Residence Hotels

A way to set up housekeeping — without the housekeeping

Residences hotels--like this one in Italy--offer a cross between a rental apartment and a hotelResidences hotels--like this one in Italy--offer a cross between a rental apartment and a hotel.A "residence hotel"—sometimes called an "ApartHotel"—is a cross between an apartment and a hotel designed for short-term rentals.

Usually, residence hotels are an option mainly for longer stays, and they work a bit like having your own efficiency apartment in a doorman building.

Accommodations are at least studios with kitchentte, if not full-blown mini-apartments, and might sleep anywhere for one to six people.

They are usually rented by the week or month—though many offer stays of just 3, 2, or even 1 night—and they are usually cleaned weekly (sometimes more frequently).

Essentially, it's a bit like getting a time share just for the week or month—only without the whole annoying sales pitch.

They are often used by folks in town on business for an extended period (in fact, when I studied abroad in Rome, Italy, a "residence" near the school served as student housing for the program), but that doesn't mean travelers can't shack up in them as well. You just have to plan to stick aroudn town for a bit longer than the average tourist.

The reason this page is seperate from that on how to rent an apartment is because I consider apartment rentals to be where you are getting a private apartment in a building surrounded by flats inhabited by actual local residents, whereas in one of these "residence" hotels, everyone is a visitor from out of town.

Resources for finding Residence Hotels

GENERAL ( - This European booking engine is one of the few to list residences—which are variously categorized as "serviced apartments," "residences," and "townhouse suites"—with often dozens of options in major cities. Even if this weren't our parttner site, I'd suggest it as the best one-stop shopping for residence hotels. ( - U.K-based booking site for residence hotels and other apartments for short-term let (from some 35 chains and agencies, including Citadines, below) throughout the United Kingdom, plus France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Japan, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the UAE.

Citadines ( - Chain of ApartHotels, mainly in France (17 of them in Paris, as well as ones in Aix, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Nice, Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier, Strasbourg, Lille, Grenoble, and Cannes). There are also locations in London (4 of them), Brussels (2), Berlin (1), and Barcelona (1, right on Las Ramblas near the Cathedral). One nice thing is that you can book for even just one night.

Barclay International ( - One of the world's premier rental agencies since 1963. (And yes, "premier" does mean "a bit pricey"). Excellent properties and service, though, throughout Western Europe, and though they're billed as rental apartments, these aren't just some bloke's flat; most of them are actually residence hotels or buildings of entirely short-term rentals or condos.


Syndicat National des Résidences de Tourisme  (


Derag Hotels (


This article was last updated in January 2008 . All information was accurate at the time. | | |
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