OTAs > Hotels and B&Bs

Booking portal HRS: Best price clause is unlawful
As the hotel booking portals appeared, they were a godsend for the industry – an opportunity just for sales weak smaller, often family-run hotels. One finally got the chance to be found. Some nice photos, some text, plus good prices – that was the recipe which also brought independent hotels suddenly on the road to victory. Only in the case of success a brokerage commissions to the portals were to be paid.

But the story of the portal is typical of the online world, it is a story of a curse and a blessing, the prices of established companies driven into the ground by the market dominance and power of Internet giants like OTAs. Unlike in most other industries, but the hotel booking portals rely on the hotels – and their rooms.
Meanwhile, 90 percent of all Hotels in Germany are listed at OTAs such as HRS, Hotel.de, Booking.com and Expediawith at least one of their rooms -. It has become easy to reserve  from our home computer  a hotel somewhere on the coast of Brazil in Fortaleza or in Bad Schwartau. And because it is so wonderfully simple, the agent rapidly gained customers – at the expense of a direct booking.

But the Hotel Grand Elysée in Hamburg Germany has claims to have paid annually about one million euros commission to the Web-giant (OTA) – and swerved: Owner Eugen Block advertised in major daily newspapers that in future he will give the best rate only if booked directly through the hotel . In Regensburg (another city in Germany) 38 hotels created the website http://www.hotels-in-regensburg.com . Inland the first ten days they saved by generated there reservations about 10,000 euros in commissions and donated the money.

The “Best price clause” is unlawful

Even if for a hotelier initially attractive, to be represented at a trendy website and get more unexpected guests booked through them, this advantage is now shrunk significantly – because the competitor is to be found there right with you. And online customers often decide to chose the cheapest of its category. For independent hotels this is ruinous in two ways: You must be very cheap and still pay a commission on these favorable rates – or their rooms are far too many nights empty.

But the more increased the market power of the portals became, the more one-sided the balance of power became, which culminated in the so-called “Best-price-clause” in the contracts with hoteliers. Accordingly, hotel owners may NOT offer their rooms cheaper on any other distribution channel  – not even if the potential guest came trudging with suitcase in hand in the lobby and inquired about a free room directly.

Late last year, the German Federal Cartel Office has declared in a court case with HRS (OTA) the “Best-price-clause”  as unlawful and since then takes a critical look at the contracts. This development gives hoteliers new leeway in pricing. For potential customers it means more work again to find the best price.

There are in any case of portal (OTA) to portal (OTA) some significant price differences. This is due to the different “packaging” a back door to avoid the all too easy price comparability. Sometimes the standard room is advertised without food, sometimes a deluxe room with breakfast or half board, with spa voucher or free parking in the underground garage. Even that proves that it is worth for customers to look closely before each booking.

Portals (OTAs) fight back

This is even more important after the Cartel Office decision. Of course are hoteliers keen to sell their rooms free of commission that works best in self-distribution – in the lobby, on the phone and on the hotels own website. Therefore it is to be expected  now that the best price will always be found at the hotel itself as in the example of the Grand Elysée Hotel.

For guests Hotel Portals (OTAs) would then shrink to comparison tools which would provide a good grip  on the local or regional market – and would bring bookings more regularly back to the hotel page. However, the portals (OTAs) are fighting back: they place their sales-candy elsewhere – by include additions. For example, the free cancellation is possible up to 18 clock on arrival a popular sales-candy.

And they improve the booking technology, facilitate sleek Apps to book and save the customer time and effort. On the field of technology, they are almost ahead of every hotelier. And on top they expand their business. Booking.com and HRS have already released apps for last minute hotel bookings and promise between 30 and 50 per cent discount for online reservation on the day of arrival.
Customers are happy. And again the hotel owner in spite of all the trouble they went through can not past the giants. Because an empty room brings hotel owners nothing. Only “plus” for the hotel he got slapped with a giant discount and painful commission he at least got a bit of money.

And the winner? The customer. Of course only if he looks closely.

Tried to translate from:

http://www.spiegel.de/reise/aktuell/hotelbuchungsportale-versus-hotels-kampf-um-den-bestpreis-a-968510.html

Planning on opening a B&B – What you should know about a Bed & Breakfast business

Do you plan on opening a B&B as a hobby or as a business ?

  1. Legal requirements and needed preparations : Make sure you have all legal things in place:

Are you going to use the house to live in or do you want to purchase a house and make it a B&B?

Important is zoning. Talk to your township office to find out if the zoning allows you to run a Bed and Breakfast and how many rooms you are allowed to rent out.

