If you’re planning a long-term stay away from home, you might be considering extended stay hotels as an option. These unique accommodations offer a home away from home, providing the amenities of a hotel with the comforts of an apartment. In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of extended stay hotels, giving you a clearer picture of what to expect and helping you make an informed decision for your next trip. Whether you’re traveling for work or leisure, read on to discover the advantages and disadvantages of this popular lodging option.
What are Extended Stay Hotels?
Extended stay hotels are accommodations that are specifically designed for longer stays, typically lasting a week or more. These hotels offer a variety of amenities and services to make your extended stay comfortable and convenient. Whether you are traveling for business, relocating, or in need of temporary housing, extended stay hotels can provide a home away from home experience.
Definition of extended stay hotels
Extended stay hotels are hotels that cater to guests who require accommodations for an extended period of time. These hotels typically offer rooms with additional space, kitchen facilities, and amenities that make longer stays more comfortable. They are equipped with the necessary amenities to meet the needs of guests who prefer a home-like environment during their stay.
Features and amenities of extended stay hotels
Extended stay hotels offer a range of features and amenities to ensure a pleasant and convenient stay. Some common features include spacious rooms or suites, fully equipped kitchens, workspaces, laundry facilities, and access to fitness centers or pools. Many extended stay hotels also provide complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi, and parking. These amenities make it easier for guests to maintain their routine and feel at home during an extended stay.
Pros of Staying in Extended Stay Hotels
When considering whether to stay in an extended stay hotel, there are several advantages to keep in mind. These pros can make your stay more affordable, convenient, and enjoyable.
Extended stay hotels generally offer lower rates than traditional hotels. Since they cater to longer stays, they are able to provide discounts for guests who book for a week or more. This makes extended stay hotels an economical option for travelers, especially those on a budget or those who want to save on accommodation costs.
Extended stay hotels prioritize convenience and cater to the needs of their guests. They offer amenities such as fully equipped kitchens, which allow guests to prepare their own meals and save money on dining out. Additionally, many extended stay hotels provide laundry facilities, making it easy for guests to take care of their laundry without having to use outside services.
One of the biggest advantages of staying in an extended stay hotel is having access to a fully equipped kitchen. This allows you to cook your own meals, giving you the freedom to choose what you eat and saving you money on dining expenses. Whether you prefer to whip up a quick breakfast in the morning or enjoy a home-cooked dinner in the evening, having a kitchen at your disposal adds convenience and flexibility to your stay.
One of the main benefits of extended stay hotels is the spaciousness of the rooms or suites. Unlike traditional hotel rooms, extended stay accommodations are designed to provide guests with more space to relax and unwind. This extra room allows for separate living and sleeping areas, providing a more comfortable and home-like experience.
Flexibility in length of stay
Extended stay hotels offer flexibility when it comes to the length of your stay. Whether you need accommodations for a week, a month, or even longer, extended stay hotels can accommodate your needs. Unlike traditional hotels, which may have restrictions on length of stay, extended stay hotels are designed to cater to guests requiring longer stays.
Access to amenities
Extended stay hotels often provide a range of amenities to enhance your stay. These may include fitness centers, swimming pools, business centers, complimentary breakfast, and Wi-Fi. These amenities are designed to make your extended stay more enjoyable and convenient, offering a variety of options to help you relax or stay productive during your time away from home.
Cons of Staying in Extended Stay Hotels
While there are many advantages to staying in extended stay hotels, there are also some drawbacks to consider before making your decision.
Lack of personalized service
Extended stay hotels may not provide the same level of personalized service as traditional hotels. Since extended stay hotels cater to longer stays, they may not have the same level of attention to individual guest needs. While staff members are typically attentive and responsive, the focus may be more on providing a comfortable and convenient stay rather than personalized service.
Extended stay hotels often offer limited housekeeping services compared to traditional hotels. While your room will be cleaned before your arrival, housekeeping may be less frequent during your stay. This can be a drawback for guests who prefer daily housekeeping or those who value a high level of cleanliness throughout their stay.
Limited on-site dining options
While many extended stay hotels offer fully equipped kitchens, there may be limited on-site dining options available. Extended stay hotels typically do not have full-service restaurants or room service, which means you may need to venture outside the hotel for dining options. However, this can also be an opportunity to explore local restaurants and cuisines in the surrounding area.
Limited facilities and services
Extended stay hotels may have fewer facilities and services compared to traditional hotels. While they often provide basic amenities such as fitness centers and laundry facilities, they may not have extensive recreational or dining options on-site. If you are looking for a wide range of facilities and services within the hotel itself, a traditional hotel may be a better fit for you.
