Christmas Villages – Another 5 Great Locations For Your Village Display

So you still have not decided where to display your new collectible Christmas village this next holiday season. Or maybe you are just tired of setting up your current display in the same expected location year after year and are looking for that ultimate new location to showcase your Department 56, Lemax, or other village collectibles. Grab a notepad and pen, because you may find your creative talents energized and anxious to be put to use when you hear about these 5 great locations for your village display.

Before I suggest the following possible locations for your Christmas village, it is important to remember that the viewability of your village is affected greatly by the space you have available. Never being a fan of displaying every single piece in my collection just for the sake of unpacking them out of mothballs, I always recommend striving for visual impact in a display over showing the quantity of a collection. For that reason alone, you can consider the following locations to place smaller vignettes, or groupings of your village collectibles to create more visually impacting village settings.

Curio cabinets: Not everyone has a curio cabinet, but for those who do, consider temporarily replacing some of your regular curios with a small village vignette or two. The key for success here is to keep the vignettes small because of the glass shelving you typically find in a curio cabinet. Rather than find out the hard way that your village display was too heavy for the glass shelves, why not simply group a small vignette or two where each can tell its own miniature story. You will love the glimmering effect created by the village house lights shining and reflecting off of the mirrored background and glass enclosure of the cabinet. It is very easy to camouflage the light cords with a few miniature pine trees strategically placed.

Wall units: Wall units are a strong and perfect location for displaying smaller village vignettes. Because the shelving is typically wood or a composite material, you will not have to worry at all about the weight of your village like you would with a curio cabinet. For that reason, you can experiment with terracing in your vignette. Elevate a village piece or two towards the background to create textured focal points for viewers whether their eyes are drawn to the back or the front of your display. Too often I see displays where a person has to strain their neck to see a beautifully detailed village building shrouded from view by another similarly sized piece or one bigger right in front of it.

Garage side window: Yes, you heard me right. Have you ever thought of showing off your village, or maybe a few of your village pieces in a smaller vignette inside of a side garage window? Perhaps you have been thinking for years of a way to incorporate your display in to your exterior decorating without the risk of damage from the elements. Well, a framed display inside a garage window that is viewable towards the front of your home is a wonderful way to add a storybook appeal to your holiday decorations. Be sure to see my article entitled ‘Creating a Magical Window Display for your Christmas Village’ for details on how to go about constructing this type of display.

Foyer sideboard table: Sideboard tables, sofa tables, and consoles are ideal locations for smaller village groupings. They are very easy to arrange village displays on top of, and are one of the better locations for isolating your display for a more focused viewing point. These tables offer the advantage of displaying at a level where even smaller children can see every aspect of your village setting. Of course that can also be its greatest disadvantage. If you believe tiny roaming hands may mean the destruction of your miniature town, choose another location.

Under glass of a wood-framed coffee table: This is a truly unique concept for displaying villages. Imagine family and friends sitting around the family room talking about your ‘village under glass.’ This idea takes a bit more time and care to assemble your display, but the results are amazing. If you have this type of table, simply remove the glass insert(s) temporarily while you construct your village. Place a large enough box underneath the table to elevate the viewing surface that will be visible when you replace the glass back on top, but not so large that the tops of the village buildings or trees are too high and protrude through the glass level.

Lessons In Village Design

Ten years ago, a dozen of us set out boldly to go where few had gone before: Envisioning a human-scale community designed and built in harmony with the natural world, we wanted to show a healthier way for humans to live with each other while treading lightly on the earth. We thought we could leave behind the greed, selfishness, alienation, and destructive habits of US culture and create a more meaningful life together by living more simply, closer to nature, and by helping other people to make similar changes in their own lives and circumstances. Check the most helpful sources for any student, all this site will help:, – Share assignment helper with your friends !

This is still our vision and to a considerable degree we have succeeded. But we’ve also tempered our idealism with the awareness that we brought human nature with us through the gate, and the laws of gravity work here just as they do in the larger world around us. Rediscovering the laws of gravity was in fact one of the important lessons we learned over the past decade, along with some other basic physical science, but I’m getting ahead of my story.

