For those not in the property business, it’s common to think of serviced accommodation as upmarket apartments complete with concierge and extras, like laundry and cleaning services, as well as parking provision. But in reality, the term covers much more than that. Here are some of the different types of serviced accommodation around to invest in today, along with a brief explanation of each:

Residential serviced accommodation

This is becoming increasingly popular, thanks to the number of developers building this type of residential apartment in London and throughout the UK. Viewed as an upmarket rental or a purchased flat, householders have the privacy of their own accommodation, but with a communal aspect available if they choose. Many, for instance, provide a games room, movie room, restaurant and swimming pool for residents and their guests use. There will also be a concierge and the opportunity to book other services such as dry cleaning, and even personal grooming, in some cases.

Serviced hotel-style apartments

Used by both holiday makers and business types in preference to hotels, this type of serviced accommodation is for short or extended stays. It manages to give those staying in them a much homelier and less impersonal environment than a hotel – and yet they will have similar services provided by the latter. For instance, they’ll have a kitchen, so can cook their own meals, entertain visitors and have them stay over.

Another big plus of this type of serviced accommodation is that it can be very cost-efficient. That’s because up to 10 people could stay in the same apartment for much less than it would cost to hire around six or seven hotel rooms. In fact, so popular has this type of holiday let-style serviced accommodation become, that last year upmarket estate agent Savills’ reported a 13% increase in the number available in the UK. It brought the total provision to around 19,000 serviced apartments, with the certainty that the numbers would increase with time.

Serviced corporate lets

In the past, large companies would put up international staff and contractors in buy-to-let flats, which they procured from estate agents and private individuals for a year or more. Today, these same companies are opting for the much more organised and hotel-like (but without the big costs) serviced apartment. It’s what most executives expect these days, and companies are always competing for the best-qualified experts in their fields, after all.

Retirement homes

Popular in Australia and America, retirement serviced apartments make sense for individuals and couples who don’t want to have to worry about home security and who may even have extra care needs. This means concierges can arrange for additional personal care services such as help with grocery shopping, making meals or even dressing. They can also provide organised hairdressing and health visits, such as physios or ongoing fitness checks.

Holiday camps

Taken to extremes, these too are a form of serviced accommodation in that meals are provided on request, cleaning and domestic arrangements are taken care of and entertainment supplied.