A few years ago, I wrote about Paris Perfect, a source of luxury apartments in France. The company has expanded to Bali, Italy and London, and last week, my wife, son, mother-in-law, and I got a chance to experience London Perfect in England when we stayed at one of their apartments in Kensington.
As you probably know by now, there are a lot of pros and cons when it comes to renting an apartment. The pros: You get to live like a local, you have a lot more space, you won’t get nickel-and-dimed, you have laundry facilities, you can get away from the touristy sections, and you can save money by making meals at “home.” The cons: You don’t know exactly what you’ll get, if the place is clean or if you’ll find the keys (and what if you lose them?), you’re in someone’s lived-in apartment, you have to take the garbage out, and there’s no maid service.
There are a lot of choices when it comes to renting an apartment. What I love about London Perfect is below:
1. You know what you’re getting
You’ve probably heard the horror stories of renting an apartment with one of the big conglomerates in which the place is not how it appears online, the owners backed out at the last minute, the tenants were renting the place illegally, or the owner or manager shows up at the apartment while the guests are staying there. With London Perfect, you don’t have to worry about any of this. London Perfect is a boutique management company and only rents out luxury apartments, most of which are used specifically as vacation rentals.
2. They’re in the best locations
You know the old saying: location, location, location. When you’re buying a house or on vacation, location is indeed everything. That’s why London Perfect only has apartments in the best parts of town. In London, the rentals are in Kensington, Mayfair, Notting Hill, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Belgravia, and Holland Park. Here’s a complete listing of locations.
3. Seven days of the week there’s support/a greeter
Unlike most apartment rental sites, London Perfect eliminates one of the most stressful parts of renting an apartment: What happens if you can’t find the keys or you misplace them? London Perfect has an office nearby with seven-days-a-week support. So if you lock yourself out, you don’t have to break in or sleep on the street. The best part is that you let them know when you’ll be arriving and a greeter will meet you at that time to hand you the keys and show you around. Our greeter went above and beyond. Our flight was delayed by 12 hours so my mother-in-law, who was flying in a couple of hours after us to meet us, ended up arriving on her own. Thanks to Blacklane PASS, Blacklane and London Perfect, my mother-in-law, who gets nervous traveling internationally alone, had a completely smooth and stress-free arrival. The London Perfect greeter met her, showed her around the apartment, and even walked with her to a nearby grocery story so she would have food for herself and for our late arrival.
4. There are no pets and no smoking
If you have allergies or despise foul smells, you don’t have to worry about a London Perfect apartment not smelling up to par. That’s because they have a no-pets and no-smoking policy.
5. They provide a local guide book
You don’t have to guess or search apps to find where to shop and eat nearby, because each apartment comes with a curated guide book of favorite restaurants and cafés in the area. London Perfect also includes a guide to the local markets and supermarkets with opening hours, etc. They suggest great websites for information on monuments and tour ideas. There are even general ideas on shopping in London with important hints and tips on places to go and ideas for families and children.
Good to know
- They don’t disclose the address of the apartment until you rent to protect identities and offer safety to guests.
- The minimum stay is for seven nights and it’s not based on a Saturday-to-Saturday stay. Guests can arrive any day of the week as long as there’s availability and schedule to depart a week or more later. For extra nights beyond the first week, they charge the pro-rated nightly rental rate. However, they do accept stays of less than one week if it’s close to your travel dates and there’s a gap of a few nights between renters.
- The best apartments are booked up to a year in advance, often by returning guests.
- Price includes all taxes. The rental price includes utilities, sheets and towels, free high speed internet, taxes, etc. There are no extra fees or commissions but they do charge you for your personal phone usage.
- Cancelling more than 60 days before arrival date: Payments made are fully refundable, minus $250 administration fee and applicable fee charged by bank to process the refund. Cancelling between 60 and 30 days before arrival date: No refund unless dates are re-rented. Best efforts will be used to re-rent the dates. Should a refund be provided, refund will be 75% of the amount collected for the re-rented dates less a USD $250 administration fee. Cancelling 30 days or less prior to arrival date: Rent payment is non-refundable.
- You can rent Madonna’s former luxury London home at London Perfect. According to CNN, “Madonna’s former home consists of a light and airy open plan living room and kitchen area, two double bedrooms and two bathrooms. This high-ceilinged space is kitted out just as you’d expect a swanky London apartment to be — a stunning library, six-seater sofa, chrome kitchen, characterful period features and rich rugs.” Prices range from about $500 to $970 a night with a minimum four-night stay. The house will sleep a maximum of six, thanks to the addition of a sofa bed.
Our apartment was in South Kensington and we were just a 10-minute walk from Kensington Park and Kensington High Street where there are all kinds of shops, stores and restaurants.
The ones we frequented the most were: Marks & Spencer (the food court on the bottom floor) and Whole Foods (they have some good eateries upstairs). Just five minutes away was a little French café called Montparnasse with amazing pastries and tasty sandwiches (two sandwiches cost $11.09).
We were a short, 10-minute walk from Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens, which was the perfect place to take our two-year-old son every day to run around, chase squirrels, and look at the ducks and swans in the pond.