Our community embraced permaculture from the beginning and it has been a crucial element in our development. In keeping with this approach, we have evolved a culture of experiment, of anarchy tempered by cooperation, and of small-scale, individual action. How has all of this come about and how has it worked to shape the village? And most importantly, what lessons have we learned from our development that may be relevant to other communities?

Pioneering in the forest

Earthaven coalesced around a vision of cooperative community in 1991. For the next two years it built up a core of members, shaped a body of agreements, and searched through a long list of potential sites in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Asheville, North Carolina, before locating the 320-acre parcel we now own. Then the fun began.

In 1994 we bought this wooded property. It had a road, an old hunting cabin in poor repair, and one phone line. The trees were third-growth poplar, pine, maple, and other mixed hardwoods, mostly 40-60 years old. There were streams, which the road forded, but no bridges. The property had numerous springs, none of which had been tapped. There was evidence of old farm and logging roads, long overgrown, but no cleared land anywhere. And we were to build a village for 150 people or more, here? We spent the next three years figuring out how and where to put ourselves into the landscape.

The encounter with the forest was exhilarating. This was to be our home, and it was beautiful. It was also a slow-motion collision. Like a great wave, our hopes, expectations, and needs broke over the wall of wood all around us. For us to live here, trees had to come down, buildings go up. Sunlight was needed for heating homes, generating electricity, and growing crops. (For more on the trees-to-homes conversion story, see”Seeing the Forest and the Trees” pg.25, by Diana Christian.) We agreed we wanted to leave most of the land in permanent forest, but that we would clear home sites as well as ground for village buildings, for agriculture, and to extend a few connecting roads into the main sections of the land.

Where to build?

The community employed me and Chuck Marsh, both permaculture designers, to develop a plan of neighborhood placement. We set out to identify the areas with good solar access, potential for water supply, and to which a sound road could be built. We were inspired by Max Lindegger’s example of Crystal Waters in Australia (he had been a teacher to us both at different times) which was planned with small clusters of houses (3-8) built on ridges between and around dams in the small intervening valleys. We also borrowed a pattern from Christopher Alexander and colleagues, “Agricultural Valleys,” (1) itself inspired by the work of Ian McHarg (2), which suggested that the bottoms of valleys were too valuable as agricultural land to be covered with buildings, and that therefore houses and settlements should be placed on the slopes above these valleys. Our landscape fit this pattern to a “T.” Steep slopes crowded narrow valley bottoms. Flat farmland in the southern Appalachians is scarce and was being rapidly developed all around the area. We didn’t want to make the same mistake as conventional developers.

Oaxacan Wood Carvings, A Tale of Two Villages

We are often asked about the history of Oaxacan Wood Carvings. As with many aspects of Mexican culture, the origins of these colorful, collectible creatures are fused with myths and facts. The following is an account that is as accurate as possible from a world where history is verbal more often than written.

For centuries, the poor in Mexico have used organic materials to fashion tools, utensils, religious artifacts and toys. So begins the story of Oaxacan Wood Carvings.

In the valley of Oaxaca, there are two rural villages, Arrazola located 30 minutes outside the city of Oaxaca in the shadows of Monte Alban, and San Martin Tilcajete located 45 minutes on the opposite side of Oaxaca. Both have become renowned for their highly collectible wood carvings. The history of how Oaxacan Wood Carvings became part of Mexico’s heritage of popular art, centers on two men, Manual Jimenez, a farmer in Arrazola and Epifanio Fuentes, a farmer in San Martin Tilcajete.

Manuel Jimenez began carving as a young man developing his skill and using his imagination to create religious figures and toys. As with many rural farmers, Manuel tried many occupations in addition to farming: cane cutter, barber, musician, and carver. He experimented with a number of woods and discovered a native brush wood, copalillo, to be perfect for his creations. After having carved for many years and trying to sell his wares in Oaxaca and Monte Alban, he was finally “discovered” by the American folk art collector, Arthur Train who was captivated by his work. Train helped promote Manuel’s career by selling his wood carvings at his store in Oaxaca. In the 1970’s important collectors like Nelson Rockefeller and folk art museums purchased the work of Manuel Jimenez thereby establishing Manuel’s reputation. Just a few years ago, Manual Jimenez, then in his 80’s, passed away, leaving his folk art legacy to his sons, Isaias and Angelico. Both worked side by side with Manuel for years as students and later assuming the role of painting and carving Manuel’s designs.

