Read details of what we do and how we do it – in particular “How do I book”.
You also should find here answers to any questions you may have.
If there’s something missing, contact us and we’ll be happy to try to help.
- Enter your dates into the calendar, select number of bedrooms, bathrooms and people, choose a price range and click Submit. The properties shown are all potentially available.
- Select up to 3 properties and click Book
- We will then contact the owners in the order of your priority to determine what is available, and will normally be able to get back to you within 48 hours with a firm offer. If we have difficulty reaching the owners it might take a little longer.
- To secure a reservation we require payment of 10% of the total value of your booking (booking deposit) payable by Visa, MasterCard or American Express. Your booking is then confirmed.
- The balance is due no later than 28 days prior to your arrival together with a security deposit which varies from £200 to £1000 according to the property but is typically 40% of the cost of a week’s rental. If you are concerned about adverse exchange rate movements you are welcome to pay earlier. If you book within 28 days of arrival the whole amount is payable when you make your booking.
- For normal check-in and check-out times, what’s included in the price and other important details look at the answers to the questions below, which form part of our booking conditions.
- The security deposit, less any charges, is normally refunded to your credit or debit card no more than 15 days after your departure.
More than 28 days prior to arrival: loss of booking deposit. Between 28 days and 14 days prior to arrival: loss of 50% of the rental paid plus administration charge and any amendment fees. Less than 14 days prior to arrival and non arrivals: 100% of monies paid.
Significant alterations to bookings (change of dates or change of property – if available) will incur a £50 booking amendment fee. Change of arrival date by more than 30 days will count as cancellation. Change of departure date – unused days will be subject to the same conditions as cancellations. You are strongly advised to take out appropriate travel insurance to recover these costs in the event of unforeseen circumstances.
- Our Reservations Team work very closely together and it is likely that more than one person will be involved with your booking. Everyone involved has access to all the correspondence between us so, even though emails may come from different team members, they all will understand your requirements. Because all our emails contain links, your system may mark them as junk, please remember always to check for our emails in your spam folder.
Do call us on +44 20 8355 3192 if you have any questions. We’re here to help you!
Most of our properties are either the homes of Londoners who are away for an extended period, or an under-used pied-à-terre. All are hand picked and are places where we would be happy to stay ourselves! Most are no more than 10 minutes from the tube – often less. As well as a description and photos of the property we try to give you a feel for the area, its attractions and amenities.
Generally this is not possible except in the case of lets of 8 weeks or more when it might be able to be arranged. If you want to check out the area, for each property the exact location is shown on its map. A glance at our testimonials will reassure you that the descriptions and photographs accurately portray the properties. In many cases a previous guest will have agreed to act as a reference and we will supply their contact details on request.
Unless otherwise stated our minimum length of stay is 5 nights. For some properties it’s 7 nights. You can of course pay for the minimum number of nights but stay for fewer if you wish.
Unless specifically agreed otherwise, the maximum number of people who may occupy a property may not exceed the number advertised for the accommodation.
If two people cannot share a double bed, it may be possible to provide a comfortable air-mattress – ask when you make your booking. But please remember that unless specifically agreed otherwise, the maximum number of people who may occupy a property may not exceed the number advertised for the accommodation.
For most arrivals you will be able to go straight into your property whatever time you arrive in London. However occasionally, if the property is being used the previous night (and we might well not know this at the time you make your booking), this may not be possible. In this case we will try to make arrangements for you to leave your bags at the property or at a nearby secure location until it is ready, normally early afternoon. If you need guaranteed access first thing in the morning we suggest you make your booking starting from the day before.
We work closely with a reliable car company and can arrange a car to meet you at the airport if you wish. Costs vary depending on the number of people (size of car), the airport you are flying into and your destination in London. Guide prices are: for pick-ups from Heathrow for 2/3 people with luggage an estate car to central London (SW1) is £40, for larger parties an MPV at £55 will be needed; for Gatwick the costs are £60 (estate car) and £70 (MPV). We will give you a firm price when you book. Comparative costs are: Gatwick-Victoria (Gatwick Express) £17pp and then £4pp tube fare or £5-£15 taxi (and at busy times you may well have to queue for more than 30 mins for a taxi), Heathrow-Paddington (Heathrow Express) £16.50pp and then £4pp tube fare or £5-£15 taxi (again long queues at busy times), Heathrow-Central London by black cab (taxi) £40-£70 limited to 4 passengers + bags, Heathrow-Central London by tube £4pp but …… a nightmare with suitcases and rush hour crowding. Please let us know one way or the other.
One of our representatives will be at the property to welcome you, let you in and tell you all about the property. At the same time they’ll introduce you to London and the immediate area, covering such important points as where the local shops and restaurants are and how the transport system works. You’ll also be asked to sign our standard Holiday Let Agreement – available for inspection on request and you’ll be provided with 2 full sets of keys (3 for larger properties). Please note that, for our security and the security of the owner of the property, you will be asked to provide details of your passport and evidence of your home address – a driving licence or copy of a household utility bill is normally used.
If you are arriving outside our normal hours (before 8.00am or after 8.00pm) you’ll be asked to let yourself in and our representative will come to see you later that morning for early arrivals, or the following morning for late arrivals. In these cases, if you have requested a car to meet you at the airport the driver will have the key and, normally, the starter pack of breakfast provisions and basic toiletries. If you are arriving outside our normal times and making your own way to the property you will collect the key from a pick-up point in South Kensington and our representative will deliver the starter pack of breakfast provisions and basic toiletries when she comes to meet you.
