At first, staying long-term in a Luxury serviced apartment seems like a dream. Friendly staff that greets you, lovely and clean facilities, housekeeping....but then you start to realise that a hotel is not a home!
We were not particularly lucky with our house hunt (see my blog post from 16 January). It's not easy to find apartments with 4 bedrooms in Beijing and what we did find was either very traditional Chinese style, over budget or not approved for security reasons.
But here we are!
On 18 March we moved into our new apartment. The compound (in China we use the word "compound" also for apartment buildings) is located right by the enormous Chaoyang park. A lovely area that has everything! From the park to restaurants, local markets, shopping mall, and supermarkets. The building has a big reception area, a gym and a pool on the ground floor. It consists of 4 towers (each of 25 floors) and although I don't know the percentage, the majority of the tenants are expats.
Private Chinese landlord - not always a success story!
Many of the apartments in our building are owned by the property developers. In general these apartments live up to a good general standard in terms of renovation, cleanliness etc. Unfortunately it is sometimes a different story with private landlords (our case).
The first time I visited the apartment I noticed immediately that there were many things that needed to be fixed. In Beijing even new buildings grow old very fast (often due to the bad quality of materials used - e.g the wooden floors, the kitchen appliances etc.). But this one was particularly worn down and in need of some tlc and deep cleaning!
Most things were repaired before we moved in (as per contract) but the cleanliness was a different story!
This is what it looked like the morning we were supposed to move in:
It took 4 cleaners a whole day to clean the kitchen only and I then hired an extra two for two days and it began to look ok. With most of the boxes unpacked and some hard (ish 😉) work by the cleaners, this place is starting to look like a home.
...and in my next blog post I'll take you around our neighbourhood! See you then