Managing Director, The Association of Service Apartment Providers’ (ASAP)
There are a number of things you or your business travel manager should consider before booking a serviced apartment to ensure it meets your needs exactly.
Get as many details about your serviced apartment as you can before you sign up…
Is there a minimum stay or attractive discounts for longer stays? The average stay tends to be about nine days, according to the Association of Serviced Apartment Providers (ASAP), but you can book for one night, one week, a month or even a whole year.
Such is the nature of business that it is important you know how flexible your provider will be in case you need to change your plans or even cancel.
Consider what is important to you so you find all the facilities you require when you arrive. Is parking available? Can you check in early if you need to and how reliable is the Wi-Fi so you can actually work?
You or your business travel manager should also check how far the building is from any meetings planned during your stay and that the apartment is close to reliable public transport.
What about the local area?
Would you feel safe arriving back at the apartment late at night? If it is on a main road you should consider whether the traffic noise will keep you awake which could leave you tired during that important morning meeting. It is a good idea to look at previous guests reviews online.
Ensure the rooms are actually big enough for your needs, especially if you are to host meetings or entertain colleagues or clients?
The bigger your apartment the easier it will be to separate your sleeping and work areas so you can relax when you need to.
Such is the nature of business that it is important you know how flexible your provider will be in case you need to change your plans or even cancel
The apartment should be in a good condition and well decorated with a well-equipped kitchen with working appliances, cutlery, crockery and utensils. One of the advantages over a hotel is that you can eat when you want to.
Check that the provider or agent has adequate insurance cover and has completed legally-required safety checks.
It is an offence to let a furnished property that does not meet fire regulations.
Finally, make sure you know before you arrive who your main contact will be during your stay in case there is a problem.
Get this contact from the provider and make sure they will be available during your stay.