< Back
Work Travel Published: 21st January 2024

What Is The Difference Between Serviced Apartments and Airbnb?

Serviced apartments and Airbnb offer distinct approaches to short-term accommodation. Serviced apartments, managed by hospitality professionals, provide consistent amenities and services similar to hotels. Airbnb, a platform connecting hosts with guests, presents diverse and often unique lodging options that reflect individual tastes. 

Serviced apartments vs Airbnb differences include ownership, management, services, booking processes, stay durations, and legal considerations.


Ownership and management


Serviced apartments, owned and operated by established hospitality firms, offer a consistent experience akin to hotels. Managed professionally with on-site staff and standardised services, they guarantee a reliable stay.

In contrast, Airbnb listings, owned by individuals or Airbnb property management entities, lack a uniform management structure. This decentralised ownership leads to varied service quality, amenities, and adherence to standards among Airbnb accommodations.

The key difference lies in the structured, professional management of serviced apartments versus the diverse, often individualised management approach inherent in the Airbnb platform.


Amenities and services


Serviced apartments emulate hotels, delivering a full suite of amenities and services like concierge assistance, housekeeping, and fitness facilities. Professional management ensures a uniform guest experience, so these apartments prioritise a comprehensive stay.

In contrast, Airbnb listings, shaped by individual hosts, offer a full spectrum of amenities and services. While some Airbnb hosts may enhance the experience, the overall quality varies, reflecting individual preferences.

The key distinction lies in the broad and consistent services provided by serviced accommodation, meeting diverse needs, in contrast to the eclectic and host-influenced offerings characterising the Airbnb landscape.

Booking platform


Booking serviced apartments involves using official websites, travel agencies, or specialised platforms catering to corporate housing. This process prioritises established channels, ensuring a reliable booking experience through direct or professional intermediaries.

On the flip side, Airbnb listings exclusively rely on the Airbnb platform for reservations, fostering a direct connection between guests and hosts. While this platform-centric approach simplifies the booking process, it limits the diversity of booking channels available.

The key distinction lies in the versatility of booking options and established channels associated with serviced apartments, compared to the exclusive reliance on the Airbnb platform for reservations, shaping the unique dynamics of each booking experience.


Length of stay


Serviced apartments provide a versatile accommodation solution for short-term and extended stays. Ideal for business travellers, expatriates, and families in need of temporary housing, these apartments offer consistent amenities akin to hotels. They are designed to meet the needs of various durations, ensuring a reliable and comfortable experience.

On the other hand, Airbnb primarily caters to those wanting a short-term rental, with potential discounts for longer stays. While some listings accommodate extended visits, the platform generally emphasises shorter durations.

The distinction lies in the adaptability of serviced accommodation, seamlessly catering to diverse stay lengths, compared to Airbnb's predominant focus on shorter stays, reflecting the varied preferences on each platform.

Consistency and standardisation


Serviced apartments boast a consistent and standardised experience, aligning with hotel norms in furnishings, amenities, and services. Managed by professionals, they ensure uniformity across locations.

In contrast, Airbnb listings exhibit a broad spectrum of quality, decor, and services, reflecting the distinct tastes of individual hosts. The decentralised nature of Airbnb accommodations leads to diverse offerings, lacking the standardised approach seen in serviced apartments.

The key distinction lies in the reliable and consistent experience provided by serviced apartments, while Airbnb offers a more varied, host-dependent encounter, appealing to those prioritising diverse and personalised stays over a standardised hospitality experience.


Regulation and legal compliance


Serviced apartments adhere to specific regulations and travel industry high standards, prioritising legal compliance and alignment with local hospitality laws. Managed by professional hospitality entities, they ensure conformity to established norms.

Conversely, Airbnb listings have encountered legal challenges in certain locations, stemming from issues like zoning, safety, and compliance with local housing regulations. The decentralised nature of Airbnb means individual hosts may not consistently uphold the same legal standards as traditional accommodation options.

The distinction lies in the regulated and compliant nature of serviced apartments, contrasting with the varied legal landscape and occasional challenges Airbnb faces in different locales.




In conclusion, the differences between serviced apartments and Airbnb include things like ownership, services, and legal compliance. For a reliable and standardised experience, consider booking a serviced apartment through TrustedStays. All accommodation listed on our website is accredited by independent third parties including Quality in Tourism, UKAA and STAA. 

Elevate your temporary lodging with professionalism and consistency. Your journey begins with TrustedStays, which is your best choice for a seamless stay.

1000s of quality assured homes across the UK

All property partners are independently accredited by the Short Term Accommodation Association

Professionally cleaned and managed homes, meeting the STAA'S guidance on cleaning standards

A home from home experience, even when you are travelling for work

Learn more

Read what interests you most:

About Us Press & Reviews Work Travel Property Management

Receive an exclusive guide when you sign up!

Simply sign up to our newsletter and be the very first to find out exclusive information for all the latest work travel and accommodation news and we’ll send you a free guide on making the most from short term rentals.

We won’t spam you. Ever.