By . Apartment. Published at Wednesday, February 13th, 2019 - 06:55:19 AM.
Apartments, One Mans Dream Is Anothers Nightmare Apartments. Usually somebodys first home after getting married. Cant really say theyre relatively cheap anymore. Depending on where you live, apartments can run you anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars a month. So what does one do when looking for an apartment? Believe it or not, there are many different types, styles, and pay plans involved. Well try to cover the basic types in this article and what you can expect to find with each. Starting off small there is your basic studio apartment. A studio apartment is usually 1 room with a kitchen and bath. Lets first off define what a room is when getting an apartment. A room is any room other than your kitchen and bath. Bathrooms do not count as rooms at all because they are required by law. Kitchens are a little different. Most walk in kitchens are considered a half a room. If the kitchen is simply an area in the apartment that is not cut off from the other rooms then it is not counted as a room. So a studio 1 room would have a kitchen area thats part of the 1 room, meaning it probably comes with just a refrigerator and a stove and sink. A studio 1 1/2 room would have a kitchen that is actually separated from the rest of the apartment by a wall and has a doorway. Most studio apartments are 1 room. Studio apartments, contrary to what most people think, are not cheap. A studio in New York City can cost you $1000 a month. In some areas you can get a studio for about $500. Then there are your basic apartments that are normally 3 or 4 rooms. A three room apartment has a living room, dining area and 1 bedroom. Again, the difference between a 3 and a 3 1/2 room is the kitchen being either part of one of the rooms or cut off. A four room apartment usually has a living room, dining area and 2 bedrooms. If a family needs a third bedroom the dining area is usually converted. The problem with dining areas is that they dont normally have doors to separate them from the other rooms. So to ensure privacy some kind of sliding door is usually installed. Actually most 4 room apartments, because of the extra room are really 4 1/2 rooms because in almost all cases the kitchen is cut off from the other rooms. In apartments there is seldom a basement. Most apartments are assigned a basement area in a main basement used for the entire complex. In some cases each apartment section or group of apartments has a basement nearby. Aside from the number of rooms there is also the issue of layout. Most apartments are single level, meaning all the rooms are on one floor. But in some cases there are apartment complexes that are what they call duplexes. These are two apartments side by side in each complex and each apartment is two floors as opposed to the 4 apartment complexes where each apartment is on a single level. In two level apartments the living room and dining area are usually downstairs with the bedrooms upstairs. Most two level apartments are 4 1/2 rooms. Then there is the issue of what services come with the apartment and what services have to be paid for separately. In some apartments your gas and electricity and water utilities are included in the cost of the rent. In other apartments only the water is paid for and your gas and electric are paid to your local public service company. Some apartments dont cover any of your costs. So when you get an apartment make sure you find out just what your rent covers. The reason for this is that an apartment for $900 a month with all utilities paid may actually be a better deal than an apartment for $750 a month if the latter apartment doesnt include any utilities at all. Finally, in securing an apartment many require a security deposit equal to the rent of the apartment. Some require one month security and some require two months. This is paid back to you when your lease expires if you decide to leave. Breaking a lease will usually mean forfeiture of your deposit. Which brings us to apartment rules. This is why there is nothing like owning your own home. Most apartments allow no pets. Playing music after a certain hour will bring complaints from your neighbors. The list goes on and on but Im sure you get the point. Your freedom to do what you want in an apartment is limited. Some people love the idea of not having to worry about repairs, as the super usually takes care of that, and live in apartments their whole life. Others cant wait until they can get into their own home. Thats the wonderful thing about this world. One mans dream is another mans nightmare.
