Extended Stay Accommodations vs. Traditional Hotel Rooms

When booking hotel accommodations, most travelers tend to search for places to stay for a night or two or a bit longer for long vacations. However, there is another area of hospitality that caters to those who need accommodations for a longer time. Extended stay accommodations are just that – options for those who need a place to stay for an extended period of time. These properties differ from traditional hotel rooms in a variety of ways. Each offers certain benefits and amenities, so choosing the right option for you depends on your needs during your stay.

Traditional Hotel Rooms

Almost everyone has stayed in a normal hotel room at least once in their lives. Business travelers often stay in upwards of a hundred different ones over the course of a year. While the quality, size, and other aspects of these accommodations differ between establishments, hotels generally offer the following:

Daily Cleaning Service:  Some hotels have limited this throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, but hotels usually offer cleaning services each day throughout a guest’s stay. This service involves a general tidying of the room, bed-making, and a swap out of fresh linens for the bathroom. Guests have the option to opt-out of this service if it isn’t needed, but most enjoy a freshly made bed after they return from a day of sightseeing or business meetings.

On-Site Amenities:  Part of the appeal of traditional hotels stems from the amenities they offer on the premises. High-speed WiFi is readily available at most hotels now. Additionally, many have places on the premises to eat or drink, saving travelers from having to leave the hotel for dinner or a cocktail. Pools, both indoor and outdoor, are especially popular for those traveling with children.

Guest Services: Not all hotels have a concierge service, but most will be able to aid guests with relevant information and advice throughout their stay.  

Especially for those who don’t want to research what to see, eat, or do – this can prove invaluable. Additionally, hotels tend to offer wake-up calls for those who need a little help getting up in the morning. While a few hotels have on-site coin laundry, more often, they will offer a laundering service in the case that travelers need something cleaned during their stay.

Extended Stay Accommodations

In general, extended stay hotels are preferable for those traveling to a place for longer than a week. This may be someone on a long business trip or a family taking advantage of the summer for an extended vacation. Some even choose extended stay properties as their primary place of residence when in transition to a new home or working in a location for a long time. Because of the longer stay, guests at these establishments look for the following:

Cooking Facilities:  While some traditional hotels may offer suites with a small kitchenette, it is not that common. Generally, they will simply include a coffee pot and possibly a mini-fridge in their rooms. On the other hand, guests staying at extended-stay properties value being able to cook throughout their stay. They generally have a full kitchen or kitchenette in their room, including a sink, stove/oven, and plenty of plates, utensils, and pots/pans to make cooking for themselves during their stay accessible.  

Personalized Services:  Because of the longer stay, guests often have the option to have mail diverted to the premises while at extended-stay properties. Additionally, some places allow for personalized voicemail services, and most have on-site laundry as well.

Checkout Flexibility:  With traditional hotels, you book a set number of nights, and extending your stay depends on availability. In busier travel times, such as in summer or around the holidays, extending your stay should you want to lengthen your trip can be near impossible. Extended stay facilities offer a different type of flexibility in terms of when their guests need to leave and operate as an “at-will” accommodation. These properties generally take payment upfront, so as long as guests pay for additional nights, they are welcome to stay.

Major Differences Between the Two Types of Accommodations

Traditional hotels have to account for a high turnover rate of guests, which means an increased need for both housekeeping and front desk services. Because of this, prices at these establishments tend to be higher on a per-night basis. One would think that the lower price would mean everyone would choose extended stay options. However, most extended stay hotels have a minimum number of nights you must book, making it infeasible for those only traveling for a short time. Additionally, many travelers enjoy the opportunity to have their room cleaned daily, and this isn’t usually offered at longer-term properties.

Seeking Employment in Hospitality

Both traditional and extended stay hotels require a large staff to keep operations running smoothly and guests happy with their stay. From housekeepers to bartenders to front desk associates, it takes many to operate a hotel of any size and type. While job responsibilities and duties differ with each role, the end goal of all hotel staff is for guests to enjoy their stay (and return in the future).

The hospitality industry is busy seeking new staff to employ as travel begins to pick up once again. Depending on your skills and interests, you can likely find a role that suits you. Job descriptions on vacancy databases generally describe the work each job entails and ideal qualifications so you can find the best fit for you. A role in hospitality is a chance to be a part of someone’s stay and make it the best time possible.