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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 accommodation 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!

Where To Have An Ideal And Relaxed Vacation In Corfu

Corfu in Greece is developing as one of the leading international tourist destinations in the world. The sun-kissed beaches of Corfu along with other natural beauty and the rich culture are the main attractions that the place offers. People from all across the globe are coming to the beautiful Greek island to spend few days in the lap of nature. With the influx of tourists and travelers, it is obvious that various kinds of accommodation facilities are also developing in the area. There are various kinds of hotels, lodges and rented apartments that are available in Corfu.

If you are looking for a Corfu resort to stay during your vacations, there are many from which you can choose the most suitable for you. Most of the resorts in Corfu are located by the sea-side on the beach. People staying in a Corfu resort can feel the sea and enjoy the beach from very close quarters. The rooms are offered in the various resorts of Corfu are excellently done in the state-of-the-art fashion. All the luxurious room amenities are offered to make the stay of the guests enjoyable and pleasurable. Attempts are made so that guests do not have any chances to complain and come back to the resort if they visit Corfu again.

A reputed and established resort will definitely have a swimming pool in the premises. Guests can enjoy swimming in the pool and also relax by the poolside. There might be a separate playground for children, an entertainment room, a bar and a lounge, a tennis court, gymnasium and similar facilities. Apart from that, outdoor recreation facilities are also offered. Since most of the resorts are located by the beach, various kind of adventurous water-sports are also offered. Swimming, diving, snorkeling, etc. are some of the common water-sports that are arranged. Boating services are also offered by many resorts.

Any good Corfu resort will have good dining facilities for the travelers and tourists. Most of the resorts have exclusive restaurants. Various kind of local and international cuisines are available at the restaurant. The restaurants also serve specially ordered delicacies for the guests. Maximum care is taken so that the food is prepared in the best possible manner with the best flavors. Authentic Greek delicacies are a treat in themselves and if prepared in the right manner can provide a real experience for lifetime. For people who do not like to experiment much with food, there are various kinds of international cuisines on offer in a luxurious hotel.

Enjoying Nice in Holiday Apartments

A vacation to France is always a great idea if you want to experience a place in Europe that has a diverse amount of attractions, and also has a rich cultural and historical background that you are sure to enjoy if you happen to be a history enthusiast. Its a great place to go if you enjoy art as well, since it has some of the most famous museums and pieces of art in the entire world. You should definitely see as much as France as possible when you visit. Spend some time in the bustling metropolis of Paris, and then contrast that with spending some time in the beautiful French countryside.

You also might want to check out Nice, which is one of the largest cities on the French Riviera. You’ll love the fact that this vibrant and interesting city is right next to some of the most gorgeous beaches you ever will see. While you’ve staying in Nice, you might want to avoid some of the more popular hotels for tourists and stay in a Nice gite instead in order to get a more authentic feel for the city. You’ll have a better idea of what its like to live in Nice if you decide to stay in holiday apartments. These apartments are quite affordable, and will also provide you with any amenity that you could imagine.

While you’re in Nice, you should take advantage of the fact that there are some great museums and galleries in the area. You might want to see the museum of art and history just because they museum itself is so enthralling; it has a very modern design, and is situated in the midst of carefully designed landscapes that are right next to the Mediterranean. You also might want to see the Fine arts museum if you’ve interested in seeing some art that depicts Romanticism, Realism or Symbolism. You’ll love the fact that all of these museums have so many pieces of art on display; it might take you a considerable amount of time to see all of the art, so make sure to dedicate an entire day to this endeavor.

You also might want to take advantage of the nightlife in Nice while you’re in town. Check out some of the discos, restaurants and casinos. If you happen to forget something back at your apartment, you don’t have to worry; many of the shops in Nice are open all night long if you need to pick up a few simple necessities. You also will love the fact that Nice is so beautiful at night. The Bay of Angels stays lit up all night long because it is adorned with Christmas lights throughout the Christmas season, and is also decked out during the Carnival season.

The gorgeous beaches of Nice are what bring tourists to this destination year after year. You should definitely dedicate some of your vacation time to just laying out by the surf. You might want to think about making use of a private beach if you would like to have the convenience of amenities on hand at all times. All of the private beaches in Nice have mattresses, parasols and changing cabins and showers. You can easily spend a day at the beach in your swimming suit, use one of the showers, and then slip on a sexy dress for a night on the town.

If you enjoy fashion, then you’ll definitely love the fact that Nice has such a wide array of shops. You can get some new clothes at the shopping arcades and department stores. You can also find some excellent jewelry shops on the Avenue de Verdun; if you feel like you would like to find some couture pieces, then you can opt to shop on Rue Paradis. You also can find some excellent arts and crafts in some smaller boutiques that are sure to make great souvenirs for your family and friends back home.