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Questions for UK hosts only please :)

#1

Hi

I’m new in the airbnb world and setting up my first airbnb property. I have a question for other UK hosts as the cultural difference between UK and USA/Canada means answers from America aren’t so applicable. (Although obviously Americans can answer as what they would like as visiting guests but that just gets confusing. I’d rather just know what other UK hosts provide).

  1. Beds. Do you have the British style of bedding i.e. a mattress cover and a duvet (with duvet cover)? Or is it better to have a hotel style (which is more like the American style) of a flat sheet followed by one or two blankets and no duvet?

  2. Coffee. Is it necessary to provide fresh coffee beans and/or a fancy coffee maker/grinder or is it ok to provide instant coffee, maybe sachets of different varieties i.e. mochas, cappuccinos, espressos etc.
    I’m an avid tea drinker and have never drunk coffee in my life so I’m really stuck on this one.

  3. Do you have to provide a washing machine to your guests? Mine is situated in a utility/storage room which I plan to keep locked when I have guests staying as it’s going to be where I store everything + personal items.

  4. How do you deal with letters coming through your letterbox i.e. utility bills etc. Do you just trust your guests to put them aside for you and not open them? Obviously you can arrange for mail to go elsewhere and for paperless bills etc but there’s always going to be something that comes through the door occasionally…

  5. Do guests expect the place to be cleaned/fresh towels + sheets given daily? Or is this something that’s different for every airbnb and it’s up to me to state? If so what do you do?

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#2

Just to add - thank you very much for any replies to this.

And also, I will be vacating the property during guest stays so they will be having the whole place and I won’t be present.

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#3

Hi @HostWithTheToast,

I’m half and half - I was born and brought up in the UK (and ran a B & B there) and have lived for 25 years in the USA (which is where I host) so I don’t know if my answers will be typical or not but here goes:

  1. I use a fitted sheet with a duvet. I’ve hosted people from all over the world and have had plenty of people say how comfy the beds are. It’s also the easiest and quickest way to ensure fresh and clean bedding. I leave a spare flat sheet in the closet because I’ve read here (time and time again :slight_smile: ) that Americans like a top sheet between themselves and the duvet. Goodness knows why but there it is… but I can only remember it being used once or twice.

  2. I provide an electric kettle, a teapot, a cafetiere and a Keurig. I don’t supply beans for the cafetiere but if people are fussy, they can buy ground coffee locally. I supply cup thingies for the Keurig and herbal tea (no regular tea, they can buy that if they want it. I supply herbal because that’s what I drink).

  3. Yes but very few guests use it. I don’t see a problem with not letting guests near it. I’ve never had guests tell me that they chose our rentals because we have a washer.

  4. At the B & B we had one of those lockable cage thingies that went on the inside of the door to catch the incoming mail.

  5. It’s up to you but very few do offer daily service. For guests who are staying more than eight days I change the bedding and towels and clean the place (no charge) but that’s more for my benefit - spying. :wink: Americans seem to use more towels than people from Europe though. I leave the guests three bath towels, three smaller towels and two towelling bathrobes (for two people) regardless of the length of stay. If they want more they know they can just ask me.

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#4

thank you so much for the reply Jaquo that was really helpful :slight_smile:

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#5

1 - fitted sheet and duvet - cotton blanket also available.
2 - at breakfast we provide perked real coffee (Ringtons, which is very good). For the tray in the bedroom, instant and real coffee with a cafetiere.
3 - we’ve never had guests ask for laundry services but we’d have no problem in putting a few things in the machine for them.
4 - we’re retired and live on the premises so we’re here al day - the situation doesn’t arise.
5 - fresh towels on the fourth day, fresh bed linen on the seventh day.

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#6

As i will be renting out the full flat with exclusive use of the kitchen, would it be ok not to have a tray in the bedrooms? In fact I was kind of planning on having a “no food or drink in the bedrooms” rule. Does anyone else have this?

