How online booking of hostels works?

Over the past few years, technology has influenced every walk of life including the hospitality sector too. The conventional method of booking hostels has slowly but eventually given way to the much more simpler and quicker online booking methods. Online booking has caught up with many people of late. These days, be it the students or the vacationers, everyone prefers to book a hostel online rather than to struggle to find one after landing in the destination. Online booking is a much convenient method of looking for the right hostel. It is simple, it is quick and its a lot more comfortable. But the problem lies in how to go about this online booking of hostels? Like mentioned earlier, online hostel booking is a simple process. All thanks to the popularity of the online booking trend more and more hostels are coming with their own online booking websites. Backed by a reservation engine, these websites facilitate easy booking and friendly navigation. These websites offer you all the information that you will need to decide whether or not to go for a particular hostel. Another highlight of these websites is clear pictures of the hostel and the room that you would be staying in. So before you actually make your reservations you have a clear idea of what you would be getting. These websites also mention their price quotes, which will let you know how much you need to spend if you are making your bookings. Once you know all that you needed to you can accordingly make your decision. There is yet another way of booking a hostel online. Other than the websites of these hostels, there are several other service websites too that can help you find a suitable hostel in the desired destination. All you need to do is fill in an online quote form and you shall have all the options that you can go for. Simply mention the desired location and your budget requirements and within a fraction of a second you shall have all the options that best meet the specified requirements. Now thats what we call convenient! Hosteltraveler is one such website where you can get all the desired information about various hostels in the location of your choice. Simply log on to www.hosteltraveler.com and make your online bookings at the click of a button. Hostel Travel expert is a well-known author who has been writing for hostel traveler. HostelTraveler.com is a global travel services arranger featuring instant world booking. Hostel Traveler operates within a tourism niche catering to hostelers, For more information visit www.hosteltraveler.com

B and B Hotels Reservations in Northampton

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The Phuket hotels And Resorts Guide Provides A Brief Summary

This Phuket hotel is located at Patong Beach and is surrounded by landscaped gardens and is close to the beach and entertainment areas. This hotel in Phuket is ideal for working on your tan and getting some well deserved rest. Our phuket hotel fast and secure reservation service provided. The hotel is family run, private and provides for a relaxed stay at Phuket’s marine hub. And whatever your budget, you can find a suitably priced Phuket hotel for you and your family. Renowned for its warm island hospitality and rustic serenity, the Chedi Hotel Phuket provides spa services, dining venues, meeting facilities and recreational activities. Select a Phuket hotel below to find usefull hotel information, check hotel rates and room availability.

You may see below comprehensive listing of Phuket hotels sorted by price. The Hotel Channel website presents a quick guide to top hotel choices in the Phuket area that can be booked online. The Phuket hotels and resorts guide provides a brief summary, customer ratings and reviews for hotels or resorts. For a quick summary see the list of hotels and resorts in Phuket. Secure your premier Phuket hotel bargain now by booking your stay at the Hotel below. If you’re looking at other areas of Phuket follow the links at the bottom of this page for hotel booking web sites.

It is one of the best-valued vacation of Phuket hotels. Our hotel is one of the best-valued vacation resorts in Phuket. Read Phuket hotels descriptions, reviews by former hotel guests or place your own Phuket hotels review. Even from the window of your hotel Phuket will boast some fabulous views and beautiful scenes. Season hotel mgm grand las vegas hotel philadelphia omni hotel phuket hotel casino los angeles hotel hotel key west hotel. Popular with tourists there are many bungalows, resorts and hotels in Phuket so you will never be short on accommodation. We felt that by doing some solid groundwork on phuket hotels we would eventually source a fine phuket hotels provider … We know that many people have an interest in hotel in phuket so that is the community we wish to serve.

This website is designed to make easy and safe instant hotel and tour reservations direct with the best of Phuket’s establishments. The hotel is easily accessible from Phuket airport and other tourist destinations. Agents rates for on-line bookings at international class hotels in Phuket. Aside from Phuket’s many attractions guests have a choice of activities within the hotel itself. Set in its own tropical gardens, the phuket hotel boasts three magnificent pools and sundecks for soaking up the glorious sunshine over Phuket. Book your Phuket hotel stay safely, securely and without worries. A comfortable Phuket hotel for groups, families and company meetings or large conferences. The group also plans to open another hotel in Phuket. phuket hotels resorts sawasdee village hotel resort thailandphuket hotel resort hotels in phuket thailand.

