8 things to check when viewing a serviced apartment

Every week we do many serviced apartment viewings to check the standards and quality they are providing, meet the apartment management team, and discuss any refurbishments and new updates. 

Each of the serviced apartments we work with are unique in their own way and vary in their style, facilities, services and furnishings so we like to take a good look around and become really familiar with all aspects of the experience on offer.

We also book viewings for many of our clients who wish to see the apartments before they make their bookings, especially those booking longer term stays, corporate stays, medical trips and relocations. 

In some cases, we do the viewings on their behalf and take detailed photos and videos of the apartment, which we share with our clients to help them make their decision.

Here are our top tips on what to check when viewing a serviced apartment:

1. Arrivals
Serviced apartments can vary greatly in their check-in procedures and if you have the chance to view the property first-hand before you check-in, then be sure to make yourself familiar with all the checking-in systems and processes. 

Things to check:
  • Where is the main entrance to the building? (especially if it is situated in a residential complex)
  • Who will provide you with the keys to the apartment?
  • If there is a key safe, in which case when will you receive the codes?
  • If the keys are collected from a reception, concierge or a representative of the apartment (Meet and Greet service), what are the timings that they are available?
  • Are there any extra costs for arriving out of hours?
  • Will someone be available to show you around the apartment and demonstrate how the appliances work etc?

2. On-site facilities
On-site facilities are also dependent on the property so it is very useful to check what is on offer during your visit. 

Hotel apartments, aparthotels and serviced apartments managed by hotel companies tend to offer on-site facilities very similar to what you would experience if you were staying in a hotel such as a 24 hour reception, concierge, gym, swimming pool, restaurant, bar, business corner, meeting rooms etc. 

Some more residential style serviced apartments would typically have a day concierge, a gym, car parking and communal gardens. Some newer developments also feature co-working spaces and lounge areas.

If you are booking an apartment because it has a specific facility then it is worth clarifying in advance, if this will be available during your stay. In some cases, facilities like gyms, pools, restaurants could be closed for renovation.

Things to check:
  • Where are the facilities located? 
  • Are they within the same building or a short walk away but within the same development?
  • Are there any extra charges or sign up fees for using the facilities?
  • What are the timings that these facilities are available?
  • Are they exclusive to in-house residents only or open to the public as well?
  • Are there on-site security staff?
  • Is there CCTV available in the building?

3. Access to apartments
Another important consideration is to look at the access to the apartments. This is especially important if you are staying for a longer period of time. 

Serviced apartments are located in a variety of property styles, including some old period buildings,  so accessing the apartments is not always going to be the same.

Some apartments can be reached via stairs only, or long corridors or lower ground floor levels. So consider if this will be convenient for you, your family or if you are booking on behalf of someone else, get their approval before confirming.

Things to check:
  • Which floor is the apartment on? 
  • How many floors are there in the building?
  • Are there lifts present or is there only stair access?

4. Layout of the apartments 

The layout of the apartment will undoubtedly be an important factor that will determine if you like the apartment and would want to book it so it is worth taking a good look around and imagining yourself living there.

Things to check:
  • How does the apartment layout make you feel?
  • Are there stairs in the apartment?
  • Does the apartment have any mezzanine floors?
  • How bright is the apartment? 
  • Is the apartment larger or smaller than you expected?
  • What can you see out of the window?
  • Is your apartment likely to face the street or the back of the building? 
  • Are the windows double glazed?
  • Where are the bathrooms located? If they are en-suite, consider if this is practical for your stay?
  • Do the bathrooms have bathtubs and separate walk-in showers?
  • Is the kitchen open plan or separate? 
  • If you are requesting extra beds or a baby cot, where will these be placed?
  • If there are balconies, how do you access these? 
  • If you are planning on smoking on the balcony, confirm this is acceptable in writing before confirming your booking.

5. Furnishing quality
Serviced apartment operators offer professional accommodation and usually furnish the apartments in a neutral inviting colour scheme and provide good quality bed linen, towels, soft furnishings, appliances and furniture. 

You will get a general feel of the level of furnishings from the minute you walk in the door, but bear in mind the price per night will play an important factor here. The more costly the apartment the more premium the furnishings.

Things to check:
  • How do you feel about the quality of furnishings on offer? 
  • What size are the beds?
  • How many towels are provided?
  • Are you allergic to any types of pillows or duvets?
  • Do they also include basic detergents, laundry tablet and washing up liquid?
  • Is there a welcome pack on arrival?

6. In-room amenities
Serviced apartments are designed to be comfortable, practical and suitable for short or long stays, so you should find a range of in-room amenities for your convenience.

Because the apartments are also regularly serviced, cleaned and attended to by housekeeping and maintenance teams, you can expect well-presented neatly-appointed residences. 

The main differentiating factor between private rentals and serviced apartments is the regular maid service which along with linen and towel changes could vary from a daily service to once a week.
  • When are the apartments serviced by housekeeping?
  • When are the linen and towels changes and bin bags, loo rolls replaced?
  • What are the amenities available for entertainment i.e TV, channels, DVD players?
  • What type of appliances in the kitchen i.e fridge and freezer, microwave, oven, hob style?
  • Is there a dishwasher?
  • Is there a washing machine, or a washer dryer, or a communal laundry room?
  • Is there an iron and a hair dryer in the apartment?
  • Is there a phone in the apartment, can you receive calls for free?
  • What is the speed of the wireless internet?

7. Storage space
If you are staying for over 14 nights, you are going to need some storage space and it is worth noting what kind of storage facilities are provided in the apartments.

Serviced apartments offer much more space than hotel rooms and usually have wardrobes in the bedroom and closets near the entrance for coats. 

Things to check:
  • Is there a place to keep coats and jackets?
  • Is there place to store suitcases?
  • Is there adequate wardrobe space in the bedrooms? 

8. What's in the neighbourhood
So the last thing we would definitely recommend checking out is what's in the immediate area.

If you know which floor your apartment will be located on (this may not always be guaranteed) then it worth looking into the noise levels you may experience. 

You will get a good sense of the local neighbourhood if you walk around and also familiarise yourself with the local shops and transport links.

Things to check:
  • Is the building on a main street with busy shops and traffic?
  • Are there noisy bars and restaurants on your doorstep?
  • Where is the nearest supermarket and what are their opening timings?
  • Where is the nearest ATM or Bureau de Change?
  • How long does it take to walk to the nearest tube/train station from the front door?
  • What are the restaurants and cafes like in the area?
  • Are there any parks or gardens within walking distance? 

Book an apartment viewing

If you would like to view an apartment or a few apartments that you are considering for your next stay, contact us to book a viewing.

One of our representatives can guide you through every aspect of the apartment experience and answer any questions your may have.

Give us a call or email us today to ask about a serviced apartment viewing in London.
+44 203 189 1269

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