user avatar image
6

Splurge or Save: Which property amenities are worth the money?

Whether opening for the first time or going through a refurbishment, getting your property amenities in order can be a big investment. How do you decide where to spend your budget?

Bedding? Toiletries? Furniture? Splurge or save, what are your best tips?

127 Replies

7
Thuild - Your …

Nothing beats a clean and upgraded bathroom, then a comfortable bed. The rest are not that very important if these 2 are in top shape.

Most bad reviews come from bathrooms and beds, so investment wise, do those 2, which can cost a lot but do help with increasing quality.

3rd would be the furniture, not many things are needed, plan to unclutter, always. Then think of a good quality toiletry set, after which focus on some extras and least, on technology upgrades.

Zsolt - www.thuild.com

5 months ago
6
Laura, Communi…

Hi Zsolt, great insight about what matters in the reviews. That's especially helpful for partners who are just starting out and don't have reviews yet.

And your comment about the technology updates reminds me of the discussion around smart TVs from a few months back :)

Take care!

5 months ago
7
Katerinka12

I totally agree with Zsolt PLUS number 3 is fast Internet speed

5 months ago
2
Jay

Another here that agrees with Zsolt. When a person goes into a bathroom and it is in dire need of an upgrade, ie cracked tiles, yellowed/stained grouting, grimy areas and generally in a poor state of disrepair, it makes a person feel icky using it.

When I renovated my property the first port of call were the bathrooms. Secondly is the bed/bedding. I've lost count of the number of times I've booked a stay around the country only for the bed to be rock hard and the bedding sub-standard - I stayed in West Sussex a year ago and was aghast to find that whilst there were clean sheets, the blanket on the bed was covered in stains and had chunks out of it. So when designing my rooms I ensured guests had a pocketed sprung mattress with a memory topper incorporated into it, as well as Egyptian cotton bedding and so far, I get a 10 from my guests - even had one guy who warned me at the start of his stay that he wouldn't sleep a wink as he suffered from a debilitating back condition, only for him to inform me that for the first time in years he slept an entire nine hours without waking once.

As for the wi-fi.. huge yes to that, too.

The majority of my guests haven't really bothered with the complementary toiletries even though they are good quality as guests tend to bring their own, so I'd be inclined to save in that area and more in the others mentioned.

I've also found it's more economical to have an outside company provide a laundry service than doing it in-house - far more expensive and time consuming to do it myself.

5 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…

I agree with Zsolt, bed, bathroom, room cleanliness is most important. Other factor is how your room can be advantage from other and how much your room rate can be sell.

5 months ago
3
Corinne Orde

You are lucky, Jay, that you managed to find a good laundry service. In my part of England (Kent) there are very few services that will collect and deliver, and they are so expensive that they take away far too much of my profit. I tried one such service and the sheets came back so badly pressed that I gave up on it and went back to doing it myself. I suspect that all the local hotels and B&Bs do their laundry in-house, so there is little demand and no competition — hence the high prices for the few services that do exist, which are some distance away and have a slow turnaround.

With the prospect of having to close off rooms simply to give me enough time to do the laundry, I was forced to rethink my systems and find a way of coping with the huge volume of laundry myself. I converted a disused bathroom into a laundry room, where I installed two large washing machines and a tumble dryer. I rigged up 10 parallel washing lines on a covered outside balcony nearby. I also invested in a good rotary linen press to iron the sheets. This works well, and I have managed to reduce the workload to an acceptable level. Because everything takes place in the same part of the house, it takes just a few minutes to hang the laundry and less than five minutes to iron a superkingsize duvet cover. This has only been possible because my house had the right layout and enough space. In general, however, southeast England is very poorly served when it comes to laundry services.

5 months ago
2
Jay

Hi Corinne, it's taken me several months of trial and error, with many occasions opening bedding ready to make up beds only to find covers sheets with stains they didn't go to the laundry with and then it's washing, bleaching, washing again, drying and ironing.. all time consuming. I'm fortunate in that when I first bought this place and prior to renovations I saw bedding on sale so even though I have seven letting rooms, I have enough bedding for four changes to tide me over during peak periods. I am now on my third laundry service - first time wash with them and they collected yesterday, with a return tomorrow so fingers crossed!

