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Serviced Apartments Brussels-Ghent-Bruges: Frequently Asked Questions

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What are Serviced Apartments? A serviced or selfcatering apartment is the perfect combination between staying in a hotel and renting an apartment. What are the differences between hotels and serviced apartments?

What is a serviced apartment?

A serviced apartment or business apartment is a sort of accommodation that can be booked on mid or longterm basis, features kitchen facilities and an optional maid service. Rates generally reduce as the length of stay increases.

What is the difference  between hotels and serviced apartments?

A typical serviced apartment or selfcatering apartment offers 1/3  more space than a hotel room, with separate areas for  working, eating and sleeping.

The majority of serviced apartments have free Wi-Fi, and some in Brussels even offer rental of office equipment such as printers or copiers. .

For stays of one week or more, the average serviced apartment is 15% cheaper than equivalent hotel accommodation, increasing to 25% after 1 month, and 30% after 3 month.

Is there a minimum length of stay?

Yes. Minimum stay of one week. Please note that the minimum length of stay varies from property to property.

A greater selection of serviced apartments will be available to you if you book for one week or more.

How do I make a reservation?

Your best approach is to give us a call. Whatever your requirements are, we will suggest a selection of serviced apartments that match your given criteria.

You can also book online.

You can also speak to us online using whatsapp or via Skype.  You can also drop us a quick text.

When do I need to pay?

Reservations are billed at the point of booking and must be paid in full before check-in. Our Account Management team agree a monthly or weekly payment date with you during the reservation stage.

If I cancel, can I get a refund?

Whether you receive a refund is dependent on if you cancel your booking in accordance with the apartment’s cancellation policy.

 

 

What kitchen equipment will I find in my serviced apartment?

All serviced apartments have a  kitchenette or fully equipped kitchen.  As a minimum, a kitchen or kitchenette must include:

  • A cooking appliance such as an oven or microwave
  • Fridge
  • Glassware
  • Pots and pans, kitchen appliances
  • Dishwasher

 

What can I expect in my apartment?

Facilities you can expect to find in every property:

  • Kitchen or kitchenette
  • Sitting or living area
  • Sleeping area
  • Shower
  • Appliances, furnishings, kitchenware, bedding, linen and towels.
  • Furniture
  • Free Wi-Fi and TV package

Will there be WIFI access?

All serviced apartments have free Wi-Fi, and it’s included in the overall cost.

What’s included in a basic welcome pack?

A basic welcome pack contains items like tea, coffee, toilet paper and shower gel. Most properties also provide a small starter pack of water, milk, dishwashing liquid and/or dishwasher tablets.

More extensive welcome packs are often chargeable (cereal, bread, pasta, biscuits, fruit or chocolate).

How do I check-in to my apartment?

Check-in varies from property to property:

  • Self-check-in: you’ll be given access to secure codes for access to the main building and key safe.
  • Off-site check-in and key collection: keys will need to be collected from a location different to that of your apartment.

The standard check-in time is from 15.00, although this is not always the case. Full details of your check-in are provided at the confirmation stage.

What if I need to check in early or check out later ?

Please make this request via mail or phone or during the booking process.

An early check-in is sometimes possible, but needs to be asked in advance. Most properties are able to hold luggage on your behalf while you wait to access your apartment.

What should I do if I have a problem during my stay or on arrival ?

Please refer to the confirmation mail that was sent to you via email when you made your reservation. On your confirmation, you’ll find the following contact numbers:

  • Office number of the property manager
  • Emergency number of the property manager

What are the differences between  a fixed tenancy and serviced apartments?

Benefits of serviced apartments include:

  • Shorter notice period
  • Zero agent fees
  • Minimal paperwork
  • Flexibility to book short stays as one week or month instead of the required six months in a fixed tenancy
  • Freedom to extend or shorten your reservation.
  • A serviced apartment is fully equipped, eliminating the hassle of purchasing appliances, furnishings, kitchenware, bedding, linen and towels.
  • Most bills are included (to a certain maximum)
  • Internet and TV packages are included.
  • Maid service once a week, as a minimum, which includes a full clean and change of all towels and linen should be discussed before reservation.
  • Access to  guest service team at no extra charge.

What’s the pet policy in serviced apartments?

If you wish to bring your pet with you, please make this clear during the enquiry stage, and we’ll find an apartment that allows this.

An additional cleaning charge will be incurred by staying with a pet.

What do I do with my keys upon checking out?

Keys should safely be returned to reception or left in your property.

What security features do serviced apartments offer?

It is important to note that the Fire Safety Certificate is an approval of the fire safety of each apartment. (Vincotte fire safety certificate)

 

How many guests can stay in my apartment?

The maximum occupancy of each apartment type varies. Typically, the below rules apply

  • One bedroom apartment – two people
  • Two bedroom apartment – four people

When making your enquiry, please inform us of the exact number of guests (adults, children)  you need to accommodate,  and we’ll do our best to source the right properties.

Some apartments have cots or sofa beds available to allow one extra guest. If this is required, please let us know upon enquiry.

