As a traveller, something we are always seeking out is the best experiences that a destination has to offer. Whether we are on the lookout for food, accommodation or activities, it has to be the full deal or nothing.
It’s easy enough to read up on the most fun things to do or the best places to eat when you’re picking a good travel spot. The one thing that people often get caught up in, however, is places to stay.
Think about the last time you travelled. Did you think about whether to book an Airbnb / serviced apartment or a hotel stay? What are all the amenities offered during the stay? What’s the safer option? Which choice is the most worth it at the given price point?
The last time I booked my trip, I spent hours on the Airbnb app, looking through the nicest hotels and serviced apartments wondering what the better choice would be. And I’m sure this is a universal experience when picking your accommodation. From my travel experiences, I would say there are a few things we always look for when it comes to accommodation and that is the price, amenities, aesthetics and location!
When it comes down to making the choice, here are some things to take into consideration: the difference between the two choices and what fits your travel needs better.
One of the biggest differences between a serviced apartment and a hotel is the space itself. When it comes to hotels, we are often paying for a bead and breakfast concept. This means you are paying for a nice room and adding on a few more dollars for breakfast. This brings about the biggest difference to a serviced apartment which usually offers an entire stay, including a living area, dining space as well as a kitchen which can be utilised.
While the choice solely depends on the traveller, serviced apartments are usually known to be more worth it for the price. With a varying price range and aesthetics to choose from, serviced apartments often offer guests everything from studio apartments to three-bedroom apartments! For those travelling in groups, or even solo travellers, getting an entire apartment space for a lower price compared to the price we pay for a hotel room is often a better deal for our buck.
Anyone who has stayed in hotels during trips also knows the hassle of having to wake up at specific hours for breakfast. With serviced apartment stays you have the freedom to choose when, where and what you have for breakfast!
As travellers, we are always looking for the best deals. Whether you are a budget traveller or not, it’s always so much nicer to pay a few dollars less for your meals and even your stay.
If you’ve ever been on Agoda, Airbnb or any other booking site, you already know where I’m getting at with the prices. Hotels are obviously beautiful to look at, but you scroll down just a little and get hit with the big three-digit per-day price. While hotels might be the dream of a luxury traveller, for most of us, serviced apartments become the easier choice due to the price alone.
A whole apartment space for half the price of a hotel? Amazing. But what’s even better is you can split this cos with the rest of your friends and often end up paying so little for such a beautiful stay.
Though people have this idea of a hotel being more luxurious than a serviced apartment, travellers have the freedom to choose how fancy they want their apartment. Sometimes you can even find serviced apartment stays in hotels but at a more affordable price!
What’s more authentic? That one is an easy guess. A homestay located nearby all the local grocery stores and market spaces is the best way to immerse in the local culture.
Staying at hotels often mean you are only exposed to the local culture during your outdoor activities. Authenticity is all about connecting with the locals. And if that’s something you are seeking, your stay at an Airbnb is all about that.
Right from your booking process, you are most likely to get in touch with a homeowner who knows the area pretty well. This gives you the opportunity to cover all bases to get to know the area better.
For the full experience, I always make sure to ask about the best diners, the location of the grocery stores and the local spots for the best deals!
Getting a homey-stay
We look for a piece of belonging and home wherever we go. Even when on vacation, we often seek that comfort and homey feeling that makes us feel safe. For many vacationers, serviced apartments are the perfect stay for this reason alone. Getting to stay in a space which is fully furnished, with more than just a bedroom gives them a sense of belonging and safety.
When it comes to hotels, you often get the basics – wardrobe, bed, hair drier and an attached bathroom. Serviced apartments, however, usually offer everything from cutlery to utensils among other things you would find in your very own home.
This sense of belonging is something even thrill seekers often look for at the end of the day. Imagine wandering around in a whole new city, completely different to what you are used to. And then imagine how nice it would be to go back to a place that feels homey rather than a hotel room.
A hotel stay sounds fun but on some occasions, it can turn into quite a hassle. One thing that always gets me about hotels is the extra charges that come with it. Spilled some coffee on your shirt? Laundry charges. Need your room to be tidied up a bit after partying? Housekeeping charges.
Sometimes with hotels, even if you book it for cheap extra charges, it can ring up your bill by a few hundred more. And this is one other reason many nomads love staying at serviced apartments.
Whether you need to do your laundry or tidy up a bit, everything is right there without having to pay for it. The hassle of wanting to wash a shirt while on vacation is something we can all relate to. With serviced apartments, a laundry machine is almost always guaranteed. This allows you to just throw your shirt in the washer without having a second thought about how much laundry service would cost.
Ever booked your flight first and then realised your check-in timing does not align with the flight timing?
As I was booking my last trip, I found myself facing this problem. Suddenly I was scrambling for which hotel can get me an early check-in and a late check-out. With hotels, the biggest issue with changing check-in timings was that either they do not offer it or it comes with an extremely high charge.
This led up to me checking the flexibility of serviced apartments when it came to check-in and check-outs. To my surprise, the hosts are so accommodating and ready to help align things to your flight schedule, and even when there is a fee, it’s much lower than the ones charged at hotels!
The best part about booking serviced apartments compared to hotels is the fact that you are talking to a homeowner instead of an organisation. This human touch to your booking conversation makes it more accommodating and inviting, compared to the very cooperative feel of booking a hotel.
While the debate of serviced apartments vs hotels solely depends on the traveller, when it comes to destinations such as the Maldives, there is one clear winner – serviced apartments. With the budget-friendly pricing, ideal locations as well as the general feel of the apartments being as nice as a hotel, you might as well save a buck and book your stay at a nice serviced apartment!
Read more about:
Sign up for our newsletter
Enter your email to receive the latest news and updates from IMMaldives