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What It’s Like Staying at a Radisson Serviced Apartment

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Ryan Smith
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Ryan Smith

Senior Editor & Content Contributor

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Countries Visited: 197U.S. States Visited: 50

Ryan completed his goal of visiting every country in the world in December of 2023 and now plans to let his wife choose their destinations. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publicat...
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Jessica Merritt

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A long-time points and miles student, Jessica is the former Personal Finance Managing Editor at U.S. News and World Report and is passionate about helping consumers fund their travels for as little ca...
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Keri Stooksbury

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With years of experience in corporate marketing and as the executive director of the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar, Keri is now editor-in-chief at UP, overseeing daily content operations and r...

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If you’re like me, you saw that headline and thought, “What is a Radisson Serviced Apartment?” I had the same reaction when searching for hotels on a recent trip to Madagascar. While unfamiliar with the brand, I wound up here due to wanting to use some stranded Radisson Rewards points, a lack of other hotel options for using points, and the fact it was cheaper than both the Radisson Blu and Radisson Hotel Tamboho Waterfront Antananarivo.

Even prior to my arrival, I got the impression that a Radisson Serviced Apartment (and specifically the location in Antananarivo, Madagascar’s capital) wasn’t a traditional hotel. But I was also happy to not dig too far before my arrival, letting the experience surprise me.

Here’s what I learned along the way and what you can expect if you stay at a Radisson Serviced Apartments property in the future.

What Radisson Says About Its Serviced Apartments Brand

Let’s start with what Radisson says about this brand and the reasons the company says you should choose this type of property. It advertises key essentials for each stay (things that will make you feel at home), a residential feeling from “fully equipped kitchens,” and a communal vibe with public spaces for working and socializing.

Reasons to choose Radisson Serviced Apartments
The reasons Radisson says you should choose a Serviced Apartment stay. Image Credit: Radisson

Radisson says these properties have a 24-hour reception desk, on-site food and drink options, and extended-stay setups that include housekeeping. Radisson also maintains a list of Serviced Apartments locations.

Options To Customize My Stay Before Check-in

I stayed at the Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo City Center in late July 2023. A few days before check-in, I received an email with a link to customize my stay.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo offers to customize stay
Welcome page for customizing my stay before arrival. Image Credit: Radisson

I had assumed this was just an opportunity to sell me paid upgrades, which were included. I could upgrade my standard apartment to superior or premium apartments for €10 to 60 (~$11 to ~$66).

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo upgrade options
Upgrade options for customizing my stay. Image Credit: Radisson

But there was much more than that. I could customize my stay with flowers in the room, a pre-arranged airport taxi, or a city map outlining tourist sites. Only the map option was free. Other customizations came with a price tag.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo offers and experiences
Customization options for my stay. Image Credit: Radisson

I was most interested in exploring the free options, which included reserving a table at the restaurant for a specific time, stocking up the minibar (with items I could later purchase), and choosing a quiet room in the corner. That last item sounded intriguing.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo in room offers
Room customization options for my stay. Image Credit: Radisson

I chose the quiet room (corner) option and received an on-screen confirmation. This was backed up with a confirmation email just a few minutes later.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo quiet room selection
Confirmation after choosing a “quiet room (corner)” for my stay. Image Credit: Radisson
Hot Tip:

Remember that you can redeem Radisson Rewards points for stays at Radisson Serviced Apartments. This program is separate from Radisson Rewards Americas, which has been absorbed into Choice Privileges as of July 18, 2023.

How Radisson Serviced Apartments Compare to a Typical Hotel

Amenities and experiences can vary from one hotel to another or from one stay to the next at the same hotel. You can even encounter a friendly employee at breakfast one day and then a sour employee the next day. Rather than focusing on these variations, let’s look at what I found during my stay that you could expect if you stay at other Radisson Serviced Apartments locations.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo City Center
Exterior of the Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo City Center. Image Credit: Radisson

Like a typical hotel, I had a bedroom with everything I expect from a hotel. There was a large bed with nightstands on each side, reading lamps, and plenty of outlets for charging devices.

Opposite the bed was an armchair in the corner and a large TV on the wall. These features felt very “hotel-y.”

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo bedroom chairs desk
Work area in the One Bedroom Superior Apartment at the Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo.

There was also a desk with a chair. The desk had a lamp, phone, notepad, and multiple outlets. This could provide a great work space — ideal for an extended-stay brand but also increasingly common at standard hotels these days.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo desk and TV
The workspace had everything I needed.

The bathroom was where I had the most questions leading up to my stay. As an “apartment” in a brand Radisson says has a “feel at home” vibe, would I need to provide my own toiletries? Or would the hotel have them?

Bath products were available in pump bottles in the shower, though I’ll point out that was a major oddity in the design. A bar (to hold the glass wall in place) ran exactly under the rainfall shower head. It made the water fall in weird ways while taking a shower.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo shower with bar
The shower had a strange bar layout directly under the shower head.

There were also toiletries near the sink, including a shower cap, body lotion, and a pump bottle of soap.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo bathroom toiletries
I wasn’t sure if the room would include toiletries.

And there was a hair dryer attached to the wall. All of these amenities made it feel like staying at a standard hotel.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo bathroom hair dryer
It also included a hairdryer.

