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Dene Guesthouse

Dene Guesthouse overcomes booking barrier and builds new website with Little Hotelier

A charming and quaint Georgian townhouse, Dene Guesthouse is only a short walk away from the Royal Botanic Garden in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The 13 rooms are available in many sizes, mixing modern and traditional design to create a relaxed atmosphere for guests to settle into.

Manager Simone Koerber is responsible for running the 20- business, working from 7.30am – 8pm, seven days a week.

"In the beginning I printed all the reservations, to at least hold something physically in my hand. But in less than a month, I started to print less, and eventually ditched the pencil and book altogether. Now, I could not do without Little Hotelier."

The Challenge

With tourists flocking into Edinburgh from all over the world, Dene Guesthouse had a lot of competition on its hands, and it seemed Simone was fighting an uphill battle with her previous manual system.

“Before Little Hotelier, we only had our Booking.com listing and a physical reservations book to manage bookings. Correspondence with guests was time-consuming; email drafts had to be customised for each reservation, and it was a hassle to follow up and ask for arrival times. We did not take any other OTA on at that time as we could not keep them updated fast enough.”

Simone quickly realised that the consequences of only connecting to one distribution channel would make her too reliant on that sole channel.

“Only being with one OTA can be dangerous. If there is downtime, or they suddenly decide to up their commission, or they make significant changes to their terms & conditions, you wouldn’t have much room to
negotiate. You do not want to lay all your eggs in one basket.”

Simone didn’t want to continue on the same path because she was so worried about the potential of overbookings. She started to look for a solution.

The Solution

Simone wanted a system that would allow her to manage multiple channels and bookings from one place.

She had some very specific conditions guiding her decision:

  • Time savings, channel management, easy correspondence with guests, pre and post departure emails, and different rates on our own website
  • Professional looking correspondence
  • Templated emails. As we do take prepayments – and naturally guests seldom read the T&Cs – there was always a bit of confusion over what was paid. Our old email drafts for confirmations did not state the prepayment taken, as it was very time-consuming

Simone first came across Little Hotelier three years ago at an Edinburgh roadshow, but her reaction was in-line with
many small hoteliers’ opinions when they think about technology.

“At this point I still considered Little Hotelier as being too “fancy” for a small guest house.”

However, this hesitation didn’t last long. Given her position as the sole live-in manager, time-saving was essential.

Coupled with Little Hotelier’s ability to display different rates on a hotel’s website, pre- and post-departure emails for guest correspondence, beautiful professional design, and easy management, Simone became convinced that it was the answer to her challenges she faced.

The Results

With Little Hotelier’s all-in-one system, Dene Guesthouse is now able to easily operate across their four booking channels while also managing their own direct bookings.

“We connected Expedia, HRS, and Agoda. We will explore new channels to see how they work. Adding new channels is free of charge with Little Hotelier, whereas other providers charge for every new
channel connected.”

Simone also soon noticed a positive effect on bookings and expenses.

“We noticed a great pick-up on direct bookings, nearly outperforming Booking.com on commission some months. We definitely saved money, and the monthly fee is well-recovered.”

Simone is no longer bogged down with manual, administrative tasks.

“In the beginning I printed all the reservations, to at least hold something physically in my hand. But in less than a month, I started to print less, and eventually ditched the pencil and book altogether. Now, I could not do without Little Hotelier.”

“In the beginning I printed all the reservations, to at least hold something physically in my hand. But in less than a month, I started to print less, and eventually ditched the pencil and book altogether. Now, I could not do without Little Hotelier.”

Improved Web-Design

Following the success using Little Hotelier’s all-in-one solution, Simone also chose to use Websites by Little Hotelier- an intelligent, beautiful and customisable website design program that small accommodation providers can use to optimise the searchability and functionality of their website, as well as the aesthetic.

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