Look for insurance. Does your house insurance offer a B&B insurance.

  • Credit card machine
  • Business bank account
  • Business HST number / business licence
  • Allowed parking spots (contact township office)
  • Website for your business

More to legal requirements in one of the other posts on our Canada BnB Network Blog. 

  1. Number and quality of rooms.How many rooms are you planing to rent out ?

Common is 2 to 3 but if you want to make serious money you would need between 4 to 6 bedrooms.

Rooms should include all thing you would wish to find when in a hotel room … and a bit more.

  • A good closet with coat-hanger
  • Besides a comfortable bed/mattress
  • Good bedside lighting and table
  • A desk to write on with good lighting – not only for business people
  • Comfortable seating area and nowadays TVs are expected in rooms
  • Great linen and pillows
  • Tissue box
  • Radio clock
  • Good quality towel sets
  • Bathrobes if guests have to step outside to go to their bathrooms
  • And don’t forget that standards require proper locks on the guest room doors

 

  1. Bathrooms. You also have to see that you have a private or en-suite bathroom for each room (See definition on the various kind of bathrooms offered on another post on our Canada BnB Network Blog)

Now-a-days guests expect their own bathroom. Guests are not really wild about sharing a bathroom.

So do you have the bathrooms or do you have the space and budget to get them installed ? Checklist for a guest bathroom :

  • Individually wrapped toilet paper roles
  • Soaps
  • Shampoo
  • Proper size mirror
  • Good lighting
  • Enough space / shelf to place private hygiene products
  • Glass ware

 

4. Common room, dining room and living room.

    • Comfortable seating for the number of guests you would accommodate when completely booked
    • TV in lounge or living room in case you do not provide TV’s in guest rooms
    • Good lighting and a reading area
    • Maybe a little library with books
    • DVD player and DVDs for guests
    • Also don’t forget to provide advertisement material for local business and points of interests so guests can inform themselves on where to go and what to do
    • For your dining room you have to make sure that you offer the capacity for all guests to be seated comfortably
    • Wifi throughout
  1. Kitchen
  • Your appliances should be in good working order
  • Do you have enough flatware and dishes ?
  • How about napkins are you planing on using cotton napkins or paper napkins?
  • Enough table cloths to change
  • A good coffee maker

 

  1. Colour and interior design

 

The over all appearance of your Bed and Breakfast should be clean, nice and tidy. We all have things we collect but know we should have let go a long time ago. NOW is the time to take it to the next best charity or thrift store.

Decide on a comfortable colour theme and try to be more on the natural side of things. There is nothing wrong with the splash of colour but try to keep it just to accessories. That way it will be way less work or money to change and update things when needed.

 

7. Cleaning tools and materials

You certainly are well aware that opening a B&B and going into the accommodation business means cleaning, cleaning, cleaning !!! Your best mattress or your most amazing breakfast will not be worth anything if your Bed and Breakfast house – bathrooms – bedrooms – kitchen is untidy and/or unclean.

Cleanliness is NUMBER 1 of the “most-wanted-list”.

Cleanliness is ranking on top of guests wish-list for a good accommodation.

* Lots of rags you will need them
* We use white vinegar, baking soda to clean
* Maybe some natural Lavender oil to get some settled fresh scent
* Spray bottle
* Microfiber rag for the spotless polishing touch
* Last but not least a VERY good vacuum cleaner (we have 3 on every level one)

So if you are more the type of person who takes a lets say “casual” approach to tidiness or cleanliness regarding your home you probably want to rethink your future business plans.

Since we are talking about your home – what are your plans on where you and your family will “live” ?

Yes , you have read my question absolutely right.

If you want to survive and run this business for a long long time you need private space. It is nice to sit down with guests for a little chat and a cup of coffee in the afternoon or for a glass of wine before retiring to your room. But are you sure you want to be under the eye of strangers in your home 24/7?

All the fellow accommodation owners I had the pleasure to talk to can support my experience of 13 years ……………… YOU NEED Privacy and so do your B&B guests. Opening a B&B is not an easy task.

So make sure your Bed and Breakfast house allows for private living quarters you and your family can use. It would even be better to have an entire perfectly self-contained apartment to yourself.

And not only you as innkeepers need time to yourself, your guests do too.

man.woman

Opening a B&B

As nice as it is to get to know your guests make sure you sense when they are ready to be on their own. Some innkeepers miss the cue and it will reflect badly on your reputation. Do not intrude for your own pleasure. Make sure you get when a guest wants to get back to some privacy and time alone.

If you are well informed and well prepared this can be the best job you ever had the pleasure to have when opening a B&B. You can meet wonderful people but also could open your doors to less desirable characters.

