Apartment Renting in Oaxaca, Mexico

Renting an apartment often presents a nice alternative to hotels or hostels for travelers staying in one location for a few days or longer. Hotels and hostels are more common than apartments, of course, but apartments should be considered.

Renting an apartment for a week or longer offers several advantages to staying in a hotel or hostel. One key advantage is cost: a nice apartment will just about always be cheaper if not far cheaper than a comparably nice hotel room. A second advantage is that an apartment almost by definition is far larger than any hotel room, and this is more important the longer the stay. Returning to a hotel room day after day where the only options are sitting on the one chair or lying on the bed gets old fast.

A third advantage is that an apartment has cooking facilities, which allows for additional savings; eating out daily adds up quickly. Additionally, people who have special dietary needs might prefer their own kitchen. Finally, one subtle advantage apartments have over both hotels and hostels includes allowing one to feel just a little less like a tourist and a little more like a local. Emerging from an unmarked building onto the street has a different feel from exiting a hotel.

Hostels can be quite inexpensive, and sometimes cost as little as an apartment, but that low cost comes with a price: shared dorms, bathrooms, and kitchen facilities. All can be shared, or sometimes a private room can be rented with a shared bath, or a private room and private bath can be rented with a shared kitchen. But the increased privacy costs more. Many people aren’t keen about sharing close quarters with strangers. This might be acceptable for more adventurous travelers (indeed, I shared quarters with strangers when I was younger) but most travelers want a nice, clean, quiet, and private place.

However, one advantage hotels and hostels have over apartments is that they tend to offer more service, including a desk clerk on duty most of the time, daily room cleaning, and so on. Apartments tend to be less directly service oriented. On-site manager, garbage removal, drinking water, sheets, towels, etc. might or not be part of the apartment package; you need to ask.

In Oaxaca, there are apartments that specifically cater to travelers and tourists, often associated with a hotel. They are prepared to deal with foreigners who don’t speak Spanish very well, and they also are likely to repair things that break and return your damage deposit when you leave. (Oaxacan landlords don’t necessarily do either!) There are other non-hotel affiliated apartment rentals that cater to the foreign traveler, but they aren’t always easy to find.

Finding them is not easy because there aren’t very many good ones. But here are a few tips that might help.

The first useful step, if you don’t have any local Oaxacan contacts, is to check the Internet. There are several good apartments listed that cater to foreigners and have nice, clean, tastefully decorated apartments at reasonable prices. Most are small, but they will be nice or at least nice enough. Arranging accommodations in advance is a huge relief to a lot of people, who then are able to focus their initial days or weeks on something other than trudging around looking for an apartment.

Info to seek — what is included in the price (gas, electric, city water, garbage removal, etc.), how much is the deposit, is there high speed Internet, kitchen furnished, maid service, and so on. Noise, access, security, pets, etc. Also inquire about the water tank capacity, a cistern, and its size. Apartments without adequate cisterns, especially during the dry season (Spring), can be very uncomfortable.

Be aware that apartment hunting after arriving in Oaxaca usually isn’t quite as easy and straightforward as in the US. In the US, many apartment buildings have an easily visible sign facing the street with contact info, and often basic info like how many rooms, baths, etc. And a quick phone call yields any additional basic info you need to decide if a showing is worth the time. In Oaxaca, signs out front are usually handwritten and have no info besides the phone number. So you often end up wasting time calling someone to discover it’s not worth seeing. If someone answers the phone. And if that person happens to know something about the apartment. Sometimes it takes multiple calls to get basic information.

Because there is no central listing of available rental apartments that I know of in Oaxaca, reliance on ad hoc listings is necessary. Newspapers have a small number of apartment rentals in their classified section but they tend toward the expensive. (This is not all bad: most gringos probably should look for more expensive apartments because the cheap ones are cheap for reasons prohibiting much gringo interest.) The Oaxaca Times, for example, could be checked on line before arriving.

A second place to look after arriving in Oaxaca is in the apartment listings at The Oaxaca Lending Library, on Pino Suarez just south of El Parque Llano. This is probably the best place to look, especially for nicer places that are gringo friendly.

After that, it’s pretty much walking around the streets and hit or miss. This last method is very time consuming and can be unpleasant and frustrating, especially when hot outside. I’ve looked at dozens of apartments with this method — it’s hot, apartments are far apart, sometimes the owners are 15 minutes late, etc. Often you can see within a nanosecond that the unit is nowhere near what you would consider — their definition of two bedrooms isn’t close to what you would call two bedrooms, the kitchen is grimy, etc. The primary advantage is learning the streets and neighborhoods and practicing Spanish. But gems are out there, however few and far between.

By all means consider renting an apartment if you are staying more than a few days, and especially if staying a week or longer. The extra space and the cost savings will make the search well worth the time.

