4 Things You Need to Know on Booking Holiday Accommodation

Going on holiday is an exciting time and something that many of us look forward to for months and months in advance. Whilst this excitement is absolutely justified, it might also be wise to make sure you take a little step back and get everything to do with your holiday perfect before you go. Ironing out any problems before you travel is ideal because it means it isn't going to ruin your holiday - whereas if you leave it to last minute you'll be on holiday trying to sort out problems: a definite dampener.

One thing that you need to pay careful consideration to and make sure you've gotten right is your accommodation. Wherever you choose to travel and whatever type of accommodation you go for, you'll be spending quite a lot of time there so you'll want it to be perfect.

1. The Right Accommodation

One of the best things about booking holiday accommodation is that there's something to suit everyone - whether you want a cheap bed and breakfast or a luxury hotel, there should be something that is perfect for you and your needs. The best thing you can do is do a little research into the type of accommodation that your holiday destination does best and book into something lovely.

One of the best type of holiday accommodations is serviced apartments (well - we would say that!), because they fit a range of needs. Of course if you're going to splash the cash on a serviced apartment you'll want it to be perfect - so what should you be checking?

2. The Rooms in The Apartment

Ideally your apartment should be a full unit - which means you get bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. However the rooms offered differ between apartments so be sure to check what you are getting for your money before you book. You can get apartments with numerous bedrooms, so if you need space for multiple people to stay then make sure you book enough sleeping space for everyone.

3. Features and Benefits

What you get inside your apartment will also vary depending on where you are staying and the company you book with.  Most serviced apartment companies will be happy to give you details of the specifics before you book, but if they don't provide this then make sure you ask - it stands to reason you are going to want to know what you are booking before you part with your hard-earned cash.

4. Extra Facilities

If you're staying in a purpose-built block of holiday apartments then you might find that there are other facilities you can take advantage of in the apartment block - for example a gym, swimming pool or sauna. Make sure you look at exactly what you get before you book and that you know how you are going to gain access to them while you are there if they are something you want to take advantage of.

Posted on January 28, 2014 .

What Type of Holiday is Right for your Family?

Arranging a family holiday can be great - but it can also be a nightmare. If you have very young children or teenagers for example then it can be hard to know exactly how to get the holiday perfect. When you are booking for a range of ages it can be impossible to know where to stay, what type of accommodation to choose and how to keep everyone entertained.

What Type of Holiday Should You Book?

Nowadays, there are many different types of holiday packages that travel agents offer, many even specifically designed to be family friendly. If you have children of different ages to entertain on holiday then booking into a holiday park can be a great idea - because they have so many in-built attractions, which means that older children can enjoy themselves independently with a range of activities while you look after your younger children.

Failing this a city break can also be good because there is always so much to see and do. Whether you plan days out to museums, to watch a show or the zoo then you know that there is going to be something to suit all your children - so no one is going to be bored while you're on your day out.

The Best Type of Accommodation

For many people finding the right type of accommodation can be tricky, because it can be hard to know if they will cater to all your family's different needs. You'll want young children in with you, but then your evenings can be ruined when they want to go to bed early and teenagers might want to stay in a room on their own but you might not feel comfortable doing this.

One of the best ways around this is to look at booking into somewhere like Monarch House. When you book a holiday apartment you get loads of space which means that you can all do your own thing while all staying together.

When you book an apartment you'll also be able to choose how many bedrooms the apartment has. This allows you to have separate bedrooms for your children, but still staying with you so your mind is kept at ease.

Ensuring That Everyone is Kept Entertained

It can be hard to keep everyone entertained for the whole of your holiday, especially if your children are different ages. One of the best ideas is to get them to agree to compromise - allow them all to pick at least one activity that the whole family do while you are on holiday. This means that they have to join in with what everyone else has chosen and people have to join in with what they chosen to. By giving them their own activity to plan and look forward to you can help to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable holiday. The good news is that there is loads of travel websites and blogs online, so looking up things to do before you travel is quick and easy.

Posted on January 28, 2014 .

Holiday Locations that Offer Serviced Apartments

If you're looking for a great holiday destination then you'll probably already know that there are many different places for you to choose from. Most of the time, the destination you choose will depend massively on what you like to do while you are on holiday and your budget. However one thing you should also take into consideration is the type of holiday accommodation that they offer; serviced apartments are a great choice, so why not combine your holiday with a fantastic serviced apartment to stay in?