The prices quoted are per property per night, payable in £s and include all taxes. In addition to the rent payable, for each let there is an additional charge of £90 – to cover all administrative costs and service elements.
The price includes the use of the property as a holiday rental, utilities (water, gas and electricity), use of the telephone but not the cost of telephone calls and use of towels (one set – hand towel and bath towel per person) and bed linen – please note that we do not usually supply face flannels / wash cloths.
The price also includes an end of stay clean, and mid-stay clean/cleans if staying for 10 nights or more.
All properties come with their own “mini guide” to the area covering the neighbourhood shops, local transport, pubs, restaurants and cafés. They also have a folder with brief notes on appliances, heating & hot water, security systems etc.
Our rates are based on stays of 3 weeks or less, reductions may be possible for stays over 21 nights. If you book consecutive rentals in London and Rome the security deposit on the second rental is reduced by up to 50% – with a minimum total on the two properties of £500 (€600).
In general – no. Very few of our owners allow pets, so cats and dogs are not permitted in our rentals without explicit prior permission.
We can supply a basic travel cot, which also doubles as a playpen, (+ bedding) and a booster seat for a nominal nightly charge.
Unless stated otherwise in the detailed description, all our properties have a washing machine. Some have a combined washer/dryer, some have a separate dryer and a few have drying racks. All have irons.
Remember that in England the ground, first and second floors are equivalent to the American first, second and third. Also that a “lift” is an elevator.
The climate in London is rarely extreme and heat-waves are very rare – maybe for a week or so every three or four years. Consequently very few private houses and flats have air-conditioning – it’s very much the exception rather than the rule. So, unless otherwise stated none of our London properties have air-conditioning. However they do all, without exception, have good heating for the winter months.
All our properties have been carefully selected and are of a standard appropriate to the price charged. They will always be clean and tidy. The owners will put away their immediate personal effects and make some drawer and hanging space available. Please remember this is their home or London pied-à-terre and inevitably they will still have some/most of their things there. Please also remember that all homes have their little idiosyncrasies and imperfections – that’s part of their charm. If you insist on 100% perfection then you should not book with us but consider rather a 4/5 star hotel or equivalent serviced accommodation. London, like all great cities, is permanently renewing itself. While it is highly unlikely, it is possible that construction/building work is happening within earshot of your rental. Like all city dwellers, we have no control over when such works begin or end, but if we have been informed we will of course advise you of their existence. If there are such works, building control regulations prohibit noise outside normal working hours, when you are likely to be out and about, and over weekends, keeping inconvenience to a minimum.
It’s provisions for a light, continental style, breakfast for the first couple of days of your stay: bread/rolls, butter, jams, tea and coffee, sugar, milk, fruit juice and cereals plus any special requests – subject to price and availability, and some initial basic toiletries such as soap and loo paper.
Of course. The cost of your calls will be charged against your deposit. One or two of our properties do not have landlines installed, if you need a cell phone that will work in the UK buy a phone that will operate on the 900 and 1800 MHz (European) bands, alternatively consider hiring from Adam Phones – www.adamphones.com. They can arrange delivery to your rental shortly after you arrive.
In the UK we are on 220/240 volts as opposed to the North American 110/120 system. This means that no North American electrical appliances will work unless it is dual voltage or you have a proper converter – not just an adaptor plug. Go to worldstandards for further information. Note that power units for laptops, notebooks, phones etc. are generally dual voltage so just an adaptor will normally suffice.
All our properties have a hairdryer so there is no need to bring your own. If you bring curlers or tongs you will need to bring a converter – see above.
Unless otherwise stated, all our properties have high-speed broadband internet access with details on the individual property page. Usage is for web browsing and email – costs incurred as a result of excess usage (music/video downloads/streaming) may be charged. While every effort will made to provide this facility it can not be guaranteed. We also suggest you bring an ethernet cable, and a USB / ethernet adapter if your device has no ethernet slot, in case you have difficulties with a wifi connection. There are internet cafés all over London and in many, like Starbucks, you can use your own notebook/laptop with a wifi connection. Some, check on-line, provide printing services.
Not having to eat out every meal and having a kitchen to prepare meals is one of the big advantages of a vacation rental. However no high-temperature stir-fry wok cooking please as this creates fatty smoke which our kitchens do not have the fume extractors to deal with and you will be asked to pay for the required deep cleaning.
Having one or two friends round for a drink or dinner is fine, but larger parties are not permitted in any of our properties.
The administration charge covers a mid-stay/weekly clean and change of towels and bed linen for rentals of more than 9 nights, and please note that some of our property owners insist that this is carried out, and/or end of stay cleaning and laundry. You will have to make your own beds, do your washing up and put out your rubbish. We can arrange for daily servicing at an additional cost if required.
It’s a number you can call, normally manned between 0800-1000 and 1700-1900 (when you are most likely to want to use it), to get advice on any questions you may have about London and your stay. We do not guarantee to provide answers to every question but, if we can’t we will certainly be able to point you in the right direction.
Check-out is normally by 10.00am but may be a little later by prior agreement. If you do need to stay significantly later than 10.00am (for late pm departures) you should book the property for the following night as well.
With the exception of the laundry, you are expected to leave the property in the same state as you found it.
We will normally refund your card with your security deposit less any charges incurred – telephone calls, extra cleaning (if required), damages etc. within 15 days of your departure.