In a world where younger generations are prioritizing travel over owning a home, yet the cost of living and traveling is becoming increasingly expensive, newer hotels are continually looking for ways to provide affordable accommodations that are still equal parts welcoming and Instagram-worthy. The “aparthotel” (or apartment-hotel hybrid) lodging format gained popularity towards the end of the 2010s. The concept is just as it sounds. Rather than being greeted by an opulent exterior and front desk concierge, guests will typically check into an apartment-like building via a security code, much like they would for an Airbnb rental. These hotels are mostly popping up in popular areas of tourist-centric cities like LA, New York, and Nashville, where staying at a nice hotel in the heart of the city will usually run you upwards of $400 a night.

I’ve heard many rave reviews about these types of hotels and have seen some stunning pictures of them on social media, so I was excited to have the opportunity to spend a few nights at the Annex Hotel during my recent stay in Toronto. The 100-year-old building features 24 guest rooms decorated with pieces by local artists to provide a modern and homey feel, as well as iPad Pros in place of televisions. The staff is always just a text message away, and can be contacted at any time throughout the day if there is anything you need.

Some other typical amenities like a gym, room service, and telephones are missing, but the size of the rooms for the price of your stay are unmatched compared to other hotels in the area. This is based on the idea that you’re traveling to see the city, not your hotel room, and that you shouldn’t have to pay for all of the extra frills that so many of us don’t usually take advantage of anyway. (Though if you do need a night in during your stay, the rooms are certainly cozy enough that you won’t mind spending a few extra hours indoors!)

Like many other similar hotels, Annex also offers guests common areas for working on your laptop or hanging out with friends, as well as food options. The Annex Cafe and Wine Bar offers on-the-go breakfast and snack selections (including the local favorite Reunion Coffee) until 4pm, when it then serves delicious cocktails, wines, and small plates. Big Trouble Pizza offers delicious pizza and cocktail options in the Annex Commons. If you’re looking for more of a quiet evening in, you can have a pizza party in your room!

What are your thoughts on the “aparthotel” format? Has it afforded you the opportunity to take your dream vacation, or is room service and a hotel gym a must-have when you travel?

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