Next Year's Big Plan!

So … now that we only have 6 weeks of our season to go, we’re beginning to think about next year. Our set-up is two listings: a one-bedroomed garden apartment with covered porch and a top-floor suite. Because there are no kitchen facilities in the suite we serve breakfast on the terrace. The suite can be accessed from our part of the house but there is also direct access from the garden and pool (up 2 flights of stairs.)

I am, to be frank, getting a bit tired of preparing breakfasts and have been thinking for some time of turning the suite into an “entire home” by installing a small kitchen. Size-wise it’s do-able, and would be slightly smaller than the garden apartment (in fact it’s about the same size as the apartment we often stay in when we visit Cape Town and that doesn’t feel too small for us.)

The main reason for this plan is that the suite only gets booked about 60% of the time that the apartment does (and I think that sometimes people only book the suite because the apartment isn’t available and they see we have another property). The apartment is booked as much as we want it to be during our season,

Our “target market” seems to have become: youngish (late 20s to early 40s) professional couples from Northern Europe (Dutch, German, French - in August - and Brits) or two friends or occasionally Mother/daughter travelling together, who want somewhere within reach by car of a nice town but also quiet where they can relax. With a pool. Oh, and length of stay usually between 5 and 10 days - we never have business travellers, always holidaymakers.

So, my question to the expert panel is: do you think that these people are more likely to filter by “entire home” than by “private room”? When I travel I always do unless it’s a one or two-night stay. Nothing to do with the privacy aspect (and we do make it clear we live on the property here) but just because I like to have a kitchen, however small. Obviously it will only be worth doing if we can recoup the cost by more bookings.

I think some people here have done something similar (what has happened to Nancy Mooney, btw?) and would like their and of course everyone else’s input!

I agree that people filter by whole house, but in reality, that doesn’t actually guarantee a kitchen. All it guarantees is a separate entrance.

I think that having a modest kitchen could very well improve your occupancy rate, however. The question for you would be how much kitchen. A cooktop seems like a given, even three burners, or even 2. I think that a toaster oven would be enough, a real one, not the crap ones, along with a small fridge and the ubiquitous microwave. A range (thinking 24" apartment size) would mean cleaning an oven so only you know if this feels like “too” much.

As you know, I have a shared room situation. Each day, I place breakfast in their rooms so that they can eat when they want to, and I don’t have to organize making them breakfast at a particular time. The items that I serve do not need to be heated. They are either room temperature (breads, granola, fruit, instant oatmeal) or cold (yogurt, milk, cooked eggs.)

This is the in-between option. You are still dealing with breakfast, but on your own schedule.

Just stop offering breakfast. Almost every airbnb we’ve stayed at offered no breakfast and it didn’t matter to me. If it’s a longer stay (more than 1 week) having a coffee maker, toaster and small fridge requires no renovations and is what most hotels offer. Cooktops mean heavier cooking and grease and smoke and require venting.
I would save my money unless you think it will increase the value of your property when and if you sell. Or if you want a long term tenant.

I was thinking of dcmooney as well. ???

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You go into their rooms during their stay??

Of course. How else could the breakfast fairy place their items in the rooms?


Hmm, my policy is to never ask to enter their rooms (barring emergencies of course). I mean, I don’t want them embarrassed at me seeing their stuff. Am I in the minority doing so?

I have no idea if you are in the minority or majority. The breakfast fairy is absolutely disclosed in my listing in several places. None of my guests have had an issue with this. There might be people who would have had an issue who simply booked elsewhere. But, this thread is about a kitchen.



Unless you want the added chore of scraping burnt cheese (think pizza) and sauce or oil splatters from the inside of the oven, I would ix-nay having a range with oven. A cooktop with a couple of burners would be ideal. Toaster ovens are a pain to clean also.

For some reason, guests always want to make pizza in a rental. I say, let them order in or do microwave pizzas. :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

oxymoron alert! :slight_smile:

I have bought about 10 replacement trays for our oven at about $2.00 a piece. Only needed to replace one so far.

Please explain how those two words are considered an oxymoron. Should I have said microwavable pizzas?

What sort of oven trays? (Can’t picture what they might be.)


In my opinion, absolutely no product that includes bread should go into the microwave. Just destroys the crumb of bread.

The oven tray is the bottom tray that catches crumbs, etc. If there is a cheese drip, this is where it ends up. You can pull the tray out to wash, but sometimes it is hopeless, so you can slip a new one in.


Ah so! Well, they make the mini-size pizzas with the self-browning feature in the container. Of course the ideal is not to do pizzas in a microwave but we’re not talking about the best way to prepare them. (BTW, I still don’t understand your label oxymoron.)

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Especially if you are just trying to replace breakfast I vote that you not make a full kitchen. So a refrigerator, microwave and a toaster oven. A kettle and coffee making device. (I love my Breville.) A few dishes. No oven, no cooktop.

The things that I most enjoy about having such facilities available in my rental are 1) having a fridge for cold beer, leftovers or some cheese and lunchmeat, half and half for my coffee and 2) a way to reheat foods I might have. Most things that I’d like for breakfast don’t have to be cooked. I don’t want to do full blown cooking while on vacation.

Since I remodeled to remove the kitchen and any breakfast but added a fridge, mircowave, kettle and privacy, my bookings increased.

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Since the suite has it’s own access and an access from your house, why not consider offering two options: self-catering OR breakfast included. This way you can serve both markets :wink:.

As for a kitchen, I would consider putting in a very basic kitchenette with just one burner. It doesn’t take up too much space and it’s not a huge investment. Think of an Ikea thing like this:
Add a small microwave.


That one burner is tooo cu-ute!


I’m not sure that qualifies ‘microwave pizzas’ to be termed an oxymoron. Maybe moron (not referring to you @SandyToes mate :slight_smile:) but.


Yes, that did enter my (moronic) mind. :slight_smile:

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A microwave oxymoron would be ‘zero-frequency microwave’ or ‘heat-free microwave’,
A pizza oxymoron would be, hmm…, ‘bread-free vegan pizza’?

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Okay, Mr. Brainiac, you qualify for a larger top hat…the next size up.

This next stop is mine. Adios.

I would prefer privacy over breakfast (I’m not in your target age-range). Many have suggested ideas for a basic kitchen.

The one thing I would add to this - especially if you have limited space - is that you can have a microwave/convection oven. I love mine! It may cost more, but it’s two ovens in one, and you can cook that pizza in a “normal” oven to preserve the crispy crust.

In @GutHend’s Ikea example, you could mount the convection/microwave over top of the one-burner and you’ve have a great little complete kitchen.

Make sure you have enough cookware for them to use it. We rented a 2-bedroom condo in Israel with next to no cookware in the mini-kitchen which rendered it practically useless.