With international travel plans off the cards for many, the UK staycation is set to boom this summer. Here, Alison Hughes, Interiors Director from Coast Road Furniture, shares her tips for preparing your B&B for the new arrivals.
Although restrictions are easing, it's looking likely that a trip abroad this summer is out of the question for many. In fact, 44% of Brits are planning on holidaying in the UK this year, according to a YouGov poll, which means your B&B should expect plenty of bookings.
Before you get ready to welcome guests back to your B&B, why not make use of the down time to freshen up your interiors? Whether it's a lick of paint or a few new pieces of furniture, the right preparations can make your business stand out from the rest and ensure your guests' stays are memorable for all the right reasons.
Here, I'll be giving you my tips for preparing your B&B for the staycation surge this summer.
Update your décor
When it comes to hotels and B&Bs, looks can matter a whole lot. So, while things are quiet, why not take the time to update your décor? This can be anything from a fresh coat of paint and new bedding, to replacing old carpets. Anything you can do to make things feel fresh and new can help make your B&B stand out.
When it comes to accommodation, keeping things simple is often the best way to go, as it means you can appeal to a wide variety of guests. Neutral colours such as white, grey, and brown are often a good idea. Then, you can inject some personality using coloured throw pillows, blankets, and wall art to brighten the space up and give your rooms a little individuality. Bold hues such as yellow, turquoise, sage green, and coral are good options that will give your guest rooms a fun summery vibe that's perfect for a UK staycation.
Not only can refreshing your décor help, but replacing old worn furniture can go a long way towards making your B&B more welcoming to guests. Remember that first impressions count. So, if you have any tired-looking sofas, chairs, or tables in your reception rooms, it's a good idea to swap them out now. While replacing furniture can add aesthetic appeal to your B&B, it can also make it much more comfortable for your guests, which can lead to great reviews and repeat stays.
According to the Sleep Foundation, you should replace beds and mattresses every six to eight years, but some may need replacing earlier if they start to show signs of damage. Assess your beds and mattresses for things like broken springs, sagging, or tears, as these are a clear sign that they need replacing.
When shopping for new mattresses for your B&B, you might notice that you can get a wide variety of firmness ratings. The right firmness rating is all a matter of preference but, for a B&B, we'd recommend a medium firmness to appeal to the widest range of sleepers.
Implement any tech
With the UK staycation set to be popular this year, you're potentially going to be quite busy. To stay on top of everything, it might be helpful to invest in new technology, such as a booking system like RoomRaccoon. This software can help you keep up to date with bookings so everything runs smoothly, reducing the likelihood of double bookings and mistakes. Implementing this now while things are quiet gives you and your staff time to get used to the new system and means you can iron out any kinks before the influx of guests starts to arrive.
Address accessibility issues
It's important that any guest who wants to stay at your B&B can do so comfortably. If your business isn't as accessible as it could be, now is a great time to give it a little revamp. This can be as simple as installing wheelchair ramps and handrails to assist those who need them. You could also consider adding a couple of reclining chairs and mattresses to your reception areas and in your guest rooms themselves.
Don't forget to add your accessibility information to your website or description on booking sites. Stating exactly what facilities you have means guests know exactly what to expect before they come, which can lead to better reviews.
Update your health and safety
After the last year, it's no surprise that guests will be more conscious of health and safety, which means you need to assure them that you're doing everything you need to do to follow the current guidelines. Updating your cleaning regime to disinfect all communal areas regularly, as well as ensuring all rooms are fully disinfected after each guest is a must. Providing hand sanitisers and extra face masks can also help ease your guests' worries.
Other examples that you could also consider include separating tables out in your restaurant or breakfast area, and offering more options for room service to adhere to social distancing guidelines. It might also be a good idea to stagger check-in and check out times to limit the amount of people in your reception area at one time.
The government's guidance for hotels and other guest accommodation includes plenty of advice for maintaining hygiene standards in your B&B, and it's important that you check back regularly to make sure you're following the most up-to-date guidance.
Add some finishing touches
While fresh décor and accessibility options are great for guest satisfaction, any additional little touches you add can help you bag those top reviews. Providing extra toiletries and refreshments in your room can help take your accommodation the extra mile. You could also consider adding more personal touches, such as locally produced snacks and drinks, or a map of the area complete with recommendations of places to visit.
Don't forget families too! For example, if you're a seaside resort, consider providing a small toy or a bucket and spade for the kids to enjoy.
With the UK staycation set to be the choice for many, now is the perfect time to update your B&B ready for the summer. By following my top five tips above, you're sure to increase the chances of getting some boasting reviews.
For more on RoomRaccoon’s all-in-one hotel software, visit www.roomraccoon.co.uk