What is Corporate Housing? An honest comparison

Many of our users ask what corporate housing is, and how this temporary lodging option differs from an extended stay hotel. The first thing to note is that corporate housing is available to anyone, with or without "corporate" ties.

In terms of cost, upscale extended stay hotels average about 20% higher than typical corporate apartments, based on a 30-day stay (with monthly discount rates). The higher cost is due in part to the impressive array of services available at the extended stay hotels. However, if saving money is the most important consideration, then budget extended stay hotels (e.g. Studio 6 or Extended Stay America, with very limited amenities and services) are usually the best option.
On its part, furnished corporate housing benefits from being highly-customizeable. However, special requests often do increase the cost.

Below, you will find an unbiased comparison of corporate housing and extended stay hotels to help judge the pros and cons of each. To provide a meaningful comparison with typical short-term corporate housing options, we refer to features at popular upscale extended stay hotel chains, such as Marriott's Residence Inn, InterContinental's Staybridge Suites, Hyatt's Summerfield Suites and Hilton's Homewood Suites.

FeatureCorporate HousingExtended Stay Hotel
Washer/Dryer Onsite, and often in unit Onsite, but not in the suite
Laundry/Valet Service Sometimes Yes
Garage Parking Often available Available only in urban high-rise hotels
Choice of Furnishings Yes No
Free Breakfast Buffet No Daily
Free Evening Manager's Reception No Monday - Thursday
Housekeeping Varies; usually weekly or biweekly Daily
Grocery Shopping Service Occasionally available, but for added cost Often available, and usually free
Swimming Pool Yes Yes
Fitness Center Yes Yes, but usually quite small
Tennis Courts Sometimes No
Basketball Court Sometimes Yes ("sport court")
Racquetball Courts Sometimes No
24-Hour Reception No Yes
Private Mailbox Yes No
Loyalty Program Sometimes Yes
High-Speed Internet Access Usually available, and usually free Always available, and usually free
Pets Allowed Usually Usually
Housewares Included Yes, and customizable Yes
Utilities Included Yes Yes
Free Local Telephone Calls Yes Sometimes
Tax-Free Usually (for stays of 30+ days) No
Minimum Stay Usually 30 days None
City Center Locations Abundant Few
Suburban Locations Abundant Abundant

SUMMARY: If you need a place to stay for less than a month, extended stay hotels may be your only option. If you need lodging for more than a month, corporate housing in Toronto lacks some useful services (e.g. a daily breakfast buffet), but will usually provide a more comfortable and homelike atmosphere. This is partly due to the ability to customize your furniture and layout according to your own needs. For example, if you are traveling with a baby, you can have your apartment equipped with a high chair, crib and playpen. A home office or home theater could also be arranged. Another important consideration is location. The longer you will be staying, the more time you should spend comparing all the available options - furnished housing and extended stay hotels - to ensure you make the best choice.