Imagine you land in a new country and someone hands you keys to a clean, private apartment in a great location. Tastefully furnished, it comes with all the fixtures of a home, recreational facilities of a resort, with options of dining, house keeping and a reception desk or office to serve your every query as a standby. Is it a home or a hotel?
Neither. It’s a serviced accommodation.
The term service apartment is a popular term nowadays and has been the new offering in the market for a while. It essentially means “an apartment” with all service elements included, from housekeeping, kitchen, utility area to recreational facilities and others. Yet it lacks the impersonal feeling of a hotel room and provides a comfortable, well looked after space that serves more as a home.
They are mostly used for commercial purposes and are rented out usually on a short-term basis to tourists, business travellers and new expats. It is a great place to move into when one comes into a new country, helps establish routine quickly for new families who can settle in with comfortable ease before they actually find a permanent home. These serviced apartments fall under the purview of commercial offering hence making them different from privately owned properties, which are usually occupied by homeowners or rented for a longer tenure by tenants.
The big cities in Malaysia today offer many serviced apartments for those who seek comfort and convenience of a home without the hassle of finding one. Reputed hotels have their own brand of serviced apartments, as do other properties. These provide a perfect solution to several expat families and singles that want to move in and be out and about without the hassle of finding a rental or buying furniture and making a permanent home. In fact, the convenience is so alluring that many families prefer it to a permanent home or a long lease contract.
There are several pros for choosing a serviced apartment over a permanent home.
- Hassle free maintenance
- Easy settling
However, one must bear in mind that serviced apartments although in look and feel may seem like a condo or a private residence, it sometimes can prove costlier in the long run as it’s situated on commercial land and has service charges and higher charges for utilities. Also a permanent housing or leased property aside from being cheaper in the long run, offers a sense of belonging & community and a sense of your own space as you can do it up the way you please. However, off late, a new breed identified as "serviced residences or accommodations", has been emerging. Targeted at owner-occupiers, unlike most serviced apartments, which are often found within the city center, these serviced residences are mushrooming in the residential suburbs of Kuala Lumpur like Sri Hartamas, Mont Kiara, Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam.
Not restricted to short term alone, they offer a great alternative to all homeowners and those seeking a long-term lease. They come in different sizes and have many offerings, furnished, semi- furnished and fully furnished. Hence, one has the choice of doing it up according to their taste and hence making it their own.
That’s not all; most of these are situated in the heart of residential suburbs thus providing easy access to schools and to a large resident and expat community, which gives one a sense of belonging. These serviced residences usually mirror what one finds in a condominium, a 24-hour security, a swimming pool and a gym. Often, they are situated close to eating and dining areas and a few have access to free shuttle services and convenience stores. Also the absence of a landlord is a welcome concept for many expat families. Many find these a great alternative to permanent housing or lease for those very reasons stated above.
In this day and age, convenience and time is of the essence, finding a good home doesn’t have to be a lengthy process. Since expat tenures, however long they may be, are always temporary, a permanent solution although rewarding, is a long commitment very few may want to undertake. The serviced accommodation makes living easy and is a choice considered by many expats in this part of the world.Whatever one’s choice is, be it a serviced accommodation or permanent housing. Ultimately, it would help to bear in mind ‘Home is simply where the heart is’.
Last update: 26 February 2020