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October 19, 2011

Business Travelers Beware: Corporate Housing is Not Just an Extended Stay in Disguise

by AvenueWest Managed Corporate Housing

Try comparing Corporate Housing and Extended Stay Hotels. While both options offer short-term, furnished accommodations, these are typically the only similarities.

 What is Corporate Housing? Corporate housing companies offer fully furnished rentals generally located in residential areas. These properties provide travelers with larger square footage, a full service kitchen, and 24 hour customer service. If you are planning on staying somewhere longer than a few weeks, the cost of corporate housing is typically cheaper over extended stay hotels. The average stay is one month or more (the average corporate housing stay was 83 nights in 2010, according to data compiled by The Highland Group for the Corporate Housing Providers Association).

What are Extended Stay Hotels? Extended Stay Hotels provide renters with basic furnishings, including a small kitchen; however, the size of the rooms are not as spacious as one would find in a corporate housing property, nor as encompassing to what the traveler’s needs may be. For example, some extended stay properties may pride themselves on having free high-speed wireless Internet, which is usually only offered in the common areas and not in the guest’s room. However, if the traveler wishes to use the Internet in his or her room, then the overall price of the hotel room increases substantially, anywhere from $10-25 per day fee. In a corporate rental, the rental rate is all inclusive.  There are other hidden fees as well, including lodging tax fees, tipping and parking, to name a few.

While these differences between an extended stay and a corporate rental are significant, Paul Bates, president of Corporate Accommodations, Inc. located in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania was quoted in the 2009 Mobility article “Corporate Housing Myths Debunked” saying he believes that “…these superficial differences do not really define the true disparities between corporate housing and extended stay hotels…corporate housing provides complete temporary housing solutions within a stable residential setting unlike extended stay hotels, which are surrounded by an open parking lot and are entirely filled by transient guests.”

Understanding these differences between corporate housing and extended stay hotels can provide renters with a more pleasant stay and save a company thousands of dollars overall. However, companies and individuals need to become aware of corporate housing as a lodging alternative and demand it during their business travels.

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