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FAQs for Serviced Apartments

Sometimes it’s the simple things that count. When it comes to business travel, having all of the basic details at your disposal is essential for a smooth and hassle-free trip. With little time to spare and lots to consider, bringing everything into focus isn’t always easy – least of all, your accommodation.

Our account managers are always on hand to respond to any queries you may have. To help you along the way, we’ve drawn up a list of some of our most frequently asked questions:

1. Enquiries, Reservations and Cancellations

1.1 How do I amend my reservation?

1.2 Is there a minimum length of stay?

1.3 How do I make a reservation?

1.4 When do I need to pay?

1.5 If I cancel, can I get a refund?

2. Accommodation

2.1 What is a serviced apartment?

2.2 What are the differences between hotels and serviced apartments?

2.3 What kitchen equipment will I find in my serviced apartment?

2.4 What is the difference between a studio and a one bedroom apartment?

2.5 What can I expect in my apartment?

2.6 Will there be internet access?

2.7 What’s included in a welcome pack?

2.8 How do I check-in to my apartment?

2.9 What if I need to check in early or check out later than the standard times?

2.10 What should I do if I have a problem on arrival or during my stay?

2.11 What are the differences between serviced apartments and a fixed tenancy?

2.12 What’s the pet policy in serviced apartments?

2.13 What do I do with my keys upon checking out?

2.14 What security features do serviced apartments offer?

2.15 What options are available for disabled guests?

2.16 How many guests can stay in my apartment?

2.17 Can I smoke in my apartment?

2.18 Is it possible for me to view an apartment before I make a reservation?

3. Payment

3.1 How do I make a payment?

3.2 Do I have to pay a deposit?

3.3 Is it safe for me to pay by card?

3.4 When will you take my payment?

3.5 What’s included in the cost of my serviced apartment?

3.6 What’s the difference between booking via SilverDoor and direct with the property?


How do I amend my reservation?

If you need to amend your reservation, please contact our Account Management team. All extensions are generally subject to availability. If you wish to shorten your stay, you may be subject to cancellation charges if you don’t provide sufficient notice. Details of the cancellation policy for your apartment are included in your booking confirmation.


Is there a minimum length of stay?

No. Some properties are available on a nightly basis.

Please note that the minimum length of stay varies from property to property. Our Client Account Management team will inform you of any such restrictions during both the enquiry and reservation stage.

A greater selection of serviced apartments will be available to you if you book for seven nights or more.

How do I make a reservation?

Your best approach is to give one of our experts a call. They’re on hand to help with any enquiry you might have. Whatever your requirements may be, they’ll suggest a selection of serviced apartments that match your given criteria.

Alternatively, you can book online. Begin by running a search on the ‘find an apartment’ tab on our homepage, using our destinations map to view properties in your ideal location. Once you’ve created a shortlist of favourites, simply fill out an enquiry form and we’ll get back to you with a range of available options.

You can also speak to us online using our live chat facility or via Skype. Pushed for time? You can even drop us a quick text.

When do I need to pay?

Reservations are billed at the point of booking and must be paid in full before check-in. Our Account Management team agree a payment date with you during the reservation stage.

If I cancel, can I get a refund?

Whether you receive a refund is dependent on if you cancel your booking in accordance with the apartment’s cancellation policy.


What is a serviced apartment?

A serviced apartment is a type of accommodation that can be booked on a night-by-night basis, features kitchen facilities and at least a once weekly maid service. Rates generally reduce as the length of stay increases.

What are the differences between hotels and serviced apartments?

A typical serviced apartment offers 30% more space than a hotel room, with separate areas for eating, sleeping and working.

Contrary to hotels, the vast majority of serviced apartments have free Wi-Fi, and some even offer rental of office equipment such as printers and scanners. While the apartments are well kitted out, there are also a number of properties which offer gym facilities, bars, restaurants and even on-site shops.

For stays of seven nights or more, the average serviced apartment is 15% cheaper than equivalent hotel accommodation, increasing to 25% after 30 nights, and 30% after 90 nights. In the UK, Value Added Tax (VAT) is only levied at 20% for the first 28 days. The VAT rate for subsequent days is applied only to 20% of the rate (in effect, a rate of 4% is charged on the whole rate after the first 28 days).