For others types of rooms, please use the search box and check rates for Phuket hotels. You may also view Phuket lodgings and hotels alphabetically or Phuket hotels and rooms sorted by price. With Phukets many thousands hotel, guesthouse, bungalow and service apartment rooms it can be hard to pick out the right one. To search all available hotels in Phuket, please use the hotel search box. In addition, the island also boasts many man-made attractions, such as Phuket hotels, restaurants, sports facilities and places of entertainment. And wherever you stay, you can rest assured that your hotel in Phuket won’t be far from some awe-inspiring sights and colourful entertainment. http://www.phuket-cannacia.com/

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Youth Hostels Guide

Youth Hostels History

The first youth hostel was founded by Richard Schirrmann around 1909. Schirrmann was a German teacher who organized trips and visits with his students. During one of these excursions, a sudden rainstorm forced his group to seek shelter in an empty school.

It was then that Schirrmann had the idea of using schools that were empty during holidays as guest houses for young people that were travelling in groups in the countryside. The idea caught on very quickly, and by the 1930s there were more than two thousand hostels in Germany.

The idea spread out in the rest of Europe, and after an important international conference in 1932, the idea was exported to the United States and many other countries, and the International Youth Hostel Federation was born, with the idea of providing cheap accommodation for young travellers.

With time, the concept of hostel has broadened, and now hostels accept guests of all ages, providing cheap but comfortable accommodation and a unique atmosphere that cannot be found in hotels.

Hostels Equipment

If you are travelling for a long time, buy yourself a good backpack, which fits you comfortably, and do not exceed in loading it – a heavy backpack can be very painful to carry when it’s summer and it’s hot. Choose comfortable shoes, and keep cool shoes for evenings out.

Hostels most often provide you with sheets (often at an extra cost), but you should bring your own, just in case. Some hostels might not allow sleeping bags, for reasons of hygiene (you might have been sleeping anywhere with a sleeping bag, and hostelling is not the same thing as camping).

Some hostels will provide you with a so-called sleep-sheet, which is two sheets sewn together, so they form a sort of sack. This way the bed stays clean. It is not as common as it used to be years ago.

You should also bring your own soap and towels, since only some hostels provide these, usually with an extra charge.

Hostels Social Life

Hostels are definitely the place for socializing. Since the guests in a hostel are mostly younger people, there are plenty of occasions to get to know other travellers. Some hostels organize parties, meetings or competitions, or have a bar within or just outside their premises where people can meet and chat to fellow guests.

Hostellers are generally more interested in meeting other people than your average tourist, so it’s much easier to get in touch with them, share common interests and exchange advice, tips, etc. Many people travel on their own all over a country or continent more than a year long, and rely on chance meetings to make friends.

Remember: you can always meet people who have opinions (on politics, sex, religion, your country) that are very different from your own, so you must be prepared to be tolerant and understanding other people’s positions and views on life. Without a doubt, this will certainly enrich you and broaden your perspective. So if you go to a hostel, expect to meet new friends, (especially if you speak some languages) and put on your best smiling face. Who knows, you might make the best friendships of your life!

Youth Hostels vs Hotels

There are several types of hostels nowadays, and all of them tend to have their special characteristics; some are more like standard hotels, some are a completely different experience. The main difference is that most hostels offer accommodation in dormitories, or shared rooms. Dorms can be bigger or smaller, can be for males/females only or mixed, but anyway this means that you can share your room with strangers.

Although many hostels now provide private rooms with en-suite facilities, the atmosphere is still very different from that of your average hotel. Whereas hotels only tend to just provide their customers a comfortable place where to spend the night, hostels tend to have more of a social atmosphere which often is derived from sharing dining tables, washing machines, dryers, and much more with with other guests.

Many hostels organize parties and excursions for their guests, and many have a bar where people can meet and get to know each other. In a hostel it is much more likely to start a conversation with a fellow traveller or to be asked for advice, tips and information by someone you have never met before.

Basically, hostels are generally a good place to make friends, to meet people from far away countries with ways different than your own, to exchange tips on clubs, museums, shows, shopping and the like.

Different kinds of hostels

Hostels come in all shapes and sizes nowadays.

City hostels tend to lean more towards the social/fun aspect of city life, offering information about pubs, tours of the city, thrift shops and night clubs. They can be much noisier than country hostels, since they often have no curfew and are open 24 hours a day. The bigger the hostel, and the more night-life oriented the city it’s in, the more social life you will find.

Country hostels are a very different thing. They’re mostly frequented by people who are travelling through the country, possibly walking or hiking. This means people wake up earlier, and go to sleep earlier, and usually like it quiet!

How long can I stay in a hostel?

