Sometimes a hotel room just doesn't cut it. For extended stays away from home, you need all the mod cons and comforts of a serviced apartment. The benefits are obvious - no need to clean up after yourself, for starters, plus room service and, usually, a central city location.
The Art Series Hotel Group has tapped the trend with keenly priced weekly rates at their funky artist-led properties. Their newest long-stay proposition is The Watson, beside the River Torrens in suburban Walkerville, Adelaide. Named after, and decorated by, the famed Pitjantjatjara artist Tommy Watson, the 24-room hotel offers one- and two-bedroom apartments from $520 a week, with all hotel services on tap. Art Series offers similar deals at three of its Melbourne properties, including The Olsen, from $695 a week, and The Blackman, from $700 a week.
The new-ish Sebel Melbourne Docklands at NewQuay has 124 one- and two-bedroom apartments with balconies, water views and arty interiors. There's a gym, pool and business centre on-site, and the CBD is a brisk walk or tram ride away.
Meriton has form in the long-stay game, providing a crisp, corporate environment for living and working away from home. In Brisbane, the new Herschel Street property is a gleaming glass tower of 259 apartments sized from 41-square-metre "Cubes" to the 200-square-metre three-bedroom penthouse - all with kitchen, laundry and housekeeper.
The Sir Norman Foster-designed Fraser Suites in Sydney remains one of the most impressive places to park yourself in the harbour city. Residents have a 24-hour gym, heated lap pool and round-the-clock concierge at their service.
When the escape is for play rather than work, we like Smiths Beach Resort in south-western Western Australia for its proximity to Margaret River wineries, Indian Ocean breezes and the comfort of its 55 apartments that include shacks, villas and beach houses, accommodating between two and eight people. With a restaurant, bar, deli and bottle shop on site, there really isn't much reason to leave.
And on the Gold Coast, we still can't go past the sculptural twin towers of Peppers Broadbeach for high-spec, high-tech comforts and the sort of coastline views only possible when you're soaring 40-plus storeys above the sea. Each apartment has a kitchen, laundry, study and on-site facilities that range from resort pool to private cinema and a teppanyaki barbecue.