living room of Henley on Thames property

Self-catering apartments v hotel rooms


With self-catering apartments becoming as popular as hotel rooms, we take a look at the pros and cons of both.

The difference (which is not always reflected in the name) is that a hotel room usually will have a fridge that is mostly filled with over-priced drinks and has no facilities for cooking and often no facilities for cleaning clothes.

An apartment will ideally have a fridge which is entirely empty for you to use for storing food and ingredients for your own cooking (it will have a minimally supplied kitchen). You can expect to have two pots of different sizes and a toaster for your cooking.

Some apartments have a washing machine and dryer in the room, but it’s quite common to have communal facilities for washing clothes. In any case there will be some option for washing clothes that doesn’t cost an excessive amount of money.

Another significant difference that is commonly seen between apartments and hotels is the layout (which is dictated to a large degree by the size). An apartment may have walls partially or fully separating it into separate rooms. One apartment I stayed in had two separate bedrooms (with doors), a kitchen area, and a lounge/dining area which was separated from the rest of the apartment.

Studio apartments often have the bed area partially separated from the lounge area. There is a significant difference in principle between inviting a business associate to the lounge area of an apartment and inviting them to a hotel room…

Apartments often tend to be more expensive than hotel rooms, they need more space for the kitchen and don’t drive revenue from a mini-bar or a hotel restaurant. One possibility for saving money could be to use some inflatable camping beds to sleep four people in an apartment that is designed for two. In contrast hotel rooms often have an over-supply of towels and blankets as it’s easier to just fill every closet with them than to deal with requests from customers at odd times of the night.

Apartments allow you the flexibility to come and go as you please, and not to have to worry about the cleaner coming in, so you can sleep for as long as you like. Other advantages are that many apartments now try to give that ‘home from home’ feel you may not get in a hotel.

Hotel rooms are usually favourable for families or individuals who want waiting on, and prefer not to have to cook their own meals, clean up after themselves etc. when they are away on holiday.

Hotels will also have staff on hand if you want to know about the best places to go, attractions, events and nearby restaurants etc.

Always check to find out if your hotel or apartment has parking included as this can make a huge difference to how much you pay out at the end of your stay.

If you are looking for a choice of self-catering apartments and hotels, click here to find a wide range of accommodation with Eventful Stays.