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Seeking the wisdom of those who know...

 
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Never Idle



Joined: 04 May 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: Seeking the wisdom of those who know... Reply with quote

Hi Folks,

A few questions from a newbie and I'm hoping people here will be kind enough to share their wisdom and experience.

My other half and I are setting up a FHL in Edinburgh and will be managing it while also working full time. I realise this will be a lot of work but we don't have kids or pets so have time free and plan to do changeovers ourselves.

From what I can work out, using a launderette will be far more expensive than doing the laundry at home. We will sleep 4 with an option of a sofa bed and we are expecting high occupancy levels so there will be a fair bit of laundry. I plan to set up two washing machines and two tumble dryers in our garage, which means I can keep on top if the laundry as we go. I looked at one large capacity (10kg plus) washing machine and dryer, but they seem to take twice as long to do the load so it makes more sense to have two of each machine and get it done in half the time. The downside of this is that the machines may not cope with duvets, but I've washed duvets in a 7kg capacity machine before and it worked fine. Would anyone disagree with this logic?

The washing seems quite straightforward, the ironing is the time consuming bit. I'm thinking a steam generator iron and a large ironing board would be a better choice than a steam press iron machine but people on here seem pretty happy with the steam presses. Does anyone use a steam generator iron and has anyone used both and have a preference?

Fitted sheets are easier to manage and put on the beds but it will be harder to iron them and get them looking crisp. How to people find using fitted sheets?

Lastly, I can't help but feel that zip and link beds would be a better choice for flexibility than two singles, but the other bedroom will have a king size bed in it, so realistically I can't see that two doubles will be needed that often. Has anyone else got a zip and link set in one room and a double in the other and if so, how often do you need to put the zip and links together? Do guests find them comfy or do you put a topper on them? Has anyone got zip and links and wish they had just got single beds instead?

Do people think beds without base boards are better so that taller guests can stretch out?

Lastly, do you think your guests are looking for your accommodation to be cosy and more like a home from home, or do they look for a hotel chic feel? Obviously everyone's place is different and depends on location, target market etc, but does anyone do the hotel chic look and do you find it gets good feedback?

Thanks very much in advance for any and all responses. Your answers to these questions will help me to make some very important spending decisions!
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FelicityA



Joined: 05 Nov 2010
Posts: 2750
Location: Cotswolds

PostPosted: Sat May 06, 2017 11:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Seeking the wisdom of those who know... Reply with quote

Welcome to LMH, Never Idle.

My thoughts on your questions but you will probably get conflicting answers!

I have an 11 kg machine and a 7 kg one. I use both every week and I often have 5 loads in all between them (extra things like bedside mats, bedspreads, throws, on a need to basis, add to the amount plus I have some coloured towels which can't go in with whites). My cottage sleeps 4. The big machine is great for duvets. I wouldn't like to risk the smaller one with those. I rarely use the tumble drier except to fluff up towels as it is so expensive to run but I have boiler room and the great outdoors for drying.

I have a steam generator iron and love it. I think I would like a steam press but I can't see that coping with fitted sheets and you have to be careful if you have plastic poppers on duvets etc. However, a steam press takes up a lot of room so I discounted on that basis. I have the biggest ironing board from John Lewis.

It's a trade off between easier bedmaking/easier ironing when you consider sheets. I have fitted sheets as the rushed time is the changeover time. The ironing, I can do any time. Yes, they are pain to iron and fold. The fact that they pull tight on the mattress helps to pull out any creases you might have put in them.

I have approached this by trial and error and find by far the best solution (for me!) is to have a super king bed base with two single mattresses made up as 'Austrian twins'. This way a couple or two (close) friends can sleep in it and I have none of the faff of changing from double to single set up. I started out offering it made up as one bed or as two (albeit close). But then I decided to just have it as two. I can't tell you the number of people who have left and said they are going to do this now at home (It's a German/Austrian/Swiss thing) as they have different heat preferences. Each having their own duvet has apparently improved marital harmony. My other room has two singles which can't be put together. I don't often have two couples - it is usually a couple with a mother or one friend or children. I think I have only once been asked to put the twins together and had to explain it was not possible because of their design.