Some hostels won’t allow you to stay longer than a couple of weeks, since the idea of hostelling is that people are travelling across a country, and not staying in the same place all the time. But many others will not mind if you stay longer: after all, you are indeed a customer! Some hostels will require you to prove that you are an international traveller, since it wouldn’t make sense for a hostel to be full of locals, but this is not too common.

Group bookings

Not every hostel is ideal for group bookings, since some can be small. The best idea is to book well in advance, so you can be sure to find room for everyone in your group.

What kind of facilities are available in hostels?

Most (but not all) hostels will offer a laundry room, telephone, Internet connection, lockers for your precious stuff, and a breakfast service. Some will offer more. Every hostel/hotel in our list has an indication of the facilities it has, so you can be sure to get what you need. If you’re travelling with a dog, remember to check whether the accommodation you choose allows them in!

Do I need to book hostels in advance?

Definitely yes, and that’s why we’re here. Especially during peak seasons, and even more in the most famous cities and resorts, hostels can be fully booked and have no room for you, especially if you’re travelling with many people. Booking in advance is a good idea, since you get rid of worries and do not need to walk across a city with a heavy backpack looking for accommodation. It might detract a bit from the sense of adventure, but you’ll definitely have much more time to have fun!

Is breakfast included in hostels? Can I cook in hostels?

Usually, breakfast is not included in the price, but it’s reasonably cheap and abundant in quantity. Some hostels offer cooking facilities, such as a kitchen complete with pots and everything you need. Other hostels will be more than happy to give you advice about the cheapest bars and food outlets in the neighbourhood.

Age limits

Some hostels do have age limits, and might give precedence to younger travellers (especially Youth Hostels in Europe), or exclude them (if they have a bar in the premises), but most hostels will welcome guests of all ages, and will even accommodate small children and provide smaller beds and cribs if asked in advance.

Curfew

Some hostels will have a curfew, some won’t. It largely depends on the type of hostel, on the owners’ policy and on the location of the hostel (there’s not much use in being able to come to the hostel at three in the night if the hostel is in the mountains!). Many hostels in our directory have information on their curfew policy right in their description.

Lockout

Some hostels might have a lockout period. This is usually around lunchtime or in the early afternoon, and is meant to let the hostel’s staff clean the premises, or if the place is owned by a person, to allow her/him to go out and make supplies, etc. It is not so common any more, so check with the hostel’s staff if you want to be sure.

Dormitory vs Private Rooms in hostels

A dormitory is a room with several beds (often of the bunk type), all of which can be booked individually by different guests of a hostel.

It is also called a shared room, since you share the room with other guests. Dorms can vary from 4 to 20 or more beds, and some hostels have separate dorms for males and females, while others do not make a difference and offer mixed dorms.

Dormitories are always cheaper than private rooms in the same structure, and generally require people to be a bit more adaptable, since your room-mates may go to sleep or wake up earlier or later than you do, have different habits than you, or snore…

But dorms are often great fun, since it’s much easier to get to know fellow travellers if you share the room with them! After all, the loss in privacy is counterbalanced by many social advantages.

While dorms were the default option of most hostels years ago, most hostels now also offer private rooms, which usually have 2 to 4 beds, sometimes even with en-suite WC and shower. In this case, staying in a hostel is very similar to staying in a normal hotel, apart from all of the social chances you will have during communal moments (breakfast, evening, etc.).

Europelowcost, worldwide youth hostels price comparison

http://en.europelowcost.com/hostels.aspx

How to stay in youth hostels

Around the world, budget accommodations known as hostels provide a cheap bed for travelers without the means of staying in all the ritziest hotels. Many large cities and major travel destinations have a number of hostels. But the old adage that you get what you pay for certainly applies to some hostels, which can be grungy, less than sanitary, and lacking in customer service. Here’s how to know if a hostel is for you, and how to choose and stay in a hostel that will make you glad you saved some money on your accommodations.

SHOULD I STAY IN A HOSTEL?

Hostels are usually dormitory style facilities. This means accommodations are generally several pairs of bunk beds in a mixed-gender or separate-gender room with community bathrooms and showers. If you aren’t shy and are willing to meet other young travelers along the way, hostels should be perfect for you. Some hostels also offer private rooms at slightly higher prices, and these rooms sometimes include a bathroom shared with one other room, so these are a good hostel option for travelers who require a bit more privacy.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A HOSTEL

First, make sure you will have a bed to sleep in. The main purpose of a hostel is to have a place to rest between busy days of exploring your destination. Check with the hostel to see if the prices of sheets and pillows are included with the nightly rate. Sometimes hostels will advertise their low rates to get you to book and then load you up with extra charges when you check in.