Serviced Apartments - What Every Traveler Must Know : Nowadays, serviced apartments have gained popularity among travelers due to a list of benefits they can offer. More and more travelers find it more convenient to stay in this type of accommodation because it is cheaper than a hotel room while being ensured of a safe and comfortable place to stay. Advantages Of Staying In Apartments 1. Inexpensive Yet Comfortable Accommodation If you are fond of traveling, may it be for leisure or business purposes, you might be very familiar about hotels. What other people do not know of is, staying in a serviced apartment is like staying in a hotel room. The same safety and comfort can be provided to you when you choose to stay in a serviced apartment. 2. Privacy It is normal for anybody to treasure privacy. When you choose to stay in a serviced apartment, you are ensured of superb privacy. Staying in such type of accommodation is similar to staying in your own home. 3. Complete Amenities The good thing about staying in serviced apartments is the opportunity to have an accommodation which offers a wide-ranging facilities and amenities. You can cook your meals because there is a fully-equipped kitchen, you can do the laundry because there is a washing machine inside the apartment, and you can do other routines which you usually do. In addition, this type of accommodation has modern facilities such as a gym, salon and spa, and restaurant. If you want to save more money, you can just shop for raw meat or foods and you can cook them inside the apartment. 4. Pets When traveling, you might want to bring your dog or cat with you. Good thing a serviced apartment can allow you to take your pets inside the apartment. With this, you only need to pay an extra amount to your apartment provider. 5. Accessible Location Traveling is easy when your accommodation in conveniently situated at the heart of the city. With this, choosing an apartment is a great choice because most of these apartments are located at the city center to provide you a hassle-free trip. 6. Can Accommodate A Family Or Group of Friends Apartments are perfect for a group of people who travel together. Compared to a hotel room, an apartment is more spacious, which is why you can be ensured that everyone has enough space inside the apartment. Finding Apartments When you are looking for an apartment for your future trip, you can find a lot of choices online. The best thing about online hunting is the convenience it brings. No need to go out of your house or office to book for an accommodation because there are a lot of apartment providers you can find online. Specific rates and testimonials can be viewed online too. You can immediately contact the service provider for your inquiries.
Luxury Apartment Living in Modern Suburban Communities Like many of my generation, I left fast pace, aggressive city living for a kinder, gentler lifestyle in South Florida. I sought temporary living accommodations, because I was sure that my housing wants and needs would become more apparent and defined once I settled into the tropical lifestyle, assuming they didnt change altogether. So, I set out to rent an apartment from among South Floridas abundant supply of luxury apartment communities. Once I had made my decision to move I was eager to find a place to live and allotted myself a week in which to accomplish the task. Before leaving for Florida, I started my groundwork and searched online using a variety of websites that cater to the needs of people relocating and seeking housing in Florida. After I arrived in Florida, I picked up a couple of free paperback guides at the local supermarket, which proved more useful than I ever would have imagined. Finding a new home was going to be a snap, I thought. IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, YOU WONT FIND IT HERE.I quickly learned that sometimes too many options can be (almost) as frustrating as too few, and came down with an acute case of analysis paralysis trying to sift through the dozens of possibilities I had before me. Initially, all I really knew was that I needed a place to live and that I wanted it to be somewhere on Floridas Gold Coast, that vast region stretching from West Palm Beach south to the Florida Keys. With the Atlantic Ocean bordering the region to the east and the everglades to the west, I felt fortunate that my region of interest was fairly narrow, even if it had been longer than I would have preferred. My next move was to buy a map of the region and select some criteria to focus my search and further limit my search area. Some considerations were more obvious than others were. For example, I knew Id need a job and that, in my field, the prospects for finding one would dramatically increase with my proximity to the larger, denser urban areas of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami. However, I also knew that, with my luck, it was more than a possibility Id land a job in less likely West Palm Beach and probably the day after the ink dried on my apartment lease in a community in the midst of one of those more prominent cities. I decided to hedge my bet and search within the nondescript area of Southern Palm Beach County-Northern Broward County, somewhat equidistant in space and time between the polar extremes of West Palm Beach and Miami. In an attempt