Once again we’re doing 10 Beautiful Rooms with a difference for the Christmas season. So far this month we have looked at trends versus reality and how some of the best UK interiors bloggers decorate their homes for the festive season. This week we’re looking at 10 beautiful rooms that are listed on Booking.com and are available to rent.
I was invited by Booking.com to show some of these great rentals to you with a view to seeing if any of you wanted to rent out your own space – possibly to other design lovers. It’s not only about letting out a spare room; you can also rent the whole place – perhaps while you are away on holiday yourself.
The reason this initiative came about was because Booking.com realised that these days many travellers place an equal amount of importance on the place they stay in as much as the location they have chosen to visit.
The site currently has over 1.5m properties listed and 70 per cent of them aren’t traditional hotels so if you want to join their host community which offers anything from apartments to houses or even a boat or a treehouse – now you can.
“With our diverse, and global, customer base we have many customers looking for that perfectly designed home from home whatever that means for them,” says Jitka Foralova, area manager at Booking.com
“We are constantly looking for and adding different types of properties with different design aesthetics to our site, whether it’s a minimalist uber-chic Nordic vibe or a more rustic homey getaway. Our goal is to provide great experiences for both our customers and partners including those with a keen eye for design.”
And I think it’s true that we are becoming more choosy about where we want to stay. A couple of years ago we went to Berlin for the weekend and it was one of the best city breaks I have had largely because we stayed in an amazing place which definitely added to the quality of our time away.
Foralova says: “Customers are definitely becoming more discerning. We see a lot of savvy travellers who have very specific preferences and know exactly what they want, which means they want access to as much information as possible before they book.
“That is why having lots of high quality photos and thinking carefully about sharing what it is that makes your property special and unique is very important.”
You can see here 10 of my favourite properties from around the world which are featured on the site. Don’t assume that your house won’t be suitable as a family of four will require something very different from a single person on a work trip so they need to offer a huge variety of options: “We have customers that are looking for the stay that’s just right for them and that could be yours,” said Foralova.
So what do you need to rent your house out? Foralova says: “Pretty much anyone can list their property provided they follow relevant local laws – for example in most cases it’s not possible to sub-rent an apartment that is already rented. Other than that it’s a simple, completely free, process to sign up to list a property.
“We also provide 24/7 phone assistance for any questions or issues our potential partners might have regarding the registration process. Or anything else for that matter.”
Basically they’re looking to target those who want a more design-led place to stay rather than just looking for the cheapest room they can find. So if you want to know if your house fits the bill you need to start by thinking about what you look for when you want to rent somewhere.
Is the bathroom nice? Is it well equipped? Do you have decent towels and good soap? Does the bedlinen match and is there enough equipment for guests to cook a meal for themselves? We often go away at Christmas so we always have to check there are enough pans and a decent cooker.
I probably tend to stay more in hotels when it comes to work trips- perhaps it’s a generational thing – but I’m constantly seeing pictures and stories on instagram of amazing places people have found to stay and many of those I talk to, who travel for work, stay almost exclusively in other people’s houses which seems so much more, well, homely, than the blandness of a hotel room.
You get more space too. And I’ve lost count of the number of hotels I’ve stayed in recently where there was no room for a chair and the mini bar has disappeared. Now it’s not that I wish to drink all the contents, but a bottle of chilled water and the ability to make a cup of coffee would be nice.
On the other side of the coin I also know a few people who rent out their flats and houses and who have, apparently, never been so busy. It’s certainly tempting to think that you could offset the cost of your own holiday by letting someone else have theirs.
So if you fancy going on holiday and leaving your house to earn the money while you do so then sign up to this link and see if you can make your house do the work for you. If I didn’t have Madame Enid Cat to contend with I would be giving it serious consideration.
This post was sponsored by Booking.com