At about the same, Epifanio Fuentes, was also becoming known in folk art circles for his enchanting carved angels, signature pieces which he still produces today. Epifanio learned to carve from his father, a farmer, and used his skills to add to the farming income, as many carvers continue to do today. Eventually, Epifanio taught his wife to paint, and later his children to carve and paint creating a true family cottage industry. Several of the Fuentes sons, Zeni and Efrain in particular, enjoy international notoriety as skilled artisans.

Today, both villages have many talented carvers and painters each with their own unique style. Wood carving has improved the lives of these villagers as evidenced by newly paved roads, new schools, street lights and the prevalence of cell phones, none of which existed even 15 years ago.

Far Flung Arts is a family owned business inspired by our love of Mexico, it’s people, and their joyful artistic expressions. Frequently traveling to the tiny rural villages, we continuously seek out new artists and artwork to add to our collection. Many of the artisans have become our friends whom we eagerly look forward to seeing on our journeys. For many Mexican artists, their talent provides them with a means to improve their financial well being beyond that which is provided by their traditional agrarian economy. We hope you enjoy our ever changing collection, and share our passion for this unique art.

Wood Dale Office Space


Located in DuPage County, Wood Dale has much to offer residents and those leasing office space within the city. As a medium-sized locale, having 13,535 residents at the time of the 2000 census, one would not be surprised to note that Wood Dale has plenty of job opportunities, recreation offerings and dining/shopping establishments. Many businesses are starting to realize what a good opportunity they have to do business within this city. Not only are there places for business owners to buy but there are also many commercial office leasing options within the village as well.

About the Residents

The residents of this town enjoy a small city location which is close enough to Chicago to enjoy the aspects of the big city but still be located within a separate entity all its own. The median household income was $57,509 and the median family income was $62,289 per the last census.

Business Atmosphere

Wood Dale is the premier business location as it is quite close to not only the city of Chicago but to O’Hare International Airport also. This makes it a readily accessible location for both customers in-state as well as those out of state who fly into O’Hare to do business with local companies and corporations. For customers traveling by car to do business with company owners who lease office space or own commercial property in the village, there are quite a few main thoroughfares allowing the customers to get there with ease. I-290 and I-294 provide clients with easy ways to get to businesses in no time at all. Public transportation including Pace and Metra lines also offer convenience to business customers and employees of this villages businesses.

Other Businesses

When you open up your business in the area, you will find that your commercial office neighbors are wide and varied. The list of top employers contains financial institutions, lab technicians and large name retailers. Some of your future neighbors may include Target, HSBC, Quest Diagnostics, Michael Lewis Company and AAR Corporation. In addition to these companies, you will often find smaller professional businesses and retailers as well in the village.

Things to Do

Many residents enjoy the great outdoor aspect of this town. Although it has a close proximity to O’Hare and Chicago, it has many outdoor features which residents love. The forest preserves and three separate golf courses surrounding the village offer various options to those who like to get out and about. The Prairie Fest is a big festival which usually takes place in August each year. There are games, rides and fun for all. There are also parks and the local library for other entertainment options as well.

Dining and Shopping Options

Barbecue, Chinese, Japanese, Italian, American and all other types of cuisines are readily available at restaurants throughout Wood Dale. Employees of area businesses as well as residents of Wood Dale do not have to venture too far to enjoy top-notch cuisine. Whether you are looking for a casual restaurant or an upscale dining establishment, you will be able to find the ideal place in the village. Shopping choices are also yours for the taking. Large name retailers such as Target offer shopping perfect for the whole family and there are smaller shops around town as well, if you are more interested in boutique-style shopping.

Pamphill Village, Dorset, UK – A Beautiful Village With a Forest of Blue-Bells

Pamphill is a village in Dorset, situated to the north-east of Wimborne Minster. It is four miles north of Poole, and has roughly 700 inhabitants. It is on a side road off of the B3082 road from Wimborne Minster to Blandford.

The fact that Pamphill is off the main road makes it very peaceful and means roads are quiet and safer than other villages. You have to look carefully for signposts, otherwise you may miss the turning.

Pamphill is a conservation area, and many of the buildings in Pamphill are Grade II Listed.

