Features To Consider When Choosing a Serviced Apartment

You probably are already convinced that a serviced apartment is a great choice of accommodation for modern-day travellers. And you probably want to stay in one for your next getaway. Just like any other travel accommodation choice, there are a few things you need to look out for before booking.

Below are six features you should check for before you book that apartment:

1) Regular and reliable cleaning service

Serviced apartments offer hotel-like services like room service and cleaning service. Make sure the apartment you would like to explore offers this service, and how safe, reliant and convenient it is, especially when you intend to book long term. Some apartments offer washing areas for those who would be comfortable doing their own laundry too.

2) Availability of complete cooking facilities

Serviced apartments offer fully equipped kitchens to facilitate easier preparation of homemade meals. It is important to check that they have all the kitchenware you will need, to avoid carrying things you might not use or getting disappointed upon arrival.

3) Parking

For those arriving using private means, ensure that the establishment offers safe and secure parking options. You should be able to relax and unwind with peace of mind, knowing that your car is safe and sound.

4) Security

Find out the security measures put in place to protect guests. Do they have thorough checkpoints? Are there swift and reliable emergency measures put in place?  Are the rooms burglar-proof? You deserve somewhere safe to enjoy yourself, forget your troubles and relax knowing that your property and life is in good hands.

5) Proximity to modern amenities

Most serviced apartments are located near city centres. The kind of up you will be having determines the location of your destination. A business trip might require you closer to the city centre for easier access to business meetings and luncheons. Close proximity to church, hospital, coffee shops, malls helps when you want to step out and explore for a bit.

6) Comfortable furnishings

Serviced apartments are fully furnished. They have all the amenities that make up a home. Make sure everything is comfortable. This could be a comfortable bed or sofa, clean bathroom, sufficient beddings, kitchenware and even fast and reliable internet connectivity.

At the end of the day, it’s all about comfort. Don’t just book a place because it’s cheaper or highly rated. Take time to do a thorough background check to avoid great disappointments.

What to Consider When Choosing a Serviced Apartment

Comfort is key when travelling. Everyone wants to stay in a place that’s comfortable, clean and worth their money. A home away from home. And that’s exactly what a serviced apartment offers: The warmth and coziness of a home that no hotel offers.

There is privacy, flexibility and Independence; you get to continue with your normal routine as you would at home.

Millennial travellers usually opt for serviced apartments. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the perfect serviced apartment:

a) Budget

Nothing can be done, at least not well enough, without a budget. You need to prioritize the important things first. Work out how much you’re willing to spend first then do your research for a suitable place. Check on your expenses and start saving for your upcoming trip.

b) Location

The location of the apartment is very important. This all boils down to what kind of a trip you are taking. If it’s a solo trip to unwind and get away from the chaos, you’d probably choose a quiet environment like in the outskirts of a town. A family trip requires somewhere close to amenities like hospitals if you’re travelling with kids. Do you want to get away from it all or you want something short term, like a weekend getaway, closer to the city? Decide then choose your apartment accordingly.

c) Size

Serviced apartments come in a wide range of various rooms; from studio rooms, one-bedroom to an entire penthouse. Who you’re travelling with will affect the size of the accommodation option you choose. A solo trip requires just enough room for one, according to your budget and taste. A family trip will require a much bigger space for privacy and comfort.

d) Amenities

The gist of a serviced apartment is the facilities it comes with. Most offer fully equipped kitchens, swimming pool, gym, restaurant, spa etc. You basically have everything all under one roof. There is no need to step outside.

Again, the kind of trip you’re taking determines the kind of accommodation you choose. A leisure trip with family requires recreational facilities for entertainment, especially when kids are involved. A business trip requires a good working space, like boardrooms for conference calls and meetings, and good internet connectivity.

You need to ask yourself: do they have facilities that are friendly for disabled people? What measures will they take in case of emergencies? Are they pet-friendly? Is network coverage good? Etc

e)   Safety

As much as comfort and convenience are key, safety should always be a top priority. Find out the security measures put in place to protect you. Ensure there is reliable help and a 24-hour help desk In case of emergencies.

Considering some factors while looking out for serviced apartment will benefit you greatly. You get to avoid a lot of mistakes, and most importantly, having a smooth trip as intended.

14 popular apartment amenities to look for when renting

Struggling to find the right apartment for your needs? Why not start with an amenities inventory?

Amenities are features of a building that you wouldn’t expect to find everywhere. The more amenities a building has, the more likely it will gain a competitive edge in attracting prospective tenants.

When you are apartment/house hunting, you should keep in mind which amenities are most important for your lifestyle. This will be your home for months, even years, therefore a thorough background search is very important.