Is it possible for me to view an apartment before I make a reservation?

Yes. To arrange a viewing please contact us and we’ll organise a viewing for you. These visits depend on availability at the property in question.

Can I smoke in my apartment?

No!  All serviced apartments are non-smoking. Smoking may be permitted in external areas, such as balconies, roof terraces…

How do I make a payment?

When making a payment, you have two main options:

  • Bank transfer – Iban or Sepa
  • Card Payment – we accept payment in euro via our online payment system, supplied by Stripe or Paypal. This system accepts payment from American Express, MasterCard, Visa, JCB, Maestro and Electron. A 2.95% card transaction fee applies to all card payments.

Do I have to pay a deposit?

A number of properties may require a deposit, which is paid at the time of booking.

Alternative can be a pre-authorisation from a credit card which may then be used to cover any incidental costs occurred during your stay.

Is it safe for me to pay by card?

Yes. When you pay by card we’ll provide you with a payment link to our secure, online payment service provider Stripe or Paypal. This is a PCI compliant service, so none of your sensitive card information is shared with us.

When will you take my payment?

We agree a payment date with you at the reservation stage. Reservations are billed at the point of booking and must be paid in full before check-in.

What’s included in the cost of my serviced apartment?

  • Utility bills: water, heating, electricity, council tax, gas and television licence.
  • basic TV package
  • Wifi
  • Welcome pack

Other services are subject to an additional fee:

  • Maid service
  • Premium TV channels
  • Extra beds for additional guests
  • Parking

 

serviced apartments bruges

Business matters for expats in Belgium

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Things you wish you’d known before moving to Belgium

Using the expat community web sites is a good solution for finding the starting points for a move to Belgium.
Several scenarios exist for expat businessmen working in Belgium: expats working for themselves, working for other expats, working for Belgian companies and expats working for British companies with offices and/or operations in Belgium.

All of them have one thing in common – a wealth of information the prospective businessman can take advantage of on visas, transport, accommodation, government permissions and licenses and last but definitely not least office and industrial etiquette for workers managers, and administrative staff.

The expats on various internet sites can provide the answers you need on just about any query you have and especially on best working practises. They have ‘been there, done that and got the t-shirt’ applies. Using the expat community web sites is a good solution to finding the starting points for a move to Belgium.

Going to Belgium under your own steam? Then extensive research and contacting people in the expat networks via the internet will definitely pay off and having the right visa is essential. Going to Belgium as a tourist or holiday visit is quite different to the visa for a final permanent move.

With UK membership of the EU up for a referendum in the UK in the not too distant future knowledge of the visa system and where your nearest Belgian embassy or consulate is will help if changes occur.

If your company is sending you then they will be able to advise you and make the necessary arrangements. They should be able to organise visas, airfares, hotel, guest house, help you meet business associates and so on. Certainty about your move outcome and knowing you have the right accommodations when you first arrive is paramount.

The job may well be one that you have desired for a long time and the change an exciting one, however, ensure you go to Belgium on a visit and have a look round before you make that irrevocable permanent move for yourself and family overseas if you have not already done so.

With UK membership of the EU up for a referendum in the UK in the not too distant future knowledge of the visa system and where your nearest Belgian embassy or consulate is will help if changes occur.

Vital tips:

1) Use the expat networks to make contact with other expat businessmen in Belgium and ‘pick their brains’. Make notes and bookmark  internet sites you know you will revisit again.

2) Visa requirements is the correct place to hat up on visas. Instructions given on this site are very specific and it is advisable to read it thoroughly.

3) ‘Know before you go’ by visiting lots of different places in Belgium on a short or not so short break holiday to be sure the city or town you choose to live in is right for you with your workplace easy to reach on public transport. Bruges is an excellent city to use as a base as it has great transport facilities to the other larger cities and towns like Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels. For accommodation go here: http://goo.gl/am8o7m

Languages and the Ways of Government.

One will need to understand, whether you are English or American, is the complete absence of a nationwide cultural infrastructure. Belgium is made up of language divisions as opposed to political ones. French, Dutch, German and Flemish are spoken in specific areas and regions in Belgium and each pretty much run their own administrations.

Brussels is officially bi-lingual, (whilst other cities are not), and it also holds the administrative seat for both French and Flemish speaking communities. It is not always easy to follow through on business with the Government as a result. You must persevere and learn who deals with what where and in what language.

If you do not yet speak French, Dutch or German it’s a good idea to start learning as soon as you can. Wikipedia has a really useful map of the language divisions in Belgium, showing the major language spoken in each one.

Brussels has an advantage for the English speaking expat. English is becoming established in Brussels as the common language for all thanks to NATO, the European Union and the huge numbers of foreign students living in this city.

Internations

Expatica

The Bulletin

 

Www.white-rooms.be offers serviced apartments in Bruges for B to B rentals for expats in Brussels, Ghent or Antwerp. We are a member of ASAPS (Association of Serviced Apartment Providers) and we will go for full accreditation this year.

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