to further minimize my potential commutation time, I figured it might be a good idea to find a place near the regions two major north-south highways, I-95 and the Florida Turnpike. Seeing still too many options on my list, I knew that further limiting myself to moderately priced communities would be sure to eliminate both the high end and more affordable extremes. I soon discovered that seeking moderate pricing would also narrow the geographic scope of my search, as I would now be looking too cheap to be near the Atlantic Ocean, but expensive enough to avoid sleeping with the gators in the glades. Although I had done my best to winnow my list, I still had too many communities to evaluate in detail within the weeks deadline I had set for myself. I also knew that the kind of evaluation I needed to do would require more than a seat-of-the-pants review of the various apartment websites and paperback guides that I had at my disposal. It was time to get out in the field and kick a little dirt and wrestle with some bricks and mortar. YOU CANT GET THERE FROM HERE. How hard could that be? I wondered. I had limited myself to a mere twenty-mile radius centered somewhere on Military Trail, between Boca Raton and Delray Beach, and I already possessed the complete addresses for all the communities I intended to visit. All I had to do was plan a logistically sensible itinerary, hop in my car and go take a look. As I started to plot each days itinerary on my map, I realized that having an address offered little insight into a destinations location. After all, this was laid back Florida where residents come and go at a leisurely pace and show little concern about how long it takes to find their destination. Sure, South Florida has addresses, but no one abides by them, not even the mailmen. Around these parts, if you want to know where to go, you ask someone for directions, and get accustomed to hearing them in terms of mileage, number of traffic lights, or counting local landmarks like Winn-Dixies or Exxon stations. I learned quickly that most street addresses are useless, especially those on streets that dont extend more that a couple of miles, or those on streets that change their names occasionally along the route. Adding to the confusion is the fact that every other town seems to have a road, street, avenue, or boulevard named Atlantic or Ocean, or has street numbers and directional designations that from the perspective of passersby seem to emanate from some fictitious place. Streets that dont calibrate evenly like, for example, NE (Northeast) 47th street, followed immediately by NE 52nd street, and then NE 89th street are bad enough. But, when they intersect, say, SW (Southwest) 11th avenue, you start to wonder if youve found a new wrinkle in our universes space-time continuum. Many apartment communities just make matters worse by concocting their own exclusive street addresses specially designed to give their locations cache, even if they lack a spatial context. In reality, the addresses exist only on their own community site maps and usually relate to nothing more than a long driveway extending from public access roads to their front gates. LOTS OF DATA, BUT NOT ENOUGH INFORMATION. Street address numbers are among the most heavily guarded secrets in Florida. Many places dont even bother to display them or display them so poorly that even a pair of eagle eyes and x-ray vision cant spot them modestly displayed behind palm trees, store signs, shopping center marquees and the like. Besides, in my experience, following address numbers are more likely to hinder than help. Sometimes they lull you into a false sense of security as you observe them ascending or descending toward your destination only to find them jump ahead or completely reverse direction when you pass from one town to the next. After these revelations, I knew that nothing short of some serious old-fashioned dead reckoning was going to be required in order to find my way. That meant picking up a phone, calling leasing offices, and asking for specific driving directions to their apartment communities. In some cases, I literally had to simulate in my mind taking the actual trip by visualizing all its landmarks before ever leaving my driveway. Gone were the days when travel directions were a matter of pinpointing a major intersection near a destination on a map and then leaving the rest up to an organized grid of roads to get there. As I approached the entrance of the first community on my list, I couldnt help feeling the sense of accomplishment I imagined Magellan had felt after circumnavigating the globe, albeit on a much, much smaller scale. However, I realized my celebration was pre-mature as I sat in my car outside the propertys heavy metal gates trying to guess the magic words that would get me inside. I followed the instructions posted on the gates sophisticated telephone directory system, but was denied access just the same. I ultimately ended up sneaking in behind a