Well done you on being able to have the space to create a utility room large enough to do your own laundry, Corinne. Hats off to you for being able to iron a SKDC in less than five minutes, I have a professional heavy duty steam iron and even then it takes me half an hour LOL! It's even more crucial for me to have an outside laundry service as the water here is metered, incredibly expensive as we are charged twice each month, once for general water, another charge for waste water.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Katerinka12 so you have your answer here about mattresses. I agree with all about bed, bedding, bathroom and cleanliness. My best friend just gave me a fantastic present. A pair of excellent sheets and a two wonderful bath robes. I am saving both for my guests. I also provide bath sleepers, although they are cheap guests appreciate it. They usually don’t bring them with them. My Studio is spotless cleaned from top to bottom. In my bathroom everything is very clean including the sewage disposal. Due to my low budget I cannot afford to buy new furniture.
Fragrance Flowers from my garden, radiates happiness and is a must in my Studio.
Unfortunately I don’t have internet connection.
Clean, clean, clean .....
Keep on posting your suggestions are much appreciated.

5 months ago
7
Katerinka12

"My best friend just gave me a fantastic present. A pair of excellent sheets and a two wonderful bath robes."

If I am in her shoes, I will cry like a river.... My best friend will give away my gifts to strangers, that I didn't even know. Please, use them yourself, after all your guests need well rested, pampered host.

Cleanliness is something that can impress people irregardless how expensive the place is. I could remember one lady that brought several luggeses with her, full of personal stuff (bed sheets and so on). She got bathroom cleaner and went to the bathroom to clean, sincerely thinking that all places in the world are not clean enough. She and her husband live in different countries, so when they meet, they stay in different countries and different places. She was pleasantly surprised, that there is nothing to clean. The bathroom was shining.

5 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Till now no internet connection? I think nowadays Internet connection is more important rather than having TV (for your guests). There should be a way to organize Internet connection in your Studio. Mobile hotpot will do or simcards with wifi for the guests. I am sure you are missing a lot of reservation when they do not see so familiar and expected sign of Wifi in your listing...

5 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Hi Bandara,

"Other factor is how your room can be advantage from other and how much your room rate can be sell."

Please, share the "advantages". More beds? Computer desk? (I am thinking of adding these two).

Big mirrors? More expensive furniture? Cable channels? Bigger TV?

How do you go about the room rates, provided that breakfast is not possible?

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Katerinka12 I am laughing my head off.... Ha!ha!ha! I knew you would react like that... Actualy my friend gave me this present as a good start to my new challenge in hosting. And it was Katerinka12. My first guests were exceptional and exceptional was my first review....

No internet connection and never will be. I am using sim cards. They are very expensive. More expensive than hot water and electricity. Do you understand me???

5 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Wow, then it makes the difference. I hope you made good pictures of bathrobes and added them to your listing :)

Crying again. Sim cards more expensive than electricity in Europe? I do understand. I just hope that your guests are understanding... Not like mine, that don't understand that hot water, electricity and Space are extremely very expensive...

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

No, I havent taken pictures of the bath robes yet. Katerinka I need you to guide me.I think it doesnt count so much but you make me understand that it does. Thanks for suggesting.... Once again you have convinced me. I think no matter the cost I will give it a try and buy sim cards. If my reservations rise I will keep using them.

Thanks again, my beautiful girl, for urging me.....

5 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Mmmm... I am not insisting. I am just talking :) I think the cost matters. Especially knowing your character that you are the kind of person who will go out of her way trying to satisfy everyone.