London

Perhaps one of the best things about London is that there is so much to see and do, this means that whatever type of holiday you have in mind, you can be sure that there is something to suit you and your needs. If you're looking for a family holiday then you can take children to Hamleys or one of the many museums in the city, or you could look into having an adults evening out at a nice bar or restaurant. When it comes to serviced apartments in the city you'll find that there are plenty of choices for you (ourselves included of course!). Just make sure you look up public transport links so you are sure to pick somewhere that is easy to get to and from.

New York

If you're looking to stay in the city that never sleeps then why not go for a serviced apartment? For many people going on holiday to New York is something of a dream come true, so it makes sense to go the extra mile and make it extra special. Just like there are lots of hotels in New York, you'll find that there are lots of serviced apartments for you to choose from, so you can feel just like a local. Have a look at where you are likely to be spending more of your time while you are there and try to book a serviced apartment somewhere nearby.

Bangkok

Perhaps one of the best things about staying in a serviced apartment is the cost - you'll pay much less than you expect. If you're busy with the many cultural sights during the day it makes sense that you'll want your accommodation to be as relaxing and comfortable as possible for when you come back after a long day of activities. If you look up serviced apartments in Bangkok you'll find that you are spoilt for choice and that there are plenty for you to stay in. When you are looking at which serviced apartment to stay in, first make sure you choose one that is in the correct area of Bangkok for what you are looking to do while you are there.

Serviced apartments are fast becoming a popular choice for holiday makers - because they make a holiday seem that much more special. Whether you're going to stay in London, New York, Bangkok or somewhere else make sure you shop around and find the best apartment to suit you and your needs - you'll get some real bargains which can help to make your holiday perfect without breaking the bank.

Posted on January 28, 2014 .

5 Tips for Moving into a Serviced Apartment

If you have booked a serviced apartment to stay in, it could be that you're planning on a longer stay than just your standard week for a holiday. If this is the case then you'll want to make sure that the move into your serviced apartment goes smoothly. Staying longer often means more luggage and more to organise, so how can you make sure that the whole thing goes as smoothly as possible?

Consider What Your Money Purchasing You

One of the best things you can do to make sure that your move isn't stressful is to make sure you know exactly what you are getting for your money before you book. For many people the stress of a serviced apartment comes from having their expectations dashed - for example , or mistakenly assuming that there is WiFi is provided. Avoid this scenario: check all details and ask for all the information you can before booking and committing to anything.

Be As Organised As Possible

Leaving things to the last minute is never a good idea. Make sure you pack everything you need for your holiday the night before, so that you are not rushing around trying to fit things into a suitcase as you leave the house. Try making a list of everything you think you'll need while you are there and ticking things off as you pack - that way you know exactly where you are at and that you don't have to stress on the day.

Make Travel Plans in Advance

Long before the day you move in you need to think about travel plans and how you are going to get there. Use online journey planners and apps to work out where you are going and how you are going to get there. Save the journey on your phone or print it out so that when the day comes you know exactly how to get from A to B and how long it is going to take.

Leave Plenty Of Time

If the journey says it is going to take you an hour to get there, leave a little longer. If you leave at the last minute and get delayed then you'll just stress yourself out by not being there on time. By making sure you leave plenty of time, you know that things cannot go quite to plan but you still don't have to worry too much!

Double Check All Of The Details Before You Leave Home

Before you leave the house make sure you have any booking confirmations that you need, any tickets for travel that you have, as well as your journey planning and everything else you have planned to make your move into your serviced apartment as smooth as possible.

 

 

 

Posted on January 7, 2014 .

Hotels vs. Serviced Apartments

When you are travelling to somewhere new, you'll have a number of choices when it comes to places to stay. One bit of advice is to make sure that you research anywhere you are interested in staying to make sure that it is going to give you good value for money, in the correct location, and also suitable for your needs. 

If you're staying in London or any other major tourist area, then you'll have a number of accommodation choices - however the choice between hotel and apartment is the one that comes up the most. Both of these are great accommodation choices, it is just a matter of working out which one is going to be best for your time, budget and location.

