Top tips on how to make your B&B dog friendly

With concerns about the economy, flight delays and not wanting to leave beloved pets behind, it seems that more people are choosing to stay in the UK for their holidays. And according to a survey by Natural England, more of us are spending time in the great outdoors than ever before.

For B&B owners there are ample opportunities to take advantage of this rise in staycations and offer guests something special.

Across the UK, walking holidays where you can take your dog with you, are becoming increasingly popular. It’s understandable when we have such amazing places to enjoy; Cumbria, Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, to name but a few, all offering nature lovers and their pets some fantastic rambles.

So, as a B&B owner here are some top tips on how to attract guests and their furry friends.

  • Offer your four-legged guests treats. Why not offer a breakfast menu for pets? It could just be some dried or canned food, but it means their owners don’t have to bring food with them. Or, you could link up with a pet food delivery company and give your guests the choice to pre-order.
  • Somewhere special to stay. Offering pets somewhere special to sleep could give your B&B an advantage over one down the road. Consider creating add-on packages where your guests can choose different dog bed sizes, special treats or their very own door to the garden.
  • Creating new rooms. You may decide to attract walkers and their dogs by extending or altering some of the downstairs accommodation in your B&B. Adding patio doors that open on to the outside space transforms a room into a dog friendly environment, making it more relaxing for both the pets and their owners.
  • Play area for dogs. If your B&B has the space you could offer both an inside and outside play area. The sun doesn’t always shine on UK walking holidays so an indoor play space could be perfect for dogs to let off steam before they venture outside.
  • Local knowledge. As a local B&B owner you may know of secret dog friendly beaches or pubs that welcome pooches, so let your guests know. You could also have leaflets and brochures available to guests who want to do their own research.
  • Dog sitting service. Your guests may want to eat out in the evening at restaurants that aren’t dog friendly. Consider offering a sitting service for dogs at an extra cost.

Stewart Hindley has been helping B&Bs and boutique hotels to find and secure the right hospitality finance package for their business for more than 13 years. If you’d like to discuss your hospitality finance requirements, give us a call today on 01488 393046.

Up and coming UK holiday destinations

When considering setting up a B&B or a boutique hotel, it can be disheartening if you aren’t in popular UK holiday destinations.

However, as the cost of holidays in Europe and further afield rises, Brits are finding new places to visit right here in the UK. This is opening up all sorts of opportunities for people thinking of setting up a B&B, boutique hotel, or glamping site.

  1. Lake District

What better escape from the 24/7 chaos of our always-on-world than a retreat in the timeless and unspoilt rolling landscapes of the Lake District. Whilst some areas have been UK holiday destinations for many years, other areas are more untouched, more beautiful. The western lakes such as Wast Water are not only some of the quieter more unspoilt parts of the Lake District, they are also without a doubt some of the most beautiful too.

  1. Huntstanton

Norfolk may not be the first place that springs to mind when looking for a UK holiday destination, however, with over 125 miles of navigable, lock free waterways, interspersed with idyllic market towns and attractions such as Bewilderwood, B&Bs in Norfolk are being seen in a whole new light as tourists realise the area has something for every member of the family.

  1. Lee-on-Solent

Lee-on-Solent is often overlooked in favour of more traditional South Coast tourist haunts such as Brighton and Bournemouth, but Lee-on-Solent offers great value for money whilst also being a stone’s throw from Gun Wharf Quays, Portsmouth Historic Docklands and some spectacular beaches and headlands. This makes it a great place to base yourself if you are looking at setting up a B&B that can offer guests opportunities to make the most of the sun and coastline, with shopping and attractions close by for those rainy days.

  1. Fife

Fife in Scotland is almost unbeaten for scenery. It’s great for discovering the array of castles and exploring the Jacobite trail whilst soaking up the nature and rural beauty that Fife has become renowned for.

  1. Camber, East Sussex

Often missing out on consideration as a tourist destination to big brother Brighton, Camber isn’t always the most obvious UK holiday destination, but with the beautiful Camber Sands, idyllic for kite surfing and playing in sand dunes and just a short walk from the quaint and picturesque village of Rye, it certainly should be.

  1. Cotswolds

Miles from the sea, it’s easy to overlook the Cotswolds for holiday opportunities but with beautiful Cotswold stone villages, lakes offering all manner of water sports, endless walks and the unique market towns of Burford and Bourton-on-Water, the Cotswolds are the perfect place for family holidays in the UK.

So, if you’ve been considering setting up a B&B or a boutique hotel and you happen to live in or near one of these areas, maybe now is the time to start turning those dreams into a reality. Our hospitality finance specialists are available to discuss finance options suited to you, and will help you to get started with the investment you need to get your B&B or boutique hotel off the ground. To speak to one of our B&B finance specialists please call us on 01488 393046.

5 Ways to help your B&B guests enjoy rainy day holidays in the UK

The British weather is one thing that can make or break your guests’ stay that you have no control over. However, if you can weatherproof their holiday, not only are you more likely to benefit from referrals, but you’re also more likely to be welcoming them back for return visits.

Weatherproofing your B&B experience also has the added bonus of extending your season, spreading demand throughout the year. But what can you do to weatherproof your guests’ stay?

1.      Ensure your B&B guests are equipped for bad weather

Whilst jokes are about UK holidays being the only holidays that require swimsuits, rain coats, shorts and woolly jumpers, packing limitations sometimes mean that’s just not possible.

Make sure your guests have the essentials to get out and about when it’s teeming down outside.

Chewton Glen provide a pair of wellies for guests wanting to take a stroll around the grounds in inclement weather, whilst many hotels and B&B’s have a selection of large golf umbrellas to keep guests dry.