Second, check for a locker or secure area, especially if you are traveling with electronics or other valuables. You will potentially be staying in a room with ten to twelve strangers, and you never know who might want to permanently borrow your iPod. Many hostels will allow you to rent lockers to stow your valuables in.

Third, read reviews on the bookign website to find out how the hostel’s staff has interacted with previous customers. Sometimes review sites are filled with negative reviews complaining about the staff lying or cheating to force the guests to pay more money. Another common complaint is the curfew. Some hostels have a time where you must be back in the building, so make sure you are clearly informed of all the rules before you reserve your bed.

Finally, check the common area offerings of the hostel. It’s nice to have a place to watch television or read a book after a busy day of traveling. Additionally, the presence of a kitchen in your hostel can help you save money if

Urban Sherpa’s TEN STEPS to Finding Your No Fee Apartment Rental

Urban Sherpa’s TEN STEPS to Finding Your No Fee Apartment Rental:
A Guidebook to New York City Apartment Rentals

STEP ONE: MARKET KNOWLEDGE

Most people spend 3 to 6 weeks looking for their new apartment rental. Afterall, the average one bedroom walkup apartment in Manhattan in 2007 cost $2,548 per month. Meaning the average apartment hunter is on the verge of making a bare minimum $30,576 investment decision for the year, not including application fees, moving costs, or utilities which could easily total an additional $4,000 in expenses (based on $200 a month in utilities, and $2,000 in moving costs.) If handled properly, thoroughly and meticulously finding a no fee apartment can be extremely satisfying and rewarding as well as cost effective. Step one in any apartment search has to be learning a little bit about how the process takes place, how to find an apartment, and just being comfortable with the process in general. Doing research and learning about how people find apartments in New York City is part of making a great decision and finding that ideal New York City no fee apartment.

STEP TWO: FIGURING OUT WHAT YOU WILL QUALIFY FOR

Most landlords in New York City (certainly in Manhattan anyways) will only accept tenants who earn an income of at least 40 times the monthly rent, which means an $80,000 annual salary for a $2,000 per month apartment.
Credit scores are equally as important to most landlords and management company’s with FICO scores needing to be in the 700+ range to qualify for an apartment without a guarantor.

If you do not think you will qualify by yourself, don’t worry often you can use a co-signer or guarantor to help qualify you. Some landlords and management company’s will require guarantors no matter what for 20-something year olds. Others will require guarantors to earn an annual income of 80 times the monthly rent (or $160,000 for that same $2,000 per month apartment.) Other landlords still simply won’t accept any guarantors.

While every landlord in New York has their own set of rules and policies, its important to use the above guidelines as a rule of thumb and have your “ducks in a row” so to speak once you start looking for an apartment. You never know when that “Holy Grail” of an apartment is going to come along and sometimes you have to move FAST to get the right apartment.

STEP THREE: WHAT YOU WANT/CAN GET FOR YOUR MONEY

Now, that you have a better understanding of what you can expect for financial requirements, the next step in your apartment search is deciding what exactly you want:
Price Range
Size or # of bedrooms and bathrooms (square footage)
Location or neighborhoods
Move-in date
Amenities (doorman, elevator, etc.)
Once you have done this, you are ready to begin your apartment search! Realize you should try and maintain flexibility. This is New York people! No one gets everything they want. So be realistic. Its good to have a “wish” list as well as a realistic list of needs, wants, and preferences when beginning your search. The more flexible you can be with all of your criteria the more likely you’re going to be to find something exceptional and to find that amazing no fee apartment in the right location at the right price.

STEP FOUR: IRON OUT DETAILS ON YOUR CURRENT LEASE NOW!

If you’re moving to New York for the first time this may not apply to you necessarily, but its important for obvious reasons to clear up current lease issues, before spending time and energy and finding a new one. Make sure you know what kind of notice you must give your current landlord. Make sure to notify your landlord and that you know what you will need to do to get that security deposit back. If you’re moving out of a roommate situation and into your own place, iron out the details with your current roommates before looking for the new place. There’s nothing worse than finding that perfect no fee apartment and then realizing you can’t get out of your current lease.

STEP FIVE: FINDING AN APARTMENT

There are many no fee listing sites on the web, some offer listings for free others are subscription based. One’s that require some form of payment to access tend to be of the same quality as free listing sites. Putting a price on something tends to make people believe they are being provided with higher quality, but this isn’t the case! So don’t be fooled. Exclusive brokers are sometimes the only way to see or rent apartments in certain buildings, but for the ALL the buildings and apartments in New York City where the landlords will directly with tenants go to Urban Sherpa to start and end your apartment search.

