Serviced Apartments as a concept are now well established across the world. Gurgaon in India is a city which has adopted serviced apartments aggressively. Hotels, guesthouses and service apartments are all in proximity as well as intense competition. This is all great from a customer perspective – but how does one choose a suitable apartment from the multitude of options? Below are a few tips and considerations to make the decision easy. Also listed are the various categories of service apartments – a rather difficult task, given the heterogeneous nature of the product. But some basic classification is definitely necessary in order for clients to match their needs and budget.
Client decision factors
Duration of stay – Service Apartments generally work out best if the stay duration is more than a week. Anything shorter may entail large commitment of efforts in setting up, searching. Given that the economy of scale will not work out for short durations, a hotel may be more suitable.
Location – Choosing a central location may cost more, but definitely worthwhile given Gurgaon’s geography. Gurgaon’s commercial and entertainment areas are heavily concentrated in the modern north and north eastern part of the city. Planned development tapers off south after the HUDA CityCentre metro station or across the national highway (into the western part of the city – which is old Gurgaon and generally run down).
Budget – Guest coming for long durations can generally work out a good deal with the serviced apartment company. The deal may be either a discount or some services included (laundry, cab, food, etc)
Cooking options – This is a critical aspect when traveling with children, family or for long durations. Hotel food may be tasty and enticing – but certainly not a healthy staple diet. In apartment kitchens and personalized chef services are definitely worthwhile.
Space options / family – Hotel and guest rooms have a higher proportion of common areas to room area. The situation is the reverse in service apartments, where common areas are de-emphasized. This is especially important if traveling with children, who are more comfortable in larger spaces.
Amenities desired –Guests are recommended to confirm all amenities as service apartments are still not an organized industry with star configurations.
Sources of information in making the decision
Reviews – Sites like TripAdvisor and Google carry reviews from past guests. Although each experience is different, a general picture of the place emerges. Several bad reviews can be a potential red flag.
Website content and photos –This is generally the best source of information for overseas guests. Keep in mind that the photos are frequently airbrushed to look better and hence due care must be taken.
Word of mouth – A personal reference works best especially when there are cultural barriers. Several guests from Japan and Korea rely purely on word of mouth reference as their requirements are very different from western guests.
Personal visits – If possible, this is the best option, especially when coming for a long duration. The other option is coming for a short duration and not committing for a long term deal till convinced.
Different categories of service apartments
1- Multi story condominiums converted into service apartments – These are regular apartments and condominiums converted into service apartments. Managed by small teams of housekeeping and cooking staff (1-2).
2- Dedicated single building with multiple service apartments – These are small chain service apartments, and are generally designed as dedicated service apartments. These are managed by a mix of managerial and clerical staff.
3- Hotel chain apartments commingled with regular rooms– Generally multiple rooms combined into an apartment or even large apartments commingled with the regular compact hotel rooms.Professionally managed like starred hotels.
|Advantages||Disadvantages||Cost (Index to 100)||Service and amenities|
|Multi storey converted||Larger spaces, more common amenities (swimming pool, community gardens), more privacy (almost like living in a self-rented apartment).||Lowest level of service, reliance on individuals rather than organization for issues, higher cost unless staying for more than 1 year, lease and legal requirements||100||Medium|
|Dedicated single building||Medium sized apartments, high customer service and flexibility, economical if staying for medium duration (less than 1 year), amenities on immediate call (cab, errands, etc)||Smaller compared to condominium apartments, fewer common areas and high end amenities like swimming pool, etc||120||High|
|Hotel chain||Hotel amenities and facilities, formal structure and skilled staff||Low flexibility, high cost for services, less personal service||200||High|
Options in Gurgaon
There are several options for serviced apartments in Gurgaon and using the above framework in mind, the guest can choose the right option. A lot of research in possible on the internet and also using local travel agents. Do keep in mind that going through 3rd parties (travel agents and re-location agencies) inflates the total cost but may reduce the hassle of finding the right apartment. I hope these tips help make your next serviced apartment search in Gurgaon hassle free!