2.      Keep the kids entertained when it’s rainy

There’s nothing worse than children getting bored and climbing the walls when you’re stuck indoors, but rainy days can be a great opportunity for families to bond and to discover new (or forgotten) pastimes.

Have a small library of children’s books, board games and card games that families can enjoy together, like Gwel an Mor in Cornwall. Depending on your guest demographic (and the space you have available), you may choose to set up a games room with a games console.

3.      Invest in indoor appeal for days when the great outdoors doesn’t appeal

By giving your guests opportunities to make the most of a rainy day, you can turn even the wettest of days into a fun memory. We can help you find hospitality finance solutions to make your spaces special and create features for your hotel or B&B that can really help to extend your busy season. Clydey Cottages in Wales had enough space to build an indoor pool and soft play area, so when the clouds roll in, their guests don’t have to turn in.

4.      Help your guests find rainy day alternatives

Even if you can’t create a rainy day appeal at your B&B or boutique hotel, you can still help your guests out. Keep a variety of leaflets available for guests that include things to do on rainy days. Aquariums, museums and local swimming pools can all be great ways to spend a few hours doing something you wouldn’t normally do at home, so help your guests find things they will enjoy.

5.      Make every moment memorable – even the soggy ones

There’s nothing better than returning from a cold, wet outdoors to a warm fire, a hot drink and cosy blankets to snuggle into.

Provide drying facilities for coats and boots. This will reduce the risk of water and mud from being traipsed through your rooms, and your guests will appreciate taking home dry clothes, rather than plastic bags full of damp, smelly clothing.

If you are looking for investment to extend the appeal of your B&B or hotel, and help guests to make the most of every day of their stay, speak to one of our hospitality finance experts on 01488 393040 to find out how hospitality finance can help you find the funds to invest to give year-round appeal to your B&B or boutique hotel business.

12 places in the UK which will make you feel you are abroad

British staycations are on the rise, not purely for Brexit or financial reasons, either – many of us are (re)discovering the UK’s incredible landscape, beautiful beaches and exciting cities. Hence it could be a good time to go into the B&B, guesthouse or hotel business.
Continue reading “12 places in the UK which will make you feel you are abroad”

7 of Britain’s very best boutique hotels

A relatively new addition to the hospitality trade, boutique hotels, thought to have been created in the 1980s, are typically small, independent businesses containing anything from 10 to 100 rooms. The very name suggests accommodation that is chic, classy and luxurious – that’s certainly what guests expect, at any rate.

We’re always helping new clients secure commercial business mortgages so they can open their very own boutique hotels – and with access to hotel finance, plenty of research and lots of attention to detail, there’s no reason why theirs couldn’t emulate the country’s best boutique hotels. Like these:


Randy Pike, Lake District

Situated in the beautiful Lake District, Randy Pike is a converted gentlemen’s hunting lodge which has been recently renovated. The three large suites (with ‘a bathroom virtually the size of Luxembourg’) have been decorated meticulously, in keeping with the original features and without detracting from the wonderful views outside. The owners, Andy and Chrissy Hill, have earned legendary status on TripAdvisor.


Monachyle MHOR Hotel, Balquhidder, Perthshire

hotel financeImage: Monachyle Mhor Hotel by Raymond Chisholm

This award-winning 14-room hotel is set in the wooded banks of atmospheric Loch Voil. The 18th Century farmhouse has been renovated into a contemporary, stylish property, with design elements which were influenced by nature and the immediate surroundings. It contains incredible suites – some with their own log burners – and a restaurant which serves a-la-carte dishes. The hotel has been described as ‘exceptional’. You can even arrange to arrive by seaplane.


The Plough, Kelmscott, Oxfordshire

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Deep in the Cotswolds is the delightful Plough Inn, the perfect spot from which to explore the neighbouring countryside. Retaining its traditional feel, the refurbished inn serves delicious food, while the seven double bedrooms and one single are light and airy, each with a luxurious modern bathroom. The entire inn emanates Cotswolds charm.


The Grove, Narbeth, Pembrokeshire

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Given an – in our opinion – ungenerous 8/10 by the Telegraph, The Grove is a stunning country house hotel which is nestled in a four-acre glade close to the Preseli Hills. With numerous accolades to its name, The Grove was restored from dereliction in 2007 and prides itself on sustainability. There are 14 immaculate rooms situated in the house itself plus several cottages, each one sumptuously decorated and furnished.


Kemp Townhouse, Brighton

Chic and luxurious, the Kemp Townhouse is the epitome of elegance. A grade-II-listed building situated in one of Brighton’s most cosmopolitan areas, it is beautifully presented and deserving of its and TripAdvisor accolades. Each of the rooms, ranging from the extravagant Four-Poster Feature Room to the Cosy Single, have been decorated to an extremely high standard.


The Zetter, Clerkenwell, London

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Located in London’s east end is a former Victorian warehouse which has been reborn into an eco-friendly oasis of 59 ‘quirky vintage-modern style’ rooms. Choose from stunning rooftop studios or perfect rooms which feature smart TVs, a ‘rain dance’ shower and mood lighting – there are even hot water bottles and umbrellas to use, should you need. The Zetter is place with buckets of style and a lot of class.

The Fitzwilliam Hotel, Belfast

Hotel finance
Full of character and thoughtfully designed, the Fitzwilliam Hotel is vibrant, modern and that little bit extravagant. The suites are super-stylish with mini sound systems and plush, comfy beds, all featuring top quality furnishings from the distinctive purple and yellow colour palate. With its own bar and restaurant, it’s the ideal place from which to start your Belfast adventure.

As you can see, there are some beautiful examples of boutique hotels out there; more important is the fact that there’s a demand for such lovely accommodation. Yours could be the next big thing!

If you’re interested in opening your own bijoux boutique and would like to find more out about hotel finance, please get in touch, we’d be delighted to chat through your options.