Have you ever considered staying in a
self-catering apartment for your holiday but been a bit confused about what it
is all about?
Well let me explain a little bit about
them. We have run the http://www.dukesapartments.com
Western Australia for the last six years, so we know a bit about the Apartment
First of all what exactly are
“self-catering holiday apartments” ? Generally they are privately owned
apartments, managed and operated by the owners. There are large chains that
offer “self-catering apartments” but
generally these are also “serviced apartments” in hotel style complexes. This
article is focussed on the privately owned holiday apartments, which offer
quite a few advantages over the apartments from large chains, but be aware
there are also some disadvantages.
First lets look at the advantages:
- When you are planning to travel
in a group of more that 4 adults it is almost always cheaper to book a
self-catering apartment than hotel rooms. If you are in a group of 6 adults an
apartment will be a lot cheaper than taking 3 hotel rooms for the same period.
- An apartment will have a lot
more space than hotel rooms. Generally a 3 bedroom apartment has a lounge, a kitchen,
and dining area as well as the bedrooms and bathrooms. This means that when
travelling with children they can have their own bedroom, cutting out the
squabbling which is so common when they suddenly find themselves sharing a
bedroom with the little brother or sister.
- You can cook for yourselves,
thus saving money on restaurant meals, and healthier than eating cheap takeaway
for all meals. You can even prepare packed lunches for picnics on day outings.
- There will be no interruptions
from a room maid and you do not need to worry about coming back to the room in
the afternoon to find the maid has not been and you can’t have that afternoon
- There is generally more room
for the children to play, as the apartments are likely to be located in “resort
style” complexes with a swimming pool set in tropical gardens, and often a gym,
a spa and sometimes even a sauna.
- Most apartments also have a balcony,
which is a great spot for a pre-dinner drink, especially if it overlooks the
- The apartment owners will offer
an individualised service, using their local knowledge to provide tips on the
things to see and do, without relying on commercial, and more expensive, tour
- Generally holiday apartments do
not charge any extra for the cot and high chair.
are generally centrally located but in quiet
complexes, away from busy, noisy streets.
- If you have a large family it
is often possible to rent two holiday apartments in the same complex allowing
you to take the extended family. This is great if you are attending a sporting
event and have a lot of spare frequent flyer points that you would like to use
Now lets take a look at the disadvantage,
because you will be disappointed if you arrive expecting the advantages of a
hotel, with full reception and maid and room service. Here they are:
- You will have to make your own
beds and keep the apartment clean. There will not be a maid coming in every day
to make the bed and clean the bathroom. Of course the apartment management will
send in a cleaner after you leave, but they do like you to leave the apartment
in a reasonable clean state, and may charge you extra if their cleaners take a
lot longer than normal to bring the apartment back to a clean status.
- You may also have to figure out
how things work for yourselves. Things that are different from home, such as
the microwave, the air-conditioner, and even how to open the windows, can seem
rather daunting after an 18 hour flight. You will of course, have a phone
number for the apartment management but it is a good idea to try to sort things
out yourselves. If you lock the keys in the apartment you should be prepared to
wait awhile for the management to come around to open up. And never lock yourselves
out and the keys in the apartment with the sleeping baby (yes, that has
- As there is no reception you
may need to pick up keys from a locked box. This means you must read the
instructions sent to you, and bring them with you. There is no good flying half
way around the world only to find that you don’t know where you are going, or
how to get in. Taxi drivers generally do not know the location of the short stay apartments in Perth, so don’t rely on jumping in a taxi and saying take me to the
http://www.dukesapartments.com. I once “found” my very late German guests
sitting in an internet café trying to pick up the emailed instructions they had
been sent months before. They couldn’t believe it when I asked them if they
were my missing guests, but they must have thought
is a pretty
- As the apartment owner only has
a small number of apartments it is less likely that they will be able to offer
an early check in, or a late checkout. Unlike hotels that will generally have a
few spare rooms, if the apartment has another guest arriving on the day you
leave, the apartment will need to be cleaned and prepared for the next guest.
They may also find it difficult to look after your luggage for you, so be
prepared and if you are arriving at 6 am perhaps you should book for
the night before, or if your departure flight is at midnight it may
be better to book for that night.
So overall, if you are looking at a holiday
in a self-catering apartment take all of these points into considerations, and
weigh up the advantages and disadvantages and then make your decision. Happy