We are very proud of our reviews and recommendations across the various platforms and we work very hard to maintain them, we like to think that we 'go out of our way' for our guests and whenever possible we will do whatever we can to make your stay the best. Of course there are limitations on this, and sometimes that is financial limitations.
On some of the sites we are on (airbnb, booking.com etc) they specifically ask guests, to give us a rating for value for money as part of the review process, and I have to be honest with you if we are marked down this tends to be the area that our review score takes a bit of a hit. I have noticed recently that it feels like there is a big pressure on small businesses in all sectors to drop their prices, with a lot of people having to justify why they charge what they charge.
Since owning a holiday accommodation business it has really given me an alternative perspective on how much is 'reasonable' for a specific room/accommodation, and I decided to do a little research to see what you could get for your money in our local area.
So what did I find? First of all let's take a look at The Loft.
What do you get when you book The Loft?
- A large bedroom (17.5ft x 12ft or 5.3m x 3.6m)
- Super king size bed (aptly nicknamed 'the bed of dreams by some of our guests)
- Stylishly decorated
- Cuddle chair
- Smart TV
- private bathroom with bath and shower over bath
- Views over the Staffordshire Countryside, including our glamping site
- Your own fully equipped kitchen
- A fridge/freezer
- A wax melt burning on arrival to greet you with a lovely welcoming scent
- Neals Yard Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, face wash, shower gel, pillow spray and facial mist Total value of all of these bottles is £74.90- please use freely during your stay but do not remove from The Loft)
- Fluffy towels (2 x bath, 3 x hand towels)
- Option to bring a dog (£30 dog fee goes towards an even more thorough clean ready for the next guests in case of allergies, lingering smells etc)
- Use of a hot tub
- Use of our 24 seater Finnish BBQ hut
- A breakfast hamper if you have booked directly with us and through some OTAs (online travel agents)
- Tea, coffee, sugar and milk
- Outdoor seating areas
- Optional extras including but not limited to: cocktails, wine, massage treatments, afternoon tea, dog walking & grooming, BBQ hampers, robe hire, decorations for special occasions already put up ready for your arrival.
- Free parking
- Free wifi
- And of course us being on hand to offer any advice or suggestions for places to visit and local restaurants/pubs.
What does this all cost you?
£105.50 per night in low season (or £94.50 if you book for 7 nights or more)
£115.50 in mid season (£105.50 if you book 7 nights or more)
£120.50 in high season (£109.50 if you book 7 nights or more)
Our costs are: time spent organising all of the above as well as the cost of purchasing the above and replacing worn items, refreshing decor etc, housekeeper wages, administration costs, professional costs, gardening costs, washing and ironing costs, running of the hot tub including daily checks, electricity and chemicals to keep it sanitary, general utility bills and council tax, our booking system also costs money, marketing, commission to online travel agents, waste management, as well as, of course, insurance. Then there is time spent during a guest stay; although all of our accommodation is self-catering we are generally around to help out when needed, this may include delivering charcoal/BBQs, wine and other extras, starting BBQs and fires for guests who may be struggling, providing useful information about the local area, places to eat and visit etc.
So what can you get for a similar price around us? All of the following prices were taken from dates that would fall in our mid-season months for a single night stay which would cost £115.50 for a single night in The Loft.
The Holiday Inn double room (room only) with breakfast: £129
The Cottage deluxe double room with breakfast £99
The Cottage superior double room with breakfast £109
The Luxe apartments sleeps 2 no breakfast £85
Dovecliffe Hall standard double with breakfast £120
The Staff of Life standard double room with breakfast £105
The Staff of Life superior double with breakfast £140
Whilst all lovely, and great value for money none of these offer facilities such as Hot tubs or a BBQ hut, although some of them are pubs and therefore ready cooked meals can be purchased onsite (although we would like to let you into a little secret at this point; we are currently awaiting approval of business permission for a Takeaway cafe, think tasty street food options, from the building in our car park). We also have a lovely countryside location to offer.
While our prices are the same across most sites, we regularly offer discounts on our own website that you cannot access through any of the OTAs. It is also worth noting that with some sites, they add a service charge on top of our fees. For example on a recent 3 night stay (inc dog) in The Loft our fees, which we paid commission on, were £375. The total amount that the guest paid was £438.53 as the guest was charged a £63.53 service charge. Of course this service charge is how these sites stay in business however it is worth noting that this is not actually the price we, as the accommodation provider, are charging= just one of the many benefits of booking direct.
So all in all we like to think we are offering value for money, and we hope you find this blog post informative and enlightening as to what actually goes into your stay behind the scenes.