Someone who travels often, be it for leisure, work, or education, knows that finding a place to live in that truly feels like home is no easy task.
Hotels, although comfortable and convenient, can quickly become repetitive and expensive in the long run. On the other hand, renting an apartment entails contracts, deposits, and a lot of paperwork.
This is precisely where serviced apartments come in – often described by travelers as their home away from home. Fully furnished, often equipped with a yard and garage, serviced apartments are the complete package.
From Wi-Fi, internet, and television to linen, towel, cutlery, and a washing machine, these places come equipped with all the amenities needed for a pleasant and relaxed stay.
However, with multiple options on the market, choosing the right serviced apartment can be a challenge. After all, you do not want to end up in a subpar place that does not meet your expectations.
10 Things to Look For in a Serviced Apartment
To save you the trouble, we have compiled a list of things you should look for in a serviced apartment before making your booking.
The first and arguably most important thing to consider when choosing a serviced apartment is its location. How comfortable your stay will depend significantly on where your apartment is located.
Experts recommend that you look at five factors before deciding on a location, including neighborhood, centrality, crime rate, amenities, and budget.
The goal is to ensure that your apartment is situated in a safe and convenient neighborhood, close to public transport and other necessary amenities such as malls, supermarkets, clinics, and pharmacies.
If you are on a work trip, it’s preferable to find a location that is closer to your workplace to save long hours of commute.
Individuals who prefer peace and quiet should opt for an apartment located away from tourist attractions, schools, and other places with high-foot traffic.
The location of your apartment will also have a major influence on the rent. If you want to be in the heart of the city, you’ll likely be charged more.
But if you’re willing to live a little further out, you may be able to find a cheaper apartment.
You should also think about what kind of neighborhood you want to live in. Do you want to be in a quiet residential area or a bustling downtown district? Consider your needs and preferences when choosing a location for your serviced apartment.
Size and Layout
Serviced apartments come in all shapes and sizes, from one-bedroom studios to three-bedroom apartments.
It is important to take into account how many people will be staying in the apartment as well as how much space you will need.
Ideally, you want an apartment that is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate all your needs, with a layout that makes efficient use of the space.
Before finalizing your decision, ask yourself a few basic questions to get a better idea of what you need.
Do you require a separate bedroom, or would a studio with a sofa bed suffice? Do you need two bathrooms, or can you get by with one?
Also, remember to check if the layout of the place makes sense to you and if you’ll be able to utilize that space efficiently.
For instance, if you intend to invite guests over, you’ll need a place with a bigger living area.
Facilities and Services
One of the main reasons people choose serviced apartments over hotels is because of the additional facilities and services they have to offer.
From concierge services and 24-hour security to gyms, pools, and laundry services, serviced apartments have it all.
Before booking, it is vital to check what facilities and services are available at the apartment complex and whether they meet your needs.
For instance, many travelers opt for serviced apartments because, unlike hotels, they have separate kitchens, allowing renters to make home-cooked food and healthier meals.
If you enjoy cooking, it’s worth opting for an apartment that has a fully equipped kitchen with all the necessary appliances, utensils, and cookware ready to go.
Some people look for on-site gyms and fitness centers to stay active even while traveling.
I have been staying in service departments for multiple years now, and one of the things I absolutely love in my current place is the coffee lounge within the premises. It allows me to get a couple of hours of really focused work time while enjoying amazing café mocha
Of course, your budget is always a factor to consider when making any purchase or booking, as it directly impacts your monthly budget.
When looking for a serviced apartment, you want to find one that fulfills your needs and doesn’t break the bank.
To do this, you need to consider the cost of living in the city you’re moving to, as well as the average price of apartments in that city.
You also need to think about what amenities and services are included in the price of the serviced apartment. Some apartments include utilities in the rent, while others may charge extra for things like cable or internet.
Keep in mind that serviced apartments can be more expensive than hotels, but that is because they also offer better value for money in the long run. They come with fully equipped kitchens, on-site gyms, and other home comforts.
Moreover, serviced apartments have a homey vibe, making long-term travelers feel less homesick.
When comparing prices, make sure to take into account all the additional costs, such as utilities, parking, laundry, and Wi-Fi, so you can get an accurate comparison.
