If you’ve decided on a serviced apartment for your next stay then you’ve made a great decision. However, how do you choose between the different serviced apartment companies available? This is our step-by-step guide to choosing the best serviced apartment company for your needs.
- Are they specialised?
Serviced apartments are unlike any other type of accommodation. They aren’t a hotel, but they aren’t your standard rental property either. They come with elements of both types of accommodation. However, you can frequently find serviced apartments listed on generic accommodation sites sitting alongside the hotels, bed and breakfasts, and guest houses. You’ll also sometimes find them posted in the estate agent’s window (or on their site) too. Yet, in reality, when you find serviced apartments in these listings you’re not comparing like with like, and have no guarantee of the property (or their management). Instead you need to start your search with specialised serviced apartment companies. These companies, by specialising only in serviced apartments, don’t simply list any and every serviced apartment they can find. Instead, their very business success depends on only offering pre-vetted accommodation to a certain standard. Additionally, because they specialise in serviced apartments, they should list the relevant information exactly as you need them to. They aren’t trying to fit the amenities, services and costs of a serviced apartment in to a web form designed for hotels. This matters.
- Do they have choice?
The first criteria above is important, but this inevitably means that some serviced apartment companies really don’t have a huge amount of choice available. However, with the boom in serviced apartments in cities such as London, you should expect to be able to choose from a wide range of properties which meet your criteria for location, size, and budget. Whatever your search criteria, you should still be able to choose from a handful to a dozen of suitable apartments all of which meet your needs. This genuine choice affords you the ability to refine your choice based on your wishes rather than compromise on your needs. If you discover, through your first searches with different serviced apartment companies, that your search results are only giving you one or two options then step away and choose a bigger more reputable company.
- Can you see a breakdown of costs, charges, and terms and conditions?
Often, when choosing any accommodation, and this includes serviced accommodation, you sign-up before really understanding the precise fees you’ll face, and the associated terms and conditions. This is really important with serviced apartments where they differ from manager to manager. For example, with one you may be charged a premium for cleaning, in another it’s included. Therefore, prior to the point of booking, you should feel reassured that you can easily see exactly what is included in the amount you pay, and what isn’t (and what those charges might be). You should also be able to see the specific terms and conditions pertaining to your chosen accommodation. Furthermore, you need to know that this information is accurate and up to date. Unfortunately, many of the ‘umbrella’ sites such as booking.com or Expedia are only as accurate as the initial listing. You therefore might find nasty surprises once you’ve booked and you receive the actual terms and conditions from the owner.
- Do they offer online booking?
Whilst you should be able to book your serviced apartment over the phone, it’s also useful to know which serviced apartment companies offer online booking. This is because with online booking you can instantly check images, and listings, in order to get a more accurate picture of the accommodation you are choosing. Online booking makes great sense when you’re searching for accommodation in an area or city you are unfamiliar with.
- Can you read reviews?
Lastly, can you read reviews written by other serviced apartment guests? These reviews and ratings can provide a valuable insight in to what staying in the accommodation is really like. Even if a listing doesn’t have a review listed, knowing that the facility is available to guests offers a level of reassurance that guests can get their voice heard – whether positive or negative. It allows you useful reassurance when choosing between different serviced apartment companies. If you’re looking for a serviced apartment company which can answer ‘Yes’ to all of the above questions then London Serviced Apartments are the company you’re looking for.