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The Difference Between Short-Term Housing and Extended Stay Hotels

The Difference Between Short-Term Housing and Extended Stay Hotels

In the United States, there are around 500 million business trips taken each year. Many of those trips require a short stay at a hotel. Others last longer and may require an alternative type of accommodation. That’s not to mention the millions of traveling nurses, students, and other professionals who move from place to place for work or education opportunities.

Whether you’re traveling for work, school, internships, or for some other reason, you may find yourself in a situation where you need short-term living arrangements. Two of the main options are short-term housing and extended stay hotels. But what are these two options, and what makes them different from one another? In this article, we’ll explain the difference between short-term housing and extended stay hotels. Let’s start with extended stay hotels.

Extended Stay Hotels

Extended stay hotels are tailored for guests who need a place for more than a few nights. Unlike traditional hotels, they are designed to accommodate guests for extended periods — ranging from a week to several months or even years. Here’s what you can typically expect:

  • Fully Furnished Rooms: This includes kitchens and refrigerators, minimizing the need for additional expenses on appliances and furniture.
  • Housekeeping Services: Regular cleaning ensures a tidy living space without the chores.
  • Inclusive Amenities: Utilities, dishes, cookware, towels, and linens are generally included.
  • Pet-Friendly Policies: Many properties allow pets, making them a viable option for pet owners.
  • Flexible Duration: These stays range from a few days to several years, with the flexibility to extend as needed.

Cost-wise, extended stay hotels offer extended stay monthly rates that are more economical the longer you stay. These rates typically range from $1,000 to $4,000 per month, depending on the property and location. This pricing structure makes extended stays an attractive option for those who need a temporary home without committing to a long-term lease.

However, while extended stay hotels offer convenience and a hotel-like experience, they can sometimes lack the personal touch and warmth of a home, which might be a downside for those seeking a more homely atmosphere during their extended stay.

Short-Term Housing

Alternatively, short-term housing provides a different set of benefits that might appeal to those looking for a less transient lifestyle. Short-term housing includes various accommodation types, such as apartments, condos, guest houses, and even co-living spaces. Here’s what they generally offer:

  • Home-Like Environment: Accommodations are designed to feel more like a private home.
  • No Maintenance Worries: Property management typically handles all maintenance issues.
  • Utility Inclusion: Just like with extended stays, utilities are included, simplifying budget management.
  • Flexible Terms: Accommodations can be secured for a few days to several months, with some offering cheap short-term housing options.

The cost of short-term housing can vary significantly based on the location, type of property, and included amenities. However, this option often presents a more cost-effective solution for furnished short-term housing, especially for longer stays.

While short-term rentals offer more diversity in living situations and potentially lower costs, they can sometimes come with challenges such as variability in quality, less predictable pricing, and additional fees that aren’t always upfront.

Making the Right Choice

When deciding between an extended stay hotel and short-term rental housing, consider the following:

  • Duration of Stay: Extended stays are ideal for those who need a temporary home for several months but less than a year. Short-term housing is better for stays of a few months to a year or more.
  • Budget: Extended stay monthly rates are straightforward and predictable, while short-term housing can vary based on seasonal demand and specific amenities.
  • Lifestyle Needs: Short-term housing might be the better option if you prefer a place that feels more like a home and possibly offers opportunities for social interactions.

Why Short-Term Housing Might Be a Better Option

Choosing short-term housing over extended stay hotels offers several distinct advantages, particularly for those needing temporary accommodations that feel more like home. Here are the key reasons why short-term housing can be a preferable choice:

1. Home-Like Atmosphere

Short-term housing options such as apartments, houses, and co-living spaces provide a residential feel with the ability to personalize your space, enhancing comfort and well-being during your stay.

2. Cost-Effective Stays

For longer stays, short-term rentals often offer more economical pricing with stable rates and discounts for extended periods, helping to keep your budget in check.

3. Varied Options

With a range of choices, from urban apartments to suburban homes to historic co-living options, short-term housing allows you to choose a location and style that best suits your lifestyle needs — close to work, school, or leisure activities.

4. Inclusive Amenities

These accommodations may come fully furnished with essential amenities, such as in-unit laundry and private parking, reducing the hassle of moving and settling in.

5. Social Interaction and Community

Certain short-term rentals, especially co-living spaces, provide opportunities for community engagement and socializing, offering a built-in social network that hotels can’t match.

6. Transparent Costs

Unlike hotels, where hidden fees can accumulate, short-term rentals usually include all costs upfront, ensuring a straightforward financial arrangement without surprises.