resident entering with an electronic key card. I learned during subsequent visits to these so-called secured, gated communities that sneaking in was part of the normal routine, which explains why none of the representatives I met at the various leasing offices I visited ever wondered how I got in without their assistance. GOOD LEASING FOLKS CAN EASE THE PROCESS. Im pleased to say that most of the leasing representatives I met at the more than two- dozen communities I visited that week were highly professional and efficient in discharging their obligation to enlighten me about their apartments. The really good ones cut to the chase and sized-up their offerings quickly. Many answered questions before I had asked them and usually with a few well chosen words and the aid of brochures, fact sheets and apartment floor plans and site maps. I was particularly glad when some representatives dispensed with filling out all the pre-application paperwork until after showing me their available units. As far as I was concerned, it was a complete waste of time for both of us unless and until I decided I wanted to live there. DONT BE FOOLED BY SMOKE AND MIRRORS. The fun part of the process was actually making inspections of the apartments. It was also the time I felt the need to start paying close attention to what I was doing. Some apartment communities will only show you model apartments they reserve specifically for that purpose, which are designed to help prospective tenants visualize living there. Needless to say, virtually all the models I saw looked brand new, tastefully furnished, and in much better condition than the apartments actually available to rent. And, except for giving a sense of the layout of a floor plan (and some communities have many) and how furniture might be arranged, models give little insight into the finish quality of the apartments actually available to new tenants. They also offer no sense of your neighbors or any other features that relate to the ambience of your apartment, such as its views or its exposure to light, air, and noise. PRETEND YOU LIVE THERE. I learned quickly that the easiest way to become enthusiastic about or eliminate an apartment was to examine its layout, especially paying particular attention to room configurations, connecting walls and sight lines. If, for example, while standing at the front door, I was able to see all the bedroom and bathroom doors, I knew immediately I was ready to move on to the next apartment and hopefully one that would give the appearance (if not the reality) of more privacy. If layouts flowed logically with, say, kitchens situated near dining areas but separated from other living areas, I was satisfied and moved on to examining the rooms themselves. During my inspections, I came to appreciate that room quality was not only a matter of size, but also shape and wall space considerations. Large rooms are great, but those with imaginative polygon shapes create odd angled corners that are difficult to utilize. In the same way, wall surfaces that are too encumbered with closets, windows and doors could make even rudimentary furniture placement a frustrating exercise. The number and placement of doors and how well they separate living spaces was another consideration. For example, some master bathrooms have toilet closets, but no doors separating the shower/bath tub from bedrooms, which wont suffice if youre claustrophobic or finicky about not wanting shower humidity spreading throughout your home. Kitchens without doors can be troublesome too, unless adequate care has been taken to prevent cooking odors from wafting throughout the home. While examining rooms, I took particular note of the number and spacing of electric outlets, and telephone and cable jacks available throughout an apartment. It came as no surprise that older properties do not usually cater well to todays space-age electrical, entertainment and telecommunications requirements. SOME PRISONS HAVE MORE WINDOWS. Windows were by far the biggest disappointment I encountered in all apartments across the board. Generally, there arent enough of them, theyre small and rarely found in kitchens or bathrooms. To make matters worse, most (if not all) tended to be on one side of apartments. It amazes me that in a place like Florida with all its sunshine, clean air and pleasant climate (at least 6 months a year), more care isnt taken by architects and builders to optimize the use of windows in residential structures. Suffice it to say that fresh air cross ventilation is hard to come by in Florida, so get used to working your air conditioner hard, because youll need it and every ceiling fan you can install to pump air through your home all day long, all year long. Another important factor about windows is simply the direction they face. For example, if you like it cool, you should select a northern exposure, or alternatively, if youd rather bask in sunshine all day long, then a southern exposure will be to your liking. A