Here are five of the most frequently asked questions about staying in serviced apartments in Central London - including: exactly what is a serviced apartment?
Also featured are such favourites as “who are serviced apartments suitable for?” and “what advantages guests can expect from renting one?”
And what’s more, our essential guide to serviced apartments provides even more information!
Let’s jump in.
Question 1: What is a serviced apartment?
A ‘serviced apartment’ is a type of furnished accommodation which combines the advantages of both a quality hotel and a private rental.
Serviced apartments are available for rental all year round, for anything from a single night stay to multiple-year lets. They are managed professionally and come with utilities and local taxes included in the price.
They provide all the comforts required to feel at home, including space to relax, amenities like phone and WiFi and self-catering facilities. They are also, as the name suggests, serviced.
Services include: housekeeping, 24 hr customer care and increased security measures. Some establishments also offer much more, including onsite staff, 24-hour reception and other luxury guest amenities.
Question 2. What do serviced apartments include?
Serviced apartments come fully furnished, with varying levels of capacity and luxury.
At Dolphin Square, the options range from a studio apartment with ensuite bathroom and pantry-style kitchen, up to an executive 4-bedroom apartment with separate lounge and dining room.
These all come with daily maid service, luxurious bed(s), fine linens, towels, an equipped kitchenette (or full kitchen), an en suite or separate bathroom, direct line phone with voicemail, Wi-Fi, onsite laundry, reception and guest amenities.
Home comforts such as an iron, ironing board, hairdryer and Freeview TV are included and larger items such as washing machines and ovens are all available upon request. There will be space to hang up and store your clothes, so you can put away your suitcase.
Kitchens usually come stocked with all the homeware essentials, including cooking utensils, cutlery, crockery and glassware, as well as a refrigerator, kettle and microwave The larger properties also have an electric hob/oven available.
Some properties also come with guest amenities, such as a gym, spa, pool, bar and restaurant, as well as gardens, on-site shops and spaces for meetings and events.
Question 3. Who Are They Suitable For?
Due to their flexibility, privacy and convenience, serviced apartments are suitable for a huge range of guests. Below are some of the specific reasons tenants choose them:
Short term minibreaks: Whether it’s for a romantic break, a group holiday, visiting relatives, or taking a personal retreat away, having plenty of space and a welcoming, comfortable environment that still comes with the convenience of housekeeping services allows guests to enjoy their quality time.
Travelling with a family: The laundry and kitchen facilities combined with the regular cleaning service, make a serviced apartment the ideal place for a family stay. Being able to sterilise bottles and wash pyjamas whenever needed, as well as not having to worry about laundering bedding or cleaning the bathroom can take the stress out of travelling with young ones and allow you to truly make the most of your time together.
There are also options which provide enough rooms that you can enjoy shared living space together but also, when needed, take time for yourself.
Team business trips: The set up in serviced apartments is also perfect for short term business trips when travelling with a team. You can have your own private rooms but still share an area for meetings and co-working, encouraging productivity, morale, comfort and cost-efficiency. Team building without compromising on personal space.
Extended business stays: Stays can be for anything from one night to multiple years, depending on the type of let you choose. Executive rentals are often necessary for businesses needing to relocate employees for multiple months or even years. Serviced apartments are growing steadily in popularity with professionals looking for apartments to stay in, in London especially.
Longer-term: If guests need to relocate from their own home with flexibility, for example when having home improvements done, choosing a serviced apartment can save the hassle and stress of moving furniture, organising utilities or signing up for council tax when it’s just a temporary stay.
Question 4. What are your responsibilities when renting a serviced apartment in London?
The reason more and more people are choosing serviced apartments for their central London accommodation is that it removes a great deal of the hassle - so your responsibilities are reduced and simplified.
As they’re professionally managed, serviced apartments usually come with easy to navigate websites and helpful staff, so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed by the vast (and growing) number of accommodations available to book in London.
Going with a provider who is a certified member of an accrediting body gives you a guarantee of a high level of accommodation quality and customer care (see below).
Electric, water, gas, Wi-Fi, television licence, basic phone line (with usage usually an additional charge) and council tax are all already set up and included in the price, along with maid service, allowing you to arrive and feel immediately at home.
Question 5. What are the advantages of a serviced apartment over a hotel room or a private let?
There are great features of hotels rooms and private lets, but a serviced apartment provides all of these and more, without the downsides.
Security: Guests get to enjoy the security of a hotel - with CCTV; 24 customer helplines; a 24-hour reception (in some properties); an electronic safe in the apartment and more health and safety maintenance than you would find in a private let.
Peace of mind: There are globally recognised accrediting bodies, such as The ASAP (The Association of Serviced Apartment Providers) whose members have to adhere to a ‘Stay with Confidence promise’ - assuring the quality of customer care, safety and security.
Privacy: Unlike a hotel, you get more of your own space (on average 35% more than the equivalent hotel room, in fact) to do with as you please and group rentals don’t have to mean shared bedrooms. You can choose to stay in, prepare your own food and relax if you’re not in the mood to head into town or encounter other guests in a hotel restaurant.
Home comforts: You don’t have to compromise on comfort or home-style amenities, providing you with a home-away-from-home, rather than the transient feeling that can come with a hotel-stay.
Location: Serviced apartments are often in prime locations, renting from a provider with multiple units on one site makes larger accommodation more affordable in central London locations than you would find with a private let.
It also means that as well as having onsite dining in competitive establishments, you may also have an interesting and vibrant local area to explore and convenient transport links to the rest of the city.
Flexibility: A stay in a serviced apartment can be practically any length depending on your requirements and extending your stay is usually pretty simple. As this type of accommodation rises in popularity the range of options available is increasing, combined with customer services to make finding the one that’s right for you simple.
Better value: As well as offering more space than the equivalent hotel room, serviced apartments also benefit from VAT levies. This means that the longer you stay the cheaper the rate becomes.
Combined with self-catering facilities and space to relax means you can make a saving on not always eating out or having to work in cafes.
You can also find offers which will help you get even more for your money.
Thanks to the convenience, space, privacy and great value they offer, serviced apartments are growing in popularity across Europe - especially for those looking for central London accommodation, with 7,500 apartments expected to be added to the capital in the next two years.
Whatever the reason for your stay, enjoy saving yourself time, energy and money without compromising on comfort or amenities by choosing a serviced apartment.