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Relocation Services » Serviced Apartments

To access our selection of serviced apartments, do a search for properties available for one-month in our new Real Estate section.

Please find below general articles on the subject.

» The advantages of a serviced apartment over a hotel stay
» Finding the right serviced apartment for you
» The cost benefits of serviced apartments

THE ADVANTAGES OF A SERVICED APARTMENT OVER A HOTEL STAY

Whether for business or leisure, a serviced apartment has many advantages over a traditional hotel stay and are popular with holidaymakers and expatriate workers alike.

Self-contained and fully furnished, serviced apartments are designed for short term to medium term stays with all the facilities and fittings you need for an extended trip away from home. In addition, serviced properties provide a feeling of home away from home with their facilities and space they offer guests, with separate living and sleeping areas. However, space is not the only advantage to serviced apartments.

The flexibility of terms with regard to the duration of the stay makes serviced apartments attractive for both companies and private bookings. In most cases, the requirement to stay a minimum of one week is no longer applicable and terms are becoming more and more flexible to compete with hotels.

Serviced apartments are self-contained units, down to wall mountings and fittings. The advantage of space in a serviced apartment compared to a standard hotel room is paramount. Particularly for those working away from home on a project basis or short-term assignment, the addition of a kitchen and a living space to the bedroom is a significant benefit, offering room to both relax and work as required. More space also means room for a few more personal items, creating a more homely feeling. 

Renting a two or three-bedroom apartment provides more space for a group or family than a hotel room, giving more freedom to those parents who have to tiptoe around a hotel room every evening so as not to disturb their sleeping children (unless using connecting rooms).

In addition, if family, friends or a colleague comes for a visit there is usually a sofa bed to accommodate then on at no extra charge, a service for which hotel guests will most certainly find themselves incurring additional charges.

Fully equipped kitchens are a standard element of serviced apartments, and the option to self-cater plays an important role in attracting guests. This has an even bigger appeal when you factor in specific dietary requirements or a family with small children in temporary accommodation looking for a more permanent abode. In such circumstances eating out every night in a restaurant in unlikely to be the optimal dining solution, particularly if there are few healthy options available on the kid’s menu.

Furthermore, the lone worker may tire quickly of eating out alone night after night for weeks on end in a busy restaurant, ordering from the same menu repetitively. Clearly, having your own kitchen facilities provides guests with choices. There are of course also the smaller benefits to consider: 

Coffee and tea are on hand without having to call room service or go down to the hotel bar, the facilities are on hand to entertain business visitors or family and friends popping by, no rush down to the restaurant for meal serving times, or late night search for an open restaurant when working hours are long  

Serviced apartments offer the same facilities than hotels (laundry facilities, housekeeping) and sometimes services like meet and greet services, travel bookings, airport parking, foreign exchange facilities or a restaurant booking service.

Serviced apartments tend to be located in city centers and popular areas, convenient for transport networks and entertainment amenities, exactly what many tourists and expatriates are looking for, albeit for different reasons..

From the business viewpoint, serviced apartments go further in answering the call for more Corporate Social Responsibility than hotels do. It is no longer acceptable to confine employees to a hotel room for weeks or months at a time. 

To add to the advantages for the corporate sector, serviced apartments are also more cost effective than hotel rates for longer stays, in some cases saving more than a third of the cost of a hotel. Additionally, business travelers keep their incidental expenses low. Of course, the same is also true for holidaymakers, as catering and laundry costs are lower than they would be for a traditional hotel stay.

Without a doubt, serviced apartments offer more freedom, space, choice and flexibility to the demanding business and leisure travelers of today, and there are considerable financial cost savings to boot. See more on costs at page bottom.

Contact us today with your Serviced Apartments requirements at homesearch@accraexpat.com.

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FINDING THE RIGHT SERVICED APARTMENT FOR YOU

When you are looking for a place to call home whilst you are away on vacation, company training or a business assignment, a serviced apartment could be just the place to stay. Consider the following factors to ensure you find the right serviced apartment: 

Type of Serviced Apartment
Serviced apartments range from hotel rooms with kitchenettes to luxury penthouse apartments. Are you looking for basic furnishings or a designer finish to the place you will temporarily call home? Serviced apartments are furnished so that guests need only bring toiletries and clothes with them.

The accommodation you choose will depend on the length of your stay, your budget, the reason for your stay, and the composition of your group.

Group Composition
Are you looking for a serviced apartment just for you, or staying with your family, business colleagues or a group of friends? The composition of the group will be a primary factor in determining the location, size of apartment and the facilities you are looking for. 

If you know in advance that colleagues, friends, or family will drop by to visit then think about renting a space that has a pullout bed or an extra bedroom for guests.

Location
Many serviced apartments are located in city centers, in sought after locations, convenient for commuting, sightseeing and entertainment amenities. The reason for your stay will help determine a suitable location; do you want easy access to your business market, office or clients, or be near the main tourist attractions? Think about your requirements for public transport, motorways, or even the airport.

