By . Apartment. Published at Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 - 05:28:07 AM.
How to Choose the Perfect Holiday Apartment in Barcelona: 5 Top Tips Many visitors heading to the Catalan capital opt for an apartment rental in Barcelona. Offering more privacy than hotels, an opportunity to save money (your own kitchen for home-cooked meals), plus the ability to sleep larger groups in the same location, it should come as no surprise that apartment rentals in Barcelona are continuing to grow in popularity. However, there many questions to consider when deciding which apartment to choose for a break in Barcelona: Do I want a relaxing beach holiday or the full Catalan neighborhood experience? Do I want a spacious three bedroom apartment or a stylish studio for one? Will I be taking daytrips, and if so, is the apartment close to public transportation? To help you select the right accommodation for you, take a look at these 5 top tips on how to choose the perfect holiday apartment in Barcelona. Find the Right Barcelona Neighborhood It goes without saying that choosing the right Barcelona neighborhood in which to stay can make all the difference while on vacation in Barcelona. The Catalan capital has around 10 main districts, ranging from the bustling Casco Antiguo (Old Town) in the city center to the less touristic neighborhoods on the outskirts like Horta-Guinardó. Before starting the search for your ideal Barcelona apartment, be sure to do a little research on the various zones of the city, from the Barceloneta beach area to the quieter barrio of Sarrià. Many apartment rental agencies have district guides on their blogs where visitors can get a deeper understanding of the neighborhoods and find out which one best suits their needs, be it sightseeing, relaxing by the Mediterranean, or attending one of the citys many fantastic festivals and events like the Sonar festival. Facilities and amenities Everyone heading to Barcelona undoubtedly has different needs. For example, the apartment youve chosen may be just what you had in mind in terms of location and size, but its situated on the 3rd floor and the building does not have an elevator. For some, this may not be a problem, while for others, mobility is at the top of their priority list. It is therefore important to check the facilities of an apartment prior to booking. Will you be dining in or out most days? If the answer is home-cooked food for a budget trip, be sure to check that the kitchen has everything youll need to prepare your meals. Dont forget to check the capacity of the holiday apartment in Barcelona as well as the bed distribution to ensure that there are no problems upon arrival. Apartment agencies generally list all apartment amenities on their websites and it is important to review these. If youre unsure of anything, be sure to call the agency or send an email to ensure that the apartment is fit for your needs. Company reputation With numerous apartment rental agencies in Barcelona, it is important to make sure that the agency renting your apartment of choice is reputable. Spend time looking at reviews on Tripadvisor, travel forums or the companys website to get an idea of what to expect from former customers. Also, check the company website for contact details, which should be clearly displayed all over the site. For an extra precaution, look out for the letters S.L or S.A following the business name, an indicator that the company follows strict tax and book keeping rules in accordance with Spanish Law. Apartment Reviews As with company reputation, you can also check what others thought of the Barcelona holiday apartment you have in mind through review websites like FlipKey. Many apartment agencies also list customer ratings of apartments and comments on their websites, so be sure to check out the nature of the online guest reviews the apartment has received before you make your final decision. Read the Small Print Each company is different, so be sure to review the FAQ and Terms and Conditions pages of your Barcelona apartment rental website of choice, ensuring that you are fully aware of the entire rental process from booking to check-out. Information on everything ranging from the damage deposit conditions to the check-in procedure should be covered in this section, allowing you to be aware of exactly how the company works and what is expected of you as a customer. As the travel industry keeps expanding, many agencies offer apartments in Barcelona. However, many of these companies are not physically located in Barcelona, which means that if you encounter a problem in the apartment, there may be no one to come out and offer a solution. Be sure to check the locations of the agencys main offices as well as the hours of operation. Also, watch out for companies that offer 24 hour assistance, as this can give you extra assurance when travelling abroad.