Definitely no base board is better. I made the mistake of having a base board to start with (and I still have single beds with ends). Stupid of me as I have a 6'6" husband who can't fit on a normal bed and needs his feet over the edge. I realised some of my tall guests must be cramped. My super king has no end now.

I can't really answer this except to say what I do seems to suit my guests (as they come back so you could say it gets good feedback). Not hotel chic. I go for the small 'country house' look (Persian rugs, antique furniture mixed with some modern furniture). Guests are mainly over 50's American or British. I think they don't want hotel chic as they will go to a hotel if they are looking for that sort of thing and everything seems to be beige or grey now.
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greenbarn



Joined: 30 May 2009
Posts: 5883
Location: The Westmorland Dales, Cumbria

PostPosted: Sun May 07, 2017 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: Seeking the wisdom of those who know... Reply with quote

Never Idle wrote:

I plan to set up two washing machines and two tumble dryers in our garage, which means I can keep on top if the laundry as we go. I looked at one large capacity (10kg plus) washing machine and dryer, but they seem to take twice as long to do the load so it makes more sense to have two of each machine and get it done in half the time.


Have a look at commercial dryers. You’ll need a dedicated power circuit as they draw 20 amps plus, but you might be pushing it running two domestic dryers simultaneously on the same circuit anyway. We’ve got a Whirlpool (and its matching big washing machine). It’s a cheaper option than buying two decent domestic dryers; I wouldn’t be surprised if it worked out cheaper to run but it’s Sunday and the maths is beyond me...

Never Idle wrote:

The washing seems quite straightforward, the ironing is the time consuming bit. I'm thinking a steam generator iron and a large ironing board would be a better choice than a steam press iron machine but people on here seem pretty happy with the steam presses. Does anyone use a steam generator iron and has anyone used both and have a preference?


Look at roller irons for sheets and duvet covers, steam press for pillow cases and maybe finishing. The market for used roller irons isn’t big and they can be relatively cheap compared with new - look at Miele or Pfaff for reliability and there’s not much to go wrong with them.

Never Idle wrote:

Fitted sheets are easier to manage and put on the beds but it will be harder to iron them and get them looking crisp. How to people find using fitted sheets?


Yes to fitted sheets for the time saving. Don’t sweat about folding them neatly, it’s a waste of effort - the part that’s awkward to fold is the sides and creases pull straight out when they’re on the bed.

Never Idle wrote:
Lastly, I can't help but feel that zip and link beds would be a better choice for flexibility than two singles, but the other bedroom will have a king size bed in it, so realistically I can't see that two doubles will be needed that often. Has anyone else got a zip and link set in one room and a double in the other and if so, how often do you need to put the zip and links together? Do guests find them comfy or do you put a topper on them? Has anyone got zip and links and wish they had just got single beds instead?


Depends on your market - we often get two couples so having two sets of zip/links in our sleeps 4 is a major plus. I’d have guessed (no more) that your city market could well attract two couples sans kids - others will be better placed to comment.
They don’t need a topper, and we’ve gone down a similar route to FelicityA except we link the base and mattresses for a double, but we go with two single duvets. Our experience has been similar to FelicityA’s - people like the idea and often mention pinching the idea to use back home. The reduced effort in folding a s/k duvet cover (and associated physio treatment!) is significant, and of course you’re only storing single duvets and covers (we still use both single and s/k sheets, but that’s not a problem).

Never Idle wrote:
Do people think beds without base boards are better so that taller guests can stretch out?


Yes. Oh yes! And easier to make, especially if you go with the bag style duvet covers that tuck in (no poppers to worry about). Richard Hayworth supply to a lot of hotels etc and linen hire companies and their covers have hand openings at the top sides; once you’ve used them to pull the duvet up inside the cover you’ll never go back!

Never Idle wrote:
Lastly, do you think your guests are looking for your accommodation to be cosy and more like a home from home, or do they look for a hotel chic feel? Obviously everyone's place is different and depends on location, target market etc, but does anyone do the hotel chic look and do you find it gets good feedback?


Depends on your market - we’re in a rural area, not a city so cosy reigns. Absolute key is cleanliness and comfort. What would you like?

Never Idle wrote:
Thanks very much in advance for any and all responses. Your answers to these questions will help me to make some very important spending decisions!


