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Apartment hotel

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A kitchenette at a Homewood Suites

An apartment hotel (also known as extended stay) is a hotel that has some features of apartments. Apartment hotels are popular in the United States, and they also exist in some other countries, such as Canada and many Asian countries. In some cases, they are used by regular pleasure and business travelers, but they are designed for longer term use, such as by those who are spending a significant amount of time in an area away from home, or are in transition between houses.

Apartment hotels differ from traditional hotels and motels in a variety of ways. Frequently, they offer housekeeping service less often if at all and do not replace linens as often. At the same time, they may provide other amenities absent from other hotels, such as full kitchens. Some chains rent their rooms for a minimum of one week. Stays of less than a week are permitted, provided that a full week is paid for, and in some cases, this can be less than the nightly rate at traditional hotels in the same market.

Some apartment hotels do not have round-the-clock service in their office, and some do not have weekend office hours, thereby limiting the hours of check-in and checkout. They may require a security deposit, though rarely do they perform credit checks. The checkout process may include a damage inspection, in which any damage done to the room or the hotel's property will be deducted from the security deposit before it is refunded. In some places, one may be able to stay at an extended stay hotel without having to pay traditional hotel taxes if the stay is a month or longer.

Like traditional hotels, apartment hotels come in all classes. These range from budget chains like InTown Suites and Value Place to luxury brands like Residence Inn. There are also many such properties that are not part of a chain. Rooms vary in size and layout. Some apartment hotels have been made from converted traditional hotels, so their layout may be unlike the blueprint for one by a chain.

Also like traditional hotels, apartment hotels vary in quality. Even within the same chain, one property can be very nice, clean, and pleasant, while another could be run down, dirty, and neglected. Like traditional hotels, there are many factors behind this. To learn about an individual property, read the reviews of the property written by former guests.

When to consider an apartment hotel[edit]

Apartment hotels are useful for many reasons, including lengthy vacations or work assignments away from home, one who is between houses, one who has lost one's residence due to unforeseen circumstances, one who has recently relocated due to starting a new job, or one who is going through a divorce or separation.

There are various reasons to consider an apartment hotel as opposed to a traditional hotel. The main reason is economics. Is it cheaper to spend the amount of time you plan to stay in a traditional or an apartment hotel? Many apartment hotels rent their rooms by the bulk of time, so spending just a few nights there will cost more than a traditional hotel, while spending a few weeks or longer will be a bargain.

Also worth considering is how much you are willing to take care of your needs. Many travelers enjoy the daily housekeeping service, free unlimited use of linens that are replaced daily, and the provisions of personal products such as soap, shampoo, and toilet paper. An extended stay facility provides less of this, if any. The guest is expected to provide all or most of it at their own expense. This extra expense could in some cases negate the savings. Besides, the guest would be required to travel to a store to buy it, which may prove difficult to one who does not have a vehicle or is unfamiliar with an area.

The provision of food is another consideration. Many travelers have no trouble indulging themselves in prepared food for every single meal, either from a restaurant on- or off-site or from the room service offered by the hotel. Restaurant food typically comes at a higher cost than store-bought, home-prepared food. This may be a special treat to one who is vacationing, but for one who is temporarily living somewhere, this increases the cost of living.

Apartment hotels are built with the expectation that food is prepared much like it is in the home. With a full-sized refrigerator, microwave oven, and stove provided, this allows for the preparation of quite a variety of food types. One is not limited to TV dinners, but can also prepare dishes like in their own kitchen. Over a long period of time, this cost savings is beneficial.

Apartment hotels as a permanent residence[edit]

In some cases, an apartment hotel can be considered as a permanent residence. There may be some advantages to this, and such arrangements may be suitable to some people, such as those with an uncertain future, with bad credit that makes renting an apartment difficult, or who wish to live simply. Apartment hotels allow one to move out at any time one wishes, as opposed to traditional apartments, where one must wait until the end of a leasing term, which could be up to a year.

One who makes an apartment hotel their permanent residence pays one flat price for the rental, and unlike in a house or apartment, does not have to pay for their furniture, utilities, cable TV, internet connectivity, and often, local phone calls. This may be an option for one who brings in enough income to pay the daily, weekly, or monthly rent, and still leaves behind a surplus to cover other expenses, such as food, transportation, and health care. Altogether, monthly income, whether from employment or other sources, should exceed monthly expenses.

The ability to use an apartment hotel for this purpose may be limited by the policies of the company or property and the laws of the jurisdiction. Some jurisdictions have laws restricting the amount of time one can remain at a single hotel property, including an apartment hotel. And some chains and individual locations also place time limits. Check with management before making such consideration.

Those using an apartment hotel as a permanent residence also lack various rights afforded to apartment tenants in the law. This importantly includes the ability to challenge or delay a pending eviction. While apartment tenants must be sued in court to be evicted, which buys time to come up with the money to pay rent or find a new place to live, apartment hotels can evict tenants with little or no notice and without a court hearing, leaving them and their belongings out in the street, sometimes with just minutes notice. This can happen through no fault of the tenant at all, and can be purely a business decision on the part of the management. Find out what the laws are in the jurisdiction where you plan to stay and the policies of the company and facility.

Some apartment hotel chains[edit]

More than two dozen apartment hotel chains exist in the United States. These include:

  • Extended Stay America
  • Homestead Suites
  • InTown Suites
  • Residence Inn by Marriott
  • Staybridge Suites
  • Studio 6
  • Value Place

There are also many apartment hotels that are not part of a chain, especially in urban areas.

See also[edit]

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