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!

Reasons Why You Need to Book Serviced Apartments

Vacations are fast gaining popularity. There is a mandatory need to get away from all the stress of work and just relax. But things can hit a snag in cases of family vacations.

Imagine having to book up to four different rooms each for the members of your family? Sounds draining, right? And that is where serviced apartments come in; to ease the frustrations in your head and in your wallet.

Serviced apartments are self-contained and fully furnished apartments (usually condo units) designed for short term to medium term stays with all the facilities and fittings you need for an extended trip away from home.

They are called ‘serviced’ apartments because of hotel-like benefits, such as maid service, 24-hour reception/concierge facilities and unrestricted access to onsite amenities like pools, gyms, restaurants and bars.

They offer that home-from-home’ environment; total independence to come and go, eat, drink and sleep as you please but with a degree of service included that you won’t find in a private rental.

Are you travelling with your family to the next city for a long weekend or on a vacation, here are our top 5 reasons to pick a serviced apartment over a regular hotel:

1.Take the complete advantage of the space and number of bedrooms

A regular hotel room is smaller compared to a serviced apartment. If travelling with kids or a group of friends, this is exactly what you need. Everyone gets to have their own space and privacy so there is harmony.

Or maybe you are just alone but desire a homely experience away from home. Staying in a serviced apartment gives you the room to work, cook, relax and sleep and on average you can expect to enjoy 30% more space than an equivalent standard of hotel. 

2.Cook for yourself and your children if eating outside doesn’t turn out too well

Serviced apartments offer a private and fully equipped kitchen. This is convenient for saving money because eating out can be a bit expensive, especially if you are travelling as a large group.

In a serviced apartment, you can have breakfast in bed, you can prepare whatever you fancy and you can have it any time you want. For the times when you simply don’t wish to cook but want to stay in, you can also call upon the concierge to organize the services of a private chef who will cook and serve a meal just for you.

3. Play a host and invite people over to your home

You can use the space in your apartment to host small business meetings around the dining table in your apartment. You can also host other guests, parties as well as family get-togethers, birthdays, and anniversaries in a safe, secure and exclusive space.

https://longonotplace.reserveport.com/accommodation/room-selection?limitstart=0&limit=10&residency=resident&min_checkin_date=&checkin_date=18-06-2019&checkout_date=19-06-2019&adults=1&rooms=1&children=0&babies=0&coupon_code=&properties=&user_name=&user_email=

4. Save money

The rental price for these apartments is lower on average than a corporate rate for a hotel. Saving money also comes in because there are no restaurant bills, bat tabs or room service charges.

Guests get to come with their own foodstuffs and there is a fully equipped kitchen for preparing meals. You will be able to save a lot of money eating in rather than eating out.

5. Make the entire vacation personal & comfortable with a home-like experience

Serviced apartments give you the home from home experience that you do not get in hotels or guest houses, you have the space, the room and the flexibility which is perfect for leisure or business travellers.

 They give you the kind of privacy you would expect at your own home. There is freedom to do whatever you wish, whenever you want it.

Whether you are a regular traveller who has hotel fatigue, or an occasional traveller looking for extra comfort or something more special, a serviced apartment could benefit you.

Serviced apartments offer more freedom, space, choice and flexibility to the demanding business and leisure travellers of today, and there are considerable financial cost savings to boot. The only challenge remaining is to find the right one for you. 

How millennials are sparking Nairobi serviced apartments boom

Well-funded developers are increasingly pouring big doses of investment into construction of serviced apartments in Nairobi as they seek to meet the rising demand for such facilities.

Serviced apartments are proving especially popular with multinationals operating in Kenya, whose workforces – largely millennials – are largely capitalising on serviced residences in Nairobi – piling more pressure on the few high quality apartments available in the city.

This trend is sparking new investments, ranging from five-star hotel-based residences to high-end serviced apartments, in prime locations across the city as investors race to meet the rising demand for non-hotel accommodation among travellers

Prit Shah, sales manager of Vaal Real Estate, said in an interview that Nairobi serviced apartments have registered a three-year average occupancy of 72 per cent compared to a 52 per cent average for short-stay hotels, mainly due to the flexibility and freedom afforded by these dwellings.

“In terms of a home away from home, a serviced apartment will give you that but a hotel can’t. You get a kitchen; you can cook your meal. With a hotel, it is not possible. So we have seen a very big rise with the occupancy for serviced apartments compared to traditional hotels,” Mr Shah said.

According to Vaal Real Estate, Nairobi boasted 4,582 serviced apartments last year – nearly double the figure in 2013 – with Westlands supplying 37 per cent of these residences due to its vast offering of business, entertainment, and social amenities. Kilimani followed at 28 per cent, with the city centre and Upper Hill supplying nine and six per cent of Nairobi serviced apartments respectively.

Read on.

