With international travel potentially off the cards this summer, more Brits are looking for a getaway in the UK. So now is a better time than any to give your accommodation a revamp. Here, Alison Hughes, Interior Director at Coast Road Furniture shares her top tips for preparing your B&B for the staycation surge this summer.
With restrictions still in place to keep us safe from the coronavirus, it’s looking likely that holidays abroad will remain cancelled for the summer months ahead of us. But if you own a B&B in the UK, you’ll be pleased to hear that a staycation surge is coming, with research from YouGov showing that 44% of people around the world are planning domestic holidays instead this year.
So, whether you’re already busy taking reservations, or expect to be during the summer, now is a great time to give your Welsh B&B a revamp to make sure it stands out against the competition during this surge. Here, I’ll be sharing my top tips for getting your accommodation ready to welcome guests back in.
Update your aesthetic
If your B&B has been due an update for a while, now is the perfect opportunity to take some time to get it looking just as you’d like. If your walls are looking a little worn and scuffed, a fresh lick of paint can be a relatively cheap update and give your rooms and hallways a much newer and modern feel. Sick of white walls? Try incorporating an on-trend hue that can offer a pop of colour like Pantone’s Colours of the Year 2021, or another colour with warm undertones like sage as this can brighten up your B&B even during the dreariest of the Welsh weather.
As well as updating your colour scheme, it might also be time to analyse your existing furniture as things like uncomfortable beds and mattresses are a big pain point discussed in reviews. According to the Sleep Foundation, most mattresses need replacing every 6 to 8 years but this could be sooner in some cases. So, now is a better time than any to have a check for any signs of damage, exposed springs, or lumps, which will all suggest your mattresses need replacing. As well as this, you’ll need to pay attention to the bed frames. They shouldn’t squeak or feel wobbly. It may just be a case of tightening some screws, but in some cases, you’ll need to replace the whole bed.
As well as bedroom furniture, you should think about any chairs, tables, or sofas you have in communal areas. Your foyer will paint the first impression of your B&B for your visitors, so make sure any furniture that’s damaged or worn is replaced ahead of the staycation surge. You might also want to add some extra pieces like coffee tables with magazines on for a welcoming feel.
Add cosy soft furnishings
If you’re investing in new beds, sofas, and other furniture elements, it’ll be a nice idea to complement them with some new soft furnishings to give your B&B the ultimate cosy feel. So, think about scatter cushions for the beds, as well as chunky throws that can be used to cuddle up into on colder nights, or just used for decoration.
If you’ve got quite a simple, neutral theme running through your guest rooms to give it a hotel feel, soft furnishings are an easy way to add a pop of colour without throwing off the interior balance. They are also great for adding texture and even incorporating patterns into an otherwise simplistic guest room.
Refresh your health and safety protocols
With the pandemic shining an even bigger spotlight on the importance of health and safety, it’s essential that you give your protocols a refresh before opening your doors back up. It’ll help to think about potential worries for your guests and start by addressing those. For example, spreading your tables out and only offering table service to maintain social distancing measures even in the future, as well as providing plenty of sanitisers and masks for your guests.
You will also no doubt need to update your cleaning process to ensure all rooms and communal areas are regularly disinfected to protect all your guests. This might mean having to implement earlier check-out and later check-in times so your cleaning staff can get through all these extra measures in a sufficient manner. You’ll may also need to invest in some extra cleaning supplies to meet the new protocols and provide your staff with gloves and face masks for extra protection.
Improve your accessibility
If you’ve realised your B&B isn’t as accessible as it should be, now is a great time to begin taking some measures to ensure all guests can be catered for as well as possible. While some things might be out of budget or unable to go ahead due to space and planning permissions, anywhere you can make it easier for those with mobility difficulties and other impairments will make everyone much more comfortable.
Make sure you state any accessibility support you offer in your website descriptions or ads, so guests can book with confidence. Stating exactly what you have and don’t have to help them can also mean much better reviews, and happier visitors!
Remember the extra touches
Although the bigger issues at hand will need to be addressed to keep your guests happy, it’s also important to remember the extra little touches that will take your visitor’s B&B experience that extra mile. Things like complementary toiletries are always a nice treat, as is stocking the room up with a branded robe and slippers that they can use during their stay.
It’s likely your visitors will want to explore the local area of Wales you’re located in, so getting some leaflets printed with maps and your favourite recommendations for food and drinks, walking routes, and must-see landmarks are sure to be appreciated. You could even include a little book of Welsh phrases with pronunciations so guests can pick up a new language on their travels, as well as making it easier for them to read signage.
Make sure your B&B is top of the list for Brits looking to visit Wales for a staycation by getting it prepared for the summer surge. Take my top five interior tips on board and you’re sure to get plenty of compliments from your guests this year.