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#7

Hi @HostWithTheToast

  1. Beds. Do you have the British style of bedding i.e. a mattress cover and a duvet (with duvet cover)? Or is it better to have a hotel style (which is more like the American style) of a flat sheet followed by one or two blankets and no duvet?

Remember guests come from around the world so use bedding that works for the country you are based in.

From most of us in the UK that means, mattress protector, fitted sheets and a duvet.

  1. Coffee. Is it necessary to provide fresh coffee beans and/or a fancy coffee maker/grinder or is it ok to provide instant coffee, maybe sachets of different varieties i.e. mochas, cappuccinos, espressos etc.
    I’m an avid tea drinker and have never drunk coffee in my life so I’m really stuck on this one.

No. Depends on your price point. Just provide a filter jug and decant some fresh coffee into a sealable jar, decent instant coffee and tea. If you are a high end place you probably want a proper coffee machine

  1. Do you have to provide a washing machine to your guests? Mine is situated in a utility/storage room which I plan to keep locked when I have guests staying as it’s going to be where I store everything + personal items.

No

  1. How do you deal with letters coming through your letterbox i.e. utility bills etc. Do you just trust your guests to put them aside for you and not open them? Obviously you can arrange for mail to go elsewhere and for paperless bills etc but there’s always going to be something that comes through the door occasionally

Go paperless. Have a tray by the door with a note for mail to be put there.

  1. Do guests expect the place to be cleaned/fresh towels + sheets given daily? Or is this something that’s different for every airbnb and it’s up to me to state? If so what do you do?

No. Standard is on arrival. I would provide weekly changes of linen’/towels. For longer stays you might want to be in your house rules that there is a weekly clean at a charge of XX.

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#8

Yes. Put it in your house rules.

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#9

Hi Im uk host as well

  1. Yes I have duvet, duvet cover and fitted sheet.
  2. I provide instant coffee, sugar, tea bags and milky pods from poundland. If your listing is high-end some people will expect fancy things so a coffee machine would be better. Mochas and cappuccinos are rarely tasteful from sachets so I wouldnt bother. They can go to coffee places for those.
  3. No you dont have to provide a washing machine and you’re lucky you can lock it away.
  4. Change to paperless bills. You can see whats coming through for few months and contact the companies.
  5. Most airbnbs provide clean towels and the beds are made with fresh sheets for arrival. You dont have to provide any more after that, but you can see how it goes. I almost never have guests staying more that 4 nights so nobody has ever asked for fresh towels.

Of course you can have a “no food in bedrooms” rule that all your guests will just ignore :slight_smile:

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#10

Also a UK host with a small B&B. Welcome!

  1. Duvet and flat bottom sheets. Fitted sheets don’t store well in the linen cupboard without becoming crumpled.

    I recommend a look at Absolute Home Textiles’ website. Good quality, good pricing and bulk buys.

  2. Taylors of Harrogate have real coffee in bags, like teabags, including decaff. The most popular are the Hot Lava Java roast 6. Guests really like them to the extent that some will go and buy a supply to take home.

  3. I stopped offering use of the w/machine after people took the piss, even with a charge. Six pairs of socks? A handful of items daily? No thanks. I send sheets and duvets out to a laundry service, so they can send stuff out at the same time if they want/need to. You need to take account of wear and tear, utility costs etc etc.

  4. Paperless only goes so far. We have a mail box fixed to the wall outside by the front door.

  5. I keep our kitchen and guest dining room spotless daily, but never go into guest rooms until they leave, unless they are here for longer than 5/7 days, a rarity. Clean linen every day will eat into your profit margins, and your time.

Have you worked out your unit costs yet? It’s a really useful, eye opening exercise, even an essential one.

Hope this is helpful. Good luck!

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#11

We’re a B&B place rather than having a self-contained flat to let out. If guests have full and sole use of the kitchen then there’s no need to put anything in the bedroom. You can be quite sure that any no food or drink in the bedroom rule will be ignored, although if your guests are in a self-contained unit they probably won’t feel the necessity to eat in there.

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