Owner of Ouklip Place Bed and Breakfast, Ms. Gloria Matshusa

Ouklip Place Bed and Breakfast’s story began in December 2019, when owner Gloria Matshusa used her retirement package to pay off the bond of her property in Roodepoort, South Africa and convert it into a guesthouse. She started with only three rooms. Since then, she has hired two staff members and expanded her business to nine distinct rooms.

Apart from the modern amenities, lush garden and refreshing pool, guests especially appreciate and often return for Gloria’s warm and friendly service as Ouklip Place B&B is a 100% owner-managed establishment.

During a holiday in December 2023, Gloria discovered Little Hotelier:

“By chance, I stayed at a hotel in Namibia that used Little Hotelier. I was impressed by their booking process, the quick confirmation and their online check-in option. It was simple, organised and professional. That was exactly what I wanted for my property. Shortly after that trip, I went live with Little Hotelier, and it was the best business decision I’ve made.”

We recently sat down to chat about her business success and the role Little Hotelier has played in it. 

Simple, structured operations

In the past, Gloria managed reservations manually, but this left her feeling drained.

“I felt like I couldn’t step away even for a quick trip to the store. I constantly had to be present to manage bookings from OTAs, Airbnb and direct channels,” she explained. “But despite my best efforts, I struggled with double bookings, overbooking and lost reservations,” she recounts. 

The moment she started using Little Hotelier’s hotel management platform, Gloria’s operation transformed.

“Everything runs via the system now. It processes bookings and online payments, updates inventory in real time and sends out confirmation messages automatically. I no longer have problems with overbookings and my business runs smoothly even while I’m out. That’s a huge relief.”

On top of that, the system offers extra flexibility because the entire team can access Little Hotelier from their mobile devices anytime.

“The housekeeping team logs in to check which rooms need to be serviced. They organise their work independently and ensure it’s done on time. And I can always keep an eye on everything, no matter where I am,” she said.

Significant increase in direct bookings

Once Gloria had streamlined her reservation management through Little Hotelier, she began optimising her website to drive more direct bookings. 

“I’m already seeing impressive results from working on my website. We’re almost always fully booked, and our direct business often outnumbers OTA-reservations. Sometimes we go entire weeks with only direct bookings. That encourages me to keep working on my website, so we can do even better in the future,” she said. 

This shift has changed how she sees third-party intermediaries.

“Today, I use OTAs as marketing channels that bring visibility. They’re no longer my main source of business.”

Of course, this has also positively impacted Ouklip Place’s bottom line.

“Our commission payments have gone down drastically. What we save more than covers the cost of Little Hotelier. That, and the peace of mind the system brings me, makes it absolutely worth it for me.”

Positive impression on guests

Since Gloria implemented Little Hotelier, she’s seen trust in her brand increase.

“The business makes a more professional impression now. Our online presence looks great and makes new guests feel confident and safe when booking with us. Then they often return because everything is well-managed during their stay, too.”

Her regulars have also noticed these improvements.

“They’re impressed with the smooth new booking process, the quick confirmation and the secure online payment and check-in options.”

Easy implementation and helpful support

Thanks to the system’s user-friendliness and the team’s support, the implementation went faster than Gloria expected.

“The onboarding specialist I worked with was great. After just a couple of meetings, my guesthouse was live on Little Hotelier. I never thought it would go so quickly,” she said.

On top of that, the ongoing support has helped her make the most of Little Hotelier.

“If I don’t understand something or I have a question, I can always ask. For some things, I get the answers I need via the chatbot. If that doesn’t work, the team is always ready to assist.”

A word to colleagues and peers

To round out our chat, we asked Gloria for her advice to fellow small hotel and guesthouse operators.

“In the past, my business often felt messy. I honestly don’t know how I survived without Little Hotelier. Implementing it has made my life so much simpler. It helps me organise my operation and gives me peace of mind. If you’re struggling with that, too, and want to see the same positive effect at your property, you need to try Little Hotelier.”

Thank you, Gloria, for this wonderful feedback. It’s fantastic to see how much you’ve benefited from Little Hotelier and we’re looking forward to seeing your business flourish in the future!

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