Why not to ask guests, in written form (feedback) or verbally if they do really need Internet? If more than 50 percent say yes, then it's a time to make a move. And that move shouldn't put financial burden on your shoulders. After all, we are here to make money.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I appreciate your thoughfulness. Since I have joined the forum I was forced to use extra sim cards so I could have internet connection. Everybody needs internet. Some guests use their own data but they prefer to have free wifi, thats definitely. Even my 10 year old grandaughter cant do without internet when she visit us on weekends. She cannot understand why we dont have internet connection. She likes doing musically with her friends.

5 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…
Katerinka12 It can be such as, your bed is extra large than standard king size with pillow menu. Electric toilet seat. Premium jetted massage head shower, large TV screen that can mirror with Apple or Android phone. Premium Wi-Fi internet. etc..
5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Bandara what’s an electric toilet seat??? What exactly does it do?

5 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…

It's an Automatic bidet, a nozzle attached to an existing toilet, or a part of the toilet itself, for cleaning the anus and genitals. Some bidets of this type have one nozzle on the side rim for anus and genital areas, or two nozzles on the back rim.

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Thank you Bandara I’ve never seen that. Is it new??? It’s like old bidets. We used to have them in our bathrooms but nobody wants them anymore. Thank you for info. Wow technology is unbelievable...

5 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Thank you also for the descriptive beautiful picture...

5 months ago
1
Theolivetreevi…

I am a relatively new host and this is my first post, no-one mentioned any amenities for the garden (I have a villa with a pool) I would like to know what amenities others have for their guests ie table tennis - is it worth getting one.

4 months ago
2
Jay

Great question, TheOliveTreeVillabrac. If a property has enough space/area to facilitate a games room or area, I'd recommend providing that for guests. Table Tennis/Snooker table sounds great and entertaining for those quiet periods for visitors who want to just relax at the property as sometimes plans fall through. How wonderful to have a pool.

At my own property, this isn't viable as I have a Victorian B&B which means it's a tall building with three floors and is quite narrow that's typical of a property of this heritage. Most properties of this kind also do not have a garden, there is a small terraced area to the front of the property and I try to compensate by making it as pretty as possible, ie nicely tended borders, seating, etc.. and there's little else I can do, but then, given the location of my B&B, visitors tend not to spend much time in a property and want to go to the beach/town and amusements/pleasure park. On average, guests are in the property only as long as it takes them to get ready before they go out again.

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi! Theolivetreevillabrac and welcome to the forum. How wonderful to have a pool. Flamingo, Unicorn etc. water swimming mattresses, big lounge chairs are nice to have in the pool for relaxing and enjoying the sun...
Have a pleasant day...

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

I fell in love with those seats in Japan, they have them everywhere - cafes, bars... And here only Nobu hotel has it (my stay was magnificent there and I love their black robes and black slippers too).

Would you mind to share whats the budget for such seat? And did you buy them locally or had to import?

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

I have seen impressive number of homeowners breaking into tears after they realized that they have spent so much money on the expensive furniture and the apartment next door has cheapy cheapy furniture that looks like a doll house and yet their rate is the same.

I know for sure that no one will pay me for ANY kind of upgrade. For some of upgrades I can get occasional good review (only on Airbnb, not on Booking). I am only homeowner here in my area who has king size bed with premium quality orthopedic mattress. I have received few positive comments on the size of the bed as people find it practical to sleep there with the child or infant and fast Internet, which is pretty rare in our country too. But I never got any thank you or positive comments on:
1) very high ceilings
2) dramatic lights with remote control
3) the most expensive electric fan with ionizer and remote control
4) premium package for TV channels
5) luxury block out curtains, that completely block sunlight
6) orthopedic matress
7) luxury quality of dinnerware (to compare other homeowners provide popular now melanine dinnerware and this kind of plastic makes me feel like crying)
8) extra things like vodka shots, salad bowls, wine opener, bottle opener, scissors, many kinds of plates, different sizes of glasses, luxury wine glasses both for red and white wine... Should I even continue...
9) real oil paintings instead of funny cheapy prints
10) one of a kind of handmade decor and statues (well, one person said he liked "interior"
11) nice chandelier
12) bigger size apartments compare to all others in our area

Just recently I had two Japanese ladies that came from scuba diving and they wrote a negative review about... Just try to guess! About spices that had no expiration date!

