Duschel Apartments - About us
Q: Going on holiday in a foreign city, there are many options offered such as whether to stay in a hotel, in a lodge, in a private accommodation or in a holiday apartment. What actually makes holiday apartments so interesting?
Florian Duschel: In the first instance I would say it is definitely the individuality of the holidays. There are no obligations to adhere to, such as meal times. Guests live in the holiday apartment as they would live at home. Guests can cook what they would cook at home. And tenants can come and go whenever they like. They can simply live out their own individuality.
What types of guests make use of holiday apartments? Is it more families or business people or diplomats?
Our guests cover a wide spectrum. Families come with their babies and older children. There are many business people who stay in Vienna longer than seven days, but not long enough to rent a private apartment under the usual conditions.
There are quite a lot of Duschelapartments in Vienna. Where are these usually situated and what are the main characteristics of these apartments?
Duschelapartments have been on the market for six years now. We started off with two apartments in the 23rd district. We then decided to offer apartments in the centre of Vienna. 70% - 80% of the apartments are now in this unique location of Vienna with the city centre, the Inner Ring, the opera and the St. Stephan’s Cathedral all being very close. Here we also offer diversified furnishing characteristics.
We offer apartments that are furnished in a more rustical style, and apartments that are of a more modern style. The apartments are so close to the State Opera, that even by foot our guests are in town very quickly. Just for sightseeing it is not even necessary to take the subway.
Duschelapartments have a special name specifically in the United States, which of course is a great achievement for a private lessor. Why do people enjoy coming to you?
I would say it has to do with the opportunity to be able to live anonymously, privately and - if I may say so - in apartments hosted by nice people. Mrs. Duschel is very energetically involved and answers any inquiries quickly. I once had guests from Germany, who sent an inquiry at 10pm via our website and 15 minutes later they had already received an answer. They were delighted as they did not expect to receive an answer until the next morning. I then had a nice long chat with these nice people. When they entered the apartment, they were also very happy because it looked just like the photos they had seen on our website.
I think that it is simply the authenticity steming from our family that is so appealing. It is called Duschelapartments and our name is Duschel. We stand wholeheartedly behind our apartments with our name.
How does the process of moving into one of the apartments work? At a hotel, it is like this: I arrive, the reception is staffed around the clock, thus I can get the keys to the room at all times. However, your holiday apartments are scattered all around Vienna. How do I, as a guest, get hold of the keys when I arrive in one of your apartments?
To solve this problem we get into prior e-mail contact with our guest three or four days before the guest is due to arrive, requesting their arrival time and - if possible - also their flight details. That way we can check if the flight is arriving on time. Once the plane has landed, we call our guest and ask if they are arriving with a taxi, the CAT (City-Airport-Train) or by other transportation means.
We then await their arrival at the holiday apartment. After the welcome we enter the apartment together. I then always give a personal guided tour, in which I present the kitchen, how the appliances work and where everything can be found. I show the bathroom, the toilets and how to gain access to the internet – so that there are no problems later. Most of the time I also request a quick test by our guests, if they are able to access the internet using their own computer.
I always show our location on a city map, and the loctions of the most important sights. I explain how much the Vienna Card (Wien Card) costs, how much a train ticket costs, the best route to drive to Schönbrunn, and where the stations of sight-seeing busses are located. I simply make a small tour on the city map. Another important thing to clarify of course is where our guests can buy groceries. Simply said we give an all-round welcoming package wrapped up in a conversation.
In a hotel it is normally the case, that every 2-3 days service staff clean the room when the guests are out. It is surely more difficult to organize something like that in a holiday apartment. You do not know when the guests are in the apartment. How does that work when someone rents your apartment for two or three weeks or even longer?
We only change the linen on request, usually every three to seven days. We do also provide more towels at the beginning of the stay. If a guest stays longer than seven days, then a weekly cleaning takes place in which the linen is also changed – actually just like at home. At home you also do not clean the house every day or always take a fresh towel.
Living in a holiday apartment it means that I am responsible for myself – I have to prepare my own food. Are all necessary appliances and basic foodstuffs available?
In our apartments the kitchens are fully equipped. Everything that you would need for cooking is provided. The most important foodstuffs are made available in the apartments: sugar, salt, coffee filters, pepper, etc. If you are only visiting for 3-7 days there is usually no need for a full kilogram of sugar.
Duschelapartments are internationally occupied. Which countries do the guests come from?
We actually expect guests from throughout the world. Just yesterday I welcomed guests from South Africa again. The United States are very strongly represented, but we also have many Canadian visitors. We have also had guests from Brazil, New Zealand, and Australia. And of course English, Russian, German, Spanish and Italian guests.
Is there an apartment that stands out as favourite? Is there an apartment that is quite regularly booked?
This year there is one apartment booked out very well. I am, however, unable to say if there is a favourite apartment. The apartments with the "opera view" though are the most frequently accessed on our website.
One apartment is situated on the outskirts of Vienna, quite far away from the city centre. It must be beautiful based on the photos I have seen. Which types of guests generally make use of this apartment?
That is actually not an apartment as such, but rather a complete house with garden and two garages, situated in Gießhübl. That is a very nice area within the proximity of Vienna and has many vineyards. A wonderful "Heuriger" area which is situated right next to the business Campus 21. There are many companies, who employ foreign workers, situated in Campus 21. Due to this the house is mainly booked by these companies for their managers to stay in. And in most cases they do this for a rather longer period of time.
Thank you very much.