The village is very picturesque. Has many old-fashioned thatched cottages. There is a picturesque church, a cricket ground, a Church of England Primary School, local farm shop, dairy (where you can have a cream tea) and a quaint little pub.

Not too far away from the village is Kingston Lacey Manor. This is a large 17th-century house renowned for its amazing paintings inside. It is owned by the National Trust. There is a charge to visit the Manor.

The Blue-Bell Forest

It is definitely worth a visit to see their famous ‘Blue-bell Woods’ of Abbott Street Copse. There are literally thousands of bluebells covering the woods, making it look like a carpet of blue. It is very spectacular, and something you have to see to believe. It gives the woods a fairy-tale feel to it. The trees cover give complete coverage and you feel immersed in a world of blue-bells. When I went there it felt like I was in utopia, and it really made me de-stress. I felt very chilled out. The blue-bells are at their best in late April. If you search on the internet for ‘Pamphill blue-bells’ you will see how magnificent they are.

Holiday Apartments to Rent

These days, holiday apartments have become the most popular choice for accommodation. How are these apartments better than hotels, and why should you look for an apartment instead of a hotel? Let’s discuss.

Holiday apartments offer homely comforts which hotels cannot provide. Plus they also have additional luxuries, like gyms, swimming pools, saunas, spas, barbeque areas, and gaming rooms. Some holiday apartments to rent even have mini playgrounds where children can play and stay busy.

Holiday apartments are great for families because most apartments offer a relaxing afternoon by the pool for parents and entertaining activities for children. Most apartments are situated in areas that are close to entertainment venues like theme parks and multiplexes.

That’s not the only reason why holiday apartments are so famous. While hotel rooms consist mostly of a single room with an attached bathroom, holiday apartments to rent come in different sizes depending upon your needs. There can be one, two, or three bedroom apartments. This allows your family to have enough space, and if you are traveling as a group, you can split the cost and have a comfortable stay in your own personal space.

While you can find holiday apartments all around the world, the ones available in major cities are more expensive. So if you don’t mind traveling a few extra miles, you can get an apartment on the outskirts of the city and travel to the city for some leisure and fun.

One thing lacking from these apartments is that they don’t have a rating system like hotels do. But you will find all types of holiday apartments to suit your needs. Whatever your budget may be, you will find an apartment to fit your requirements. There are special resorts that have different types of apartments. Cheaper ones are single bedroom apartments, while there are more expensive multi bedroom suites as well. If you have enough money, you can rent a three or four bedroom apartment that has balconies that would offer you beautiful views.

And if you are looking for last minute bookings, it is best to go online and search for the right apartment. Apartments in the city are popular among all types of people. There are many young people who like to have freedom and comfort as they travel to different cities. If you are a tourist who doesn’t want a hectic lifestyle, you can stay in an apartment and experience the local style of living.

How to Choose the Perfect Holiday Apartment in Barcelona: 5 Top Tips

Many visitors heading to the Catalan capital opt for an apartment rental in Barcelona. Offering more privacy than hotels, an opportunity to save money (your own kitchen for home-cooked meals), plus the ability to sleep larger groups in the same location, it should come as no surprise that apartment rentals in Barcelona are continuing to grow in popularity.

However, there many questions to consider when deciding which apartment to choose for a break in Barcelona: Do I want a relaxing beach holiday or the full Catalan neighborhood experience? Do I want a spacious three bedroom apartment or a stylish studio for one? Will I be taking daytrips, and if so, is the apartment close to public transportation?

To help you select the right accommodation for you, take a look at these 5 top tips on how to choose the perfect holiday apartment in Barcelona.

Find the Right Barcelona Neighborhood

It goes without saying that choosing the right Barcelona neighborhood in which to stay can make all the difference while on vacation in Barcelona. The Catalan capital has around 10 main districts, ranging from the bustling Casco Antiguo (Old Town) in the city center to the less touristic neighborhoods on the outskirts like Horta-Guinardó.

Before starting the search for your ideal Barcelona apartment, be sure to do a little research on the various zones of the city, from the Barceloneta beach area to the quieter ‘barrio’ of Sarrià. Many apartment rental agencies have ‘district guides’ on their blogs where visitors can get a deeper understanding of the neighborhoods and find out which one best suits their needs, be it sightseeing, relaxing by the Mediterranean, or attending one of the city’s many fantastic festivals and events like the Sonar festival.

