Can staying in serviced accommodation ever be as good as staying in a hotel? You bet it can. In fact it's miles better.
Assuming the key card works and you manage to get into your room, initially, there's much to do.Taps are turned on and off, towels stroked, light strings pulled, tiny toiletries sniffed and plastic cups freed from their crinkly cellophane covers.
Next, wardrobes are flung open to reveal clattering fixed wooden hangers and tiny kettles with tiny cups and even smaller pots of milk come under scrutiny.
It's a bit too warm and stuffy. Time to throw open the window and let in some fresh air. But the windows don't open or open only a couple of inches.
And so it begins.
Soon you'll be aware of your neighbours. Slamming doors, gurgling water pipes, clattering ice machines and guests having late night chats outside your door.
Fancy a lie-in? No chance. Up, dressed and down for breakfast before 9 am whether you like it or not. And this is meant to be a holiday?
Imagine waking up on the first day of your holiday in a clean, bright spacious bedroom. Through the open window, you can hear birdsong.
You don't know what time it is, nor do you care. You are not on a schedule. You're on holiday!
You pad into the kitchen and open the fridge to grab an orange juice. You'll probably cook breakfast a little later but right now you'll make a latte and head out onto your private roof terrace to read the paper.
Later, after a day out, you'll pick up a few groceries and cook a healthy meal in the well-equipped kitchen. Then perhaps just stretch out and relax on the large sofa with a glass of wine and a good film.
For a truly relaxing break, the serviced apartment wins hands down. Here's why.
Serviced apartment usually works out cheaper the longer you stay, unlike fixed price hotel room rates. There are no hidden costs, such as wi-fi charges, and you don't have to eat out every night.
This must be up there as one of the biggest plus factors, especially for families. Hotel rooms soon become claustrophobic and there's never enough storage space.
With serviced apartments, there's usually separate sleeping areas and plenty of storage with full-sized wardrobes and chest of drawers.
Have you tried working out in a hotel room? It's hot, cramped and forget about using any equipment. There's always the hotel gym but not everyone feels comfortable in that environment.
An apartment gives you all the space and privacy you need for a good home-style workout.
Then head to the kitchen and whip yourself up a smoothie or a healthy lunch in the fully equipped kitchen.
You can even do an online supermarket shop and get all your groceries delivered to your door. Far better than relying on takeaways or having to eat out every night. Cheaper too.
And talking about food...
Access to your own fully equipped kitchen with fridge, microwave and oven can't be underestimated.
If you fancy a midnight snack or a full Sunday Roast with all the trimmings, there's nothing to stop you. Have what you want, when you want, how you want.
If you have family and friends in the area, invite them over for a meal or drinks. Would they feel as comfortable perched on the end of a hotel bed?
Have breakfast when you want, not when the hotel says you must. Plus you can eat it in your PJs or nothing at all! Your choice.
Say goodbye to over hot rooms and sticky, sleepless nights. Open the windows wide and let the cool air in!
If you wake in the night, no problem. Just make a hot drink, head to the sitting room and curl up with a good book or catch up on some box sets. Unlike a pokey hotel room, you won't disturb your partner.
It's something we all want and not something you can get in a hotel room. Save fraying nerves and snapping tempers with a spacious serviced apartment.
Plus there won't be the intrusive daily knock-on-the-door maid moment. It's never convenient and can be downright awkward. Most serviced apartments are cleaned once a week and include a laundry service too.
No matter how well done out they are, there's something a little soulless about hotel rooms. Apartments are much more homely and welcoming. With thoughtful touches, comfortable soft furnishings, tasteful décor, plenty of mod cons and a proper front door key, you'll feel right at home.
Just to stand in the fresh air in your own private outside space makes you a winner in the accommodation stakes.
Whether sipping an early evening beer, enjoying al fresco dining or just stargazing, you'll be glad you chose a serviced apartment.
Hotels undoubtedly have their place, especially for mini-breaks. But if you are planning a holiday lasting a week or more, consider a serviced apartment. It offers the traveller so much more than any hotel room can.
Not only is it more cost-effective and far less impersonal, but it also offers the traveller a real home from home experience. Come and go as you please, you have your own front door key.
You can keep up with your fitness routine, make the sort of meals you like and wake up in an airy, spacious bedroom, with the kids in the next room.
So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy the freedom and flexibility of a serviced apartment.
Stylish, luxury serviced apartment conveniently located just a few minutes walk from the vibrant Ipswich Waterfront, Neptune Quay and the University of Suffolk.
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Have you stayed in a serviced apartment? Let us know.