You can access comprehensive real-time listings free of charge at UrbanSherpaNY.com. Owner and super contact information, application information and the histories of buildings and landlords are all provided entirely for free. Sample search using Urban Sherpa:
1) Log on to www.UrbanSherpaNY.com
2) Scroll over the map and pick the neighborhood(s) you are interested in, the amount of bedrooms and your price range (feel free to leave any of these blank for increased search results), than click ‘Search’.
3) Your ‘Listing Results’ will appear, scroll until you find an apartment of interest. You will be able to see the apartments’ exact address, # of beds & baths, move-in date, and photo, without having to click through to the apartment’s listing profile.
4) Once, you find an apartment you are interested in click through to the apartments listing profile. Here you will find:
-Owner, landlord, management company, building management and super contact information
-Application Information
-Building Information
-Landlord Information
-Apartment History
-Additional Photos
-Apartment Details
-And much much more!

When you find an apartment you are interested in going to see, prior to viewing the apartment, you should review the owner’s requirements to make sure you can QUALIFY for the apartment. If you do not think you will qualify by yourself, don’t worry often you can use a co-signer or guarantor to help qualify you. Next is contacting the landlord and setting up a viewing appointment.

STEP SIX: BE ORGANIZED

Staying organized in an apartment search is important for so many reasons. When you go to view apartments, write down the exact addresses; take notes; ask questions. You never know when it will be convenient to reference this information. Remember, apartment searches often take many weeks. Just when you think your search may be over – you may have to go back to the drawing board. As a result, staying organized and being clear with yourself about your needs (or with roommates about preferences and wishes) is of the utmost importance.

STEP SEVEN: CONTACTING THE LANDLORD

After finding a listing of interest, CALL the number provided under “Showing Info” for the owner or super and SCHEDULE a time to view the apartment. The best time to see as many apartments as possible, unfortunately, is Monday thru Friday 9am – 5pm. Many buildings do not have doormen or on-site leasing staff, and without either of those options you’ll need to rely on the supers, building managers, and other landlord representatives to view apartments. Like most apartment hunters, supers generally work weekdays with traditional hours. Sometimes there will be access at other times, either by open house or other accommodations made by the owner. However, taking time out of the week will definitely allow you to maximize the time you do have to view apartments.

After viewing the apartment, if you are interested in renting the unit, you should IMMEDIATELY CALL THE OWNER to get an application or download one from Urban Sherpa and compile all the necessary paperwork listed on Urban Sherpa as quickly as possible. Some owners will take the apartment off the market with only a completed application and application fee, so inquire as to whether this is the case for the apartment in which you are interested.

STEP EIGHT: APPLICATION PROCESSES

Problem: every application process is different. Solution: be VERY careful when going over application specifics. There are some general rules of thumb about all rental applications for landlords in Manhattan and New York City; the following is a short list of relative certainties:

1) Application fee: generally at least $50 per applicant sometimes as much as $150-$300 per applicant.
2) Necessary paperwork: completed application, letter of employment, most recent pay stub, most recent bank statement, last year’s tax returns or W-2’s, plus credit check. This is usually the minimum required paperwork, but usually enough to get the ball rolling when time is of the essence.
3) ALL APPLICATIONS ARE TIME SENSITIVE. Every landlord is different; some work on a first-come-first-served basis. Other landlords work on a ‘best’ applicant process. No matter the case, the application process cannot begin until the landlord has all the necessary paperwork.

There are two things to keep in mind always about the application process besides the generalities above: first, the faster the better. Apartments in Manhattan, especially in the summer, can be rented in a matter of hours – literally. Getting paperwork together, getting cash for the application process, talking to roommates, or guarantors, takes time. The faster this can all be accomplished, the better. Second, every application process in Manhattan is different. By consulting a resource, which lists what the landlord expects and looks for in an application (i.e. Urban Sherpa Landlord profiles), you can help give yourself the best possible chance of getting the apartment you want.

After SUBMITTING an application, make sure to call the owner daily (unless advised by said owner to do differently) to keep track of the status of your application. If your application is APPROVED, call the owner and find out to whom checks are to be made out and schedule a time for the lease signing.