Facilities and amenities

Everyone heading to Barcelona undoubtedly has different needs. For example, the apartment you’ve chosen may be just what you had in mind in terms of location and size, but it’s situated on the 3rd floor and the building does not have an elevator. For some, this may not be a problem, while for others, mobility is at the top of their priority list. It is therefore important to check the facilities of an apartment prior to booking.

Will you be dining in or out most days? If the answer is home-cooked food for a budget trip, be sure to check that the kitchen has everything you’ll need to prepare your meals. Don’t forget to check the capacity of the holiday apartment in Barcelona as well as the bed distribution to ensure that there are no problems upon arrival.

Apartment agencies generally list all apartment amenities on their websites and it is important to review these. If you’re unsure of anything, be sure to call the agency or send an email to ensure that the apartment is fit for your needs.

Company reputation

With numerous apartment rental agencies in Barcelona, it is important to make sure that the agency renting your apartment of choice is reputable. Spend time looking at reviews on Tripadvisor, travel forums or the company’s website to get an idea of what to expect from former customers.

Also, check the company website for contact details, which should be clearly displayed all over the site. For an extra precaution, look out for the letters S.L or S.A following the business name, an indicator that the company follows strict tax and book keeping rules in accordance with Spanish Law.

Apartment Reviews

As with company reputation, you can also check what others thought of the Barcelona holiday apartment you have in mind through review websites like FlipKey. Many apartment agencies also list customer ratings of apartments and comments on their websites, so be sure to check out the nature of the online guest reviews the apartment has received before you make your final decision.

Read the Small Print

Each company is different, so be sure to review the FAQ and Terms and Conditions pages of your Barcelona apartment rental website of choice, ensuring that you are fully aware of the entire rental process from booking to check-out. Information on everything ranging from the damage deposit conditions to the check-in procedure should be covered in this section, allowing you to be aware of exactly how the company works and what is expected of you as a customer.

The Apartment Search

When you are apartment hunting, prepare a rental search plan. Be sure to know in advance what you want in an apartment and what you can live without. Decide in advance what areas of the city you could consider living in and make a list of apartment buildings within that perimeter.

Be sure to consider how far and how convenient it will be for you to travel to your job or your school or your family and friends. Also, how far is the apartment from stores, banks, hospitals, Church (if you attend) etc. If you have a car, make sure that there is adequate and convenient parking space 24/7. If you don’t drive make sure that there is close by public transportation.

Narrow your apartment locating to the size of rental unit you need. Studio apartment or one bedroom apartment or 2 BR apartment or more. Are you considering a furnished apartment or do you possible need a short term rental. If you are renting an apartment with a cat, dog, or other pet, you need to find out which apartments allow renting with pets and which do not. And, if they do allow pets, is there an additional security deposit required and if so, how much it is. Do you need an apartment complex with an exercise room or tennis courts or a pool or a recreation room, etc. or do you simply need and desire a nice clean and quiet pad.

Be realistic about what you can afford. Most apartment renting guides suggest that your rent should not be more than 25% to 30% of your income. This can vary depending on the income bracket, but be sure to be “real world” when budgeting additional apartment expenses such as heating and air conditioning and other utilities. If you fall short of affording the apartment of your choice, you might consider sharing an apartment with a roommate or roommates. Keep in mind that living with roommates can help you afford an upscale apartment or even, in some cases, luxury apartments, but it also has extreme restrictions to your privacy.

If you are familiar with the area and its neighborhoods, that gives you a distinct advantage for your apartment search. If, however, you are relocating to a new city or are not particularly knowledgeable about the city, you may want to contact an Apartment Locator or an Apartment Finder.

Once you narrow your search for apartments down to apts which suit your needs and desires you must be well organized & well prepared for your visits to the apartment complexes. When inspecting the rental premises be on the alert for unsafe conditions, excessive noise from traffic or playgrounds or neighbors. Visit the apartment building at night as well as the daytime hours. This will give you a more comprehensive understanding of the total space you will be residing in.

