What is an Extended Stay Hotel? Your Complete Guide
Professionals across every industry must travel to conduct their work, but they often have limited housing options despite traveling frequently. Overnight hotels, Airbnb and other temporary housing have fewer options and limited support for guests making last-minute extensions, which forces travelers to bounce between lodging and sacrifice their comfort.
With extended stay hotels, traveling professionals can access convenient perks and amenities that contribute to a more comfortable long-term experience — all at a more affordable rate.
In this guide we’ll outline everything you need to know about extended stay hotels, including how they work, common amenities, length of stays and more.
What is an Extended Stay Hotel?
An extended stay hotel is a type of lodging that offers specific amenities, styles and price options to accommodate their unique guests, who typically stay for several weeks or months at a time. Sometimes called “long-term stay hotels,” these accommodations provide various perks, services and facilities to help foster a homier environment for guests.
Like regular hotels, extended stays vary greatly in price and design. However, because guests reserve their rooms for much longer than at a regular overnight hotel, extended stays usually offer lower prices overall. It’s important to note, though, that these discounted rates generally don’t apply until you’ve booked a minimum number of nights.
Of course, with both traditional and extended stay hotels, in order to get the best discounted rate, you’ll have to negotiate with the hotel directly. This means making lengthy calls to front desk agents to get the best rates, unless you utilize a software solution that does the haggling for you.
How Long Can You Stay at an Extended Stay Hotel?
While every extended stay hotel is different, they have one thing in common: guests can stay as long as they like. Unlike regular hotels, extended stay hotels are prepared for guests to check in and stay for as long as they need, which provides a flexible, “home away from home” experience for long-term travelers.
And because extended stay discounts often take effect after just five-to-seven days, many traveling professionals are able to use extended stay hotels as temporary housing.
How Does an Extended Stay Hotel Work?
With a few small exceptions, extended stays do not differ much from other hotels in terms of booking. As is the case with other types of lodging, rooms can be booked online, by phone or in person.
A guest staying at an extended stay hotel for over seven days can generally lock in an extended rate; though this time-consuming process often involves prolonged calls to several hotels in the area, negotiating rates and comparing the available amenities of each property.
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What Type of Guests Utilize Extended Stay Hotels?
While anyone can book an extended stay hotel room, there are certain travelers that tend to gravitate toward regularly booking this type of lodging. The majority of extended stay-clientele consists of professionals in different sectors that spend a significant time away from home while working, like construction crews, traveling nurses or locum tenens.
Other frequenters include families who enjoy longer-term travel or require certain home-like amenities, and guests who prefer traditional hotel accommodations (e.g., room service, turn-down service, on-site facilities, etc.) lacking from homestays like Airbnb.
Why Choose an Extended Stay Hotel?
Guests have a plethora of options when deciding where to stay during their travels. Extended stay hotel patrons usually value the following benefits of long-term stays over qualities found at other types of lodging:
- Price – Overnight hotels and short stays come with a higher price tag: These properties must charge a premium to account for faster turnover, more frequent cleaning services, costlier operations and more. Extended stay hotels can offer discounted prices to guests because they are guaranteed a certain amount of income from a longer stay, and typically spend less on services like daily room cleaning and fresh linens.
- Kitchen(ette)s – Most regular hotels do not provide kitchens or kitchenettes in guest rooms, which means travelers only have two options for food: Leaving the property or ordering room service, which could be unavailable or costly. Long-term stay hotels include kitchenettes with stoves, ovens, dishwashers and other appliances that make it easy for guests to prepare their own meals. This can be a critical comfort during a long-term stay, providing guests with a cheaper, more convenient alternative to purchasing food elsewhere. This also makes extended stays attractive to families, and travelers who want the option to enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals over restaurant selections.
- A solo, self-contained area – Since extended stay hotels offer a living space, bed, bathroom and kitchenette in a single guest space, travelers don’t have to leave their room (or the property) to fulfill their basic needs. Unlike many Airbnb and other temporary housing options — which can feature shared living spaces and amenities — long-term hotels enable guests to maintain a private lifestyle and environment.
- Extremely flexible living – While it’s certainly possible to extend your stay at a regular hotel after you’ve already checked in, it tends to get a bit tricky. Your room is usually already reserved for a different guest who will check-in after your departure, so the hotel needs to shuffle arrangements around to accommodate your request. This might lead to a room change, a higher nightly rate or may be altogether unavailable, making it an unreliable option for many travelers. By contrast, extended stay hotels allow guests to adjust their reservations as needed without hiking up the cost or necessitating a room change. What’s more, travelers have access to many of the same amenities they would at home (like on-site laundry, fitness centers, kitchenettes, etc.), so lengthening their stay doesn’t interfere with their autonomy or comfort.
What Types of Amenities Do Extended Stay Hotels Offer?
Specific amenities will likely vary from one extended stay hotel to the next, but most offer some common facilities and services for their guests’ convenience:
1.) WiFi and internet
WiFi has become an expectation for many guests — especially those who travel for professional purposes. Most extended stays offer free WiFi and internet services so that their guests can freely surf the web, complete their work and connect with loved ones during their stay.