STEP NINE: LEASE SIGNING

Just like the application process, lease signings are different for every company or landlord as well. They all have different policies, and these policies are far too different to enumerate here. The most important thing at lease signings though, is to make sure that there are no surprises. Lease signings can be a very stressful moment for you. After all, we are talking about legal documentation that verifies on average a $30,000+ investment. A lease signing is the culmination of weeks of work, stress, sweat, and big changes, in addition to at least $30,000, maybe as much or more than $100,000. As an apartment hunter you have two distinct jobs at a lease signing; they’re easy, but very important. First, and most importantly, is making sure no one is surprised (including you). All “deal-breaking” issues need to have been resolved prior to signing a lease (pets, required money, guarantors.) Your perfect apartment is at its most fragile point at the lease signing. Everyone is combing through every single little detail, and if anything comes up that should’ve been dealt with before, guess who’s at fault? YOU! Second, and almost as important, is the landlord will have very specific directions on how he/she would like the money, what time the lease signing is to be at, what other paperwork (ie. photo ID), or who needs to be there exactly. These directions need to be followed explicitly, and precisely.

STEP TEN: TELL YOUR FRIENDS ABOUT URBANSHERPANY.COM

Urban Sherpa was created for free, for the people of New York City, to make the apartment rental search process easier, faster, and more efficient. So tell your friends about this new free resource and keep the free information FREE and available to the public. Click here to visit www.UrbanSherpaNY.com RIGHT NOW!!!

A guide to accommodation in Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is by far one of the most stunning cities in Europe, the ‘City of a Thousand Spires’ and countless other clichs. The Czech capital has become the archetypal post-communist city success story. The last few years have shown a huge surge in the number of tourists visiting the city, and it has now become one of Europe’s most romantic city break destinations.

Its architecture is noticeably diverse and much of it was miraculously undamaged by World War II. Thus, intriguing architectural details and faades can be found on every corner. With flights cheaper than ever to this place, you have no excuse not to visit this gem!

Prague is charming city valued by its intact historical monuments and buildings. Why stay in impersonal hotel then? Experience the old Prague atmosphere in selected historical hotels, pensions, apartments and residences! Most visitors to Prague want to stay in the medieval centre, one of the best preserved of any European city. Happily, its back lanes house plenty of character small hotels, often with elaborately painted ceilings and vaulted cellars. Many have opened in recent years, converted from what were apartment blocks in communist times.

The Mala Strana district, on the west bank of the River Vltava, is the most peaceful part, with little traffic and a good choice of Prague hotels, pubs and restaurants. It’s ideally placed for visiting Prague Castle, which towers directly above it, and strolling across the Charles Bridge to the livelier Stare Mesto district (the Old Town).

Hradcany, the area around the castle, is atmospheric, but be prepared for a steep climb back to your hotel at the end of the day. If you stay in Stare Mesto, bear in mind that some hotels and streets can be noisy at night.

Nearly all of Prague hotels (like this one http://www.prague-hotels.org.u k/) offer 24-hour service and accept major credit cards, and English and German are widely spoken – it is only in the smaller guest houses that language may be a difficulty. Parking in some areas can be a problem and it would be a good idea to check on this prior to a definite booking. In the Old Town for example, space is limited and the only parking available may be on the street.

While the more luxurious hotels cater to the wealthy and offer their guests just about everything they could possibly need, Prague also has a range of accommodation for travelers on a budget. Due to its compact layout, the majority of Prague hotels and tourist accommodations are located within a very short distance of its attractions, which can also be reached using the city’s fast and efficient transport system. It should be noted however, that there are one or two districts of Prague which are in the hills and which could therefore be fairly inaccessible to the disabled and the less physically inclined, e.g. the area around Prague Castle (Hradcany) where public transport can be further away and where accommodation is sometimes situated on a steep incline.

A Simple And Easy Guide To Renting A Service Apartment In Bangkok, Thailand

What are the best areas of Bangkok to rent? What facilities and services can I expect from a Bangkok serviced apartment? What are the best and worst serviced apartments in Bangkok? Read on to learn the answers to these questions and much more in my simple and easy guide to renting a serviced apartment in Bangkok for both expats and travelers.

Bangkok is the Center of Southeast Asia

As the commercial center of Thailand and the hub of business and leisure travel within Southeast Asia, Bangkok has exceptional hotels of all kinds catering to the business elite and casual traveler.

Recently, a new kind of accommodation has gained favor with business executives on short stays in Bangkok–the luxury serviced apartment. With increased commercial expansion over the past several years, serviced apartments are quickly becoming the favorite choice of living style for their affordable luxury.

What is a Serviced Apartment?

The serviced part of the equation usually refers to the daily or twice weekly cleaning of your room, the furniture, kitchen amenities and so on that normal apartments do not include. Some service apartments also function as hotels, and these are called Aparthotels.

What’s So Special About Bangkok Serviced Apartments?

Real estate and relocation agents believe Bangkok has the most number of sophisticated apartments the world has to offer. There are not just one or two luxurious apartments, but close to 50. This is because skilled labor is cheap in thailand, and the city itself is a major business hub for the southeast asia region.

