The perfectly made beds, freshly laundered towels, and plush bathrobes can make a hotel room a pleasant sanctuary for business travelers looking to unwind after an overnight flight and a packed afternoon of meetings. But after seven or more days of being confined to a 300-square-foot room with a suitcase full of soiled clothing and a coffee maker, microwave, and mini-fridge as the only kitchen accessories, business travelers may want an accommodation that feels more like their home away from home.

Enter extended-stay lodging — an excellent option for traveling employees when work takes them on the road for long stretches of time.

The benefits

Whether employees need to be in a different city for a couple of weeks to handle a complex project or for several months as they find a new home after being transferred, this kind of accommodations can be more comfortable than a traditional hotel room.

While these extended-stay options may not have room service or a bar, they do feature more home-like amenities, such as a full kitchen where guests can prepare healthy meals, a separate lounge area where they can binge on their favorite TV series, and a designated workspace where they can have a video conference call. Plus, the space is roomier and better equipped to accommodate any loved ones who are tagging along or flying in for a visit.

Many long-term accommodations also come with many of the same perks as a hotel, such as complimentary breakfast, housekeeping service, a place where guests can exercise, and a 24/7 help desk and concierge. Generally, there’s also free Wi-Fi and a washer/dryer in the unit or on-site.

Such accommodations are not just beneficial for business guests but also companies picking up the tab. Rates are generally lower than a traditional hotel and do not fluctuate as much. You often can secure a one-bedroom apartment-style space for less than what you would pay for a hotel room without any of the surprise surcharges. Organizations also may be able to save on meal and entertainment costs since guests may opt to stay in rather than dining out.

Furthermore, since the company will be giving employees a wider range of inventory choices, business travelers are more likely to stay within policy, thus putting the organization in a better position to fulfill its duty of care requirements and gather data for reconciliation and reporting.

The options

American Express Global Business Travel makes it easy for travel buyers to build their extended-stay program with access to millions of options through all of our booking channels, and we offer even more property types through our third-party relationships with Booking.com and Expedia.

There are extended-stay hotels that are associated with the world’s top hotel chains and where travelers can earn loyalty points. (Think of the Residence Inn by Marriott, Homewood Suite by Hilton and Staybridge Suites by IHG.)

With these hotel types, there are no fixed contracts and travelers can check out whenever they wish.

Through our partnership with WWStay, we also offer corporate housing — fully furnished, professionally managed apartment units rented to business travelers who are sticking around for a month or longer.

The homeshares and rentals by owners, which we make available through Booking.com, can be a nice option for both solo travelers and colleagues visiting a destination as a group.

If long-term accommodations are not currently a part of your program, contact us and we can steer you to the right people who can help guide you through the process. And if you already are offering long-stay lodging to your traveling employees, here’s an Atlas article that offers tips on how to make the experience more comfortable that you may want to send their way.