The kitchenette is what made the difference. While Radisson’s website says there should be a “fully equipped kitchen to prepare a homecooked meal,” that’s not what I found. There was a small microwave, a sink, shelves, and a bit of counter space.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo kitchenette sink and microwave
The kitchenette had a microwave and sink.

And there were coffee supplies plus a kettle, but a 2-burner stovetop isn’t what I would consider a “fully equipped kitchen.” Additionally, there was a single pot and just one knife in a drawer.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo kitchenette burners and coffee supplies
The coffee supplies and stovetop in my kitchenette.

There were a few plates, bowls, and glasses in the cupboards. However, if I had stayed more than 2 days here and wanted to cook meals, this wouldn’t be enough — nor did it match Radisson’s own description.

Hot Tip:

If you’re planning a longer stay at an extended-stay brand like Radisson Serviced Apartments and want to cook meals in your room, inquire with the hotel directly to see what’s included in the kitchen. It would be a waste to buy ingredients at the supermarket that don’t correspond with the kitchen items at your disposal.

I stayed in room 506. It was neither quiet nor in the corner. Instead, it was immediately next to the elevator.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo hallway and room door
My room wasn’t in the corner.

Despite having a confirmation of my request for a quiet room in a corner, the hotel was fully booked during my stay and had simply allocated me to the only room available. I heard every person coming and going, as well as the “ding” sound from the elevator arriving.

On-Site Amenities

Radisson advertises that this brand should have communal spaces for work and relaxation. The Soho Rooftop provided a relaxing space for drinks with friends or coworkers at this property. Its open-air location made it feel even bigger than it was. And DJs provide live music here on the weekends.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo rooftop bar
Seating at the Soho Rooftop Terrace.

Unfortunately, there was no way to access the Soho Rooftop without mounting several steps. This could be an issue for some guests. Soho Rooftop was open from 6 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., offering à la carte breakfast in the mornings.

There was a fitness center, as well. It met minimum expectations, but its lack of space meant there wasn’t much to offer. There were a few bikes and a Technogym rowing machine.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo gym cardio equipment
Cardio equipment in the small fitness center.

The other side of the room had a handful of benches plus a rack of free weights. You could turn on the TV while working out, if desired.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo gym equipment
Weights and benches in the gym.

The Soho restaurant served 3 meals daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. While it had seating for only 2 dozen people, I never saw a wait and didn’t need a reservation despite the hotel being at capacity.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo restaurant seating
Seating at the Soho restaurant.

While decorations and layout appeared quite simple, the menu was extensive. In addition to 2 different set menu options, à la carte offerings included cereals, made-to-order eggs, and several Malagasy dishes. The surprise item here was vegan pancakes.

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo breakfast menu
The breakfast menu at Soho restaurant.

And while they were a bit small, they were delicious!

Radisson Serviced Apartments Antananarivo pancakes
The pancakes were small but delicious.

The menu also showed some of the lunch and dinner options, which included soups, salads, fries, burgers, and a fusion of Asian and French dishes.

Housekeeping

As the “serviced” in the name implies, Radisson Serviced Apartments include housekeeping. I regularly saw housekeeping staff with their cart in the hallway, changing sheets, providing clean towels, and cleaning rooms. This was a daily service for each guest unless you put the “do not disturb” sign on the door.

Bottom Line:

A typical hotel room might have a microwave but won’t have space or supplies for cooking meals. Beyond this, you’ll have the standard features of a basic hotel, including toiletries, a gym, and housekeeping.

Final Thoughts

Radisson Serviced Apartments is an extended-stay hotel brand. Rooms include standard features you’d expect at a hotel, but you’ll also get a kitchenette. While Radisson describes this as a great space to whip up meals, I found that it would only support basic cooking, like a simple pasta dish. Seeing “apartments” might make you think of a self-service stay similar to brands like Homes & Villas by Marriott Bonvoy. But the “serviced” in the name lets you know that you’ll still get daily housekeeping and access to on-site reception staff to help with questions during your stay.

Though you’ll receive options to customize your stay before arrival, these may be confirmed but not provided at check-in. If you paid for any customizations or upgrades, ensure you receive them.

This brand functions like many other extended-stay brands. If you’ve stayed at TownePlace Suites (from Marriott) or Homewood Suites (from Hilton), there will be few surprises here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is included in a serviced apartment?

A serviced apartment will include everything you expect from a hotel (bedroom, bathroom, restaurant, and room service), plus you’ll have a kitchenette. This way, you can prepare meals sometimes, rather than always needing to dine at restaurants or order room service.

What's the difference between a hotel and serviced apartments?

They share many similarities, such as room layout, a gym, a restaurant, and a reception desk. You’ll get toiletries and housekeeping at both. The serviced apartment, however, will have a small kitchen for preparing meals.

How are serviced apartments different from vacation home rentals?

Vacation home rentals give you access to an entire home. They’re also self-service; you won’t get daily housekeeping or a check-in/concierge desk. But you’ll have access to a whole kitchen with everything your family needs, unlike small kitchenettes provided in serviced apartments. Serviced apartments are within a hotel, including daily housekeeping and on-site restaurants.

Can you cook in a serviced apartment?

Yes, you can. Each room will have a small kitchen. While space and tools may be limited, cooking simple meals is feasible.

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About Ryan Smith

Ryan completed his goal of visiting every country in the world in December of 2023 and now plans to let his wife choose their destinations. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.

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