This is a hard question to answer. As companies offering furnished apartments get savvier in terms of their service design and building amenities, they get closer and closer to offering a hotel-style experience. A clear evidence of this is the increasing development of hotel-condos.
So now, the traveller has the option of choosing a furnished apartment which offers almost double the space, separate kitchens, all the amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, jacuzzis, tennis, and the works and then there are the hotels which provide pretty much the same fare with the addition of daily housekeeping, room service and perhaps a restaurant. So what do you choose?
To make matters worse, the hotels charge more than the furnished apartments. In the past, you could only rent a furnished apartment is you were staying for more than 30 days. But nowadays, you can get one even if you're staying for just one night. What a great deal for the person travelling with family and kids !
So you get more space, equal amenities (almost), separate kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms and you end up paying less? What's the catch and how do the furnished accommodation companies do it? Here's how:
1. They don't have the overhead that hotels do.
2. They pay taxes based on residential properties whereas the hotels pay taxes based on commercial usage. That's why the hotels aren't too happy with the growing popularity of the furnished accommodations industry. Can you blame them?
But hey, you get the advantage ! There's no denying that.