When you are finding an apartment, there are several amenities that you certainly look for such as: • A dishwasher • An in-unit dryer/washer • Being near to public transport. A checklist of such things eventually means that you might have to go through numerous apartments before finding the perfect one. However, if you perform your apartment search in the right manner, you can save plenty of time, energy & money. Here are some quick tips to have the most effective and efficient apartment search: Determine Your Budget: It can be quite easy to overlook the leasing price, when you see a nice apartment with spacious living room, lovely window views and ideal neighborhood. This is why its vital to determine your budget before you even initiate your search. Just take a moment and figure out the expenses that you can actually afford per month, taking into consideration all other expenditures such as: • Utilities • Groceries • Social activities • Gym membership etc. When you have a determined figure in mind, you wont put yourself in a situation of renting an apartment thats far beyond what you can actually afford. Apartment Search Time: The time of year when you search for a rental apartment can have a directly impact on what you end up paying for rent. During the summer months there may be a plenty of apartment rentals available, but rent will be quite high because thats the time when many individuals look for a house. Narrow Down Your Search: Its totally crucial to visit the apartment you are considering renting. Searching apartment online will certainly save plenty of time. A great thing about searching apartments online is that you can do the most of your apartment search without even leaving comfort of your house. Choose 3 or 4 apartments that are worth the trip and then plan a personal visit. Be Organized: Once you have looked at numerous apartments, they can all start to combine together & trying to keep track of all of the specifics (rental rates, amenities, contact information & security deposit amounts etc.) can get stressful. So do yourself a favor by making a quick spreadsheet. By preparing a data you can easily get necessary details immediately, like when you need to contact the landlord (to enquire something), then you will have all the info right where you require it and you can save yourself from wasting time to track it down. On the spreadsheet you can also keep side notes that you may want to remember about the apartment. Bring Your Roommate(s): In case you are planning to share apartment with your friends, its ideal to bring them along when you go to look a place. Viewing together at a rental apartment will certainly save lots of time. After viewing the apartment place, you can discuss about what you like & dont like. Transportation: Even if you do plan on having a car, utilizing public transport to run errands or to work can save you plenty of money in the long run. It is always ideal to consider proximity to public transport when looking for an apartment. Saving money on car maintenance, insurance and gas/fuel leaves more in your budget to dedicate to monthly lease and other expenditures. Energy Costs: Before signing any leasing agreement, ask the landlord about the average utility costs for the apartment. Its something thats certainly worth looking into, as this is an expenditure that can truly sneak-up on you. Ask for Special Discounts: Depending on the apartments you are seeing, there may be definite move-in discounts or special offers you can take benefit of. For example, if you decide to sign a longer lease then some landowners may offer your first month rent-free. Even if there are not any offers or discounts, it never hurts to enquire. Be Prepared to Negotiate: Once you have visited your top two or three apartments, you may try negotiating with the landowner of the place you are most heavily considering. When the landowner recognizes that you have other options available, they may be more eager to work with you on the monthly lease.
The New Concept Known As Bungalow Apartments Construction companies are always striving to satisfy their customers with new model buildings that will turn out to be a convenient place for living. While independent houses are still the most preferred residential unit by the customers even today, the bitter truth is that not many can afford an individual dwelling place. This has paved way for duplexes, condominiums, apartments, twin houses etc. Those who prefer to live in bungalows and used to that lifestyle would not want to settle for anything less. Well, construction companies are now coming up with bungalows in apartment complexes which are just what the prospective house owners look for. Before getting to know about the new concept Bungalow Apartments it is imperative to know what an apartment and a bungalow are. An apartment is a residential unit, which is a part of the building that contains several such units. And bungalow has different connotations but is predominantly known to be independent buildings that are large with several rooms and ample open space. So, exactly what is a Bungalow Apartment? A Bungalow Apartment bridges the gap between Bungalows and Apartments by providing independence, privacy and customization facility of a bungalow, coupled with security, amenities sharing facility and collective living convenience of an apartment complex. Typically, there would be a front foyer space with a grilled designer wicket gate for each Bungalow Apartment. This arrangement significantly stands apart from the regular main door provided in a normal apartment complex. The actual inner living space starts from beyond the wicket gates of each of these houses. Further, there shall be ample space between each apartment. Since the doorways of nearby apartments do not face each other you get a feeling of being in an independent house. In the foyer space, a polished granite seating arrangement can be made for each home. The space beneath this seating can be effectively utilized as a shoe rack. The functionality and elegance of this space becomes evident only when you realize that in most apartments the main doors open right into the lobby. To ensure more lighting in front foyer areas, Private Open Terrace areas are accommodated close to it. These are areas, which are open to a sky and a source of natural abundant lighting. What is more important is that, this open to sky area separates one apartment from the other and gives you a quality of privacy which is rare in multi dwelling units. House owners can consider this well-lit foyer, where natural lights pours in abundantly, to be a luxury and worth every penny they pay because such exclusive private spaces are hardly offered by builders these days as every little space is taken up for building rooms and halls. The private open terrace, which is usually available only at the first floor, is an additional luxury for the owners of the bungalow apartment. What makes these apartments very convenient is that it offers security for the inhabitants and also provides amenities such as games area, swimming pool, club, gym, party hall etc. Owners can even have the luxury of having power backups or a water treatment plant yet pay only a fractional cost. While thematic apartments have been in vogue for long now, the latest concept bungalow apartments are turning out to be the trend nowadays. What makes them popular is the fact that it gives the owners a separate foyer and they can enjoy the architectural flourishes. Therefore, in an apartment complex, it is possible to have adequate private space. These apartments are also offered fully furnished and in some cases the interior decorations are also taken care of. Just as in an apartment complex where there might be nearly hundreds of flats, there would be numerous bungalows apartments in a complex. Yes, but the bungalows would certainly have more living space as well as private space such as foyers, balconies, sit-outs etc. It is all about living luxuriously and considering the huge investment made in such apartments, the construction companies will have to ensure that they adhere to all the rules and regulations imposed by the government. This typically begins with the land procurement, building plan, adherence to environmental policies etc. These types of residential units are indeed a boon for all prospective house owners who can afford it. Yes, for stylish living and privacy, bungalows apartments are the best deal as it saves on cost while offering all the luxuries of a bungalow. The exquisitely designed bungalows will make you a proud owner of the property, no doubt.