The following is a list of amenities we have compiled which you should always look out for:

Clean water supply

Water is life. Never settle in a place where there is no proper supply of clean water. You might end up spending a lot of money buying water from outside sources, which in real sense is your right as a tenant.

Lighting/Electricity

In this day and age, nobody deserves to stay in the dark because of the lack of electricity. It is important to check whether your new house has a proper installed lighting system before moving in.

Security

Nobody fancies staying in an area that is prone to insecurity issues. You should choose a house in an area that is secure and is well guarded to prevent cases of robbery.

Space

The house of your choice should be spacious enough to accommodate all your belongings. There should also be outdoor space or a rooftop to air linen or for those days you just need to chill and relax outside of your house.

On-site staff

Rental houses must have on-site staff like administrators or care-takers within the premises to serve tenants. They will be a lifesaver whenever something breaks down in your apartment or you need a favour, and also act as a source of security. Having someone that can come up and fix something right away will streamline your life.

Safe parking

For those who own cars, abundant safe parking is a necessity. You will sleep a lot better knowing your car is safe and protected, rather than leaving it outside on the street or a nearby garage.

Network

You should not choose an apartment in a remote area with little or no network coverage. This can be problematic especially in cases of emergency when you can’t contact your loved ones.

Playground for kids

Playtime is mandatory for children. No child wants to stay cooped up in the house all day. Your apartment of choice should have a safe and secure playground for kids to interact and play freely.

Emergency exit

It is very important to ensure your apartment has an emergency exist in cases of fires or other accidents.

 Nearby mall/shops/grocery stores

You don’t want to live in an area too remote that there are no shops or stores nearby, or where you have to use means of transport to access services. Some apartments have shops or mini supermarkets downstairs. These are incredibly useful, especially if you don’t have a car. If you can get your groceries downstairs in a matter of minutes, not only can you buy fresh food several times a week, but also skip the hassle of lugging around heavy bags.

 Laundry area

There should be a space where tenants can do their laundry outside the comfort of their own houses, for those who prefer the outdoors while chatting and interacting. It should also have enough space and hanging lines to air out linen.

 Easy trash removal and disposal

You don’t want to stay in an apartment without a proper trash removal method. Imagine if everyone just threw out their trash just anywhere. A proper disposal method ensures order and cleanliness and also curbs the outbreak of diseases like cholera.

Proximity to schools/hospital/church

You should look out for social amenities like schools, hospitals and churches. These are crucial when house hunting.

Furnished units

Depending on your needs, you should look out for modern furnishings in a house. Could be simple things like furnished countertops, faucets, tiled floors, self-contained rooms and storage spaces like shelves in the kitchen and closets for easy storage of clothes in the bedroom.

There are so many things to consider when house hunting. Which amenities are valued most by renters also depends on their age group and lifestyle. Family people, college kids, retirees may not lookout for the same amenities when choosing an apartment.

And again, it’s very rare indeed to find a building that has all the mentioned 14 amenities, and some might not be crucial to you. However, it’s good to have those that are important to you in mind, so that you can look for them before you sign a lease.

Since you’ll probably need to prioritize, one way to do so might be to make a list of needs and wants, making sure a place has all of your “needs” before you seriously consider it.

Happy apartment hunting!

Health and Fitness for Busy People

Don’t expect anyone else to be bothered about your entire well being. Times are hard, and everyone is busy chasing the next coin.

Truth is, the busier we become, the shorter our days seem. In our daily hustles, we fall deeper into neglecting the important things, like our general health and fitness. It begins slowly; neglecting diets, skipping or postponing exercise routines and sacrificing ‘beauty sleep’ to finish a work project. It becomes harder to notice when you are earning a lot of money.

All that massages your ego but your body will never forgive you for it. One day you will look at yourself in the mirror, and a tired, depressed, overweight and overworked person will stare blankly back at you, and you won’t forgive yourself.

You might be busy and thinking of ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but you really don’t know where to begin. Here are a few easy tips to begin with;

  1. Drink water

Drinking water when you first wake up is a great way to kick start your metabolism. You can carry a bottle to work, school or wherever it is you are headed for the day and stay sipping. It is highly recommended to keep the body hydrated so as to remove waste, lubricate joints, aid in digestion and fight off headaches/migraines and dizziness.

Water also keeps you full,  so you are less likely to eat in between meals, hence regulating body weight.

  1. Work out on the go

When you hear working out, don’t limit your imagination to the gym only. There are simple routines that can boost your energy and health even if you are busier than a bee. Try using the stairs more as opposed to elevators, sometimes walk to work, avoid wearing high heels for longer periods (for women),  try standing more instead of sitting behind a desk all day and also practice the arm strengthen technique. This is where you sit up straight in a chair and bring up your hands to the front, and put the palm of your hand upward.

