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Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Old Jan 10th 2006, 10:10 pm
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Default Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

This might not be the best place to ask this question as I know most readers are actually british expats (that being the site name!) but ....

If tourists from the US are visiting England, what websites would they look at to find accommodation in central London? I don't mean hotels, I mean self catering accom - a 1 bed flat or studio flat. I've found UK websites but I need the US ones that americans would search on.... I'm researching the merits of buying a small flat in central London for that purpose and just trying to find out the best method of marketing it to its intended target market and what sort of facilities Americans expect. I realise that whilst many people want flashy hotels, nowadays, some people don't want and can't afford that or prefer a little place they can call their own, where they can cook their own food and have their own space etc. And how near to central London do people want to be? I'm thinking pretty central but is that the case?

Any tips gratefully received.
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 10:29 pm
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

www.visitbritain.com

www.visitlondon.com

www.londontown.com
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Old Jan 10th 2006, 10:47 pm
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by britchicknyc
Buying a small flat in central london would be about the same price as a small country...

Average price of a flat in say Kensington And Chelsea is £576,244


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...l/county37.stm
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Old Jan 11th 2006, 12:06 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by cindyp
This might not be the best place to ask this question as I know most readers are actually british expats (that being the site name!) but ....

If tourists from the US are visiting England, what websites would they look at to find accommodation in central London? I don't mean hotels, I mean self catering accom - a 1 bed flat or studio flat. I've found UK websites but I need the US ones that americans would search on.... I'm researching the merits of buying a small flat in central London for that purpose and just trying to find out the best method of marketing it to its intended target market and what sort of facilities Americans expect. I realise that whilst many people want flashy hotels, nowadays, some people don't want and can't afford that or prefer a little place they can call their own, where they can cook their own food and have their own space etc. And how near to central London do people want to be? I'm thinking pretty central but is that the case?

Any tips gratefully received.
There's probably oodles of agencies that handle self-catering vacations for American visitors. You just have to conduct the right kind of web search.

I can't think of many Americans of working age who'd be able to take overseas vacations for at least a month which is probably the minimum period for self-catering non-hotel accommodation in London.


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Old Jan 11th 2006, 1:13 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by Ray
Buying a small flat in central london would be about the same price as a small country...

Average price of a flat in say Kensington And Chelsea is £576,244


http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/h...l/county37.stm

That's what I thought, til I looked at some estate agents and found a few studio flats with nice kitchens and bathrooms etc for £175,000 - one of them in Chelsea and another in Westminster. And quite a few including a one bedroom flat with gymnasium facilities etc in Newington for £170,000 (although what the maintenance fees on that one might be I don't like to think...). Don't believe everythign you read...

So that's why I'm wondering whether there is a niche for London studios or one beds as 'holiday rentals'. As long as there's a market for rentals of at least, say 4 days at a time, fine by me. I already rent a holiday house in spain so I'm used to arranging changeovers, maintenance etc long distance but I live 40 mins from London anyway and work part time in London so no problems sorting out changeovers etc.
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Old Jan 11th 2006, 1:14 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by NC Penguin
There's probably oodles of agencies that handle self-catering vacations for American visitors. You just have to conduct the right kind of web search.

I can't think of many Americans of working age who'd be able to take overseas vacations for at least a month which is probably the minimum period for self-catering non-hotel accommodation in London.

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I don't mind renting for shorter periods if the demand is there... I have been researching the London end of it and there are properties being rented for from 4 days, which I'm happy with.
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Old Jan 11th 2006, 1:15 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by britchicknyc

Thank you, I'll have a look at these....
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Old Jan 11th 2006, 1:17 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by NC Penguin
There's probably oodles of agencies that handle self-catering vacations for American visitors. You just have to conduct the right kind of web search.

I can't think of many Americans of working age who'd be able to take overseas vacations for at least a month which is probably the minimum period for self-catering non-hotel accommodation in London.


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Thanks for the tip NC Penguin. What terms would Americans be likely to search under? I've tried ' London tourist self catering apartments' and similar variations on a theme but none of these have brought up American sites, they are all UK ones. Any ideas?
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Old Jan 11th 2006, 2:15 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by cindyp
Thanks for the tip NC Penguin. What terms would Americans be likely to search under? I've tried ' London tourist self catering apartments' and similar variations on a theme but none of these have brought up American sites, they are all UK ones. Any ideas?


Look up 'serviced apartments' eg. the Ascott in London.

You would probably need to place a classified ad in the Arthur Frommer Budget Travel magazine (printed edition) but they do have a website you can check out.

You will need to provide a top-quality bathroom with a power shower, and ideally a US sized ice-making fridge-freezer to attract American tourists.