When you find the apartment complex that meets your renting needs and desires, you must be ready to put your “best foot forward” when you meet the apartment’s rental agent. This person may be the apartment building manager or a renting agent for the apts. You should prepare for this apartment renting interview in a professional and intelligent manner. Be advised that you are going to be asked to provide proof that you are a reliable prospective tenant. You are most likely going to need references from previous landlords. You may also be required by the apartments to show that you are gainfully employed and can afford the rent. Many landlords may require a credit report. If you are a first time renter and/or you have limited credit history you may be asked for references from family, friends, employer, professionals, etc. Likewise if you are renting with bad credit you will certainly want to come to the interview with a strong selection of references.

You are not necessarily restricted from apartment renting with less than perfect credit, but you may be required to put up an additional security deposit and possibly have a credit worthy person co-sign the apartment lease with you. Don’t unprepared for by requests for any of these things. Be sure to fill out a 100% truthful apartment rental application and come to the interview with references, proof of employment, credit information and any other renting resources at the ready. If you do have a credit history or renting history that might be detrimental, going through an apartment locator or apartment finder may be the best solution. They will present your history to the landlord for you, (make sure they are 100% truthful about it) and they can also be quite helpful and save you a lot of time because they most likely will know which landlords and apartments are more lenient in these circumstances. They can also advise you as to exactly what kinds of references and documents you might need to prove that you can be a responsible tenant.

You Have Located Your “Dream Apartment”

Once you have located your “dream apartment”, or as close to your perfect apartment as possible, now it is necessary to pay extremely close attention to the particulars of the rental agreement. An Apartment Lease is a contract between you and the landlord. Once agreed upon and signed by the tenant and the landlord, the rental lease creates obligations and restrictions for both parties. The most obvious covenants of the apartment lease are the length of the rental, (Six month lease, one year lease, two year lease, etc.) The amount of the security deposit, when the rent is due, who is responsible for what utilities. Also in that apartment lease, however, are stipulations, (sometimes in small print) that can cover a great variety of landlord and tenant obligations and restrictions. They can include, but are not limited to, the following:

o Maintenance of the apartment

o Care of the premises

o Cleanliness

o Insurance

o Governmental regulations

o Eminent Domain

o Nuisance and noise clauses

o Stipulations as to the circumstances whereby the landlord can enter the premises

o Use of Common Areas

o Keys and locks

o Loss or damage

o Parking

o Pets

o Plumbing

o What the landlord may do if the rent is in arrears

o What the tenant can do to bring the rent current before any kind of action might be started

o Non performance or breach of the contract by the renter

o Renter’s penalties in the event of early termination

o Circumstances which might cause the tenant or the landlord to break the lease prior to the end of the term

o Heat and other utilities

o Removal of goods

o Surrender or Non-Surrender of the premises

o Waivers of various obligations

o Prohibited reprisals

o Garbage disposal

o Recyclables

o And the list goes on and on and on.

London Apartment – Everything You Need To Know Before Booking A Serviced London Apartment

A few weeks ago a secretary telephoned me in absolute desperation. She was desperately searching for accommodation in central London for some VIPs from abroad. She stumbled onto my website, not really understanding what the service was about. I think the words ‘free service’, ‘apartments’ just helped her to figure out that Quality London Apartments had something to do with accommodation. Apologies for my long opening, but it is a prime example of how little travellers in the UK and Europe know about the serviced apartment industry. After explaining the concept of serviced apartments and helping her find an apartment, I realised that I needed to share this knowledge further afield. Thus, this article is my contribution to open up this elusive industry and offer tips to travellers.

What is a serviced apartment?

A serviced apartment is a flat in a block, which has a separate bedroom, sitting room/lounge, fully equipped kitchen, your own private keys to own door. Serviced apartments can be in the form of a studio flat (all in one room with a kitchenette), one, two or three bedrooms.
All apartments enjoy maid service, utilities and a management team to help….just like a hotel. Guests only pay for a nightly rate and can live in a flat with everything they would have in their own home.

Pros: Serviced London Apartment vs Hotels
More value for money and cheaper. In a hotel, no matter which star rating, you pay per night for one room which will have a TV, bathroom, sofa and a bed. This is similar to a studio apartment! In an apartment there is a separate bedroom, kitchen, sitting room, bathroom and dining table (exception is studio)

Pay per apartment and not per person. An example would be paying £250 per night for a two bedroom apartment, which could accommodate up to 4 people, that works out at £62.50 per person.