Serviced Apartments Vs Hotels – Which Is the Best Choice?

Are you planning a trip? Whether you are going on a leisure trip, business trip, or you are moving, you will need to have good accommodations. A couple of the options available to you include luxury hotels and serviced apartments. Many people today simply think about checking into a nice hotel when they go on a trip. While you may be able to find some nice package deals, you may find that other lodging choices make more sense than a hotel. When planning your trip, consider both hotels and serviced apartments to decide which one is the right choice for you.

As you are comparing luxury hotels with serviced apartments, you’ll quickly find that the apartments can offer you more facilities and amenities than you will get in a hotel. With most of the apartments, you’ll be given kitchens that are fully functional. They often offer double and single bedrooms, along with nice living areas. Many come with amenities like broadband internet and cable television packages. They can offer you plenty of privacy too, which is not offered in many hotels. The great news is that these apartments can be found almost anywhere in the world, allowing you to enjoy their convenience, no matter where you decide to travel.

Do you travel with a pet? If you have a pet that you want to take with you when traveling, you’ll quickly find that many luxury hotels do not offer you the ability to keep your pet in your room. Even the most well mannered dogs will be rejected. However, you will find that some serviced apartments may offer the ability to bring along a cat or dog. Just keep in mind that you may be required to pay an extra deposit on the apartment if you decide to bring the family pet along. This allows you to easily bring your pet with you, which is especially helpful if you are relocating to a new area.

When comparing serviced apartments to hotels, you’ll find that the apartments allow you to enjoy the culture in the area. Most hotels keep you away from much of the local culture, but you’ll live alongside people from the area when you rent an apartment, which will help you enjoy learning more about the culture. You’ll also enjoy a more relaxed feel, since the apartment will begin to feel like home over time.

Overall, serviced apartments have a lot more to offer than luxury hotels. However, there are a few limitations that they have when compared to luxury hotels. First, you won’t get the room service that you get in a hotel. In a hotel your sheets are changed daily and your room serviced. Of course, you can choose to have a housekeeping service in your apartment, but this won’t include having new sheets given to you every day.

Although both options come with pros and cons, many people do find that the serviced apartments have more pros to offer than luxury hotels. They’ll even help you to save money compared to paying for a hotel, which is just one more reason they make a great choice.

Pattaya Apartments – How to Find the Right Apartment

Get to know Pattaya before you rent an apartment in Pattaya for long term. Rent a Motorbike or scooter and explore Pattaya for a few days if you are new to Pattaya. Visit as many areas as you can. You will see which areas you like and which areas fit your budget if you are on a budget.

Most Apartment complexes won’t rent to you for less than 3 – 6 months during high season. You want to make sure you like the area that you will be living in. There are as many apartments in Pattaya as there are grains of sand on the beaches in Pattaya.

You will find very large apartment complexes with hundreds of apartments and you will find smaller buildings with 10, 20 or 30 units. You will see so-called serviced apartments which mean nothing more than “ready to move in”.

Bring a notepad along and take notes of the areas you like most. Stop by apartment complexes and find the owner, manager or management office. The manager will most likely speak some English.

Talk to tenants and find out if they like living there and if they know about issues, if any. Once you found and narrowed down on an apartment, visit the apartment and area during different times of the day and night. This is important! This is Thailand. You don’t want to find out about bars that stay open all night right on your doorstep after you paid your rent and your deposit.

Standard deposit is usually one month rent, but it may be a little bit more than that if there will be a cleaning fee when you move out. Rents vary from as little as 3,500 Baht to 10’s of thousands a month depending on size, location, furniture, whether it has a kitchen or not and much more.

Apartments for less than 3500 Baht a month may not be suitable for most westerners. I have seen very nice and clean apartments for 3,500 Baht and I have seen not so nice ones for 10,000 Baht. For 10,000 Baht a month you should be able to rent a very nice 1 room studio style Apartment with a good kitchen and nice furniture.

Understand how much you will be paying for water and electricity. I have heard of low rents but extremely high charges for water and power. Make sure you write down the water and power reading when you move in. Get a copy of the apartment rules if one is available.

Other Things To Consider :

  • Check that the power works including light fixtures
  • Check there is water in kitchen, bath, and shower
  • Do you need Air Conditioning?
  • Do the windows have screens?
  • Is there safe parking?
  • Make your list…

Pattaya is not your normal kind of city. It is a party town in many areas and when you choose to rent an apartment you may want to check out the vicinity during daytime and nighttime. Are there any bars close by? Bars can be fun for someone coming to visit Pattaya for a short time. Bars may not be so much fun if you have one in your backyard. Bars in Pattaya oftentimes stay open 24/7.