The difference between hotels and residential hotels

Knowing the difference between a hotel and a residential hotel may help you find the perfect place to stay on your next vacation.

The difference between hotels and residential hotels

Hotels: for the transient guest

“Transient” may sound like an unsavoury term, but it simply means that typical hotel guests aren’t planning on staying at their hotel for long. They are short-term guests enjoying a weekend away from home. Accordingly, hotels are set up for the short-term stay, providing fully-furnished rooms (which include beds and dressers, and sometimes desks and chairs/tables), full bathrooms, telephones, televisions, alarm clocks, etc. And they offer services like laundry, clothes pressing, maid service and valet service.

Some larger hotels have restaurants, coffee shops, cocktail lounges, gift shops and other services that enhance the short-term stay.

Because there aren’t typically kitchens or places for several people to sit in hotel rooms, this type of lodging is usually best for people simply looking for a place to sleep, bathe and store their things while they are out and about during the day.

If you’re looking for more space to relax and socialize during your visit, you might want to consider a residential hotel.

Residential hotels: when you need more space and time

Take an apartment building and a hotel. Mix the best qualities of both together. What do you get? A residential hotel. Residential hotels offer you rooms that are more like apartments. However, they do still come with some of the benefits offered in hotels, like maid service, room service, recreation options (pools, fitness rooms, etc.) and more.

With rooms that are laid out more like apartments, residential hotels can be an appealing choice for those travelling in large groups. There’s space within your residential hotel room to spread out a bit between the living/sitting area, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom(s). You’re less likely to find yourself irritated by constantly having another person underfoot when you choose a residential hotel.

Like to prepare your own meals when you’re away from home? Your residential hotel suite usually includes a full kitchen/kitchenette space, fully equipped with pots, pans and other basic cooking utensils. You’ll have a fridge for storing ingredients and leftovers, so you won’t be as dependent on restaurants and/or fast food places. Plus, you’ll have a reason to shop a city’s markets, often one of the best ways to experience a new place and its cuisine. This can also be a great way to save money while travelling, and really useful for travellers who have food allergies or special diets.

Because residential hotels offer so much more in terms of space and independence, the rate for the room is likely going to be more than for a hotel room. However, splitting the cost among a larger group and saving money by eating in can offset the price. Always ask your reservation agent whether their residential hotel offers discounts for early booking or booking a longer stay.

Which is right for me?

Now that you understand the difference between a hotel and a residential hotel, you can make a wise decision next time you travel. Do you want space to spread out, or are you only looking for a place to sleep? Are you looking for luxury accommodations for two or affordable comfort for a larger group? Think about your unique needs, and the decision will be simple.

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