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 travelers 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 realized 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 travelers.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 hotelsWhat 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 choicesall 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 on Tripadvisor and other customer review websites.SummaryIf you have read this far, then thank you for your time. I have tried to make this article clear and as helpful as possible, but I welcome your comments and any further information that you feel is very important.
There are myriad things that you can fancy with your child so many things in fact, that unless you will be living for a few days, you won't need time to do them all. Disneyland was designed for kids of all ages and toddlers are no exception! Begin with Toon Town. Here is where you will find your toddler's favorite Disney Characters, including Mickey and Minnie Mouse. All of the Characters have homes in Toon Town, full of things that desire amaze your toddler, and make them guffaw. Your toddler will absolutely enjoy the Disneyland Railroad. This is a great way to get about the parkland, because there are stations in New Orleans Square, Toon Town, Tomorrowland, and on Main Street. This will amuse your toddler, and give you a chance to see various sights and repose a bit.Its A Small World is very proper for toddlers. Music and colors will have your child fascinated while you relish a relaxing ride across the water. The Storybook Land Canal Boats is additional good choice, as it will take you through the miniature villages that your child liking be quite well-known with from their story books. Rides that you and your toddler must not miss comprise all of the rides in Fantasyland, King Arthur's Carousel, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, the Circus Train, and the Mad Tea Party. Rides that are apt for youngsters, but that may cause a little fear are the rides that are dark. These include Peter Pan's Flight, Pinocchio's Daring Trip, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White's Scary Adventure. Buzz Lightyear is a popular ride for all toddlers. There are other areas of the parkland that have attractions and rides that are becoming for toddlers. Remember that Disneyland is a place for kids of all ages. Pay attention to the level and age requirements for each attraction, and avoid engaging your toddler to rides that they will not be able to enjoy. This will only cause your child disappointment. Stick to the areas where the toddler appropriate attractions are located as much as possible. As an adult, you realize that sundry rides are merely not unharmed for small people, but your small person will not comprehend this! Your Disneyland vacation have to be satisfying for everyone, and Disneyland has made sure that there is another thing for everyone at the parkland.It is up to you to keep your child happy, and to keep them curious in the rides and attractions that they are meant to enjoy.
Each year, a large number of individuals, couples, and families make the decision to travel to Mexico. Most have visited Mexico before. If you are planning a Mexico vacation, and you have never been there before, you may have some concerns. You may be wondering what places are safe for you to visit.Mexico is like all other countries. There are areas that are known as tourists attractions and then there are other areas that tourists are advised to stay away from. You can easily learn about these areas online. Researching every city and town in Mexico is a long and daunting process. To save time and a costly vacation mistake, you are encouraged to examine the benefits of taking a guided Mexico tour.Perhaps the greatest benefit of booking a guided tour in Mexico is that you will be with a local who is familiar with the area. Guided tours are held in areas that are considered safe. In addition to showing you around certain areas of Mexico, your tour guide may be able to offer you additional travel tips and suggestions. These suggestions may help you with your vacation after your guide has ended.If you are interested in taking a guided Mexican tour, you will have to find the tour company which you wish to do business with. There are a large nubmer of guided tour companies in the area. If you do not have a preference as to which company youd like to tour with, you may want to first search for a destination. The destination you select will be important in determining what you will learn and see while on a guided tour.Many guided tours take place in Cooper Canyon, the Oaxaca Mountains, the Yucatan Peninsula and Baja. In Mexico, Baja is most known for its water activities. Many popular guided tours include whale watching and kayaking. Whether you set out to watch the whales or you select a kayaking tour, you are sure to see Gray whales. Many times, they will come right up to your boat, making for great pictures or video footage.Cooper Canyon and the Oaxaca Mountains are guided tours that are ideal for those that love to hike. To participate in these tours, it is advised that you receive the proper health clearance. You tour will likely follow trails, but much of the terrain can be rough. The Yucatan Peninsula is ideal for travelers who wish to learn more about the ancient history of Mexico.The above mentioned destinations in Mexico are just a few of the many. Guided tours are found all across Mexico. If there is particular topic or activity that interests you, you are sure to find a guided tour that will offer you excitement. Hikers often select a hiking tour, boats often opt for boat tours, and history lovers often select tours that focus on the history of Mexico.In addition to selecting where youd like to go on a guided tour, you will also need to determine how long youd like that tour to be. In Mexico, guided tours can last as long as one day or over one week. You should easily be able to determine how long a guided tour is by looking at the price. Weeklong guided tours can cost thousands of dollars, but most of your accommodations are taken care of. Some guided tours can be considered all-inclusive vacations.Journey Mexico, Siesta Tours, and Ufly Mexico are three of the most well-known guided tour companies in Mexico. You can examine the tours found by these three companies by visiting their online websites or by requesting free travel brochures. If you are interested in finding additional tours, your local travel agent may be able to offer you assistance.By selecting a guided tour of Mexico, you do not always have to be looking over your shoulder. Vacationing in a safe area with an experienced tour guide is about as carefree as your Mexico vacation can get.