Potentially less social interaction
Extended stay hotels can be less conducive to social interaction compared to traditional hotels. Since guests are often staying for longer periods of time and may be focused on work or other obligations, there may be fewer opportunities for socializing with fellow guests. If social interaction and community atmosphere are important to you, a traditional hotel or alternative accommodation option may be a better choice.
Factors to Consider Before Choosing Extended Stay Hotels
When deciding whether extended stay hotels are the right option for your needs, there are several important factors to consider.
Length of stay
The length of your stay is an important factor to consider when choosing between extended stay hotels and other accommodation options. If you are only staying for a few days, a traditional hotel may be more suitable. However, if you require accommodations for a week or longer, extended stay hotels are designed to meet your needs.
Your budget is another key factor to consider when choosing accommodations. Extended stay hotels often offer lower rates than traditional hotels, making them a more affordable option for longer stays. Consider your budget and how much you are willing to spend on accommodations when making your decision.
The location of the extended stay hotel is also an important consideration. Think about the proximity to your workplace, attractions, and amenities that are important to you. If you will be spending a significant amount of time in a specific area, it may be beneficial to choose an extended stay hotel that is conveniently located.
Purpose of stay
Consider the purpose of your stay when choosing between an extended stay hotel and other accommodation options. If you are traveling for business, you may prioritize convenience and amenities that cater to business travelers. If you are relocating or need temporary housing, an extended stay hotel can offer a comfortable and convenient solution.
Amenities and services required
Think about the amenities and services that are important to you during your stay. If you require access to a fitness center, laundry facilities, or a fully equipped kitchen, an extended stay hotel may be the best option. Consider your needs and preferences when selecting an accommodation that provides the amenities and services you require.
Comparing Extended Stay Hotels with Traditional Hotels
To help you make an informed decision, it’s important to compare extended stay hotels with traditional hotels. Here are some key factors to consider.
Extended stay hotels generally offer lower rates for longer stays compared to traditional hotels. However, for shorter stays, traditional hotels may have more competitive rates. Consider the length of your stay and compare the costs of both options to determine which is more cost-effective for your specific needs.
Room size and amenities
Extended stay hotels typically offer more spacious rooms or suites compared to traditional hotels. These accommodations often include fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas, and other amenities designed for longer stays. Traditional hotels may have smaller rooms and limited amenities in comparison.
Flexibility in check-in/check-out
Extended stay hotels provide more flexibility in terms of check-in and check-out times compared to traditional hotels. Since they cater to longer stays, guests have the option to check in earlier or check out later, depending on their needs. Traditional hotels may have stricter check-in and check-out times due to higher turnover rates.
Customer service and housekeeping
Traditional hotels often offer a higher level of customer service and more frequent housekeeping services compared to extended stay hotels. If personalized service and daily housekeeping are important to you, a traditional hotel may be the better choice. However, extended stay hotels still prioritize the comfort and satisfaction of their guests and strive to provide a pleasant stay.
Social interaction and community
Traditional hotels tend to have a more vibrant social atmosphere compared to extended stay hotels. With a higher turnover rate and guests staying for shorter durations, traditional hotels offer more opportunities for social interaction and a sense of community. If socializing and mingling with fellow guests is important to you, a traditional hotel may be more suitable.
Tips for Getting the Best Experience in Extended Stay Hotels
To make the most of your extended stay hotel experience, follow these tips:
Research and read reviews
Before booking an extended stay hotel, research different options and read reviews from previous guests. This will give you a better understanding of the hotel’s reputation, amenities, and overall experience. Look for reviews that mention the specific features or services that are important to you.
Consider loyalty programs or memberships
Many extended stay hotel chains offer loyalty programs or memberships that provide various benefits and discounts. Consider joining these programs to take advantage of special offers and rewards. This can help enhance your stay and save you money in the long run.
Communicate your needs and preferences
When booking your stay, communicate any specific needs or preferences to the hotel. Whether it’s a room on a higher floor, extra pillows, or a specific dietary requirement, letting the hotel know in advance will help ensure that your needs are met and you have a comfortable stay.
Explore the surroundings
Take the time to explore the surroundings of your extended stay hotel. Whether it’s exploring local attractions, trying out different restaurants, or discovering nearby parks or recreational areas, immersing yourself in the area will enhance your overall experience.