Renting a serviced apartment in bangkok can be a daunting task for several reasons–the primary one being there are so many ‘fine print’ and extra costs involved when signing a weekly, monthly or yearly contract.

I have been living in Bangkok for a few years now, and have gone through several serviced apartments, learning on the way which ‘services’ are included and what to expect from your stay in Bangkok.

Bangkok’s City Plan

The Bangkok Jungle has several meanings, one of them being that the city was never built with a city plan or urban design in mind. The city is a sprawling landscape, a montage of residential and commercial buildings juxtaposing one another. It is home to 10 to 15 million people, depending on who is arriving from the rural country and abroad. The people as well, from poor to affluent, live side by side.

The city itself is lopsided; if you look down any major road in bangkok, you will see that both sides of the road arent balanced, building heights are different, and there is an overall lack of symmetry. This is what makes Bangkok unique and charming. And what makes it a jungle.

The Best Areas To Live In Bangkok

Bangkok contains inexpensive to exclusive apartments, but the best ones are found in the following regions of Bangkok:

* Sukhumvit, the main road or artery of Bangkok

* Asok, one of the most exclusive and expensive areas to live

* Thong Lo, the chic and fashionable street,

* Sathorn, the business district of Bangkok

* Silom, another business and red light district

* Ploenchit, business district

* Chit Lom, business district

The areas listed above are all within easy access to shopping, dining, entertainment, trains, skytrains, and expressways. If you choose to live in one of these areas, you will experience life in the center of Bangkok’s thriving business and shopping centres while indulging in an ultra private serviced apartment in Bangkok. I personally recommend Asok and Chit Lom, as they are the classiest areas of Bangkok, but if you are looking to be close to the night markets Silom is perfect, and Sukhumvit is always a colorful experience.

Facilities and Services of Typical Bangkok Serviced Apartments

These vary between the different types of apartments and condos, but a standard of excellence has been establlished from the increasing competition among serviced apartments. Facilities and services are upgraded regularly to keep up with rival residences. However, before investing in a serviced apartment, be sure to check if these services and facilities are available.

5 Services That Should Be Included Free of Charge:

* Room Cleaning

* Water/Utilities

* Internet Usage

* 24 Hour Security

* Room Service/Errand Boy

4 Facilities That Should Be Included

* Restaurant

* Gym

* Pool

* Convenience Store

The Loopholes: Length of Stay, Deposits and Electricity

If you are staying for a month or year, the serviced apartment may charge you for electricity. Make sure that you negotiate this price to 6.5 Baht/Unit. A lot of times the apartment owners will charge 8 Baht/Unit for more profit. They only pay 3 or 4 Baht/Unit.

Be careful when signing leases; most require a 2 month deposit, and if you move out before your contract is finished you forfeit this deposit.

Make sure the serviced apartment has a laundry service, either in house or out of house. Most serviced apartments have coin operated laundry rooms as well as pick up services. More deluxe suites will have washing machine in the room. Note that most places do not have dryers.

How much Should I Pay?

This is a difficult question to answer, but the more facilities a serviced apartment has, the more it will cost. If a serviced apartment has a pool, gym and also functions as a 24 hour hotel, then the monthly price will be above 30,000 Baht.

Location also has a large part to do with cost of a bangkok serviced apartment. If you are staying in an area not close to skytrain or subway access, your price will be much lower. Conversely, staying in the business districts of Silom or trendy spots like Ekkamai or Thonglor will raise your monthly rent.

Which Serviced Apartment Should I Choose?

The serviced apartment market in Bangkok is lead by three groups, The President Group, The Ascott Group, and Centre Point. Most of them offer first class accomodation and have a decent system of serving their customers. However, there are numerous independent serviced apartments to choose from.

The 2 Worst Serviced Apartments in Bangkok

* Ascott Bangkok Sathorn

There have been several articles written in trade journals about the decline in service at the once famous and most prestigious serviced apartment in Bangkok. Once known for attention to customer relations, their lack of it is now glaringly obvious to everyone who stays there. This place is an example of a chain serviced apartment becoming too much like a corporation with no human touch of service.

* Lebua

Rumor is their staff is very untrustworthy. Read the trade journals and ‘google’ the residence for reviews.

Top 2 Most Luxurious Bangkok Serviced Apartments

* Siri Sathorn Apartments

Siri Sathorn is a five-star luxury `boutique` property which epitomises private and elegant living in a residential setting. It is a concept of the perfect home which appeals to international traveller. This place caters to Japanese clientelle but of course is open to everyone.

