In these financially hardened times, it’s not just corporate budgets, but also personal ones, that are continually under scrutiny in order to obtain best value for money.

No one likes to spend money unnecessarily, and the words of the then British Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, when he said, in November 1967, having just devalued the Pound Sterling, "the pound in your pocket is safe", is something that chimes with most people today.

Better the money in your pocket than in someone else’s!

And this certainly the case when considering an extended-stay in London, whether for a period inbound from abroad to work for a London subsidiary or head office, or to relocate back to the capital after working abroad.

Many people have asked how the temporary lodgings offered by an extended-stay apartment differ from those offered by extended-stay hotels. And it’s certainly one of the hot topics that regularly come up for discussion across the table at London extended-stay apartment specialists Clarendon.

There’s no doubt that if you need somewhere to stay for a week or two, extended stay hotels may be your only option. If you are seeking somewhere for a month or more, then realistically, while you may miss out, for example, on a daily served breakfast (although this is now becoming an optional extra in many hotels), you’ll find a serviced extended-stay apartment, extra facilities aside, will be altogether more homely.

It really comes down to the longer you expect to stay, the more time you should spend comparing the available options, and as owner managers, Clarendon are more than happy to go through these with you. With a trusted track record of over 20 years in the business, their opinions are based more on facts and "what you see is what you get", than on sales pitch, and you are guaranteed that you won’t be oversold something just so they can clinch a sale!

The one vital aspect to remember about choosing a hotel for your extended-stay is that unless you budget accordingly – and be prepared to have an extremely formidable budget available if you need facilities – your stay will be confined to one room.

You won’t have a table and chairs to hold a business meeting. You won’t have a cooker or microwave to make meals. Your fridge will be stocked with premium-priced, yet reduced-size, snack items. You won’t be able to wash and dry clothes (unless you pay extra to have them done for you). And your bed will be in the same room as you relax or work in.

And if you have your wife and children are with you, you will certainly need a second or third room.

The second aspect is that of the facilities that are included in an extended-stay apartment.

You will have a fully-fitted kitchen with cooking and washing facilities included. Your fridge will be stocked by you with the provisions you have bought at supermarket prices. Your local telephone and high speed broadband will be connected and included. Your television, with extra channels included, won’t be a small box on the dressing table. Your bedroom (or bedrooms) will be behind closed doors. You’ll have a reception room for family or guests. Your utility bills and insurance will all be included. And you’ll have no rules to abide by with regards to the timing of meals or having to hand your key into reception each time you leave the building.

However, very importantly, you will save money.

More upmarket hotels (budget hotels haven’t been designed for and simply cannot provide the lifestyle for an extended stay, unless it’s on a sleep-only basis) will average out at about 15-20% more expensive for single, extended-stay occupancy, and very much more for two or more people.

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