Freedom and privacy. An apartment is like being in your own home and there is plenty of space. You have your own keys to your own door.

Booking is easy, just like hotels. The majority of apartments require a credit card to guarantee, pre-payment before you arrive and that’s it. No deposits, no tenants’ contracts.

Cons: Serviced London Apartment vs Hotels
Apartments lacks the buzz and services of a hotel such as restaurants and Room Service. Albeit some apartments are owned by hotels and offer you the use of their restaurants and other services.

No 24-hour service around the clock. The apartments are ran by a small team who work Monday to Friday 9:00am – 6:00pm, so you are on your own during the weekend. There are emergency numbers to call should you suffer an electric cut, but no 24-hours hotel Duty Manager to run to your room.

No pool, massages, saunas like hotels

What to look out for when booking a serviced London apartment?

1. Quality of the apartment – make sure you find out if they are clean, well furnished and well maintained. How? Check the photos, and ask if you can book an appointment to view the apartment. This is very important if you are staying over a long period of time.

2. Do they have a friendly and efficient management team? If you need the comfort of a welcoming face to greet you on arrival, then ask for an apartment with a reception. Some apartments provide key boxes, so you can arrive any time, but there is no-one to meet you. A friendly and small team will be able to give you a very personal touch.

3. Opening time of the apartments office – doesn’t sound important? Well it is because the majority of apartments’ operations team open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 6:00pm. If you arrive at your apartment during office open hours, then fine, but any other time and weekends will mean that you will need to pick up the keys from a different location.

4. Key delivery by car at the airport? – If you are flying from abroad to London, and do not fancy traipsing throughout London at night to pick up keys, the majority of apartments will hire a taxi to deliver your keys to the airport upon your arrival. Convenient for a small charge.

5. Payment procedure and cancellation policy – every apartment vary in their guest terms and conditions. All will accept a credit card as a guarantee of reservation, some will ask for 100% pre-payment at least 7 days prior to arrival and cancellation can range from 12:00pm on the day of arrival to 28 days. So, before you confirm the reservation, be very clear about the terms and conditions. Ask your apartment agents to explain the procedure to you and read the terms and conditions on your confirmation emails. It will save you a great deal of trouble and headache later.

6. Apartments are always allocated on arrival. This policy is the same as any hotel, so unless you are a regular guest to a specific apartment, apartments are on allocations. In the same breath, some apartments only have a small number of flats, so if you are reserving the only 3 bedrooms penthouse in their collection, then you are guaranteed that specific apartment.

7. Rates become more competitive the longer you stay. In this, we mean you have more bargaining power if you are staying for one month or longer. This is when your apartment agent can really help you by negotiating with a variety of apartments to get you the best deal.

8. Using an apartment agent will also save you time searching, but most importantly they will work with your budget and negotiate a great deal for you. Of course, you also need to be realistic about what you can book, don’t expect to spend £80 per night for a luxury apartment. For example, one of our clients had £300 budget per night for a two bedroom apartment and he wanted something luxury. For those readers who know London well, also understands that this budget is actually very small. Despite that, we booked him and 3 friends into the Victoria Park Plaza luxury apartment (£150 per night less than the usual price) for £300 per night with free breakfast, gym and access to the executive lounge. Any apartment agent worth their salt can and will move mountains to help you.

What if I don’t like the apartment when I get there?

If you really feel that you have been hard done by, tell the apartment management team and ask to be moved to another apartment. All of the apartments that we work with are very customer focussed and try to help guests enjoy their stay. If this does not work, talk to your apartment agent, if that is how you booked. Best advice though, is to ask all the right questions before you book an apartment.

Your appetite for apartments is now whetted – how do you find London apartments?

1. As already explained, you can choose a free search and book service of an apartment agent or go direct to a specific apartment that you know. Both methods are absolutely fine, dependent of your knowledge of London apartments. Using an agent will mean that they will search far across their portfolio and present you with a variety of choices…all within 10-15 minutes. Agents are impartial and will only (good agents anyway) recommend the quality apartments for your needs.

2. You can use search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN to find apartments. Type in keywords like ‘London serviced apartments’ or ‘quality London apartments’ and so on.