By Joy Makena

Source: Construction Kenya

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

 

10 Really Cool Places to Make Your Weekend Fly in Nairobi

Are you new in Nairobi or just passing by? Well, Nairobi is where it all happens. Filled with fun places and activities, here are some of the things you can do while in Nairobi as first captured by  Benjamin Muindi of Tuko News

10. PaintBall Fury

If you are looking for a great time with a group of friends this weekend, then paintball could just be the plan. At paintball fury, it will set you back KSh 800 for one-and-half-hours of play time. This price will come with safety goggles, paintball markers, and protectors.

9.  Animal Orphanage

If you love animals and would perhaps like to take a picture so close to a lion, then visit the Nairobi Animal Orphanage operated by the Kenya Wildlife Service. It will cost you only KSh 250 to walk around the orphanage located in Lang’ata – some 10 kms from the city centre. The orphanage is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm and could be an ideal place to walk around while having a conversation. This is also a great place to take children.

8. The National Museum

The museum is an ideal place to visit this weekend if you’re looking for more educational yet fun stuff to do. It will give you a more reflective time to examine the country’s history and the present. The museum offers discounted joint tickets that include admission to the Snake Park going at KSh 300 for adults and KSh 150 for children. The museum also has a night tour package.

7. GP Karting

If you are a parent, aunt/uncle, guardian, GP Karting is the place to go and bond. The climax is the adrenaline that comes when the family is racing against each other on the track. Imagine 10-year-old Henry beating dad to the finish line. How cool is that? Or 8-year-old Nancy winning her 15-year-old brother with best racing time. Awesome uh? GP Karting is great for mummies and daddies to hang out with the kids. GP Karting is located off Lang’ata Road, next to Splash. They will provide you with a helmet, a racing suit and a full driver’s briefing to get you going this weekend.

6. Cycling At Karura Forest

If you’d like to escape the madness of the city or your residential area and get into the thick of a forest on a track stretching 12 kms, this is the plan.  It will also get you back to fitness after a week of sitting down for too long at the office. You can hire bikes in the forest or still bring your own. Karura forest located off Kiambu Road is also ideal for running.

5. Nairobi Arboretum

The arboretum is located along State House Road and is ideal for that conversation you’ve been meaning to catch on with a friend or a group. You do not need to pay to walk into the arboretum.

 

4. The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

For animal lovers again, this trust is an orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation programme located along Magadi Road. It will only set you back KSh 500 to gain admission and children do not pay. This was the first spot John Kerry, US secretary of state, actually visited when he recently came to Nairobi. 

3. The Lang’ata Botanical Gardens

The recreational gardens are located about 20 kilometers from the city centre along Langata South Road near the new Kenya School of Law. The gardens can be accessed by public transport and private parking is available. While on the gardens, you can sample a variety of foods, or have a drink at the bar. You may prefer to have a walk or a picnic here. They also allow fishing.

2. Mamba Village

Mamba village is best known for its crocodile farm – it is estimated that there are 70 Nile crocodiles at the village and Maasai ostriches. There are several restaurants in the expansive area in Karen, about 13 kilometers from the city centre.

1. Rolfs Place

Rolf Place is only 25 minutes from the city centre on the eastern side of the Nairobi National Park. The place gives you a panoramic view of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya and the Ngong Hills all from one point. There is an opportunity to view wild animals across the gorge. If you happen to spend the night there, the roaring of lions and leopards often pierce stillness of the night. The place is located on Masai Lodge Road off Magadi Road.

This is why serviced apartments are performing so well in Nairobi

The beauty of investing in real estate, other than the stability, is that there are many different ways to invest in property. In Kenya, there are a number of real estate asset classes that have been performing consistently better than others in the last few years. Today we will highlight our most favorite: serviced apartments.

Investing in serviced apartments in Nairobi

Serviced apartments are part of the relatively recent accommodation products in the hospitality industry that have attracted huge popularity in the recent past, thereby creating enormous competition to the conventional hotels. They have emerged as an appealing alternative to the standard hotel product especially to the corporate guests and personnel relocating temporarily or permanently.

Why is it a good idea?

Serviced apartments are a hybrid of the residential apartment sub-sector and the hotel market. Their aim is to fill the gap between a short hotel stay and longer-term rental accommodation. One of the keys to its success is the ability to generate a higher gross operating profit and net operating income than the average hotel. This is achieved through lower guest turnover because the length of stay is longer than that of regular hotels and lower operational costs are achieved by providing fewer and less frequent services.

Is there an ideal way to get in?

In order to Maximize returns as an investor looking to get into the serviced apartments business, a good option is to get into a serviced apartments development before it reaches the market. By this I mean, buying the investment while it is still under construction or even earlier. Usually, this allows you to pay much less for the unit, sometimes up to 25% cheaper than the value of the unit on completion.

A good buy would be a generously sized unit, with amenities one would ordinarily find in a hotel like a pool, equipped gym, a restaurant etc.