  1. Plan your meals/menu ahead

It is important to keep a time table or a personal menu of your food. This will help to make sure you don’t skip any meals and also make sure that you maintain discipline when it comes to what you put in your body. Your meal preps should be diverse but healthy. Make sure it is a balanced diet and your body will thank you for it.

  1. Cut off unhealthy habits

Reduce or do away with unhealthy intakes of alcohol, drugs, sweets and junk food. These will only slow down your metabolism and leave you with diseases that will drain your wallet and productivity.

Unhealthy habits also include hanging around people who push you further into the world of partying every day, drugs and alcohol. Surround yourself with optimistic people. It is easier to live a healthy lifestyle when everyone around you shares the same ideals and values.

  1. Self-care

Pressure from work, school or relationships can drive one crazy. Not knowing how to handle this pressure can cause harm to your body. You need to be able to recognize when you are under stress and take some time off. Self-care does great justice to the mind and body. Practice it, religiously. Spend time alone, meditate, practice yoga, listen to music, write, relax and laugh.

  1. Leisure activities 

Apart from self-care, you should be able to find a hobby to unwind at the end of a long time. Take up that dancing class, sing, play football, go to the spa, go hiking, swim or stay in a sauna,  take up gardening or farming, go bowling or any other sport. Your body needs to let out steam and vent at the end of the day. What you do after work sets the pace for how the next day will be.

  1. Visit a doctor often

You can never be too busy to get a checkup from a doctor. You need to be so intuned with your body that you notice even the smallest of changes. If something feels off, make that appointment and see a doctor. It is much better to make that time and get a check-up, than allowing a condition to escalate into something deadly and incurable. Love and put yourself first, always.

  1. Keep your working space comfortable 

Whether you are working from home or from work, your office should be like your second home. Make it as comfortable as possible. Let it be well lit, ventilated and clean. A disorganized office negatively impacts your mind. Lack of proper ventilation can affect your breathing function and slow down your productivity. A warm, vibrant and clean space does wonders to the mind, and body as well. You will find yourself more proactive and healthier.

  1. Spend time with loved ones

Whether a family, friend or a partner, make sure you have someone to vent to. Life’s challenges can take a toll on you and if you don’t have someone to talk to, it can affect your mental health. Depression kills. If you are a man, don’t keep everything bottled up. Destroy the notion that a man has to be strong. It is ok to be vulnerable, to be sensitive and to cry. If the day totally knocked you out, curl up next to a loved one and just talk it out.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a gym membership or private classes in order to be fit and healthy. There are simple tricks to it,  as long as you maintain discipline and motivation. In the age of social media, there are so many apps to help you exercise, guide you on how much intake you should have and what to eat (I have an app that reminds me to drink water! ) and basically guide you through life if you are a busy person. Take advantage of that. Take care great care of your body, and it will take care of you too.

At Longonot Place Serviced Apartments, we have a gym facility that will come in handy anytime you think of doing some exercises and at your convenience. Visit our facility today!

Written by, Michelle Nzilani, Actuate Digital Blogger

 

Hospitality Security Guidelines: Ways to keep your hotel guests safe

There are many factors to think about when you run a hotel. Firstly, depending on which market you are tapping into, there will be a variety of ways in which you can make your establishment stand out from the crowd. You’ll have to carry out a lot of research of nearby properties in order to see what is working for competitors.

You have to figure out your target audience and discover the best way to make a a return on your investment. Figuring out your unique selling point is key to succeeding. However, one aspect which must be the same throughout every hotel is safety. Your guests’ safety is paramount to your business. Here, we look at how you can correctly safeguard your hotel:

Electric

Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) is crucial to anyone who runs, or plans to run, a hotel or guest house. This is because, since your business is constantly running, your systems can be subject to wear, tear, corrosion and overloading. Such a report, which must be carried out by a qualified electrician, will ensure that the electrical appliances in each room are fit for purpose.

You limit the risk of electrical shocks, fires and accidents by regularly running these checks, therefore reducing accidents in the workplace – something which is a legal requirement since the introduction of the Electricity at Work Regulations 1989.

Gas

Like electric, your business gas and appliances require regular checks to be carried out. The Gas Safety Regulations 1998 states that you must arrange annual gas safety checks for any appliances that are serving guest accommodation, even if it’s sited away from the guests’ rooms.

In addition, make sure you provide training to staff members on how to safely use any gas appliances. You should also show them how to carry our visual checks, so they can spot obvious faults. This could include any damaged pipework or connections. While any new installations must be carried out by someone who is Gas Safe-registered, anyone can change a LPG gas cylinder or hose once they are competent to do so.