Facilities and Services
If your stay is business related and your apartment needs to serve as a home office, ensure that the telecommunication facilities are adequate for your needs. Check you have mobile phone coverage, internet broadband or WIFI services, and a landline telephone in the accommodation. 

Other services range from place to place, and from country to country, so check that the facilities you require are available. Consider cleaning and laundry services, handyman services, sports and leisure amenities, parking, car rental, shopping, beauty, and catering facilities. 

Decide what entertainment services are important to you in your serviced apartment; you may want familiar television channels so need a satellite service, or desire access to a music entertainment centre.

Security
If you are a single person staying in a foreign country, then security may be a bigger priority for you than for a group on holiday. The security features of serviced apartments vary, and before you start looking for suitable accommodation consider the level of security you want.

Do background checks on the apartment’s location and on the safety of the neighborhood. Look at the parking facilities from a security point of view.  

Ask if there is a 24-hour manned reception, a concierge present, or a video entry system. Determine who has access to the apartment keys. Verify security features of the apartment; spy holes, window locks, type of locks on the door. If you are bringing expensive equipment or sensitive documentation, then enquire about a personal safe or deposit box.

Safety
Consider the safety aspects of living in serviced accommodation. Do you need disabled access or emergency medical services on site or nearby? Would you be more comfortable knowing there is 24-hour assistance should you need it? 

If there is an issue with any aspect of the apartment, ask how long you can expect to wait for a resolution.

Costs
As serviced apartments appeal to both the business and leisure traveler, rental prices can increase considerably in peak season in tourist locations. If you are on a tight budget, then you may need to reconsider your location or travel period if it is a hot spot for tourists.

Check which services and utilities are included in your bill, and the billing frequency. Consider the invoicing and payment process when you are looking for a serviced apartment. Should the bill go directly to your employer, or do you receive an allowance to pay the costs directly?

Contact us today with your Serviced Apartments requirements at homesearch@accraexpat.com.

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THE COST BENEFITS OF SERVICED APARTMENTS

Serviced apartments are already popular in the business world, but leisure travelers and expat families are catching on to the advantages of short-term serviced accommodation too. 

With many companies looking to reduce their travel budgets, serviced apartments can offer considerable cost savings compared to stays in traditional hotels. With today’s trend of outsourcing and off shoring business services, offering short-term assignments and fixed term contracts, serviced apartments are a real alternative to hotels for short-term stays for the corporate traveler.

The cost-effectiveness of serviced apartments attracts corporate clients and is one of the reasons why the market for this type of accommodation is growing steadily. Not only is the rental price for these apartments lower on average than a corporate rate for a hotel, but the incidental business costs are substantially lower too.

The most notable savings on these extra costs results from the reduction or absence of restaurant bills, room service charges and bar tabs. Serviced apartments have a kitchen as standard so that guests can cater for themselves. This means that guests pay supermarket prices for food instead of marked up restaurant prices, and of course, there are no service charges for the company tab. For a family on vacation, costs saved on eating out for every meal are substantial. In all cases, every coffee, juice or beer consumed costs far less than it would on a bar tab.

Entertaining business clients in a serviced apartment, instead of a hotel restaurant, can also amount to savings for the company, as well as perhaps providing a more informal atmosphere for discussions.

Another cost saving factor is that serviced apartments include laundry facilities, eliminating the need for external laundry services and the associated high costs, as is the case in hotels. Telephone and internet costs contribute to the total financial savings too, as rates for calls and internet access tend to be cheaper than the average hotel offers.

Serviced apartments do not have to cover the same salary outgoings as a hotel does; there are no costs for chefs, kitchen staff, laundry staff, room service, bar staff and waiters. The overheads for a serviced flat are considerably lower. There are also no running costs for communal facilities such as the restaurant, bar and meeting rooms. The guests see the results of these savings on overheads and salaries.

Multiple occupancy of a serviced apartment also offers major savings for either business or leisure travelers. Colleagues or family groups sharing a two or three-bedroom apartment with en-suite facilities do not sacrifice their privacy, but the total bill for two weeks will be dramatically less than two or three hotel rooms for the same period. In addition, serviced apartments often offer an additional pullout bed in the living area to put up the occasional guest as required, incurring no extra cost as is the case in a hotel. For corporate clients flying in an additional resource for a couple of days this already amounts to a considerable cost saver.

According to a Go Native survey in 2006, stays of one week or more in a serviced apartment in the UK realized average savings of 37%, compared to the average corporate rate in a hotel. In some UK regions, the monetary saving was even higher. In a recent global survey by The Apartment Service, most of the companies operating serviced apartments stated that their prices for a week are similar to those of a hotel. However, stays of 7 to 30 nights generate cost savings of between 10 – 15% and for stays of over 30 nights savings reach more than 25%. It is clear that the longer the stay in a serviced apartment, the more cost-effective it becomes, good news for companies sending employees on short-term assignments, or leisure travelers on an extended break.

Contact us today with your Serviced Apartments requirements at
homesearch@accraexpat.com.

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