I’m still thinking about the possibility of my own restaurant, and one of the things that’s quite popular to help with financial viability is to also do either apartments / chambre d’hôtes type stuff to go along side.
What do you people look for in that sort of a holiday base?
We often look for Pubs/cafes with rooms but the caveat is that they must be centrally located in a town or village with other amenities. While we like to take advantage of the establishment of choice, we don’t want to be beholden to them. We like to visit several hostelries per visit.
This is why we NEVER stay in resorts or stately homes. You can’t walk to a pub.
As for accoutrements, it MUST have en-suite, black-out curtains, reasonably quiet, a decent size bed, plenty of space, a place to store suitcases, a wardrobe (or hanging rail) with a load of coathangers, shelving in the bathroom for toiletries, towel rails NOT hooks, toilet brush, and a good power shower (shower over bath OK)
Somewhere run by people with an unfeasibly strong work ethic and nitpickingly high standards, like Germans or Swiss.
You need to have a good think about quite how much unending drudge and chores are involved in resto + guesto - that is a LOT of laundry and cleaning, and you have two brats to hose down routinely too… Rather you my friend…
Then it’s the obvious one to think about - Location, Location, Location.
Is there actually room in the market for you to do this and make a living? Have you got a handle on how the potential competition are doing? Annoyingly, the wealthiest tourists (German, Dutch, Austrian etc.) are pretty partisan about where they’ll stay and eat, my uncle sometimes struggled with letting his holiday home (also Bordeaux area) because he was feeeelthy rosbif.
My sister has a three bed apartment not far from Jon. She gets customers via Air bnb. She is yet to have more than a week unrented this year. So far, her clients have come from Swizzy, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy and Australia. Mostly, though, they are from the UK.
IMO the right accommodation will always find a market.
I am with Oz on that one especially the accoutrements. I’d add decent coffee making facilities in room, by decent I mean a pod machine or at the very least a French press. In fact we will often double check the coffee thing and make a choice based on that alone…
We regularly look for a “restaurant with rooms” and we are even willing to forego location (like the place outside Darlington last week https://www.rabyhuntrestaurant.co.uk/) for a decent restaurant with rooms.
Normally we use such places for one night and wouldn’t consider one as a “base” for a holiday or short break. The proviso on the duration of stay is location, location, location - town centre for us.
Thinking about this, I’m not sure exactly what you mean. Do you intend to offer self catering apartments on site, or B&B?
I reckon that B&B would be really tough on top of a restaurant. But self catering, with the option of using the restaurant, would be more doable: you just need to be able to coordinate cleaning etc, and you’d need cleaners for the restaurant.
The issue is that people staying for a holiday, for a week or so, might not want to stay above a restaurant - it might be noisy and/or smelly. Why would anyone choose this over a residential place just round the corner?
Parking is also a consideration. If staying for one night, I like to park the car up and forget about it by lunchtime due to enjoying pub crawls and long lunches. While we prefer private parking, close “secure” parking will always win points with us.
I think the expected duration is an issue, I wouldn’t base a holiday in such a venue unless it was a brilliant location and had the accoutrements to support a longer duration stay, we are talking pool, patio, indoor/outdoor seating - separate bar etc… - it would be a short (1 or 2 nights as most). We stayed in many places which are restaurants with rooms above all over the UK and Europe, and noise is rarely a problem and smell has never been a problem.
it is interesting but I think we are looking at different genre - not a boutique hotel, and not a pub/B&B with rooms. Maybe it is just new terminology for the same thing, but I wouldn’t classify them as hotels or B&B’s The places I am thinking are restaurants that have a few nice rooms.
Funny, Louise and I were talking last night about this phenomena or new genre of accommodation that we are seeing more regularly on our road trips.
Getting a full picture of all the potential pitfalls is part of what asking on here is about; I am naturally quite risk averse so want to get as full a picture of what I am considering as possible in advance.
The place I worked at last year was successfully running the combination of apartments and restaurant. They did serve a breakfast for the apartments too, and they got someone else in to do the service. It being France, the expectations of a breakfast are much more bread, croissant, yoghurts, jam etc so not the cooking requirements of full English. They are a good few hours drive away now thankfully so not substantial competition. The other interesting aspect is that because of where they were, they ran a 6 month season and then shut the place for the other 6 months, so had plenty of time to travel etc. as they wanted.
I have a rough idea in my head of what I would like to do; I suspect that doing B&B plus restaurant (ie no cooking facilities in the rooms) but without the 24-7 service requirements of a full blown hotel would probably be the compromise. There’s the possibility of an old mill that needs some work doing that would be ideal. Decent amount of garden around it, water running under the building, so could make it a very nice place to be. Definitely more at the restaurant + rooms kind of vibe.
I do have a fairly clear idea of what sort of level I’d like to pitch it at and the sort of food / drink / quality of rooms that all go together to complete that side of the picture. Realistically though, an location inside Bordeaux is likely to be far too expensive to purchase for it to viably work, so the focus is going to have to be on a more countryside retreat type of option.