2.) Television, cable and streaming services
Another great advantage of long-term hotels over Airbnbs or other homestays is that they always include television, cable and (more recently) streaming services. This provides guests with a homier experience and enables them to access news and entertainment sources while traveling.
3.) Local transportation
For those who travel often, hotel stays can feel isolating; particularly if travelers don’t have a car of their own to travel off the premises. Many extended stay hotels offer their guests various transportation options (e.g., buses or vans, rideshare discounts, bike and scooter rentals, etc.) to help them get around the area.
4.) On-site laundry
Because long-term guests stay at hotels for longer periods, often weeks or even months at a time, they need reliable, accessible and cost-effective laundry options. Most extended stays have on-site facilities so travelers can easily wash their clothes without traveling to and from an off-property laundromat or paying for third-party laundry services.
5.) Kitchens or kitchenettes
In-room kitchens help guests avoid spending at costly restaurants and allow them to prepare meals to their own specifications. Guests can cook their own more nutritious and healthy food for less at extended stay hotels. By contrast, traditional hotels offer room service for set hours and others don’t offer it at all, severely limiting guests’ options for food.
6.) Recreational facilities, like a gym or pool
Many Airbnb and homestay options lack recreational facilities to help guests stay active, healthy and happy. Long-term hotels almost always have fitness centers, pools, grilling areas or other recreational spaces so travelers can maintain an active lifestyle and get time outside.
7.) Conference rooms
As we mentioned earlier, many extended stay guests travel for professional purposes, so long-term hotels often have larger conference rooms to accommodate meetings of every size. Groups of travelers from the same company can collaborate with one another without infringing on each others’ space, a key benefit to many professionals.
8.) Pet friendly accommodations
Traditional hotels are often not pet-friendly, as they’re mainly accommodating short-term travelers. By contrast, many extended stay hotels have pet friendly policies so that guests can bring their furry friends along. This means that traveling pet owners get to save on the cost of pet care and avoid sacrificing the pet’s health and safety — and enjoy some companionship while away from home.
Extended Stay Hotel Chains
There are countless extended stay hotel chains across the US and abroad, but some offer greater flexibility, comfort and affordability over their competitors. These include:
- Extended Stay America – Offers pet-friendly hotel rooms with fully-equipped kitchens, free WiFi and on-site laundry for short-term, weekly or long-term stays.
- Homewood Suites – Provides large extended stay suites with in-room kitchens, separate living areas, outdoor grills and recreational areas.
- Quality Inn – Offers discounted nightly rates for stays of one week or longer, with rooms that feature kitchenettes, free WiFi and laundry.
- Hawthorn Suites – Wyndham’s extended stay chain has spacious rooms with fitness centers, laundry facilities and a hot breakfast at most locations.
- Home2 Suites by Hilton – Provides pet-friendly long-stay rooms that feature in-suite kitchens, free WiFi access and free breakfast every morning.
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Our exclusive rates and direct relationships mean our members can get the lowest possible rates on hotels for business stays — short or long. Learn more about how our features can help you save time and money!Learn more
Better Extended Stay Experiences with Hotel Engine
Extended stay hotels are a great option for anyone who needs a cost-effective long-term travel solution. Because they boast additional advantages over traditional hotels, Airbnbs, homestays and other temporary housing selections, they’re a clear-cut winner for many traveling professionals. Unfortunately, it can be time-consuming to search for hotels and book your stay, let alone negotiate rates or handle modifications.
But it doesn’t have to be that way.
Hotel Engine is an intelligent hotel search and booking platform that makes booking your extended stay a breeze. With a massive inventory of hotel partners in various locations, more options in remote places, and a seamless, user-friendly experience, Hotel Engine makes it easy to book your extended stay and a great nightly rate straight from the platform.
But that’s not the only way that Hotel Engine is making extended stays better than ever. When you’re looking for a month-long stay or longer, you can hand off the entire process to Hotel Engine in a few taps.
Complete a simple trip form from the Groups tab in your account to let us know everything you’re looking for in a long-term stay. Our best-in-class platform and expert Groups team will search for properties based on your unique needs, and provide you with customized hotel recommendations and negotiated discounts, so all you need to do is choose your favorite.
Your dedicated Project Manager will help you with booking and coordinate modifications whenever you need them, providing consistent support across as many Group or long-term trips as you need.
And whether you’re booking a long-term, group stay, or short solo trip, you can rest easier anytime you use Hotel Engine, with US-based Member Support available around-the-clock and easily accessible via 24/7 live chat, phone or email.
Audrey Fairbrother is the Content and SEO Manager at Hotel Engine. She spends her days writing about all things business travel, researching topics that are important to Hotel Engine’s audience and cultivating the company’s brand voice. When she’s not working, Audrey enjoys spending time with her family, and hiking in the nearby Rockies with her dog, Albie.