Source | Sterling Partners

Why You Should Book a Serviced Apartment

8 Reasons Why You Should Book a Serviced Apartment over a Hotel

Ever wondered why you should book a serviced apartment over a hotel? Well, we are here to make that process of deciding easier.

We must all agree that nothing is quite as refreshing as a holiday. It always gives you the opportunity to unwind, relax, and enjoy a bit of time either alone or with family.

However, it doesn’t end there. Second in line is choosing your destination and picking the right accommodation. Unfortunately, if you are not careful, this could just ruin your holiday!

Choosing your accommodation may result in you or your family having a comfortable holiday or a stressful one. We are here to strongly advocate for Serviced apartments as a great option for every kind of traveler.

Here is why:

  1. Space

We all love space. Be it in our own homes or away from home.

There’s nothing quite stressful than arriving at your booked accommodation after a long flight or road trip to find that you’re stuck with a cramped shoebox of a room. Serviced apartments provide a generous living space with room to rest and recuperate. On average, serviced apartments are 30% larger than a hotel guest room, so this makes them an ideal solution for travelling with others, particularly children.

Serviced apartments also tend to include a kitchen, living room, and bedroom area. This can either be all in the same studio space or in a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment. This makes travelling convenient for those wanting to continue cooking meals or saving money on food while away on holiday.

  1. Carefree Family Holidays

Travelling with the family can sometimes be a stressful experience, but with the right services, you can take the hassle out of family holidays. Serviced apartments provide ample space to avoid that claustrophobic feeling of having the kids in the same space as yourself. You’ll also have private access to up-to-date entertainment systems like large TVs, DVD players, and in some cases, pay TV as well. This makes serviced apartments an excellent option for those who might need to entertain guests while on holiday.

  1. Cost Effective

You don’t have to downgrade to 2 stars to make your trip affordable. Serviced apartments give you luxury accommodation without the hefty hotel price tag. Not only will you have comfortable and stylish apartments at an affordable price, but you can save by cooking all your meals in the kitchenette and storing groceries in your apartment fridge.

Eliminating or cutting down on the meals you eat out will make a huge difference to your holiday budget.

You can use the money you save to do more shopping or spend more on memorable experiences in your chosen city. When looking for prices of apartments, you may be pleasantly surprised to find that many are priced competitively to hotels, and are sometimes even cheaper than staying at a cramped hotel room.

  1. That ‘Home Away From Home’ Feeling

Many people choose serviced apartments because they have that ‘home away from home’ feeling. Instead of a cold, unfriendly hotel room, you’ll have a large accommodating room with comfortable furniture and a relaxed atmosphere.

You’ll no longer feel a sense of being homesick if you stay in a serviced apartment. Instead, you’ll feel like you’re staying at your new (temporary) home, which is only going to give you more time to relax while on holiday.

The added privacy of serviced apartments will give you comfort as you unwind. Having all your amenities and eating needs taken care of in one well-thought-out space will give you peace of mind as you don’t have to worry about sharing cooking or washing spaces as in hostels or some motels. Having home comforts such as DVD player, music systems, Wi-Fi, and private telephone line all make the experience even more comfortable.

  1. Centrally Located

Having your accommodation close to the city hubs can add immeasurable enjoyment to your holiday. Longonot Place Serviced apartments are located in Nairobi’s CBD. These are ideal locations for those who want to spend their days shopping in all busy shopping centers and boutique stores. Having all of the city’s most iconic and breathtaking sights at your doorstep will make your trip a breeze.

The hottest restaurants and nightclubs will be a quick taxi ride away. You can easily spend less time worrying about how you’ll get from A to B and instead spend more time having a good holiday.

  1. A Customized Experience

Staying in a serviced apartment is an experience like no other. You can have a customized service that really cannot be achieved in a standard hotel room stay. You can call ahead and ask for some requests such as calling ahead for secured parking. Or perhaps you want some of your favorite snacks stocked in the kitchen pantry. Serviced apartments are often accommodating to such requests.

  1. The Best of Housekeeping

Staying at home you often have the hassles of cleaning up after yourself every day so that you’re not living in your own filth. Many opt for a hotel room as they want to have some service while out for the day, such as the bed being made, and having some fresh towels. Some hotels won’t even provide this service unless you’re staying for a specific period of time set by them.

A serviced apartment, however, means that you can stay in the comfort and luxury of a ‘home away from home’, plus have the added benefits of great housekeeping services. Cleaning and a daily linen and towel service is often standard with serviced apartments, so you needn’t lift a finger during your stay.

  1. Great for Business or Pleasure

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to stay with the whole family, or somewhere to stay while on a business trip, you can’t really go past the convenience of a serviced apartment.

Business people travelling through cities will sometimes want somewhere to stay that doesn’t feel like a lonely hotel room. The serviced apartment also works for those needing to undertake conference calls and business meetings online or on the phone. With all the amenities needed in order to do your work in comfort, a serviced apartment is a great option for those travelling on business.