What about doing short-term rentals for American or other nationals who are on a company posting in London? My husband has sent his staff to London where his company is based to work on projects running for 3-6 months. You would be able to pick up info and possibly clients if you work with relocation agencies who are handling company transferees and finding accommodation for them.

We actually know an English guy who commutes between London and New Jersey, flying to his family in our town justfor the weekend (the wife is also English but refused to move back to London as they have a fabulous house here and she didn't want to go back to a less 'desirable' house in the UK). He has a small flat adjacent to Paddington station and just takes the Paddington - Heathrow Express to the airport.....must be quite a few people doing something similar as another friend used to work in Amsterdam Mon-Fri and flew home to London at the weekend. Perhaps a small pied-a-terre like this might be something to consider.
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Old Jan 11th 2006, 2:34 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by cindyp
That's what I thought, til I looked at some estate agents and found a few studio flats with nice kitchens and bathrooms etc for £175,000 - one of them in Chelsea and another in Westminster. And quite a few including a one bedroom flat with gymnasium facilities etc in Newington for £170,000 (although what the maintenance fees on that one might be I don't like to think...). Don't believe everythign you read...

So that's why I'm wondering whether there is a niche for London studios or one beds as 'holiday rentals'. As long as there's a market for rentals of at least, say 4 days at a time, fine by me. I already rent a holiday house in spain so I'm used to arranging changeovers, maintenance etc long distance but I live 40 mins from London anyway and work part time in London so no problems sorting out changeovers etc.
A studio is usually accommodation for one person or two at a push. For Americans, generally accustomed to space, it is probably not what Americans would desire for a vacation and if Americans stayed in such accommodation, certainly would not enjoy.

If you read reviews by Americans of British hotel rooms, you'll know what I mean.


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Old Jan 11th 2006, 2:42 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by NC Penguin
A studio is usually accommodation for one person or two at a push. For Americans, generally accustomed to space, it is probably not what Americans would desire for a vacation and if Americans stayed in such accommodation, certainly would not enjoy.

If you read reviews by Americans of British hotel rooms, you'll know what I mean.


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Yes, I know that the majority of Americans like a lot of space..... I've been looking at holiday rental sites to see what sort of London apartments seem to be the most booked up. Obviously when you see something that is nicely booked up they must be getting something right but on international websites you can't tell who it is who is doing the booking unless there are testimonials. I have seen a few nice testimonials for smallish flats and studios from American guests. But yours is a good point, perhaps if I do bite the bullet and go for it, Americans might not be my best target market... I guess a general website for holiday rentals targetted at a european or wider market will pull in people from a wide area. I guess as long as one is honest about the size of accommodation being provided and there are no nasty surprises then people will book according to whether they want what they see. Ta for the tip.
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Old Jan 11th 2006, 2:48 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by cindyp
Yes, I know that the majority of Americans like a lot of space..... I've been looking at holiday rental sites to see what sort of London apartments seem to be the most booked up. Obviously when you see something that is nicely booked up they must be getting something right but on international websites you can't tell who it is who is doing the booking unless there are testimonials. I have seen a few nice testimonials for smallish flats and studios from American guests. But yours is a good point, perhaps if I do bite the bullet and go for it, Americans might not be my best target market... I guess a general website for holiday rentals targetted at a european or wider market will pull in people from a wide area. I guess as long as one is honest about the size of accommodation being provided and there are no nasty surprises then people will book according to whether they want what they see. Ta for the tip.
If you're looking to make money on rentals, rentals as short as four days in length for a landlady who lives overseas is probably not going to be worth your while.

Have you looked at Citadines website? They're a French company that offers aparthotels in many central London locations. It's a good concept that is more popular in Europe than in the UK but it's catching on.


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Old Jan 11th 2006, 3:21 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Why does it have to be a US site? Surely if you're looking to stay in the UK, you'll look at a UK site? OH stays on and off (anything between 5-20 days at a time) at a rental in Mayfair through a UK site. He would never have found the same thing on a US site.
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Old Jan 11th 2006, 3:59 am
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Default Re: Visitors to London - where would you look to find accom?

Originally Posted by NC Penguin
If you're looking to make money on rentals, rentals as short as four days in length for a landlady who lives overseas is probably not going to be worth your while.

Have you looked at Citadines website? They're a French company that offers aparthotels in many central London locations. It's a good concept that is more popular in Europe than in the UK but it's catching on.


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Sorry, I'm confusing everyone - I don't live overseas, I live in London.... I'm picking brains overseas though.....cos I'm trying to find out whether the sites I'm searching on are the ones that people wanting to come to London would search on... cos I think different search engines in different countries come up with different results... but it sounds like maybe the thing to do is to just to put listing on a holiday rental site in the usual way...(should I ever get as far as purchasing said holiday property in London....)
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