Maintain cleanliness and organization
Since extended stay hotels may have limited housekeeping services, it’s important to maintain cleanliness and organization during your stay. Keep your living space tidy, wash dishes promptly, and dispose of trash regularly to ensure a comfortable and hygienic environment.
Interact with fellow guests
While extended stay hotels may offer fewer opportunities for social interaction compared to traditional hotels, you can still make the effort to connect with fellow guests. Attend hotel events or gatherings, strike up conversations in common areas, or join online communities for extended stay hotel guests. This can help create a sense of community and make your stay more enjoyable.
Extended Stay Hotels vs. Other Accommodation Options
When considering extended stay hotels, it’s important to compare them with other accommodation options that may also be suitable for longer stays.
Renting an apartment is a popular option for longer stays. It provides a more residential experience and offers greater privacy and autonomy. However, apartment rentals may require a longer-term lease commitment and may lack the convenience and amenities provided by extended stay hotels.
Vacation rentals are another option for extended stays. They offer the comforts of home while allowing you to explore new destinations. Vacation rentals can range from cabins and beach houses to apartments and condos. However, availability may vary depending on the location and time of year, and they may not offer the same level of services and conveniences as extended stay hotels.
Corporate housing is often provided to employees who are on temporary assignments or relocations. These accommodations are typically fully furnished apartments or houses that cater to the needs of business travelers. Corporate housing can offer a more comfortable and personalized experience, but availability may be limited and it may not be suitable for individual travelers or shorter stays.
Conventional long-term leases
For those planning to stay in a specific location for an extended period of time, signing a conventional long-term lease may be an option. This provides stability and the opportunity to create a home in the desired location. However, long-term leases require a significant commitment and may not be suitable for those who prefer flexibility or are uncertain about their length of stay.
Popular Extended Stay Hotel Chains
If you decide that an extended stay hotel is the right choice for your needs, here are some popular hotel chains to consider:
Marriott Residence Inn
Marriott Residence Inn is a well-known extended stay hotel chain that offers spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas, and complimentary breakfast. With locations worldwide, Marriott Residence Inn provides consistent quality and a range of amenities to enhance your stay.
Homewood Suites by Hilton
Homewood Suites by Hilton offers comfortable and spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, complimentary breakfast, and evening socials. Their focus on providing a home away from home experience makes them a popular choice for extended stay travelers.
Candlewood Suites is another popular extended stay hotel chain known for its affordable rates and home-like amenities. They offer fully equipped kitchens, a 24-hour fitness center, and free laundry facilities. Candlewood Suites locations can be found in various cities across the United States.
Extended Stay America
Extended Stay America is a budget-friendly extended stay hotel chain that offers affordable rates and fully equipped kitchens in all of their rooms. They also provide complimentary grab-and-go breakfasts, Wi-Fi, and a guest laundry facility. With numerous locations throughout the United States, Extended Stay America is a convenient option for extended stays.
TownePlace Suites by Marriott
TownePlace Suites by Marriott offers spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, separate living areas, and complimentary breakfast. They also provide amenities such as fitness centers, laundry facilities, and free Wi-Fi. With locations in major cities across the United States, TownePlace Suites is a trusted choice for extended stay travelers.
How to Book Extended Stay Hotels
Booking an extended stay hotel is a straightforward process. Here are some common methods you can use to make your reservation.
Online booking platforms
Using online booking platforms such as Expedia, Booking.com, or Airbnb is a popular way to book extended stay hotels. These platforms allow you to compare different options, read reviews, and make your reservation online. They often provide detailed information about the hotel, room types, and amenities, making it easier to find the right accommodation for your needs.
Directly through hotel websites
Many extended stay hotel chains have their own websites where you can find detailed information about their properties, amenities, and rates. Booking directly through the hotel’s website allows you to take advantage of any special offers or loyalty programs they may have. It also gives you the opportunity to communicate any specific needs or preferences directly with the hotel.
If you prefer a more personalized approach, you can also book an extended stay hotel through a travel agency. Travel agencies have access to a wide range of accommodations and can help you find the best option for your needs. They can also provide additional services such as transportation or tour arrangements to enhance your overall travel experience.
Extended stay hotels offer a comfortable and convenient solution for travelers in need of accommodations for longer stays. With their affordability, convenience, and amenities, they provide a home away from home experience. While there are some drawbacks to consider, such as limited housekeeping and potentially less social interaction, extended stay hotels are a popular choice for those seeking flexibility, spaciousness, and the comforts of a fully equipped kitchen. By considering the length of your stay, budget, location, and desired amenities, you can make an informed decision and have a pleasant extended stay hotel experience.