Spoiled by choice: the right place to stay is not always easy to find


As private consumers, most of us are looking for a reasonable price performance ratio. We want to get the quality we seek for a fairly good price. The passionat amateur photographer will carefully compare all available quality tests. To paint a room, the mother meticulously chooses only the paint most harmless for health. Of course, the product has to be certified. And who has saved a few dollars, will put a lot of effort in finding a secure investment option.

And while traveling? In a hotel, it is fairly easy for business travelers and vacationers alike to assess the quality standard of the house. National ratings are well established in most countries. And the ones traveling a bit more, know that North American or European standards, such as the German DEHOGA certification, are not necessarily completely comparable.

Away from hotel rooms, it is more difficult to find reliable information about quality standards. If renting a holiday apartment or a private room, one mostly has to rely on their gut feeling or on recommendations of friends or acquaintances. Not to mention must hope that all desires upon the furnishing and quality are met.

Serviced apartments can be chosen as a third alternative. They are found a bit in a niche between the common hotel rooms and normal holiday apartments. For a few years, it has gotten a bit easier to find serviced apartments with a certified standard, at least in Germany. In 2005, the German independent quality instiute, TUV Rheinland, introduced a certification system to the public. It had been developed together with the Berlin-based company Boardinghouse Consulting and refers to the German hotel star certification, though not being completely comparable to it.

According to the certification, serviced apartments can be rated from “AA” for simple demands to “AAAAA” for apartments rented by guests with especially high demands. The minimum standards and requirements for certification are that the apartments must have a cooking facility, a fridge, tableware, cutlery, cooking equipment, and a washing machine must also be in the house or on the premises.

Whether selecting a hotel or serviced apartment, a reliable certification still gives the best orientation for the guest. This is true for the German, as well as for other markets. Especially in these times where more and more private accomodations are flooding the market, trustworthy standards and criteria are an important support when making a decision.