Almost everyone have their own ideal vacation spot. This usually considered as the perfect place where the worries and toils of survival can be forgotten momentarily. And two natural elements that often characterize this ideal vacation spot are the sun and the ocean.There must be something about the sea that makes people flock to it. But humans we know are very unique. So for some reasons, other people would rather go for a vacation spot that offer peace and serenity, and perhaps a change of scenery. This for me is what a Savanna vacation represents. The city is replete with historical monuments and other facilities for a relaxing holiday.For those who have never been to Savanna, you may want to consider it as your next vacation spot. It is certainly a beautiful city; with a pronounced serenity you can't fail to notice as I did the first time I visited the place.I heard about this classic city as an ideal vacation spot from my brother. I went online and did further research on my own to have a good grasp of this holiday spot. I discovered the city seems to have all that is required for a serene retreat or better still a romantic weekend.Though Savanna vacation might be an unpopular choice for many holiday fun seekers, it certainly sounds fine to me.I never really had any chance for a honeymoon when I got married, so I decided that a trip to Savanna will be a perfect romantic getaway. The Internet will provide all the information you want about this majestic city. If historical buildings and architecture fascinates you, then Savanna vacation is tailor made for you.There are also many exotic dining and shopping districts, and of course captivating sights that attracts many people to the city. The location of the city on the waterfront also provides tourists the opportunity to ride on fairy boats, or take leisure strolls down the coast. An ideal holiday spot don't come better that this.Because Savanna was once a prosperous place, there is an erroneous belief that the natives don't care about new folks coming in; nothing can be farther fro the truth. Those seeking a serene getaway or romantic weekend can testify to how they were welcomed with open arms.The natives are nice people. The huge resource of the Internet can provide numerous websites that discussed ideal Savanna vacations. These sites will usually list the interesting places to visit and the desirable things to do. For those searching for that special romantic getaway with their wives or partners, Savanna vacation it's got to be.
Portsmouth is commonly regarded as having been founded in 1180 by John of Gisors, although there had been settlements in the area since before Roman times, mostly being offshoots of Portchester. John of Gisors purchased the manor of Buckland, whilst the protected harbour gave safe haven to his merchant ships and an ideal location to trade with Normandy.In 1194, King Richard I returned from being held captive by Duke Leopold V of Austria and set about summoning a fleet and an army to Portsmouth, which he had taken over from John of Gisors.On May 2 1194, King Richard I gave Portsmouth its first Royal Charter granting permission to hold an annual fifteen day market and exemption from paying the annual tax of 18 a year that could now be spent on local matters.In 1200 another Charter was issued by King John, reaffirming the rights and privileges awarded by King Richard. Portsmouth was established as a permanent naval base as a result of King Johns desire to invade Normandy. 1212 saw the start of construction on the first docks in Portsmouth.During the 13th century Portsmouth was commonly used by Henry III and Edward I as a base for attacks on France.In the 14th Century Portsmouth was invaded by the French four times. The first in 1338 when they sailed into the docks under English flags, no one noticing until it was to late. Ten years later the city was struck by the plague known as Black Death. The French then sacked the city in 1369,1377 and 1380 to prevent it recovering.In 1418, Henry V was the first king to decide to build a permanent fortification in Portsmouth. He ordered a wooden Round tower to be built at the mouth of the harbour, this was finished in 1426. It was not until Henry VIII that defence was seriously delt with. He ordered the round tower to be rebuilt of stone and a square tower built. At this time building also commenced on the first dry dock in the country. In 1527 with money from the dissolution of the monasteries Henry VIII built the fort of Southsea Castle.In 1545, Henry VIII saw his flagship Maryrose founder off Southsea Castle whilst going into action against the French Fleet, with the loss of over 500 lives.In the 18th century regular wars, principally with the French, meant the dockyard flourished. Homes were built outside the town walls in Portsea to house the growing population. Trade in Portsmouth quickly increased and with it the cities prosperity.At the beginning of the 19th century Portsmouth and Portsea became increasingly overcrowded and housing spread across more of the island including the more fashionable suburbs of Southsea in the south.In 1805 Admiral Lord Nelson left Portsmouth for the final time to command the fleet that would defeat the larger Franco Spanish fleet at Trafalgar. From 1808 the Royal Navys West African Squadron operated out of Portsmouth as they were tasked with stopping the slave trade.As always, the presence of the dockyard made Portsmouth a prime target for attack and in 1916 the city experienced its first aerial bombardment when a zeppelin airship bombed it during World War 1.During World War 2, again Portsmouth was devastated from the air, between July 1940 and July 1944 the city was attacked 67 times, 930 people killed and many wounded. On June 6th 1944 saw the embarkation of the D-Day Landings from Southsea beach and Portsmouth Harbour. To the north, Southwick House had been chosen as the headquarters for the supreme Allied commander, US General Dwight D Eisenhower, during D-Day.