preference for cool mornings or cool afternoons will translate into a preference for western and eastern exposures, respectively. SO MUCH FOR AN OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE. Patios were my second biggest disappointment with Florida apartments, and for similar reasons as windows. In general, theyre too small and confining to provide a relaxed, comfortable living experience. Most amazingly, few patios are screened-in to provide adequate protection from all those lower forms of life that seem to outnumber humans by many orders of magnitude, especially during the summer. In addition, surprisingly few have overhanging roofs or eaves to provide that little extra protection from sunshine and rain that at times can enhance the patio living experience. On the other hand, most patios have such poor views and overlook such noisy mechanical equipment that you probably wont want to spend any quality time out there anyway. Those of you who look forward to napping on the patio will best appreciate the importance of these seemingly nitpicky comments. Among other factors, dont overlook the importance of elevation to the overall quality of the apartment living experience. Most of the apartment communities I visited charge a nominal rental premium for an upper floor apartment (approximately $25 per month), probably because upper floor apartments dont have pesky noisy neighbors overhead throwing cigarette butts off their patios. They are also less likely to be flooded from rainstorms and tend to receive fewer visits from all those critters youll find on your unscreened patios (ants, spiders, lizards, etc.) that Floridians have learned to coexist with. However, along with the superior views and access to light and air that upper floors provide is the excessive heat and possibility of leaks (on top floors). Upper floor units sometimes offer the amenity of a vaulted or cathedral ceiling that can enhance the light and air or feeling of spaciousness in an apartment. DONT BE TOO IMPRESSED WITH ALL THE SHINY GADGETS. During most of my apartment inspections, the leasing representatives did their best to talk around the aforementioned design flaws and tried to sell me on all the gadgets and labor saving conveniences that typically come with luxury apartments. Many apartments come equipped with washers and dryers (which I prefer to be installed in utility closets off the kitchen or outside on the patio, instead of adjacent to carpeted living areas). By the way, if washers and dryers arent featured in an apartment, you better get a peek at your apartment communitys on-site laundry facility. Many communities offer dishwashers, garbage disposals, oversized bathtubs, microwave ovens, refrigerators with icemakers, and one or more ceiling fans, in order to enhance the comfort of their apartments. MAKE IT YOUR BUSINESS TO STRETCH YOUR LEGS. After touring apartments that met my basic criteria, I spent some time walking the communities to get a sense of their residents, a feel for their comfort and ambience and to inspect their amenities. Also, as I strolled I took particular note of how well properties appeared to be maintained. Although most luxury apartments will be up to snuff on the day you move in, even the newest and best built will require routine maintenance and repairs from time to time. Walking around may also give you some insight into the mindset and proficiency of the management and maintenance crew. If the common areas are well maintained (e.g., clean and recently painted, parking lots well paved, landscaping well groomed, and few signs of deferred maintenance), chances are better that the same philosophy and vigilance will apply to the upkeep of your apartment. The best single place for a maintenance inspection is the pool and its surrounding lounge area, which usually is the most popular common area within a community. Most leasing tours for prospective tenants begin with a tour of the pool area, which is usually centrally located adjacent to the propertys leasing and property management center. As a communitys showcase, these areas are usually better maintained than other less visible areas. So, if the pool area needs a renovation, you should wonder how the rest of the property looks. SWIMMING POOLS OR CEMENT PONDS? Even if the pool area is well maintained, you may not be all that impressed with the scale and scope of those facilities. Before I started my search it was inconceivable that I would find such woefully inadequate pool facilities in a place where sun bathing and swimming take place more than 300 days per year. In general, pools are small and shallow (barely 5 feet deep in some cases), not very well maintained and surrounded with only enough lounge chairs to accommodate 5% of their tenant population. Most of the places I visited had whirlpool spas, but some are barely larger than bath tubs, are not particularly well maintained, and are as likely to be out of service as they are to be operating on any