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Published at Saturday, February 16th, 2019 - 18:49:18 PM. Apartment. By .

London Apartment - Everything You Need To Know Before Booking A Serviced London Apartment : A few weeks ago a secretary telephoned me in absolute desperation. She was desperately searching for accommodation in central London for some VIPs from abroad. She stumbled onto my website, not really understanding what the service was about. I think the words free service, apartments just helped her to figure out that Quality London Apartments had something to do with accommodation. Apologies for my long opening, but it is a prime example of how little travellers in the UK and Europe know about the serviced apartment industry. After explaining the concept of serviced apartments and helping her find an apartment, I realised that I needed to share this knowledge further afield. Thus, this article is my contribution to open up this elusive industry and offer tips to travellers. What is a serviced apartment? A serviced apartment is a flat in a block, which has a separate bedroom, sitting room/lounge, fully equipped kitchen, your own private keys to own door. Serviced apartments can be in the form of a studio flat (all in one room with a kitchenette), one, two or three bedrooms. All apartments enjoy maid service, utilities and a management team to help....just like a hotel. Guests only pay for a nightly rate and can live in a flat with everything they would have in their own home. Pros: Serviced London Apartment vs Hotels More value for money and cheaper. In a hotel, no matter which star rating, you pay per night for one room which will have a TV, bathroom, sofa and a bed. This is similar to a studio apartment! In an apartment there is a separate bedroom, kitchen, sitting room, bathroom and dining table (exception is studio) Pay per apartment and not per person. An example would be paying £250 per night for a two bedroom apartment, which could accommodate up to 4 people, that works out at £62.50 per person. Freedom and privacy. An apartment is like being in your own home and there is plenty of space. You have your own keys to your own door. Booking is easy, just like hotels. The majority of apartments require a credit card to guarantee, pre-payment before you arrive and thats it. No deposits, no tenants contracts. Cons: Serviced London Apartment vs Hotels Apartments lacks the buzz and services of a hotel such as restaurants and Room Service. Albeit some apartments are owned by hotels and offer you the use of their restaurants and other services. No 24-hour service around the clock. The apartments are ran by a small team who work Monday to Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm, so you are on your own during the weekend. There are emergency numbers to call should you suffer an electric cut, but no 24-hours hotel Duty Manager to run to your room. No pool, massages, saunas like hotels What to look out for when booking a serviced London apartment? 1. Quality of the apartment - make sure you find out if they are clean, well furnished and well maintained. How? Check the photos, and ask if you can book an appointment to view the apartment. This is very important if you are staying over a long period of time. 2. Do they have a friendly and efficient management team? If you need the comfort of a welcoming face to greet you on arrival, then ask for an apartment with a reception. Some apartments provide key boxes, so you can arrive any time, but there is no-one to meet you. A friendly and small team will be able to give you a very personal touch. 3. Opening time of the apartments office - doesnt sound important? Well it is because the majority of apartments operations team open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 6:00pm. If you arrive at your apartment during office open hours, then fine, but any other time and weekends will mean that you will need to pick up the keys from a different location. 4. Key delivery by car at the airport? - If you are flying from abroad to London, and do not fancy traipsing throughout London at night to pick up keys, the majority of apartments will hire a taxi to deliver your keys to the airport upon your arrival. Convenient for a small charge. 5. Payment procedure and cancellation policy - every apartment vary in their guest terms and conditions. All will accept a credit card as a guarantee of reservation, some will ask for 100% pre-payment at least 7 days prior to arrival and cancellation can range from 12:00pm on the day of arrival to 28 days. So, before you confirm the reservation, be very clear about the terms and conditions. Ask your apartment agents to explain the procedure to you and read the terms and conditions on your confirmation emails. It will save you a great deal of trouble and headache later. 6. Apartments are always allocated on arrival. This policy is the same as any hotel, so unless you are a regular guest to a specific apartment, apartments are on allocations. In the same breath, some apartments only have a small number of flats, so if you are reserving the only 3 bedrooms penthouse in their collection, then you are guaranteed that specific apartment. 7. Rates become more competitive the longer you stay. In this, we mean you have more bargaining power if you are staying for one month or longer. This is when your apartment agent can really help you by negotiating with a variety of apartments to get you the best deal. 8. Using an apartment agent will also save you time searching, but most importantly they will work with your budget and negotiate a great deal for you. Of course, you also need to be realistic about what you can book, dont expect to spend £80 per night for a luxury apartment. For example, one of our clients had £300 budget per night for a two bedroom apartment and he wanted something luxury. For those readers who know London well, also understands that this budget is actually very small. Despite that, we booked him and 3 friends into the Victoria Park Plaza luxury apartment (£150 per night less than the usual price) for £300 per night with free breakfast, gym and access to the executive lounge. Any apartment agent worth their salt can and will move mountains to help you. What if I dont like the apartment when I get there? If you really feel that you have been hard done by, tell the apartment management team and ask to be moved to another apartment. All of the apartments that we work with are very customer focussed and try to help guests enjoy their stay. If this does not work, talk to your apartment agent, if that is how you booked. Best advice though, is to ask all the right questions before you book an apartment. Your appetite for apartments is now whetted - how do you find London apartments? 1. As already explained, you can choose a free search and book service of an apartment agent or go direct to a specific apartment that you know. Both methods are absolutely fine, dependent of your knowledge of London apartments. Using an agent will mean that they will search far across their portfolio and present you with a variety of choices...all within 10-15 minutes. Agents are impartial and will only (good agents anyway) recommend the quality apartments for your needs. 2. You can use search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN to find apartments. Type in keywords like London serviced apartments or quality London apartments and so on. 3. Stating the obvious but, ask for a recommendation from friends and acquaintances. 4. Check on Tripadvisor.com and other customer review websites.

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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