Space Available

One of the biggest differences between a hotel and a serviced apartment is the amount of space you'll get. In a luxury hotel you'll only usually get a bedroom and a bathroom, so even if this is quite spacious it just won't compare to how much space you get in an apartment. When you book a serviced apartment with Monarch House you'll be able to choose how many bedrooms you want (great for if you have children or friends that way to share with you). However on top of that you'll get a kitchen, bathroom, living area and sometimes even a dining room. The extra space you get will mean that you can live like you would at home - relax on the sofa in front of your TV, or cook your own dinner - both luxuries you just don't get in a hotel room.

Facilities

It is worth checking exactly what facilities you get in the serviced apartment you are looking to book but you'll often get a fully fitted kitchen as standard - with washer, dryer and even a dishwasher. This allows you to keep on top of things as you go along. Most apartments come with proper bedroom furniture and even pull out beds in the living room if you want to make room for even more people to stay over with you. Both hotels and apartments can have extra facilities for you to use such as a gym or swimming pool - you'll just need to check with wherever you want to book into as to what facilities they offer.

Cost

As a serviced apartment has so much more than a hotel it can be easy to assume that it is much more costly, however often there is not much difference in price. In fact if you have a group of you that want to stay together it can often work out a lot cheaper because you can split the cost between a much larger group of people. If you want to stay somewhere for a bit of a longer term then a serviced apartment can often work out cheaper than a hotel too!

Posted on January 7, 2014 .

5 Ways Serviced Apartments Stop You Stressing

We've all done it - counted down the days until our holiday and then let it overwhelm us, stress us out and then spend the whole holiday worrying. Although this stress and worry might not ruin your holiday, most of us would definitely rather holiday without it! If you book a serviced apartment rather than a hotel you can help to ensure that your holiday is as relaxing and stress free as possible. Let Monarch House - a provider of leading serviced apartments in Kensington - explain why!

You'll Be Able To Relax

If you book into a serviced apartment then you'll be glad to know that the household chores you often have to worry about at home, are taken care of for you here. Just by knowing that someone else is going to make the bed and change the wet towels can be enough to make sure that your holiday is as stress free as possible. This allows you to concentrate on having a good time rather than worrying about those little chores which you always have to do at home.

Everyone Can Stay Together

Hotel rooms are limited on space and you don't really have this problem with apartments - especially if you're sensible and book an apartment that is big enough for everyone. It is possible (and easy) to get apartments with multiple bedrooms in. This means that everyone can stay together - no worrying about whether everyone else is awake early enough in the morning or how you're going to get hold of someone if you want to make arrangements for the next day, because you're all staying in the same place.

You Can Enjoy Evenings In

One of the nicest things about booking an apartment over a hotel is the living space that you get. With an apartment you get a living room, dining room and kitchen which makes it a much nicer space to stay in for an evening. With a hotel room you're often subjected to sitting on your bed to watch TV, where as in your apartment you'll have an actual living room to take advantage of. This means that if you're tired or don't feel like going out you can easily stay in with the rest of your guests and enjoy an evening together, without worrying about being too cramped!

You Can Have Your Own Space

Although it is nice to stay together in an apartment it can also be reassuring you know you have your own space. As you'll be able to book enough bedrooms for everyone to have room to sleep in, you don't have to worry about everyone living in each other's pockets. Everyone will have their own space to retreat to if things get too much or they simply want to have an early night.

All The Facilities You Could Need

On top of that apartments usually come with all the facilities you need to have a good time - so if something gets spilled upon you can put it in the washing machine and wash it, for example. It might sound like something quite small but it can make all the difference to your stress levels!

Posted on December 23, 2013 .

How to Choose the Perfect Serviced Apartment

When you start to look at serviced apartments in an area, you'll usually find that you have numerous choices - especially if you're staying in a tourist area or a large city. This choice is great because it means that whatever you are looking for there will be something to suit what you're looking for - but it can mean that you'll need to do a little research into finding the perfect one to suit your needs.

So when you're looking for a serviced apartment, what should you be looking for? Here at Monarch House, we are used to dealing with many different requirements.

Location

If you're staying in a large city then you might want to think about where your apartment is going to be located. The best thing you can do is to look at what you're going to be doing during your holiday, and find an apartment nearby the attractions or activities you want to see. You can sometimes find much cheaper apartments, but these can be further out of the way and you'll often spend more on getting around, which can be costly. The good news is that there is lots of information on Google, so looking up location and how easy it is to get around from the apartment should not be too much of a hassle.