I left those spices thinking that they might be useful for those, who love to cook. I brought these excellent spices personally from India and no way you can buy such good quality spices here... And what did I get? Destructive review...

Therefore my question to you, dear partners, do you need to fit to your level? I mean, does it make sense (and sense for us is money) to spend trying 2 stars property look like it is 5 star?

And when you post your comments, kindly mention what kind of hostel or 5 star hotel are you!

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

No expensive at all. Only clean and tidy with a good ambiance. My property is a very calm place where guests can have their batteries recharged.
I also have herbs and spices without expiration date. I personally pick them from my garden or from the valleys and mountains I visit. If guests want to Lear’s negative review they can find thousand reasons to complain about.
Cheers...

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Cleanliness is so important for hotels, that guests, who want to attack make sure their review will start with "dirty".

In my case the negative review was sincere, because Japanese guests did actually honestly believed that spices MUST have an expiration date! If I could only avoid those not really necessary extras, I will not get a bad review.

"You say it best when you say nothing at all..."

4 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…

M Adamopoulou For Japanese, they have it many year already. But for other Asian country, It just start getting popular in a few year ago.

4 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…

Katerinka12 In Thailand, we have company import from Japanese. And the price it's very vary depend on what function you want.

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Thanks -Bandara-Hotels-Resorts for info...

Have a pleasant day...

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Did any guest leave you review about toilet? Something like "oh, that toilet was wonderful"? :)

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

No Katerinka12 no review about toilet...

My bathroom although is a small one is a lovely one but no comment so far...

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

I double checked my comment reviews.

I have review comments about my spectular view to sea, mountains, beautiful garden, Studio very clean and tidy, fridge full of goodies even home made lemonade, hundred of fluffy towels, hot water. Studio fully equipped and looks better in real life than in pictures. Hosts are very polite, friendly, discreet willing to meet needs etc etc.... but no nothing about toilet.

4 months ago
6
Bandara Hotels…

We will have comment about toilet when it become dirty. And hot water not very hot (as Japanese guest love very very hot water).

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

M Adamopoulou, from my understanding once you will put electric toilet seat, guests will complain that hot water is not very hot :)

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

It’s nice that electric toilet doesn’t need hot water.
Katerinka12, no although I like the design and the “model” I don’t like it as an idea. I didn’t even like bidets when we had them. I prefer other ways to get cleaned...
Have a splendid day...

4 months ago
3
Richardloram

to me - a newbie here - bedding and bathrooms are top - then internet. I have a B'n'B in Liverpool so mainly people just sleep here as they are out all day and night. I can also fill the rooms with querky art by local artists - all for sale - now branching out to bike hire buisiness for guests - as this is the best way to see the city by far - cheers

4 months ago
6
Laura, Communi…

Hi Richard, welcome to the forum.

Fantastic idea to fill your property with quirky artwork for sale from local artists. Our February Photo Challenge will be posted on Friday, and it's all about how your property embraces the local culture. It'd be lovely to see your B'n'B. :)

Take care!

4 months ago
1
Gina

The Bed, The Breakfast, Privacy, Friendliness and Cleanliness given all these are top notch, guests are prepared to overlook anything else.

4 months ago
6
michael beeston

Wow...wonderful comments.....I fully agree

1. Clean and tidy bathrooms (a must)

2. Lovely bed, as the guests are normally tired after a long day out so need a good bed (very important)

3. Fast Internet..We are lucky as we have optic fibre and works so well and is unlimited. (great for business couples)

4. TV ( we have 2 x 50 inch, but these are only used for sport or News, as the guests are normally out enjoying Surfers Paradise and the Hinterland)

5. Furniture.....Once again not really that importation , as long as its clean and nice and not too old...hahaha..... I say that and our furniture and fittings are over 100 years old !!..But that is what makes our property a bit UNIQUE. !!!