given day of the week. Even more surprising is the fact that some brand new apartment communities I visited, which typically pride themselves on being loaded with recreational amenities, are not even bothering to build these all-popular whirlpool spas into their otherwise state-of-the-art properties. DO-IT-YOURSELF TORTURE CHAMBERS. In most cases, health clubs are small, dark unfriendly spaces that suffer from a serious lack of cable TV entertainment and exterior light and views. If I had to use such facilities, I know Id be even more eager than usual to finish my workout. Except for basic treadmills, stationary bicycles and free weights, the other equipment in some of these facilities looks as though it is borrowed from The Smithsonian. As for other forms of recreation, some apartment communities provide tennis courts, bicycle paths, basketball courts and kiddy playgrounds, but not necessarily in a state of repair you might consider inviting. DONT TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED. After one inspection, I started to pay attention to some of the amenities I would normally take for granted, such as where and how tenants go about retrieving mail or disposing of garbage. Tenant mail facilities range from the expected (i.e., located near apartments, sheltered from the elements by a breeze way or some other structure) to the ridiculous (i.e., all huddled together in the middle of a parking lot completely unprotected from the rain and sunshine, and dangerously close to moving vehicles). You may not mind waiting for the rain to stop to pick up your mail, but you can rest assured the mailman isnt going to wait when he/she delivers it. If you live in one of those unfortunate places, you better have your mail delivered to a post office box, or get used to opening soggy mail. As for the trash disposal, I resigned myself to the fact that the best I could expect would be having one large compactor and storage facility located near the exit of my community, regardless of how large an area that might be. The obvious advantage of such an arrangement is that tenants wont have to smell or look at garbage anywhere else within the community and wont have to be bothered by noisy garbage men carting it away in the wee morning hours. However, Im still getting used to a routine of hopping in my car every time I need to dispose of trash or coordinating garbage runs with my daily travel schedule. PEEK OVER THAT SECURITY GATE BEFORE SIGNING ON THE DOTTED LINE. Before registering a community on my short list of acceptable options, I made sure I drove completely around its periphery, and noted its proximity to public utility plants, highway interchanges, or some other equally undesirable land uses. In the process, I was sure to check out its neighborhood amenities, especially within a five-minute drive. Most appealing community locales were off main drags but near most of the daily conveniences Id likely need, including supermarkets, restaurants, drug stores, banks, movies, etc. Communities within 15 minutes of shopping centers, entertainment hubs and other desirable landmarks were placed high on my short list. As a contrast, some of the communities I visited were long hauls from commercial activity of any kind, and some were near special facilities Id be more likely to visit on a monthly or annual basis, like Lowes Home Improvements, Home Depot, furniture outlets, vacuum cleaner distributors, and so on. FINAL OBSERVATIONS. I am pleased to report that I live in a community that provides a reasonable blend of the four major features I had sought from the outset: decent living accommodations (spacious, functional layout, with a view); basic community amenities (good swimming pool and safe, convenient access to personal mail boxes and trash disposal facilities); abundant neighborhood shopping opportunities; and good accessibility to major highways and regional employment centers. Best of all, I reside near the intersection of two important road arteries, which means visitors can find me on a map even using the most schematic maps of the region. Over the course of my inspections, certain facts emerged as apparent truths. And, you should be aware that some of the foregoing comments apply to other areas of Florida and other types of housing (like condominiums and single family homes) as well as luxury apartment rentals. Readers are encouraged to verify similarities and differences across geographic areas and housing types based on their own experience. Some general comments are worth noting. Notwithstanding the extreme volatility in residential real estate markets recently, Luxury garden-apartment-style communities in this area of South Florida still rent for $1.00 (give or take) per square foot per month. That means a 900 square foot apartment will rent for approximately $900 per month. Not surprisingly, one bedroom units have the highest per square foot rents; three bedroom units the lowest. Some communities charge extra for water, sewer