3. Stating the obvious but, ask for a recommendation from friends and acquaintances.

4. Check other customer review websites.

Glossary of Types of Apartments for Rent in Ottawa

Looking through the apartment listings can be a pretty confusing experience. Just what are the differences between a junior one-bedroom and an alcove studio? A convertible three-bedroom and a flex two-bedroom? Knowing the layout of each type of apartment and what features each type contains will greatly improve your chances of finding the perfect apartment rental for your needs and lifestyle.

Walk-Up Apartment / Low-Rise Apartment

A walk-up or low-rise apartment is located in a building that does not have an elevator (which means it might be a bit more difficult when you’re moving in). Walk-ups are usually older buildings that are less than five stories high and may not have a lot of amenities such as laundry rooms, storage lockers or wheelchair accessibility. Generally, monthly rent for a walk-up is less expensive than the monthly rent for a high-rise apartment.

High-Rise Apartment

A high-rise apartment is found in a building that is generally six or more storeys tall. High-rise apartment buildings have elevators and often have onsite laundry facilities, pools, fitness centres, comprehensive fire alarm systems, and security systems to monitor tenant entry and exit. In addition, many high-rise apartment buildings feature onsite management staff to assist you in the event of an emergency.

Bachelor Apartment / Studio Apartment

A great choice for students, a bachelor apartment (also called a studio apartment or an efficiency apartment) is a small one-room apartment with a separate bathroom. The one room serves as a bedroom, dining room and living room and is usually connected to an open kitchen. Bachelor apartments can range from very small (just big enough for a sofa-bed and a desk) to very large (with enough room for a king-size bed and a separate sitting area and dining area).

An alcove bachelor (also called a convertible bachelor or convertible studio) is usually configured in an L-shape with a distinct area or nook for dining or sleeping.

1-Bedroom Apartments

A one-bedroom apartment consists of a living room, kitchen, bathroom and a separate bedroom equipped with a built in closet. Occupancy may often be limited to two people.

A junior one-bedroom usually implies an extra-large studio apartment that is large enough to section off a separate sleeping area or bedroom.

2-Bedroom Apartments

A full two-bedroom apartment has two separate bedrooms in addition to a living room. It may or may not have a separate kitchen. Bedroom sizes can vary widely, from a baby’s room or small office to an extra-large master bedroom suite.

A convertible two-bedroom apartment (sometimes called a “flex 2”) is actually a one-bedroom apartment, but it is large enough and laid out in such a way that a wall could be put up to create a second bedroom. Similarly, a convertible three-bedroom (or “flex 3”) is a two-bedroom apartment that can be converted into 3 bedrooms.

A wing apartment usually has two bedrooms as well as a small common area such as an eat-in kitchen, but no living room. These apartments are ideal for students or roommates who don’t require much in the way of common living space.


A loft can be classified as a big, open space with few internal walls. Usually the result from a commercial building having been converted into residential units, lofts generally have very high ceilings, extra-large windows and often have exposed plumbing pipes and columns.

Penthouse Apartment

A penthouse is an apartment on the top floor of an apartment building, usually featuring extra balconies or a rooftop deck. A penthouse is normally considered to be quite luxurious and is an extremely desirable (albeit expensive) place to live.

Basement Apartment

As the name implies, a basement apartment is located in the lowest storey of a building and is partially below ground level. Windows and proper ceiling height are enforced by city codes. This type of apartment can also refer to the basement on a house that has been converted to an apartment. This type of basement apartment may have its own separate entrance and may have its own bathroom, kitchen, laundry room and heating system separate from the rest of the house.

Duplex Apartment

A duplex is an apartment with two levels. This could include a true bi-level apartment with an enclosed upstairs and downstairs, or it could also be an open space with an extra-high ceiling and a loft or mezzanine.

Railroad Apartment

In a railroad apartment, there is no hallway. This type of apartment consists of a series of rooms that are connected to each other in a straight line (just like cars on a train), meaning a tenant will have to walk through each room to get from one end of the apartment to the other.

Balcony / Terrace

The terms balcony and terrace are often used interchangeably to indicate a railed platform extending from the outside of the apartment. It can be small enough to accommodate one or two people standing or large enough for a picnic table, lounge chairs and plants.