What kitchen equipment will I find in my serviced apartment?

All serviced apartments have a fully equipped kitchen or kitchenette. A full kitchen will include an oven and a hob, whilst a kitchenette contains a microwave oven and a fixed hob or portable hot plate (unless otherwise stated). As a minimum, a kitchen or kitchenette must include:

  • A cooking appliance such as an oven, microwave, fixed hob or portable hot plate
  • A fridge
  • Glassware
  • Crockery
  • Cutlery
  • Cooking utensils
  • Pots and pans
  • Washing up facilities

What is the difference between a studio and a one bedroom apartment?

A studio apartment follows a similar style to a hotel: chiefly, open-plan accommodation with everything in one room, except for a separate bathroom. A one bedroom apartment follows a typical apartment layout, with the bedroom and bathroom separate to the living and cooking areas.

What can I expect in my apartment?

Each apartment configuration is different. So too are the facilities. There are, however, certain facilities you can expect to find in every property:

  • Kitchen or kitchenette
  • Sitting or living area
  • Sleeping area
  • Bathroom
  • Electrical and kitchen appliances
  • Furniture
  • Soft furnishings
  • Kitchenware
  • Bedding – including linen and towels
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • A TV package and music system

Each property profile on our website includes a ‘facilities’ tab, with details of what’s provided.

Will there be internet access?

Most serviced apartments have free Wi-Fi, and it’s normally included in the overall cost. For any troubleshooting issues, please refer to the guest welcome folder in your apartment, or contact the property manager using the contact details provided on your confirmation document.

What’s included in a welcome pack?

A basic welcome pack can be found in most apartments and contains items like tea, coffee, sugar, water, milk, toilet paper and shower gel. Most properties also provide a small starter pack of dishwashing liquid and/or dishwasher tablets.

Some properties offer an upgraded welcome pack which may contain items like cereal, bread, pasta, biscuits, fruit or chocolate. More extensive welcome packs are often chargeable.

How do I check-in to my apartment?

Check-in varies from property to property:

  • 24-hour reception or concierge: similar to what you’d expect at a hotel.
  • Meet and greet: a pre-arranged check-in will be agreed with you and a property representative.
  • Self-check-in: you’ll be given access to secure codes for access to the main building and key safe.
  • Off-site check-in and key collection: keys will need to be collected from a location different to that of your apartment.

The standard check-in time is from 14.00, although this is not always the case. Full details of your check-in process are provided by our Account Management team at the confirmation stage.

What if I need to check in early or check out later than the standard times?

Please make this request in the special request box during the booking process.

An early check-in is sometimes possible, but needs to be requested in advance. In some cases, you may be required to pay for an additional stay the night before. Properties that have a reception or concierge facility may hold luggage on your behalf while you wait to access your apartment.

What should I do if I have a problem on arrival or during my stay?

Please refer to the confirmation document that was sent to you via email when you made your reservation. On your confirmation, you’ll find the following contact numbers:

  • SilverDoor office number: +44 (0)20 8090 8090 (office hours, only: 8am – 6pm)
  • Office number of the property manager (office hours, only: 8am – 6pm)
  • Emergency number of the property manager

What are the differences between serviced apartments and a fixed tenancy?

Serviced apartments feature a number of benefits that are not included with a fixed tenancy: one of the most significant is the fact that there’s rarely a deposit fee. This minimises any upfront costs, which is often a big hassle when beginning a fixed-term tenancy. Other benefits of serviced apartments include:

  • Zero agent fees or reference check charges
  • Minimal paperwork/admin is a huge benefit
  • Flexibility to book short stays, of as little as one night (instead of the required six months in a fixed tenancy)
  • A shorter notice period
  • Freedom to extend, shorten or amend your reservation.
  • A serviced apartment is fully equipped, eliminating the hassle of purchasing appliances, furnishings, kitchenware, bedding, linen and towels.
  • All bills are included
  • Internet and TV packages are generally included.
  • A phone line is already set up with charges only applicable to any calls made.
  • Maid service once a week, as a minimum, which includes a full clean and change of all towels and linen.
  • Access to maintenance and guest service teams are available at no extra charge.