and trash removal. Most charge a rental premium for certain apartment views (especially golf course or lake views), upper floor apartments and pets. Newer doesnt always mean better and be aware that down here 10 years is considered old, if not a lifetime. Unlike other more traditional regions of the US, old residences down here are not considered classic, vintage, or quaint, but rather just plain obsolete and undesirable. However, as the expression goes, they aint building them like they used to and if you want spacious, well proportioned, logical layouts youre going to have to look at the old stuff. The best compromise is to find an old unit that has recently been completely renovated and refurbished. Age 55 plus communities cater to the seniors, but those without such designations dont necessarily cater to the young single adult population. In my experience, the only tangible difference between the tenancies of the two types is the existence of lots of toddlers and teenagers in the latter. Like everything else in life, tradeoffs do exist in trying to find that perfect blend of apartment features. In South Florida, within a given price range, if you want to be near the Ocean, youre going to accept older, lesser accommodations. Newer properties tend to have more and better site amenities, such as pools, health clubs and tennis courts, but tend to be located farther away from regional employment centers and shops and facilities youll need to visit daily, such as food stores, restaurants, drug stores, banks, etc. Finally, if you want to enjoy fresh air, sunshine and truly experience the lifestyle that has fostered Floridas growth during the past several decades, youll just have to go to the beach!
A Simple and Easy Guide to Renting a Service Apartment in Bangkok, Thailand What are the best areas of Bangkok to rent? What facilities and services can I expect from a Bangkok serviced apartment? What are the best and worst serviced apartments in Bangkok? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and much more in my simple and easy guide to renting a serviced apartment in Bangkok for both expats and travelers. Bangkok is the Center of Southeast Asia As the commercial center of Thailand and the hub of business and leisure travel within Southeast Asia, Bangkok has exceptional hotels of all kinds catering to the business elite and casual traveler. Recently, a new kind of accommodation has gained favor with business executives on short stays in Bangkok--the luxury serviced apartment. With increased commercial expansion over the past several years, serviced apartments are quickly becoming the favorite choice of living style for their affordable luxury. What is a Serviced Apartment? The serviced part of the equation usually refers to the daily or twice weekly cleaning of your room, the furniture, kitchen amenities and so on that normal apartments do not include. Some service apartments also function as hotels, and these are called Aparthotels. Whats So Special About Bangkok Serviced Apartments? Real estate and relocation agents believe Bangkok has the most number of sophisticated apartments the world has to offer. There are not just one or two luxurious apartments, but close to 50. This is because skilled labor is cheap in thailand, and the city itself is a major business hub for the southeast asia region. Renting a serviced apartment in bangkok can be a daunting task for several reasons--the primary one being there are so many fine print and extra costs involved when signing a weekly, monthly or yearly contract. I have been living in Bangkok for a few years now, and have gone through several serviced apartments, learning on the way which services are included and what to expect from your stay in Bangkok. Bangkoks City Plan The Bangkok Jungle has several meanings, one of them being that the city was never built with a city plan or urban design in mind. The city is a sprawling landscape, a montage of residential and commercial buildings juxtaposing one another. It is home to 10 to 15 million people, depending on who is arriving from the rural country and abroad. The people as well, from poor to affluent, live side by side. The city itself is lopsided; if you look down any major road in bangkok, you will see that both sides of the road arent balanced, building heights are different, and there is an overall lack of symmetry. This is what makes Bangkok unique and charming. And what makes it a jungle. The Best Areas To Live In Bangkok Bangkok contains inexpensive to exclusive apartments, but the best ones are found in the following regions of Bangkok: Sukhumvit, the main road or artery of Bangkok Asok, one of the most exclusive and expensive areas to live Thong Lo, the chic and fashionable street, Sathorn, the business district of Bangkok Silom, another business and red light district Ploenchit, business district Chit Lom, business district The areas listed above are all within easy access to shopping, dining, entertainment, trains, skytrains, and