Space

Think about how long you're going to be staying at the apartment and how much space you'll need. You can get differently sized apartments so it shouldn't be too much of a hassle to find one to fit - but the last thing you want is to end up in an apartment that is too small for your needs. Make sure you have enough beds and sleeping space for people before you book - you don't want to be cramped and living out of each other's pockets while you are there.

Facilities

Different serviced apartment companies will have their own features and benefits, so you'll need to research what is available to suit your needs. Most websites will have their details on their website, so finding out what they can offer you should not be too difficult. If there is something that you really need during your stay (for example WiFi), then make sure that the apartment you are booking has that facility, so you don't miss out while you are there.

Price

Staying in a serviced apartment can often be much more cost-effective than you imagine, which means that people don't shop around because they feel that have already got a good deal. However there are different serviced apartment companies out there so you should definitely make sure you shop around and ensure you are getting the best value for money. Of course, don't just take price in consideration - you'll need to take the whole package into account (facilities, location, etc.) and weigh it up to make sure that you're getting the best package for the best price possible.

Look at the company's website to see if they have photos of the apartments available - so you know what to expect and what you are getting, before parting with your hard earned cash.

If you are in London and require a serviced apartment Kensington, Monarch House is a great place to start!

Posted on December 23, 2013 .

A Home away from Home on Holiday

If you're booking a holiday then it makes sense that you are going to want the whole holiday to be as perfect as possible. One thing that can make or break your holiday is the place you lay your weary head at night: accommodation. Depending on where you travel to, you might find that there are lots of different choices when it comes to booking accommodation - this is great because it means that whatever you're looking for you there will be something to suit!

If you're looking for the perfect, relaxing holiday then booking a serviced apartment rather than at a hotel can make all the difference. When you book into a serviced apartment, you get more than just a room to stay in; you really do get a home away from home.

Many travellers still assume that hotels are their only options when it comes to places to stay - but that is not the case at all. While hotels can be perfect for some people's needs, you often get so much more from a serviced apartment without having to pay much more.

The Benefits of a Serviced Apartment

When you book into a serviced apartment one of the first things you'll probably notice is the amount of space you get compared to a hotel room. When you book into a hotel you get just a room. When you compare this to an apartment where you get living space, a kitchen and even separate bedrooms you can see how it already gives you more space!

One of the nicest things about staying in a serviced apartment is that you can make the most of your stay there by relaxing and chilling out while you are there. A kitchen means you can prepare food while you are there and even eat in your apartment - which is much nicer than having to eat in your hotel.

Space

The great thing about an apartment like this is the space that you have too - you can book apartments with more than one bedroom. This is ideal if you have a small children, or a group of friends that all want to stay together but without having to actually share a bedroom.

Added Extras

It is worth looking at what added extras your serviced apartment comes with - or search for one that meets your needs. For example you might want an apartment with a desk for you to put your laptop on and WiFi so that you have constant internet access - this should be easy enough for you to find! The difference is that working in this space is going to be much nicer than being stuck in a small hotel room to do your work.

Your apartment will usually come complete with kitchen appliances and kitchen wear - this means that you don't have to think about eating out every night, instead you can prepare your own food and even enjoy it on the sofa, in front of the TV in your pyjamas if you want - you just don't get that type of relaxation in a hotel!

Posted on December 23, 2013 .

The Benefits of a Serviced Apartment

If you are a frequent traveller, then you might already know that sometimes holiday accommodation can be a little disappointing. These days, booking accommodation online is so easy that people do it a click of a button, without really thinking about what they are booking. This is fine at the time, until you actually travel and have to stay there - only to find out that it doesn't match your expectations.

The best piece of advice that can be given when it comes to booking holiday accommodation is to research where you are booking and take your time. However long you are staying for you'll be spending a lot of time in your holiday accommodation - so you'll want it to be right. You need to think about what is going to suit you best and your needs - do you want a cheap bed and breakfast somewhere, a chain hotel or maybe even a serviced apartment? There are lots of choices and it is a matter of thinking about what you need and what accommodation type you think best suits this.