What’s the pet policy in serviced apartments?

Some properties allow pets; however, every property has their own set policy. If you wish to bring your pet with you, please make this clear during the enquiry stage, and we’ll find an apartment that allows for moment.

Please note, an additional cleaning charge will be incurred by staying with a pet.

What do I do with my keys upon checking out?

Keys should safely be returned to either reception or the key-safe provided in your property.

What security features do serviced apartments offer?

Security features vary with each apartment, but our Account Management team can provide more information if you require it.

What options are available for disabled guests?

Wheelchair access, lifts and other facilities for disabled guests are again specified in the ‘facilities’ tab for each property.

If you have specific requirements, speak to one of our experts who can advise which apartments are suitable for your needs.

How many guests can stay in my apartment?

The maximum occupancy of each apartment type varies. Typically, the below rules apply:

  • Studio apartment – two people
  • One bedroom apartment – two people
  • Two bedroom apartment – four people
  • Three bedroom apartment – six people

The general rule is that an apartment can accommodate as many people as it can sleep. When making your enquiry, please inform us of the number of guests you need to accommodate, along with any other preferences, and we’ll do our best to source the right properties.

Some apartments have cots or sofa beds available to help sleep more guests. If this is required, please let our Account Management team know upon enquiry.

Can I smoke in my apartment?

No. The majority of serviced apartments are non-smoking. This includes all apartments within any given development, and any internal communal areas. Smoking may be permitted in external areas, such as balconies, roof terraces and communal courtyards or gardens, but you should check the restrictions first.

Is it possible for me to view an apartment before I make a reservation?

Yes. To arrange a viewing please contact our Account Management team and we’ll organise a viewing for you. All viewings are subject to availability at the property in question.


How do I make a payment?

When making a payment, you have two main options:

  • Bank transfer – we accept payment in GBP, USD, EUR, AED, QAR, SGD, PLN, AUD and CHF.
  • Card Payment – we accept payment in GBP, via our online payment system, supplied by Barclaycard. This system accepts payment from American Express, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, Maestro and Electron. A 2.95% card transaction fee applies to all card payments, except payments via UK debit cards.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

We encourage our property partners not to request a deposit; however a small number of properties may require a one, which is either paid at the time of booking, or upon check-in.

As an alternative to a deposit, we recommend that our properties take a pre-authorisation from a credit card which may then be used to cover any incidental costs occurred during your stay. Any deposit requirements will be made clear to you at the reservation stage and at the confirmation stage.

Is it safe for me to pay by card?

Yes. When you pay by card we’ll provide you with a payment link to our secure, online payment service provider, Barclaycard. This is a PCI compliant service, which means none of your sensitive card information is shared with us.

When will you take my payment?

Reservations are billed at the point of booking and must be paid in full before check-in. Our Account Management team agree a payment date with you at the reservation stage.

What’s included in the cost of my serviced apartment?

  • Utility bills, which may include: council tax, water, heating, electricity, gas, telephone line rental and television licence.
  • A basic TV package
  • Internet access
  • Maid service
  • Welcome pack

Other services are subject to an additional charge:

  • Outgoing telephone calls
  • A more frequent maid service
  • Premium TV channels
  • Extra beds for additional guests
  • *Parking*

*It’s important to note that some properties in certain locations operate a monthly cap on utility bills.*

What’s the difference between booking via SilverDoor and direct with the property?

  • EXPERT – We utilise our unparalleled knowledge of the market to source suitable options from our global collection of 170,000 serviced apartments.
  • UNBIASED – As an agent, with no vested interest in any particular apartments, we’re able to provide you with the most suitable options, in your chosen location.
  • DEDICATED – Our international, free-to-use Account Management team are on-hand to assist you through the search and stay process, providing unrivalled access to a portfolio of apartments.
  • SAFE – The properties listed on our website meet strict safeguarding standards; many are ‘SilverDoor Verified’, meaning a member of staff has personally visited and approved them.

 

 

 

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About the Author

Anton Constantinou

As Content Writer, Anton is responsible for producing content to engage and educate business travellers. As well as blog writing and posting on social media, he's in charge of pulling together editorial for SilverDoor's commercial partners.