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Serviced Apartments

Definition, Advantages, Target Audience

  • The Term "Serviced Apartment"
  • Specifics of Serviced Apartments
  • Advantages of Serviced Apartments
  • Target Audience for Serviced Apartments
  • Correct Terms and Notations

Serviced apartment is the generic term for units in classic apartment houses and/or aparthotels/apartment hotels. Serviced apartments are fully furnished accommodation units which always comprise of a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette and offer services similar to a hotel. The service level varys according to the concept and type of accommodation business from limited to full service.

This means:

Serviced apartments offer guests a combination of flat and hotel with a flexible service offer and are specially tailored to the requirements of business travellers. With the increasing flexibility in the workplace and a continued growth of project business serviced apartments have increasingly gained in importance over the last years and are one of the future-oriented products of the hotel industry.

Principally the concept of serviced apartments is based on a reduction of service intensive areas and a focus on living in a homely and spacious atmosphere. All units are always equipped with a kitchen or kitchenette and comprise of an at least functionally seperate living and sleeping area. Depending on the type of business guests are offered services to various extent, which can be booked as needed. 

Noticable for the German market is the enormous diversity of terms being used which cumber the orientation within the segment considerably. Internationally the term "serviced apartment" has been established, but in the Germany-speaking regions also the following other terns are being used:

Often, you will still find the term boardinghouse being used in German-speaking regions. Find out, what is behind it by clicking on the word.

If you want to learn more about the world of temporary housing, the "Kompendium des Temporären Wohnens" (in German language) is higly recommended.

Serviced apartments are a hybrid between hotel room and rental apartment and combine the best of both words in this special segment.

  • primarily located in urban environments
  • accommodation which has been especially designed for long-term stays (temporary living)
  • orients itself with regard to furnishings on private flats
  • apartments offer (at least functionally) separate living and sleeping areas, whereby the focus is not just on sleeping like in a hotel but rather on lodging
  • apartment facilities always include a kitchen or kitchenette, meaning at least a refrigerator, two hot plates and a sink
  • added services similar to those at hotels (reception, cleaning)
  • depending on the concept of the apartment house, the service levels offered range from limited service (e.g. weekly cleaning, reception manned only part-time) to full service (24-h-reception, restaurant, wellness, fitness)
  • flexible services, which can be added according to a module principle
  • declining price development dependently on the length of stay

Due to the many advantages for frequent and long-term business travellers this special segment of the hotel industry advances relentlessly into the mind of travel managers, HR staff and business travellers.

  • comfortable ambience: separate living space with seating area, coffee table and television
  • high degree of self-suffiency due to fully equipped kitchen or at least kitchenette
  • partially one or more separate bedrooms => ideal for families or colleagues who share an apartment
  • cosiness by placing individual accessories
  • plenty of storage space
  • more independency due to personal freedom and privacy
  • usually washing machine and dryer in the apartment house
  • savings of up to 40 % compared to hotels of a similar category

Serviced apartments are especially suited for:

  • Stakeholders, who need to work at different places for an extended period of time.
  • International assignees, who are job rotating at another business location lasting from a couple of weeks to a several months.
  • Expatriates, who are relocating to Germany and require a temporary residential solution until they can permanently move into their own home.
  • Project consultants, who always need to be where their clients call for them.
  • Trainees, who are taking their first steps into their professional life and have a temporary employment contract.
  • Private individuals in an emergency situation, who temporarily cannot live at their own home (e.g. event of damage, break-up).
  • Travellers tired of hotels, who are away on business for more than a few days and do not want to relinquish their personal freedom and an own cooking facility.
  • Everyone, who would like to test this special living concept.

When searching for a "temporary home" we find many different spellings but there are only two correct options:

the English version "apartment” and the French version “appartement

Principally the following applies:

  • All units in an apartment house should be declared as apartments.
  • Regardless of whether they have one, two or more rooms.
  • The words "suite" and "junior suite" should be reserved for the traditional hotel industry.

Here are the correct international terms:

  • studio = 1-Zimmer-Apartment
  • 1-bedroom apartment = 2-Zimmer-Apartment
  • 2-bedroom apartment = 3-Zimmer-Apartment

Do you have any further questions? Contact us!

Charter for the Definition of the Serviced Apartment Industry


The charter was developed by a working committee of important representatives of the industry and the members of the Serviced Apartment section of the "Arbeitskreis Hotelimmobilien" under the direction of Apartmentservice in order to define consistent standards for the segment of temporary living and particularly to establish a congruent usage of terms with a distinct classification. Thereby transparency for customer and investors is created on the one hand and a clear distinction to the wide range of products offered at hotels on the other.

If you are an operator and would like to support this initiative, please incorporate a link to the charter on your website in order to increase range. If you would like to be mentioned as a campaigner in the above list, we are looking forward to you contacting us.

Your personal contact

Melanie Eifler

Account Manager


telephone: +49 (0)30 96 06 09 49-0
e-mail: infoapartmentservicede

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