This business venture can develop to be the most amazing adventure of your life – you just have to be prepared and step into it with an open mind.

Please do not hesitate to ask questions or to send us your own experiences! We would love to hear from you!

Shirley Lindemann

Abadin Bed and Breakfast

Do you ask hotel motel or bed and breakfast ?

Hotel motel or bed and breakfast ?

hotel motel Lounge

White Lounge

If you are planning to travel for a vacation or a business trip or just a weekend break from the doldrums of city life, one very important factor that you must put into consideration is the place where you will be staying. The usual and popular choice among travelers is a hotel motel. But if you are looking for something more intimate, warm and homey other than just a place to sleep, then a bed and breakfast is just the right place for you.

A stay at a cheap hotel motel tends to be an impersonal and empty experience. You’re assigned to a generic looking room with no personality at all. In a bed and breakfast, the rooms are beautified in an intimate and cozy way which inspires a warm feeling of being at home.

One characteristic of a B&B that a lot of travelers find appealing is the service which is much more friendlier and compassionate as compared to the cold and distant hotel motel employees. In a B&B, you can truly count on being treated as a warmly welcomed guest by means of the hands-on approach of the usually gracious hosts.

hotel motel romantic getaway

Romantic Getaway

Also a bed and breakfast or inn is generally smaller in size than hotels motels so you can be assured of the peaceful, uncrowded atmosphere – a very attractive advantage especially if you are a couple looking to spend some quality time together. We are especially proud to say that we at the Abadin B&B are catering to honeymoon, anniversary and all kinds of couples who want to enjoy some romantic time away.

All B&B’s, as the name implies, include a free breakfast meal as part of the per diem charge. What sets it apart from other establishments is that you can expect a heartier breakfast meal- an advantage you don’t usually enjoy in an average cheap hotel motel. Not only that, but because of the more personal and friendlier service that bed and breakfasts are famous for. We try to serve a variety of warm plated meals to guests made from only the freshest and if available organic ingredients.

hotel motel free movies

Free Movies – Free Popcorn

Another great advantage that bed and breakfast inns have over hotels motels is practicality. In general, hotels motels are almost equally priced with bed and breakfast inns. But considering that in a bed and breakfast inn at that price, extras that you have to pay for at a hotel or motel like local phone calls, movies, attendant services and parking are already included in the daily charge. This means you can actually save several hundred dollars if you stay in a bed and breakfast.

All things considered, a stay in a bed and breakfast inn is a much more personal, enjoyable and satisfying experience which can never be replicated in any hotel motel establishment. If you match the tranquility of our location with luxurious service we at Abadin bed and breakfast offer and where you can be cozy, relaxed and be treated like a special guest, then you know you’ve already arranged for yourself a truly satisfying and successful trip.

About Abadin-B-B-Video Hawkesbury Accommodation

Abadin | B&B | Video | Hawkesbury | Accommodation

Abadin | B&B | Video | Hawkesbury | Accommodation

The following little clip presents the Abadin B&B Video Hawkesbury Accommodation and takes you on a tour through our B&B here in L’Orignal Hawkesbury accommodations are shown and offer a variety for every taste and need. Our interior design is created to reflect the European style  Ed and I love so much and would love to share with you, our guests. We believe that in re-creating our European interior decoration our guests will be able to get a glimpse of our personalities. The location of the Abadin B&B is quite convenient since we are in the lovely village of L’Orignal right at the edge of Hawkesbury and midway between Ottawa and Montreal.

 

Abadin | B&B | Video | Hawkesbury | Accommodation

http://www.abadinBandB.ca the luxurious boutiqueAbadin B & B Video Hawkesbury Accommodationin an excellent location  – with view and access to the Ottawa River. Ottawa and Montreal. Our Abadin Bed & Breakfast is right between Ottawa and Montreal on Hwy 17.

Abadin | B&B | Video | Hawkesbury | AccommodationChic modern interiors complement this classic column house. The stunning bedrooms are all completely individually styled using contemporary European | North American design. All rooms offer sumptuously comfort, with flat screen TV with DVD player, complimentary tea & coffee and wireless internet throughout.About Abadin B&B Video Hawkesbury Accommodation

Whether you’re looking for a different kind of Business facility for your creative and productive meeting or a quiet and interesting retreat, our facilities and grounds are relaxing and inviting.  Our B&is close to Hawkesbury and the right place for your small corporate meeting. We specialize in small, intimate groups / parties and can accommodate you in our well appointed King and Queen rooms. Watch our B&B | Video | Hawkesbury | Accommodation