In fact, requirements dictate choice in most situations where a person has the luxury of directing his or her future according to the perceived needs of his or her present. One could go further, actually, and state that all choices are made based on requirements – through this also necessitates a brief examination of what we mean by requirements (is the need of an alcoholic, for example, really a requirement or simply a misfiring want?); and that’s probably not appropriate at the start of a discussion about serviced apartments.
So – exactly what requirements are we talking about here? Mainly, the requirements satisfied by a serviced apartment are spatial and psychological; they could even be referred to as spatial-psychological, in that lots of them deal with the positive effect on the psyche of having a space in which to live.
Note that we are presently talking about a space in which to live. A hotel room, which is the basic other choices for a traveler, is specifically designed as a place in which to stay. Therefore, it can justifiably be claimed that all choices of accommodation, whether they arrive at the hotel room or the serviced apartment, are ultimately based on a pair of perceived needs: to live, or simply to sleep.
In short term travel, a person often only needs a room in which to sleep and wash. The remainder of his or her day is spent either working or sightseeing in the destination: and so the hotel room becomes the perfect solution. If the hotel guest is tired, he or she can sleep. If he or she is hungry, there’s food waiting for him or her to order. No time whatsoever is lost to the normal domestic chores that make up life where someone is living, rather than staying, in a place.
Another way of putting this, which is perhaps more immediately resonant, is that hotels have guests, whereas apartments have residents or tenants. These two words have distinguishing shades of meaning, of sources. But it is clear that they both sit in one camp, while the word guests (which implies direct service, daily, on the part of others) sits in another.
The requirements that might lead a person or persons into serviced apartments, then, are those that make someone a potential resident or tenant rather than a guest. These specifically include the need for somewhere to stay over a mid to long term. In business circles, this needs kicks in after around one week (that’s five working days); and in leisure terms, perhaps more.
The leisure industry cuts off the average stay at between one and two weeks. Beyond this, it can become prohibitively expensive to stay in hotel rooms.
Serviced apartments, on the other hand, are usually charged per the whole unit rather than per head (as long as the number of guests does not exceed a stated maximum). As a result, one of the requirements that move a person or group of people from guest to resident status can be the simple cost of long term stays.