Luxury bed and breakfast retreat saves time with an easy-to-use business solution
Sunlover Retreat is a luxury bed and breakfast accommodation located in Tairua, on the stunning Coromandel Peninsula of New Zealand. The property boasts three suites – each with its own private deck with views.
Chris and Donna Brooke own and operate the bed and breakfast, and they are fully immersed in the day to day tasks involved – cooking breakfast for guests, managing their reservations, updating their social media networks, and then serving guests when they arrive.
Since they only had a few rooms to let, Chris and Donna started with a very basic online reservation system to manage their bookings. However, it was so difficult for Donna to use that she preferred using her Outlook calendar at the same time, meaning that her inventory was never updated automatically.
“I was using my Outlook calendar rather than my online reservation system for direct bookings, because it was hard to use. They didn’t sync up to each other, and at times we would get double bookings, which are not only very stressful for me, but also unprofessional for my guests.”
Additionally, Donna didn’t like the online booking process provided by her previous reservation system.
“The previous system wasn’t visually appealing. I wanted something that looks nice for my site – something really easy for my guests to use so that they would want to use it.”
Donna knew how important online marketing was for bed and breakfasts, and felt that her existing system didn’t give her the ability to run and track her promotions effectively.
“I had to be able to run my promotions well, and reporting is a big part of that. I wanted to be able to get more reports out of my system.”
Over time, Donna knew that it simply wasn’t good enough if they wanted their business to run smoothly.
“If we didn’t do anything about it, we would keep getting double bookings because the system was just too hard to use.”
Donna began her search for an easy-to-use reservation system for Sunlover Retreat.
“One of my son’s friends is the manager of a large backpacking organisation and he recommended I look into Little Hotelier.”
After taking the free trial, Donna was convinced that Little Hotelier was the perfect fit for Sunlover Retreat.
“I really liked the layout of the system from the backend, and how it looks visually on my website.”
She immediately began implementing the system, and found that she was supported every step of the way.
“I received great service with setting it all up. Little Hotelier staff were accessible the whole way.”
With Little Hotelier, Sunlover Retreat is able to run more efficiently, because Donna can rely on one easy-to-use system to manage all of her reservations across her channels. She no longer experiences double bookings.
Donna actively runs marketing promotions with Little Hotelier’s booking engine component, boosting revenue for Sunlover Retreat.
“I’ve reinvested my time in looking at our reports, running more marketing promotions and building up our reviews on TripAdvisor. And it’s certainly worked! We have definitely noticed an increase in bookings.”
Sunlover Retreat is also able to keep more of its profit with Little Hotelier.
“Little Hotelier is more cost effective than my previous reservation system, because they would charge me for channel management, whereas now it’s included.”
Donna is so happy with Little Hotelier that she would gladly recommend it to other small accommodation providers.
“I have already recommended Little Hotelier to other bed and breakfasts, and it’s mainly due to the service I receive. It’s all about the people.”
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