Reviews & Photos
One of the best ways to gauge whether a serviced apartment is right for you is by reading reviews from previous guests.
See what they have to say about the location, size, facilities, cost, and overall experience. Were there any issues they encountered during their stay? Was the owner helpful?
Keep in mind, however, that not all reviews will be accurate or representative of your own experience, so take them with a grain of salt.
In addition to reading reviews, another way to get an idea of what to expect from a serviced apartment is by looking at photos taken by past visitors.
Most businesses will have a website or social media page where you can find professional photos of the property as well as user-generated content.
Take a good look at the photos before making your decision, so you know what you are getting yourself into.
When it comes to serviced apartments, one size does not fit all.
Different people have different needs, so it is important to find a place that is flexible and accommodating.
For example, some serviced apartments offer the option to add services, such as housekeeping, car maintenance, or airport transfers for an additional fee.
Others may allow you to check in early or check out late for a small charge. If you have specific requirements, create a list and enquire about them before making your booking.
Similarly, those traveling with pets need to keep in mind the additional needs that come along with them. Not all apartments allow pets, so it is important to check the policy before making your booking.
A good and flexible serviced apartment will have staff that is pet-friendly and willing to help make your animal companion’s stay as comfortable as possible. They may even offer services like dog-walking and pet-sitting for an added amount.
If you are planning on renting a car during your stay, then finding a serviced apartment with this facility is crucial for the sake of your convenience.
Without this feasibility, you will likely be forced to park on the street, which is not only unsafe but costly.
Many complexes offer on-site parking and car cleaning services for an additional fee, but it is important to check the availability and cost before making your reservation.
In today’s day and age, Wi-Fi is a necessity, not a luxury, so you don’t want to be stuck in an apartment that doesn’t provide you with proper internet services.
Consistent internet access is vital for those who are working from home as they need to stay connected online for work or other reasons.
Before booking a serviced apartment, make sure to ask about the quality and reliability of the Wi-Fi connection.
Keep in mind that some apartments only offer Wi-Fi in common areas, so you may have to purchase a separate data plan for your devices if you need access to your room.
Pro Tip: If possible, visit the service apartments and check the speed of their Wi-Fi connection. In many of the latest built/renovated service departments, a router is installed within each apartment ensuring high-speed Wi-Fi access at all times. But it’s still a good idea to go and check it out
Security & Privacy
Never underestimate the value of feeling safe in your accommodation. When looking at serviced apartments, take note of the surrounding area and the security features that are in place.
Do the doors and windows have working locks? Are there thorough checkpoints? Is there someone on staff available at all times for emergencies?
It is also a good idea to find out if the complex has CCTV cameras and secure entry systems installed around the property for extra assurance.
Many people choose serviced apartments because they offer far more personal space than a typical hotel. Unlike hotels, tenants of serviced apartments don’t have to share common areas and amenities with other renters.
This sense of added privacy is essential for many travelers, especially those who are staying for an extended period of time.
If you value your privacy and want to avoid crowds, it’s best to choose an apartment that is not located in a busy area or near popular tourist attractions.
Housekeeping & Maintenance
One of the biggest benefits of serviced apartments is that they are professionally cleaned and maintained on a regular basis.
This means that you won’t have to worry about the hassle of cleaning or doing laundry yourself – it will all be taken care of for you.
When looking at serviced apartments, be sure to find out what type of housekeeping and maintenance services are included in your rental agreement.
Most importantly, you will want to make sure that there is someone available to help you with any problems or questions that you may have.
It is also important to consider how often the complex is cleaned and maintained.
You will want to choose a complex that is cleaned on a regular basis so that you can always enjoy coming home to a clean and comfortable space.
While picking the perfect serviced apartment may feel intimidating, keeping in mind the factors mentioned above will help you make the right decision.
Other articles you may also like:
- What Is a Serviced Apartment?
- Apartment vs. Condo – What’s the Difference?
- Apartment vs. Suite – What’s the Difference?
- Apartment vs Unit – What’s the Difference?
- Studio Apartment vs One Bedroom Apartment – What’s the Difference?
- What Is a Luxury Apartment?
- Do Apartments Come Furnished (with Furniture/Bed)?