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Private apartments to compete with Kyiv’s expensive hotels

Kyiv’s hotels have a well-deserved reputation for being shabby and expensive. And Western businessmen have a well-deserved reputation for complaining about that unfortunate mix. Well they can stop complaining. An alternative has arrived: private apartments tailor made for Western businessmen. " We really faced a problem finding proper accommodation [in hotels] for our foreign guests," said Maryna Chekannikova, marketing manager at Business Link Training and Coordination Center. "At last, we discovered a good substitute- private apartments can serve businessmen much better than hotels," she said. Ukrainian company Teren Plus is a leasing agent that specializes in renting private apartments out to visiting businessmen for days or weeks at a time. "Currently, Western businessmen would prefer staying at fashionable apartments with a wide range of hotel services, rather than go to Kyiv’s hotels," said Teren Plus Director Serhy Shevchuk.

The practice of leasing out private apartments, widespread in other countries of Eastern Europe, usually targets tourists. So Teren Plus decided to adapt the strategy to businessmen. "We strive to work with multinational corporate clients," Shevchuk says. "Our strategy is to offer comfortable apartments with a full range hotel services as an alternative to existing hotels." Such apartments are based primarily in Kyiv’s center. According to Shevchuk, they must feature most modern conveniences, including a kitchen, bathroom, washing machine, working desk, and satellite TV. The kitchen should include amenities such as a microwave, toaster, coffee-maker and refrigerator. Service is important, as well. Teren Plus arranges cleaning twice a week and handles any technical problems that arise. In some cases, breakfast and ironing services are available. Sounds just like a Western-style hotel, right? Shevchuk likes to think so. "In such apartments, guests can both work and feel at home," Shevchuk said.

That’s exactly how guests don’t feel at the majority of Kyiv’s dreary, Soviet-era hotels. Yet those hotels get away with charging $135 to $200 a night. Teren Plus undercuts those rates, with prices in the $30 to $80 range. And unlike in most of Kyiv’s hotels, those prices include good service, Business Link’s Chekannikova added. "It is better to work through leasing agents, since they are quite efficient at finding an appropriate apartment and handling all negotiations."

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