Tell us more about your guests?
We are lucky enough that over 70% of our business is repeat or by recommendation. It does take time and effort to make sure every guest has a great experience whether they are in our top suite or one of our cheaper rooms but everybody gets the same service, breakfasts and attention to detail during their stay.
There has been a shift in bookings this year to slightly longer stays; our average was two days but now three days stays and longer are increasing. We have also seen an increase in younger guests since the pandemic started.
Do you work with any other local businesses to help cross promote?
Every guest gets a hand-drawn map of Rye when they arrive and personal tips on where to visit for the best experiences during their stay with us. We recommend the restaurants that are consistently good (and also Covid Secure). Part of our role is to make sure the guests enjoy their time outside of the B&B and the advice that we give will hopefully entice them back to see more on another visit.
How does freetobook help your business?
Freetobook was recommend to us by a fellow B&Ber and we set up our account as soon as we took over Rye Windmill as there was no online diary in the past. We have moved away from using Booking.com as we found that the customer service given to accommodation providers is not good and with demand as it is, we do not need to be paying commission to have full occupancy. We were using Google Hotel Ads and paying 7% last year which is much better than with the OTA (which we predominantly used to fill last-minute spaces) but were delighted when freetobook offered Google Zero which provides the same service at no cost, fantastic! People have gotten too used to using pre-signed up apps on their phones (b.com etc) but having a presence on Google gives great visibility to the B&B and an easy way to book direct.