London Serviced Apartments are increasingly becoming the most popular choice of accommodation and people are becoming more aware of what they are and why they have more advantages than hotels. Our team speak to customers everyday to help find them a London serviced apartment for a short let, corporate visit, family holiday, or relocation, so we've compiled a list of the top questions that we are often asked:
1. When is the best time to book?
The Summer season is, like most major cities, very busy. So if you’re planning to be one of 10 million+ visitors to the capital between May to September, we advise that you book many months in advance. Additionally, accommodation in London can be hard to find last minute during the UK holidays, such as the Christmas and Easter periods. With so much going on in the city throughout the year, the spotlight is often on London. But during the most popular events, such as the Wimbledon Tennis Championships (last weekend of June and first weekend of July) and the Chelsea Flower Show (end of May), it is always best to book in advance, especially if you’re looking to stay in the neighbourhoods close to where the events are taking place. If you’re travelling from overseas, we advise that you book your accommodation before your flights are confirmed as that will give you the flexibility to move your dates so that you can take advantage of any good offers on apartments to be had.
2. What's Included?
Our customers are sometimes not sure what to expect when booking an apartment in London. We go through great lengths to display all the information on our website but it’s important to note that each apartment varies in style, price, features and amenities so it’s also good to double check any specific requirements before bookings.
ALWAYS included in the price:
Bills – Water, Heating, Gas, Electricity
All local taxes (VAT) and service charges
Housekeeping – Either daily or weekly
Fresh linen and towels during your stay – Changes either daily or weekly
AVAILABLE in most apartments:
Full kitchens or kitchenettes - Microwave, Oven, Refrigerator, Cooking utensils, Cutlery and crockery, Tea & Coffee
Laundry facilities - Washing machines, Washer dryers, Laundry rooms for guests
Entertainment – Flatscreen TVs, International channels, DVD players, iPod docks, Hi-fi systems
3. What's not included?
Extras costs and services include telephone calls, car parking (sometimes and depending on availability), late check-in/check-out, and grocery shopping. Luxury apartments may have additional services that require additional costs, for e.g, in-room dining ad butler service. All services or facilities that require additional/extra charges are clearly stated on the individual apartment page.
4. How do I check-in?
Most apartments have a reception or concierge who is available during the day or 24 hours so checking-in is similar to a hotel. However, apartments that are individually placed in residential buildings would either feature on-site staff, who will provide a personal meet or greet service, or have a secure entry system in place at the building that requires you to enter a password to unlock the keys to your apartment (in these cases, all information provided prior to arrival date). All information regarding this can be found on the individual apartment’s page.
5. What if I need help with how things work during my stay?
Most apartments have on-site staff that will be able to assist you with any problems that you have. Those that do not have a reception/on-site staff have a 24 hour emergency number you can call where someone will be able to help you whenever you need assistance.
6. Can I pay by cash?
Apartments operate a similar system to hotels regarding payment, and so payment terms and conditions vary depending on the building and supplier. Some properties that feature an on-site reception offer a pay on arrival option where guests can pay by cash or card; some apartments require payment to be guaranteed prior to arrival; and some require full payment at the time of booking, most likely when your booking is a non refundable special offer. But almost all the apartments that we feature in our portfolio require a valid credit card to guarantee the reservation at the time of booking.
7. What sizes are the beds?
Many people ask what size the standard UK bed fittings are as they differ from the US sizes that many overseas travellers are accustomed to. Below is a rough guide:
Single: 90 x 190cm
Double: 135 x 190cm
King/Queen: 150 x 200cm
Super King: 180 x 200cm
8. Jargon terms?
Some terminology isn't universal, so below are some commonplace words that are often queried:
W/C : A single toilet and washbasin, which we refer to on our website as a ‘guest toilet’. These do not have baths or showers.
Hob: A kitchen cooking appliance (either electric or gas). Otherwise known as; a stove
VAT: VAT is a value added tax which is added to purchases and services in the UK. On our website it is referred to as 'taxes' and always included in the rates that we offer you. More info on VAT can be found here: http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/vat/managing/international/nonEU-visits.html
Hopefully we've answered those niggling questions for you! Arranging a stay in a short stay apartment in London has never been easier, but if you are unclear about how to book a serviced apartment, or still have any more general questions that you'd like answering click here, or otherwise call our team on +44 (0) 843 289 8820 - they'll be more than happy to help you with any queries you have.