Friday, 7 June 2013

The Difference between Hotels, Serviced Apartments and Holiday Rentals

Hotel, apartment, rental … what’s the difference?

When booking a holiday sometimes the amount of choice of accommodation and terminology used can leave you in a state where you need a holiday to get over booking your first one. 

The three main types of holiday accommodation are hotels, serviced apartments and holiday rentals – here you’ll find an easy to read explanation of the difference between the three.

Starting with a hotel. This is probably the oldest form of holiday accommodation and the easiest to understand. A hotel room is just that – a room. Years ago the room would be basic, with just a bed, cupboard, small table and washstand. Today, hotels have moved on offering modern facilities, en-suite bathrooms, television and mini-bars and in more luxury hotels you’ll find bathrobes, slippers and smellies in the bathroom.

Over the last few years more unusual forms of hotels have cropped up  offering alternative type accommodation from the run of the mill hotel room. Examples include the Maya Guesthouse in Nax Mont-Noble in the Swiss Alps, at an altitude of 1,300 meters is the first hotel in Europe built entirely with straw bales. The Null Stern Hotel in Teufen, Switzerland is a former nuclear bunker which has been transformed into a hotel and possibly the most famous one is the Ice Hotel in JukkasjÀrvi, Sweden, which melts every spring and is rebuilt each winter.

A serviced apartment is a type of furnished apartment available for short-term or long-term stays, which provides amenities for daily use. These can be less expensive than hotel rooms and you benefit from more space, privacy and having kitchen facilities means that you can opt for eating in instead of eating out making an instant saving - if you fancy it. Because of the availability of kitchen facilities in the apartments, normally there are no extra services on offer, such as restaurants and bars. However, some serviced apartments have been built into existing four or five star hotels, and guests in these apartments can make full use of the hotel's facilities at no extra charge.

Holiday rentals are usually privately owned holiday homes, so the variety of accommodation is broad - budget studio apartments to lavish, expensive private villas in some of the world's most desirable locations, some with pricetags of many thousands per night and all the amenities you would find in any luxury accommodation (fully staffed, private beaches, boats, chefs, cooking lessons, etc.) to cater to the guests. The property is fully furnished, a home away from home and, unlike hotels where you can book in for just a few days, holiday rentals are normally rented for weekly stays.

To find a variety of holiday accommodation types available for rental, please visit