swoop in, we will eventually see the demise of hotels completely – unless hotel chains start embracing more serviced accommodation style features.
VALUE FOR MONEY
Serviced apartments offer around 30% more space than a standard hotel room. The obvious clue is in the title (an apartment vs a room), as SAs offer the luxury of kitchens, larger bathrooms, more workspace, and even dining rooms.
Shockingly, this doesn’t mean that hotels charge less. As hotel booking rates are, on average, 30 to 50% higher than serviced apartments – which is a lot to do with their branding and positioning themselves in the market.
But when you consider that a hotel room in popular cities in the UK such as Cambridge could easily cost you around £220 per night (where the room is not particularly large) – and you could rent out an entire apartment that can be shared with other adults in the same location, the benefits of SA over hotels are pretty obvious.
PRIVACY AND FLEXIBILITY
Serviced apartments are naturally more “closed off” (but in a secure way) than hotels, as you don’t need to share a thin wall with an absolute stranger.
When staying in a SA, guests are more likely to have the privacy to do their work, unwind, or even have a romantic getaway with a loved one without being disturbed by the hundreds of other guests and employees in a busy hotel.
This style of living also offers more flexibility. Rather than being dictated by the hotel restaurant’s opening hours and strict breakfast rules, guests at a serviced apartment have the luxury of organising their own meals, ordering food, and organising the day at their own pace.
If you require longer stays for business or contractual purposes, serviced apartments are not only more accommodating to this need but more cost-friendly as well. The cost of staying at a serviced apartment for 30 days, compared to staying in a hotel for the same amount of time, is much more reasonable – and excellent if you’re booking for a larger group (for ten parties, business events, etc).
It’s also worth considering that long stays in a single hotel room can eventually become quite suffocating (imagine literally living in one room for a few weeks); and this is likely to negatively impact the overall guest experience. With a serviced apartment, guests can truly make themselves feel at home for longer periods, and even do their own laundry, keep up with their usual workout routines, and eat healthily.
There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground in terms of locations with hotels. You either find yourself smack-bang in the middle of a busy, touristy area – or as far as possible from civilization, depending on how much you’re willing to pay.
Serviced apartments offer a much better choice of different locations, as many of the homes can be easily found in residential settings (for an authentic and more integrated guest experience) or even near stunning resorts and tourist attractions that can just be a short walk away from desirable amenities and public transport links.
Even when booking a furnished apartment, you’ll find that the filters are a lot more specific when it comes to location, and you can find your ideal home in practically any part of the world.
Despite serviced apartments still taking some “getting used to” by a certain generation of travellers, remember, when you book with the right properties (with the right accreditations), then you are 100% protected and safe – as the industry does a good job of keeping regulated now.
Simply look out for logos such as I-PRAC, ABTA, and so forth when booking.
To book fully I-PRAC-approved serviced apartments that guarantee trust and relaxation for guests (more so than hotels), check out our latest properties across various different cities at Luke Stays.