The growth of extended stay hotels has reached a record high in recent years as more and more travelers look for safe, comfortable lodging, great atmospheres, and affordable rates. As construction rates for this property type increase, so does the interest in staying in one, hosting events at one, or even running one. But what is an extended stay hotel, exactly? Here’s everything you need to know, including how they work, what types of guests they attract, and much more.
What is an extended stay hotel?
An extended stay hotel offers long term accommodation for guests. With amenities such as self-serve laundry and in-suite kitchens, they’re a cost-effective and convenient alternative to renting a traditional apartment. Because guests stay for a longer period of time, extended stay hotels typically offer discounted rates. They often feature a home-away-from-home style and will often be referred to as apartment hotels or serviced apartments.
Just like regular hotels, extended stay hotels range in price and style. Some offer apartment or studio-style living while luxury options have multiple bedrooms, more square footage, and special amenities such as private patios. They also offer amenities you’d expect to find in a regular hotel, including daily room service. You’ll most likely find them centrally located near attractions, dining, and nightlife.
How long can you stay in an extended stay hotel?
You can stay as long as the property allows, though rates may fluctuate over time. Although these hotels can hypothetically host guests for a night or two, most see guests who stay for five to seven days at a minimum since that’s when discounts are typically applied.
But there are some rare exceptions. For example, the Falls Church, Virginia Marriott’s longest extended stay guest was a 79-year-old woman named Joy Bricker who resided at the hotel for more than 10 years. Over the years she became close friends with staff, moved in furniture from her former Florida home, and even created a community feel for her many neighbors.
How do they differ from other hotels?
The biggest difference between an extended stay hotel and other hotels is the price, what guests are billed for, and the different lifestyle often associated with each property type.
The average price for one night in a standard hotel room is higher than the average price of one night in an extended stay hotel room — if you stay there long enough. For example, the average cost of a regular, short-term hotel room in Los Angeles is $216 for a weekend night and $194 for a weeknight. If a guest stays for one week, they can expect to pay $1,402. But a two-star extended stay hotel in the same city only costs $714, offering lodgers 50% savings on their visit.
Guests at most extended stay hotels can also expect to get amenities such as WiFi and major utilities included in their nightly rate whereas other hotels sometimes charge fees for premium options like faster internet and movie rentals. For mid-range options, you’ll also see differences such as coin-operated laundry facilities at extended stay hotels versus professional onsite laundering services at other hotels. Plus, hotels typically offer additional lounge spaces, bars, restaurants, stores, and concierge services while this is not the norm at the average extended stay hotel.
What do extended stay hotels typically include?
The average extended stay hotels typically include each of the following:
- In-room WiFi and high-speed internet access.
- Televisions with apps such as Netflix.
- Local transportation back and forth between the airport, major shopping centers, tourist attractions, and business districts.
- On-site DIY laundry centers.
- Fully stocked kitchens with a refrigerator, microwave, sink, garbage disposal, and oven.
- Filtered drinking water.
- Recreational facilities such as a pool and hot tub.
- A gym with machines and weights.
- Conference rooms and business centers with printer access.
- Takeaway breakfast items, snacks, and vending machines.
They may also offer parking spaces, dog parks, and a grocery or liquor store on site. Luxury extended stay hotels may also include lounges, movie theaters, security patrol, and 24/7 guest services.
How does an extended stay hotel work?
Extended stay hotels are booked the same way regular hotels are: by phone, online, or in person. The minimum age needed to rent an extended stay hotel depends on the laws of the state the property is located in. Rates are based on your expected arrival and departure date. Lock in deals by booking more than seven nights in a row.
You may have the option to stay even longer if your room or other suites are available after your initial booking date. Smaller, family-owned hotels may be willing to work with you on your check-out date as long as you give them as much notice as possible. For extended stay hotels in popular areas during peak travel seasons, staying past your initial booking date is unlikely.
Most extended stay hotel rooms are meant for a maximum of four occupants. Guests will have to share how many people are staying with them when they book. There may be a fee for additional occupants, however, children are usually free. Like short-term hotels, they also usually offer discounted rates for seniors, military, and Triple-A members.
What kind of guests do extended stay hotels attract?
Extended stay hotels attract a wide range of guests. Their price points, amenities, and designs are often marketed towards specific groups, the same way hotels are. Simple, no-frills properties maintain the lowest possible rates in order to offer customers a roof over their head where they don’t have to worry about utilities, furniture, or other essential amenities.
On the other end of the spectrum, high-end properties with all the bells and whistles are an experience all their own. They provide luxury lifestyles for business and pleasure travelers alike and offer competitive rates.
The average extended stay hotel occupant at a mid-range property travels for work and needs the convenience of home without the commitment of a second mortgage or lease. They are often attracted to the option to cook in their own private kitchen and hotel-related perks.
Business guests who are visiting from elsewhere are often given per diem or stipend pay for lodging, transport, and/or food. You may also find couples on long retreats, retirees, and families with small children. Extended stay hotels really do attract people from all walks of life.
Examples of extended stay hotels
- Extended Stay America at LaGuardia Airport in New York City is a two-star property offering special rooms for COVID-19 first responders as well as free breakfast and pet-friendly rooms.
- AKA Beverly Hills is a furnished, luxury hotel with a premium location, ensuite terraces, and room service.
- The Residence Inn in Youngstown, Ohio is a three-star property that has an indoor pool, access to local hiking trails, fishing, and boating, plus camping and BBQ facilities.