* Fraser Place Urbana Langusan

They have an exclusive 45-metre driveway leading from the main road to the serviced residence for great privacy. They also have some of the best services and customer relations I have ever experienced, pampered is the only word that comes to mind

Best Value Bangkok Serviced Apartments

* Silom Convent Garden

Newly built in November 2006, this chic serviced apartment is located in the Silom-Sathorn area but has some of the cheapest rates for this business and night market district. For 36,000 Baht/$1000 a month you can have a 38 square meter, 1 bedroom, fully furnished luxurious apartment complete with full kitchen, washer machine, flat screen tv, and rain shower. The only drawback is the place doesn’t have a pool or gym, but thats the reason the price is so low and why its one of the best values in Bangkok.

If you are still undecided whether to have a stay in Bangkok on your next trip, it was just recently announced that the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) plans to make Bangkok a “paradise” city. The article from the Bangkok Post states the BMA will establish a fund to address trash, pollution and traffic problems. Now is the time to take your next vacation or business trip to Bangkok, as life couldn’t get any better in the City of Angels!

Apartment tips — find a Great Apartment in Houston in One week

Apartment tips — find a Great Apartment in Houston in One week

Search all Houston apartments and get a $107 – $1107 cash rebate.

Apartment shopping in Houston is easy when you organize the process. This article will help you find a great Houston apartment at a great price. It will also make the Houston apartment shopping experience less stressful.

Day One

Houston apartment shopping requires many decisions and some information on you. You’ll quickly need to decide what unit type, unit size, unit amenities, property amenities and which area of town are right for you. You’ll need information regarding your rental history and income when you complete the apartment application. Organize this information at the beginning. It will make completing the apartment application less stressful and will impress the staff at the apartment.

Day Two

Apartment shopping is a process of narrowing the options. In day one, you selected the type of apartment and the area of town. Use a high-quality online apartment search service to further narrow the apartment options. Be sure to use an apartment search service which has all apartments available in Houston. Some of the Houston online apartment search services only have information for 5 to 20% of the Houston apartments available for lease. It simply is not realistic to find the apartment which best fits your requirements when only considering 5 to 20% of the available apartments.

The Houston online apartment search service should also allow you to narrow your apartment search by geographic area, rental rates, unit type, unit size, unit amenities and property amenities. Attempt to narrow your search to five or 10 apartment projects by the end of day two.

Summarize these in a one-page table. Put the name of the apartment property across the top of the page and the features important to you along the left column. This will provide a simple but meaningful reference of the apartments are considering.

Day Three

Call the apartments which best fit requirements. Gather information from the on-site staff by phone. Focus on getting the information you need, rather then answering the questions they want to ask. Be polite but the firm. Have a list of questions for the features which are important to you. You’ll want to include items such as application fee, deposit, first month’s rent, monthly rent, any move in specials, unit amenities, property amenities and any other apartment features which are important to you.

In addition to listening to what is said by the apartment staff, listen to how they say it. Are they knowledgeable, polite and attentive? Does the apartment staff give the impression of a professionally run apartment complex?

Narrow your list to two or three Houston apartment complexes on day three.

Day Four

Meet the on-site apartment staff and tour the apartments on day four. Before going to the apartment office, drive around the perimeter of the property. If possible, drive through the property. Is the property clean and well maintained? Does it meet your minimum standards? If not, drive to the next apartment complex.

Visit the apartment office. Is the apartment office clean and well organized? Is the apartment leasing staff friendly and appropriately dressed? In addition to the model apartment, ask to see your apartment unit. (It might not be as nice as the model J) Also ask the leasing staff to give you an extensive walking tour of the apartment courtyards. Is the property well-maintained? Is it clean? Ask about their maintenance policy. Are there any work orders which have been outstanding more than one week? Does the property have a regular courtesy patrol? If there are limited access gates, are they typically working?

Finally, ask about the financial details for the apartment complex. These include the application fee, deposit, first months rent, and the monthly rent. Make sure you understand the offer or special they are proposing. Ask if there is a look and the lease special if you sign a lease tomorrow.

Day Five

Decide which apartment is best for you. Finish negotiating the lease terms. If two or three apartments are acceptable, call each and ask for their best offer if you lease today. Select an apartment property and negotiate the lease. The lease is a legal agreement. You should read it. Don’t be bashful about asking questions for portions you do not understand. The lease was written by an attorney for the benefit of the apartment complex. If items in the lease do not seem reasonable, ask if they can be changed. In many cases, portions of the lease are negotiable.

Congratulations, you have used an organized process to select an apartment which fits which best fits your criteria. You have also been a careful shopper and have probably gotten a great deal.