7. Flexible for Various Needs

Whether for students, professionals, families, or individuals undergoing treatments, short-term housing provides the necessary flexibility to accommodate a wide range of circumstances and requirements.

Opting for short-term housing enhances not only your living conditions but also your overall experience in a new location, making it an ideal solution for those seeking a comfortable, cost-effective, and flexible accommodation option.

Both extended stays and short-term housing offer unique advantages and can be tailored to suit various needs and preferences. By considering your specific circumstances and what each option has to offer, you can make an informed decision that best suits your temporary living requirements.


Thompson-Markward Hall’s Impact

Thompson-Markward Hall (TMH) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the academic and professional success of young women. Located in the heart of Washington, DC, TMH offers safe, affordable, and convenient housing for women working, attending school, or interning in our nation’s capital. Included in the room and board rates are utilities, free high-speed Wi-Fi, breakfast and dinner, and a diverse, welcoming community.

In addition to offering a wonderful place to call home in DC, we provide useful information to residents and prospective applicants as a resource to help them become familiar with DC and be successful in all of their endeavors. Whether you’re currently looking for a place to stay in DC, planning for a potential future here, or simply looking to learn more about the DC area, TMH is here to help!

Learn more about our accommodations or to submit an application today to start enjoying all of the benefits of living at TMH! You can also make a donation to support the crucial work we do!

Resident Resources

Room and board is due on the first of every month. TMH does not issue payment notices. A $20.00 late fee is charged everyday beginning at 9:00 pm on the 5th day of the month until the room and board payment is received. If you are unable to make your monthly payment for any reason, please speak to management immediately.

Room and board includes the first day of the month until the morning of the last day of the month or until the morning of the day of check-out, whichever day comes first.

In the event that a resident does not stay the entire month, rent will be prorated within the same month. To view the pro-rated fee schedule and a list of other fees—click here: TMH Pro-Rated Fee Schedule 6-1-2022


Each resident is asked to abide by the TMH House Rules and Regulations stipulated here: House Rules and ProceduresRule-packet-Emergency-Procedures-Updated-12-2019. Please read this document to become familiar with TMH policies and procedures such as guest policies, meal times, smoking areas, printer and copier use, Internet and telephone use, damage charges, and much more.

Monday-Friday hours / breakfast 7:00am-9:30am dinner 5:45pm – 8:00pm sat hours / breakfast 8:00 – 11:00am sun hours / brunch 8:00 – 11:00am dinner 5:00pm-7:00pm

Weekly Menu

Commuting: Metro stops within walking distance are Union Station, Capitol South, and Eastern Market. Refillable SMARTRIP cards are available for purchase at all metro stops. For more information on public transportation visit WMATA.

Parking: TMH does not offer parking and street parking is limited. Most areas offer 2 hour parking from 7:00am-8:30pm and unlimited overnight parking without a permit. However, if you do not have a Residential Parking Permit and your car is seen in the area repeatedly within a 30-day period you may be ticketed for not obtaining proper tags.

Union Station is the nearest public parking garage. There is generally a wait list for obtaining a parking space. Click here to visit their website to obtain up-to-date information.

Temporary Parking Permits: DC offers Reciprocity Parking Permits in special situations. Click here to see if you qualify. If you meet the requirements, you can obtain a Proof of Residency form from the front office.

Registering Your Vehicle in DC: If you do not meet the requirements for a temporary parking permit, you may choose to register your vehicle in DC. Click here for specific instructions.

Other Transportation Information:

  • Voting: To become a registered voter in the DC area, visit the Board of Elections & Ethics. Please note that you must unregister from your current voting state in order to register as a voter in DC.
  • DC One Card: DC has a new initiative to incorporate multiple cards into one all-inclusive card. The DCOne Card is a library card, Metro card, and can grant access to Public Parks programs. Click here to register or get more information.
  • DC Plastic Bag Policy: Washington DC’s Skip the Bag, Save the River Initiative requires a $0.05 fee per bag from businesses selling food and alcohol. Be sure to take reusable bags with you to the grocery store to avoid the fee.
  • DC Emergency Alerts: The DC Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Response has an alert system to notify residents of severe weather, police activity, road closures, and school and government closings. Notifications can be received via email or text message and can be specified to neighborhoods or work areas. For text alerts sign up here.
  • DC Metropolitan Police Resources: DC Metro PD offers several resources as well as an anonymous tip line for security concerns. You can find the tip line number as well as other important emergency phone numbers here.