For many people a serviced apartment is perfect, just because it offers so much! With an apartment you get a unit all to yourself which has more than just a bedroom and bathroom like you would expect in a hotel. Holiday apartments like this are often described as a home away from home because they are some comfortable and nice to stay in.

Convenience

For many people staying in a serviced apartment us much more convenient than a hotel room. For starters you get so much more space, which is great if you have a few of you who want to stay in the same place. Of course you also get things like extra storage and proper kitchen facilities which many people say they miss when they are staying in a basic hotel room.

In most serviced apartments you get a proper living area  - this means that you have somewhere properly to sit and relax without having to be perched on your bed, like you would be if you were staying in a hotel.

In an apartment you'll get a kitchen fully fitted with appliance and kitchenware. This means that you can actually prepare your own meals and sit and eat properly, unlike in a hotel where you constantly have to think about where you are going to stay. Even small things like being able to have a few items in the fridge in case you need them can make all the difference.

Comfort

As an apartment feels so much more like home you'll probably feel much more relaxed and comfortable staying here. With a proper sofa to sit on for example you can actually sit and relax properly which is a luxury you don't often get in a hotel.

Space

One of the greatest things about an apartment like this is the space you have available - you can even book an apartment with extra bedrooms if you want a few of you to stay over. This allows you to put your things away properly and actually feel like you have unpacked, rather than being cramped into a small hotel room and living out of a suitcase.

Posted on December 23, 2013 .

Why Stay in a Serviced Apartment?

If this article has caught your eye, then it may be because you’re a businessman or employer investigating the potential benefits of staying in – or sending your employee to stay in – a serviced apartment, or it may be because you just don’t know what a serviced apartment actually is.  It sounds simple enough – an apartment, that’s serviced. But why do they exist, and what purpose do they serve?

 

If you own – or work for – a company that has to send representatives to different locations, be it to pitch to a new client, to investigate a problem, or for sales purposes, then you have to find somewhere for that representative to stay. The most common solution is to put them up in a hotel, but if the representative has to stay in the area for a prolonged or indefinite period of time, this option is impractical and really, far too expensive. So what’s the alternative? Well, the logistics involved for trying to find suitable rented accommodation are rather complicated and time-consuming, and ideally you want to avoid tying your representative into any fixed contracts. The best solution, therefore, is to put them up in a serviced apartment.

 

A serviced apartment is a fully furnished apartment, which can cater for both short-term and long-term stays alike. They are cheaper than hotel rooms, but don’t be fooled into thinking your stay will be any less comfortable; many serviced apartments provide only the very best in terms of luxury and - funnily enough! - service. The use of serviced apartments has dramatically increased in recent years, most noticeably due to the availability of cheap international flights. However, it’s not just the price that makes serviced apartments such an attractive alternative to hotel accommodation, it’s the space, the privacy, the convenience; it’s the very fact you are staying in an apartment, as opposed to just a hotel room. One of the biggest selling points for agents letting serviced apartments is the fact that they try to create a sense of a ‘home from home’, yet within the parameters of hotel luxury and cleanliness. These apartments are often located right in the heart of city centres; for example, if you’re searching for extended stay accommodation in London, then we believe we provide the very best serviced apartments Kensington has to offer. Monarch House have one, two, or three bedroom apartments available for customers, all impeccably furnished with modern, spacious, living, sleeping, cooking and dining areas.

 

Serviced apartments are also far more cost effective for multiple travellers/representatives, as you need only book one apartment instead of say, three hotel rooms. On top of this, many agents/operators will offer separate long-term stay rates, which effectively act as discounts, in comparison to fixed, non-negotiable, nightly hotel prices. Serviced apartments also permit extra beds to be added to bedrooms; an option you’ll struggle to find in any London hotels! They are kept in a pristine condition; both in terms of cleanliness and furnishing/décor, so you needn’t fret about keeping the property clean throughout your stay. There really are so many benefits to staying in a serviced apartment; once you – or your company representative – have tried it, you’ll/they’ll never look back!

Posted on December 23, 2013 .

4 Great riverside places in London

London, just like most major cities, has plenty of riverside places to visit where one can have either lunch, dinner or an afternoon drink.

Whether it's the Serpentine, Regent's Canal, the Grand Union Canal or the Thames there are lots of quiet spots where you can relax and enjoy a slower pace.