expressways. If you choose to live in one of these areas, you will experience life in the center of Bangkoks thriving business and shopping centres while indulging in an ultra private serviced apartment in Bangkok. I personally recommend Asok and Chit Lom, as they are the classiest areas of Bangkok, but if you are looking to be close to the night markets Silom is perfect, and Sukhumvit is always a colorful experience. Facilities and Services of Typical Bangkok Serviced Apartments These vary between the different types of apartments and condos, but a standard of excellence has been establlished from the increasing competition among serviced apartments. Facilities and services are upgraded regularly to keep up with rival residences. However, before investing in a serviced apartment, be sure to check if these services and facilities are available. 5 Services That Should Be Included Free of Charge: Room Cleaning Water/Utilities Internet Usage 24 Hour Security Room Service/Errand Boy 4 Facilities That Should Be Included Restaurant Gym Pool Convenience Store The Loopholes: Length of Stay, Deposits and Electricity If you are staying for a month or year, the serviced apartment may charge you for electricity. Make sure that you negotiate this price to 6.5 Baht/Unit. A lot of times the apartment owners will charge 8 Baht/Unit for more profit. They only pay 3 or 4 Baht/Unit. Be careful when signing leases; most require a 2 month deposit, and if you move out before your contract is finished you forfeit this deposit. Make sure the serviced apartment has a laundry service, either in house or out of house. Most serviced apartments have coin operated laundry rooms as well as pick up services. More deluxe suites will have washing machine in the room. Note that most places do not have dryers. How much Should I Pay? This is a difficult question to answer, but the more facilities a serviced apartment has, the more it will cost. If a serviced apartment has a pool, gym and also functions as a 24 hour hotel, then the monthly price will be above 30,000 Baht. Location also has a large part to do with cost of a bangkok serviced apartment. If you are staying in an area not close to skytrain or subway access, your price will be much lower. Conversely, staying in the business districts of Silom or trendy spots like Ekkamai or Thonglor will raise your monthly rent. Which Serviced Apartment Should I Choose? The serviced apartment market in Bangkok is lead by three groups, The President Group, The Ascott Group, and Centre Point. Most of them offer first class accommodation and have a decent system of serving their customers. However, there are numerous independent serviced apartments to choose from. The 2 Worst Serviced Apartments in Bangkok Ascott Bangkok Sathorn There have been several articles written in trade journals about the decline in service at the once famous and most prestigious serviced apartment in Bangkok. Once known for attention to customer relations, their lack of it is now glaringly obvious to everyone who stays there. This place is an example of a chain serviced apartment becoming too much like a corporation with no human touch of service. Lebua Rumor is their staff is very untrustworthy. Read the trade journals and google the residence for reviews. Top 2 Most Luxurious Bangkok Serviced Apartments Siri Sathorn Apartments Siri Sathorn is a five-star luxury `boutique` property which epitomises private and elegant living in a residential setting. It is a concept of the perfect home which appeals to international traveller. This place caters to Japanese clientelle but of course is open to everyone. Fraser Place Urbana Langusan They have an exclusive 45-metre driveway leading from the main road to the serviced residence for great privacy. They also have some of the best services and customer relations I have ever experienced, pampered is the only word that comes to mind Best Value Bangkok Serviced Apartments Silom Convent Garden Newly built in November 2006, this chic serviced apartment is located in the Silom-Sathorn area but has some of the cheapest rates for this business and night market district. For 36,000 Baht/$1000 a month you can have a 38 square meter, 1 bedroom, fully furnished luxurious apartment complete with full kitchen, washer machine, flat screen tv, and rain shower. The only drawback is the place doesnt have a pool or gym, but thats the reason the price is so low and why its one of the best values in Bangkok. If you are still undecided whether to have a stay in Bangkok on your next trip, it was just recently announced that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to make Bangkok a paradise city. The article from the Bangkok Post states the BMA will establish a fund to address trash, pollution and traffic problems. Now is the time to take your next vacation or business trip to Bangkok, as life couldnt get any better in the City of Angels!
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