Buy quality stuff! You won’t regret it in a couple of years’ time. However, there is nothing on this planet that is completely guest-proof, so never put anything in the rental that has a personal or sentimental value and you’d regret it getting broken.
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akwe-xavante



Joined: 01 Jul 2015
Posts: 205
Location: Hornsea

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a two bedroomed cottage that sleeps a max of 4.

I started out washing, drying and ironing myself to start with but never again. Well only in an emergency if there's a problem somehow.

When I worked out the cost of water, electricity, powder etc and compared it with getting it done professionally the tiny tiny bit extra it was costing me to get it done professionally was very much worth while indeed.

In addition to the above I have a friend who has a FHL with 3 rooms that sleeps 6 but more often than not only 4 people ever book and they were going through a new Domestic AEG washer and separate dryer every 18 months, two years.

I sat them down and forced them to do a few sums, they don't do there own anymore.

I'm a typical yorkshireman and if I can save money doing something myself I will every time but I ain't daft.

I don't think doing your own linen and towels etc is an effective money saving exercise but I can see other reasons why some may prefer to do this themselves though.

The money I saved wasn't worth saving in exchange for the mind blowingly boring time it took me to iron those sheets.
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Never Idle



Joined: 04 May 2017
Posts: 2
Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 10:57 pm    Post subject: Thank you Reply with quote

Thank you very much for the replies, I really appreciate you all taking the time to respond and it's interesting to get the different views. You've given me lots to think about, thank you for your help! So many things to think about at this stage! Shocked
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PW in Polemi



Joined: 21 Oct 2012
Posts: 1730
Location: A village in Paphos, Cyprus

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 5:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you send your linen out to a laundry, you will need sufficient spare sets to cover in the event that there is not a "same week" turnover - i.e. maybe your cleaner can only collect the clean laundry when she takes the next dirty load.

I've been doing the laundry for our cottage (2 bed, 2 bath, sleeps 4 max) since we started. Yes, the ironing is a pain (in anticipation only, as in the hot summer months I stand in a lovely cool air conditioned room to iron!), but my 6kg domestic washer has stood up well to the test - I am very careful not to overload it either, so no more than a maximum of 3 (normally 2) bath sheets in one load, for instance.

Whether you use a cleaner and/or laundry service will very much depend on your personal circumstances and how much you can charge per week (or part thereof). Don't forget, if you cannot make a profit, then there is no money in the kitty for replacements/maintenance/upgrades/etc etc etc......
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bobby spray



Joined: 17 Jul 2012
Posts: 21
Location: Stirling scotland

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

akwe-xavante wrote:
I have a two bedroomed cottage that sleeps a max of 4.

I started out washing, drying and ironing myself to start with but never again. Well only in an emergency if there's a problem somehow.

When I worked out the cost of water, electricity, powder etc and compared it with getting it done professionally the tiny tiny bit extra it was costing me to get it done professionally was very much worth while indeed.

In addition to the above I have a friend who has a FHL with 3 rooms that sleeps 6 but more often than not only 4 people ever book and they were going through a new Domestic AEG washer and separate dryer every 18 months, two years.

I sat them down and forced them to do a few sums, they don't do there own anymore.

I'm a typical yorkshireman and if I can save money doing something myself I will every time but I ain't daft.

I don't think doing your own linen and towels etc is an effective money saving exercise but I can see other reasons why some may prefer to do this themselves though.

The money I saved wasn't worth saving in exchange for the mind blowingly boring time it took me to iron those sheets.


100% agree with this. What starts out as new and exciting will quickly become a bind. You both have full time jobs already. So why give yourself the extra work for little benefit.
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loveka



Joined: 19 Aug 2016
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have zip and link from Hotel Contract beds with a topper on top when it's a super king. You can't feel the join at all, and the bed is super comfortable.

It is so easy to change it to 2 singles. I keep the single duvet cover and single mattress protector and sheets in a large duvet bag so the switch is convenient. It means we are not ruling out any set of guests.

Outside of school holidays we have mostly had 2 couples so far, but we have only been going since the beginning of April!

We soon learned that we needed 3 sets of everything for the beds! It was way more expensive than I anticipated.

I discovered Out Of Eden a bit late. Their poly cotton easy iron stuff really does feel like 200 tc. Egyptian cotton.
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