6. We have professional cleaners who come in every time the property becomes vacant with beautiful stripped sheets /pillow cases and large excellent quality Towels/face towels and bath mats.

7. Our property on Booking comes up as exceptional and we really strive to keep up that word !!..it costs extra money BUT is worth all the effort and more.

8. "M" we don't have home made jams and things but leave a large bottle of Champagne in the Fridge/Sparkling water and plenty of coffee and tea for the guests and on a special occasion such as an anniversary or birthday...........Rita leaves a card and some Belgium chocolates !! yum yum.

9. The property MUST be as the best you can set it up,as FIRST impressions make the day for the guest and yourself.........For us CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN.

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hello Michael, so you are back....

100% agree with you CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN.

As for the Belgian chocolates they are the best. I love them.They are almost as good as my marmelades. Ha,ha,ha!!! My best friend has one of the famous store in Athens "Leonidas Belgian Chocolates", so I am very lucky.

Keep cool....

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Jay: Timeconsuming to do my own laundry? yes! Agree.. But I have most of my bedding real linen that I now purchase from Lituana ordered from an online creative site starting with an E, and is extra wide and super soft and that I wash in environmentally friendly washing powders and also don't contain perfumes etc. My top recommendation is: have the best beds you can afford and the best linen. My check out time is 11 and time and time again guests say, I'll be out by 10 but most of them sleep in since the bedding is so comfortable. Mind you after a lot of hiking the only thing your body wants is a great nights sleep.

Yes it is a lot of washing to do, especially when it rains the sheets are drying inside with the fireplace on in winter. My offer to my guests to make it extra cosy, special and unique.

Of course, I understand your point of view and great white crispy cotton is the next step. Anything better than polyester blend or polyester sheets.

I was staying once in a 4-star place in Central Otago. It looked quite posh and privately owned. But the sheets were polyester I found out after sweating away all night. That was not worth the money and so regretting it making the wrong choice.

I have learned to ask as well now going somewhere.

The four and five-star owners of stays should know whether their sheets are made of cotton or not and should be able to answer that question easily and honestly.

I don't have everything linen yet, but slowly working my way towards it. And having great reviews certainly help!

4 months ago
6
michael beeston

Hi "M"......its been and still is busy busy........love all the comments.

4 months ago
9
M Adamopoulou

Hi Michael, It's your busy time after all...

Take care and have a lot of fun....

4 months ago
7
Aaltje B.

Oh how fun this forum is. Specially following these two M Adamopoulou and Katerinka12 . You could make a book together, hahah!

I'm making small quiches, vegetarian with two different kinds of cheeses, and vegetables in it.

To add on my tray with breakfast goodies. It doesn't cost much and it is a nice gesture. And no, my quiches don't have use by dates as well, hahahaaaaaaa :)

I just got another 10 as a reward for hosting. I am stoked! Guests review rave most about us being helpful, and kind. All these things don't cost a thing. And that is the best part.

A smile and some great tips go a long way!! Happy hosting everyone :):)

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

Hi Richard,

"I can also fill the rooms with querky art by local artists" that's so nice idea, I have questions though.

What will you do if the guests will damage the art? I guess, usual security deposit will not work as its unique and one of a kind items.

If I am prospective buyer, how can I see the art? Should I book the room furst and stay in order to see the art?

4 months ago
7
Katerinka12

"Furniture.....Once again not really that importation , as long as its clean and nice and not too old...hahaha..... I say that and our furniture and fittings are over 100 years old !!..But that is what makes our property a bit UNIQUE. !!!"

Michael, we got a review from a guy, who stayed at very low last minute price:"furniture is out dated and needs upgrade. Flowers on the pillows... Feels like visiting grandma place" :)

I didn't know I am grandma at 30 plus. As much as I like antiques, unique pieces and items "start of a conversation" I will keep them for myself. And one day, when I will be grandma, I will start the place like Michael, for those people that understand :)

Polyester linens sound like a turn off and I honestly thought that even 1 star hotels use cotton. Lousy, cheap, but cotton!

4 months ago