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It’s no secret that renting self-catering accommodation is a better value for money than staying in a hotel room, especially if you plan to stay for an extended period. Travellers can now easily choose accommodation based on their budget and unique circumstances thanks to the abundance of options available online.

Among these possibilities, serviced apartments and Airbnbs have grown in popularity, providing unique stays that go beyond standard hotels. But even with their growing popularity, there’s still some misunderstanding about the similarities and differences between serviced apartments and Airbnbs. While there are many overlapping facts around these two types of accommodation, it is important to understand their differences when booking, as this can help you save time and money on your next trip!

What is a Serviced Apartment?


Serviced apartments, sometimes referred to as corporate housing or extended stay apartments, offer completely furnished spaces ideal for both short- and long-term stays. These accommodations provide an advantage for travellers because they often include utilities, WiFi and parking in the rental price, while also offering hotel-style features like housekeeping and front desk support.

One of the most defining characteristics of serviced apartments is their building management team and guest support services during each stay. These are usually operated by an in-house team within the serviced accommodation provider, ensuring that all of their properties are of a high standard. Plus, their convenient locations and close transport links make them the ideal accommodation alternative for both business and leisure travellers.

What is an Airbnb?


On the other hand, Airbnb is a website that links travellers with private hosts renting out their own property. Airbnb has a wide variety of properties in its portfolio, from private rooms and entire homes to glamping tents and treehouses! And, because hosts on Airbnb are free to choose their own conditions, prices, and home restrictions, guests can have very different experiences depending on where they stay.

Airbnb apartment rentals frequently highlight their potential for unique and customised stays, allowing you to fully engage with the community and live like a local. Although some Airbnb hosts might provide extra services like tour guides or airport transfers, the consistency and degree of professionalism can differ greatly between listings.

So, how are they different?


The truth is that serviced apartment providers are often listing their properties on platforms like Airbnb. This strategic move helps them to take advantage of Airbnb’s significant customer base and attract a larger audience of travellers looking for unique housing experiences. In order to further develop their direct booking channels and corporate interactions, serviced apartment operators frequently use Airbnb as an additional distribution channel, where business travellers and holidaymakers are likely to search for accommodation in the first place.

However, booking directly with a serviced accommodation provider can bring about different advantages for the guest. When guests communicate directly with the host, they can share their preferences and concerns directly, both before and during their stay, taking advantage of faster response times to create a more personalised experience.

Additionally, customers can be eligible for special discounts and offers that are only accessible when making bookings directly via the provider’s website or reservation system. Exploring the listings on their website often results in a greater selection of availability, as providers will often keep some of their inventory exclusively on their website.

Where should I book, then?


All things considered, while Airbnb offers a large range of alternative places to stay, travellers looking to self-cater may discover that booking directly with serviced apartment providers results in a more reliable, open, and consistent experience. By staying in serviced accommodation, you can enjoy the privacy of your own home, as well as the added benefits of housekeeping and maintenance, without having to make any additional budget compromises.

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