How to Find the Perfect Buenos Aires Rental Apartment - And What to Avoid Luckily, Buenos Aires is a city full of temporary rental apartments. This is great for the tourist because you can rent an apartment for a week for the price of one night at a hotel. Also, apartments have full kitchens so you can save money by cooking your own meals. In addition, the apartments are much larger than hotel rooms, and you have more privacy then staying in a hotel. However, finding that perfect tourist apartment in Buenos Aires can be challenging. At first you might be saying to yourself, well as long as it had a bed and it is clean what do I care? While that may be true for some people, if you are planning on staying in Buenos Aires for more than a few days you will want to avoid some of the mistakes I have made in the past when renting an apartment there. After renting several apartment in Buenos Aires I now know what to look for and what to avoid. Below are some tips that will help you find that ideal apartment and make your stay in Buenos Aires more enjoyable. Neighborhood - Make sure to ask exactly where the apartment is located. This might sound strange but many people renting out their apartments market their apartments as being in the desirable neighborhoods of Recoleta and Palmero when they actually are not. In fact at first glance you might think that those are only the two neighborhoods in Buenos Aires! But this is just real estate agents and apartment brokers tricky efforts to falsely expand the borders of the most desired neighborhoods in Buenos Aires. Recoleta and Barrio Norte (these two neighborhoods are usually used to denote the same area, with Barrio Norte being closer to subway stops) is the best place to stay while in Buenos Aires. Palermo is also nice with cool new restaurants and hip bars, but for me the barrio still has a way to go before it is as nice and established as Recoleta/Barrio Norte. There is too much graffiti and dog crap (watch your step while walking on Palermo sidewalks!) for me to suggest staying there over Recoleta. While some parts of Palermo can be quite charming it is just too big of a neighborhood to recommend it as a whole. Unless you know the specific location in Palermo is what you are looking for, it is best just to stick to Recoleta. Noise - I read once that Buenos Aires is the noisiest city in the world. After a night trying to sleep in an apartment on the street side of a busy avenue you will agree. Loud buses and scooters with no mufflers will keep you up at night or annoy you during the day if you arent careful about your apartment choice. The most important factor is make sure the apartment is not located on the street side of a building. For more quiet you want an apartment in the back side of the building or contrafrente as it is sometimes listed in spanish. Secondly, it is preferable to be on a low traffic street. But, I have stayed in apartments on a busy street before but the building was so large and the apartment was so far in the back it was actually very quiet. Finally the higher up the apartment the better, so look for an apartment on a high floor. However, I stayed in an apartment once that was on the 11th floor but it was still very noisy because it was on the street side. Therefore, the most important factor in having a quiet stay in Buenos Aires is look for an apartment on the back side of the building. Rooms - In Argentina a one bedroom apartment is called a two room apartment. So dont be shocked when you arrive and the two room apartment you rented is not a two bedroom, but an apartment with a living room and a bedroom. Likewise a studio apartment is called a one room apartment or monoambiente in spanish. Just make sure you are getting the right number of rooms you want when you rent, or ask for a floor plan before you decide to put down that deposit. Bed(s) - The eyes can be deceiving is what I learned when I rented what I thought was a perfect apartment. I even went to see the apartment before I decided to rent it. But I was fooled by the queen sized comforter covering up two single beds pushed together. Now some people might prefer this if you are two people traveling together and you want your own tiny bed, however there were queen sheets on the bed so you would have to ask for two sets of single sheets and more blankets to have two beds anyway (which in Argentina may or may not happen). So make sure your check under the covers or ask what the bed arrangement is before you book the apartment because waking up in the crack produced when the two beds push apart in the night is not a fun experience. Refrigerator - Many Buenos Aires apartments are small and sometimes the kitchen only has space for a small dorm-style refrigerator with a freezer the size of a text book that takes three days to make ice. This might not be a big deal to some, but I prefer to have a full sized fridge to make ice for drinks, and for longer stays to keep frozen food frozen. Internet - Many apartments in Buenos Aires offer high speed Internet. But what that means to some people may be different to you. I rented an apartment once that claimed to have high speed internet and when I arrived it was slower than dial up. The owner was in Spain and wouldnt increase the speed so I had to spend many afternoons at Internet cafes just to check email. Be sure to ask what the speed of the Internet is and if you dont know what is fast and what isnt usually a connection of 512 Kbps will be fine if you are just checking email occasionally, but if you are planning on downloading files and working online while you are in Argentina, then I would recommend at least a 1.0 Mbps connection or faster. English - If you dont speak Spanish, be sure to ask if the representative that will be meeting you at the apartment speaks English. Usually this isnt a problem, but I have had instances where I had to conduct business in Spanish and while it went OK, if you dont speak Spanish it might not go as smoothly for you.
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