Carbon monoxide and dioxide alarms are also essential. These alarms can signify any fault and help you avoid any catastrophes. They should give an audible alarm when levels are dangerous and should be able to automatically shut off your gas system.

Staff uniform

While this probably sounds like it doesn’t need mentioning, having a corporate uniform is a must. Not only does it help your business look professional and smart, but it also gives your guests a clear view of who they can approach about a query, and who indeed is allowed in certain areas of the business. In guest areas, knowing who members of staff are is essential. This is because it shows that your company have guests’ safety at the forefront due to staff always patrolling the areas.

Have a clear emergency response plan

Your team must know what their role is in the event of an emergency. Regular meetings with law enforcement and emergency services should be scheduled so you have a good communication plan in place and can update it as and when required. In doing so, you can prepare your staff so that everyone is calm and knowledgeable in a worst-case scenario.

The director of hotel group, Cairn, Aneil Handa, said: “We make sure all our staff have sufficient training to know how to act in an emergency. Communication is key as it’s clear we must be calm and composed in critical moments as this can help us make sure both our guests and staff members are as safe as possible and can help avoid possible catastrophes.”

CCTV

Instil confidence in your guests by installing CCTV cameras. IP CCTV systems are a great way to monitor your hotel and can even be accessed remotely. Certain systems also come with a voice command option, which means that if you spot any wrong-doing, you can quickly warn those involved to stop their actions.

Online data

The physical safety of your guests shouldn’t be your sole focus, either. Hotels have become a prime target for cyber attacks. According to a report by PwC, the hospitality industry has the second-highest number of cybersecurity breaches, with many of the prominent hotels in the industry having fallen victim to breaches.

Reduce this risk by updating your systems on a regular basis. You should also be making sure that backing up your data becomes a habit, so you can eliminate the risk of losing it or having it irretrievably damaged. A recommended strategy is to use a cloud service daily, have weekly server backups, and follow these up with quarterly server backups and then yearly backups.

Just as is the case with your personal devices, password security is also important. Be sure to change it often and make sure you change it any time a staff member leaves to avoid any breaches.

The safety of your guests in the hospitality industry is huge. Therefore, it’s crucial to keep on top of the methods you are using. Following the above steps should help provide your business with a great insight on how to keep your guests as safe as possible.

Source: Victory Security

 

Why Serviced Apartments are a Hit

Developers in the hospitality sector are poised for better returns should they turn to including serviced apartments in their accommodation establishments.

According to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics Statistical Abstract 2018, the demand for serviced apartments has been on the rise and they record relatively high occupancy rates of above 70 per cent, compared to hotels in Nairobi at 35.5 per cent.

This is attributed to the large number of international guests who stay for more than two weeks in the country. Also, the Cytonn hospitality sector report shows that the concept of serviced apartments has continued to become popular in the market, with the Nairobi metropolitan area having approximately 3,414 serviced apartments as at 2015, and an additional 1,174 set to be complete by 2020.

Serviced apartments are fully furnished establishments that provide hotel-like resources such as housekeeping, room service, fitness centres, and restaurants. They also have home comforts such as a personal kitchenette, a living room and a dining room.

Homely feel 

As a result, serviced apartments, unlike regular hotel rooms, bear close resemblance to apartment-style living and are, therefore, preferred by guests who want a homely feel or who travel as families.  The Nairobi Metropolitan Area Serviced Apartments report says that investment in serviced apartments has been fueled by travellers wanting to optimise their budgets.

More are choosing to stay at serviced apartments as they are less expensive in the long run, resulting in the high demand.  “For instance, a standard three-star hotel in Nairobi charges on average Sh14,000 per night for a suite, while a studio serviced apartments charges on average Sh8,000 per night and a one-bedroom apartment charges on average Sh11,000 per night,” says the Cytonn report.

The other factor driving investment in the niche is lower operating expenses as compared to hotels. Operating serviced apartments requires less number of staff and lower ancillary costs for amenities and foodstuffs, and are thus cheaper to run compared to hotels.

At the same time, the report says, serviced apartments can easily be converted to normal apartments, in a case where the former is not performing well.

Big spaces

Bigger spaces are another factor; serviced apartments often have bigger room sizes than hotels. Cytonn found that in Nairobi, while the standard hotel room size is 30-50 square metres, the average size of serviced apartments is 75 square metres for one-bedroom units, 110 square metres for two-bedroom units, and 140 square metres for three-bedroom units.

The report says that, unlike a hotel, a serviced apartment can easily accommodate a family, in addition to allowing someone to cook for themselves.

By Moses Omusolo

Source: Standard Media