Big Question - Furnished vs. Unfurnished?
Both types of accommodations
have their positive and negative sides.
It really depends on your situation. Furnished
apartments are ideal for:
- - People relocating
- - In a city for
an extended training sessions
- - Immigrants
- - In-between homes
- - Vacation travel
Most furnished apartments
and suites come with full kitchens, cutlery,
cooking utensils and silverware. Weekly
housekeeping is a big bonus too. This takes
away the burden of furnishing and equipping
your apartment so you can focus on the task
It is not uncommon
for companies to house their top executives
in superior furnished suites for periods
that extend well beyond a year.
If you are planning
for a solution that is around the one-year
time frame AND if budget is an important
constraint, you might consider an unfurnished
apartment which you can furnish depending
on your budget. Clearly, the person opting
for a furnished apartment is placing a high
value on comfort, peace of mind and addressing
the relatively short-term requirement.
Immigrants would do
very well to research the various furnished
apartments available in a city prior to
their arrival. Pick a location that is close
to the subway and public transportation
so getting around is convenient. Also check
the modes of payments as companies have
different pre-payment policies to guarantee
on selecting the right accommodation
there are 2 types of furnished accommodations
- - The ones provided
by established companies
- - The ones provided
It is recommended
that if your budget allows, choose the established
companies. Here's why:
- They offer condos/suites that are located
in hi-demand areas. Most of these buildings
are located close to subway/public transportation
and close to malls, shopping, restaurants
and corporate hubs.
in service design - these companies
offer a preset list of amenities that
are typically designed for the traveller
like you. There is no ambiguity involved
as to what will be there and what won't.
The suites are tastefully appointed (compared
to the other category, at least) and you
can expect things to function properly.
You have direct dial, international calling,
voice-mail and hi-speed internet access
for starters, which may be a challenge
for the individual company to provide
due to billing and control issues.
standards - Lets face it ! Individuals
renting out their investment condos are
more concerned about the bottom line compared
to companies that have hundreds of condos
being operated at the same time. It is
safe to say that the housekeeping standards
are bound to be higher with the established
companies. This may not sound like a huge
thing, but when you walk into a suite
and find a ball of hair in the shower,
you'll get the point.
Options - Most individuals renting
out their condos aren't going to be equipped
to accept major credit cards. Further,
making an advance payment is a problem
as you'll have to mail your cheque to
the owner, he'll then wait for it to clear,
etc etc. We've seen more than one case
of the owner getting a better rate which
leads him/her to send a sweet apology
note to the first person who booked the
Day to day
problems - They happen! There's
a leak in the kitchen sink, the toilet
overflows, there's a draft from the window...
These are condos and each will face the
same problems that a regular condo faces.
So if you're faced with any of these which
makes living... well... a challenge, you'll
have a relatively harder time sorting
this out with the individual who rented
the property to you because he probably
has just one unit. He probably won't have
anything else to offer you except an apology.
With established firms, at least, you
can be moved to another unit or better
still - upgraded!
- Here's where the individual owner scores
well. These places could very well be
in the same building as the established
companies' condos. But you'll get these
at a much lower price because the individual
doesn't have the overhead. Another benefit
is that certain amenities can be negotiated
in advance which wouldn't be possible
with established companies who have less
flexibility in this matter. In no way
are we suggesting that individuals are
undesirable people to do business with...
some of them are real gems and will go
out of their way yo accommodate you and
your needs. However, the inherent limitations
do need to be recognized and that's precisely
what we've spoken about.
a hotel better for me?
This is a hard question
to answer. As companies offering furnished
apartments get savvier in terms of their
service design and building amenities, they
get closer and closer to offering a hotel-style
experience. A clear evidence of this is
the increasing development of hotel-condos.
So now, the traveller
has the option of choosing a furnished apartment
which offers almost double
the space, separate kitchens, all the amenities
such as swimming pools, gyms, jacuzzis,
tennis, and the works and then there are
the hotels which provide pretty much the
same fare with the addition of daily housekeeping,
room service and perhaps a restaurant. So
what do you choose?
To make matters worse,
the hotels charge more
than the furnished apartments. In the past,
you could only rent a furnished apartment
is you were staying for more than 30 days.
But nowadays, you can get one even if you're
staying for just one night. What a great
deal for the person travelling with family
and kids !
So you get more space,
equal amenities (almost), separate kitchens,
living rooms and bedrooms and you end up
paying less? What's the
catch and how do the furnished accommodation
companies do it? Here's how:
1. They don't have
the overhead that hotels do.
2. They pay taxes based on residential
properties whereas the hotels pay taxes
based on commercial usage. That's why
the hotels aren't too happy with the growing
popularity of the furnished accommodations
industry. Can you blame them?
But hey, you get
the advantage ! There's no denying that.
have pets. What do I need to know?
Pet owners need to
be aware of several things before booking
1. While browsing
the websites of many companies, you may
come across statements such as "We're
pet-Friendly". While these may be
true, they may not apply to ALL
the properties that a company has to offer.
Different buildings have their own codes
and you should clearly enquire about those
2. Check if the company charges for bringing
a pet along. Pet-Friendly doesn't always
mean your pet can stay for free.
3. Clarify what size of pets do the accept.
Companies may place restrictions on the
weight and size of pets that they permit.
4. If you pet is... um... prone to "accidents",
enquire about the damage policy and what
you're liable for if the pet damages the
carpet, etc. A lot of companies have a
"Clean-up" rate that they'll
apply if the pet dirties the suite beyond
I book my accommodations through this site?
No. We don't have
a system of making reservations. We simply
provide you with options and you decide
what is best for you. Further, we don't
represent any of the properties listed on
this site and neither do we have any financial
interest that may arise as a result of you
booking with them. For more information,
please view our "Disclaimer
largely supported with ads and we hope that
will be sufficient for us to continue.
However, as business
models evolve, we may change the way we
operate so that you get better services
and options. The best way to ensure that
you know our latest development, please
sign up for our Mailing