Here's a selection of our favourite ones: 

The Serpentine: 

Closest from Monarch House, this stretch of water is located within Hyde Park and only a few minutes from High Street Kensington via bus. There you can rent a boat or alternatively join The Serpentine Swimming club but with temperatures being what they are in London, we would recommend you think about it first.

 

Richmond-upon-Thames:

Easily accessible from Monarch House serviced apartments via the District Line, Richmond is a very fashionable and trendy suburb. There, you will find pubs and restaurants but also Richmond Park, a very large park which still has deer.  

Camden Lock:

 

Famous for its markets and riverboats, Camden is a short walk from Regent's Park via the canal. Renowned for being quite alternative, Camden has never lost any popularity and never seems to stop expanding. A place anyone visiting London should see at least once. It's fantastic for photo opportunities, souvenirs and street food too.

 

St Katherine's Dock:

 

A real hidden gem, this marina is located right next to Tower Bridge but yet it is quite and secluded. There you can enjoy lunch in the many restaurants including a medieval themed one which should be quite fun for kids whatever their age.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on September 18, 2013 .

5 Great places to enjoy a sunset/sunrise in London

When living in London temporarily when staying at Monarch House serviced apartments in Kensington, it will happen that you witness the most stunning sunset or sunrise. One with explosive colours over a beautiful urban landscape. 

It may be one your way to or from work, or simply when having a walk by the river. 

 

People often say the most beautiful sunsets are on a beach in Thailand or somewhere similar, but I don't necessarily agree.  

 

London is a fantastic city that many choose as a holiday destination.

What are the ingredients for the perfect sunset or sunrise?

 Clouds: Yes clouds are actually desirable, but you need just the right amount. Too many and you won't have a sunset, no clouds at all and it will be boring.

Water:  Not necessary but having a reflection simply doubles the amount of colour. In London is can be the Thames or the canals.

Some form of skyline: The silhouette of the City or Canary Wharf really make for something spectacular. 

Below are a few examples of places you may want to head to in order to witness jaw dropping views, but there are many more and if you have other suggestions why not share them with us?

(images © Nicholas Goodden

 

 

 

 

Canary Wharf view from North Greenwich / The O2

Canary Wharf view from North Greenwich / The O2

Westminster Palace

Westminster Palace

Camden Town

Camden Town

City Hall and Tower Bridge

City Hall and Tower Bridge

Wembley Stadium

Wembley Stadium

Posted on August 23, 2013 .

5 Best places to take your kids near Kensington

There's one thing not to worry about when you stay with us at Monarch House in Kensington, whether it's for a short stay or whether you are relocating: How to keep kids entertained? 

Holland Park - Near the Japanese Garden

Holland Park - Near the Japanese Garden

1) Holland Park

 

The most obvious and right across the street from our Kensington Serviced Apartments: Holland Park.  

Holland park is one of 8 Royal Parks and is located in the borough of Kensington & Chelsea. There you'll find a giant chess board, peacocks, lots of places to play hide and seek, cows (yes there are cows!) and the famous Japanese garden.  

2) Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens:

If it's space you're after, then why not walk from your serviced apartment up Kensington High Street to Hyde Park? You'll first reach Kensington Gardens, on the left right past the Royal Garden Hotel. 

You can play tennis, frisbee, football, enjoy an ice cream... the list is endless. If it's water you're after, why not hire a rowing or pedal boat? 

In the winter it hosts Winter Wonderland too. 

3) Natural History Museum:

Free to visit and opened in 1881, it's possibly my favourite building in London, a great way to have fun and learn at the same time.  

Only 8 minute walk from Monarch House Serviced Apartments, High Street Kensington is only two stops away from South Kensington and its museums.

4) Science Museum: 

Another of South Kensington's museums, the Science Museum has lots of experiments and things for kids to play with. It's so close to the Natural History Museum, why not visit both?

5) Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherd's Bush:

Consider this one wisely: 150,000 sqm of retail space!

It's a dream come true for many kids but you may have to drag them out when the time comes to leave! 

Westfield is only a short tube ride from your serviced residence in Kensington High Street and a really fun day out.

 

That should help you get started but if you're looking for more ideas, visit websites such as View London for example where you'll find hundreds more!