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The 10 Most Amazing Airbnbs in London Right Now

May 18, 2015

Heading to London for the weekend? From swanky apartments with panoramic views of the city, to cosy hideaways with no internet or electricity, check out our wishlist for the best Airbnb rentals in the capital.

1. St Pancras Clock Tower

Surely London’s most incredible Airbnb – you can actually stay in the St Pancras clock tower! The ten metre high room in the tower also looks out upon other famous landmarks such as St Paul’s Cathedral.

2. Round Room in the Sky

One of the most unique and eye-catching listings on Airbnb, this ’round room in the sky’ is a great option for those seeking the unconventional.

3. Riverside Apartment

This stunning riverside apartment combines panoramic views of the city, a prime central location, and spacious and stylish interior. Part of the award-winning NEO Bankside development on the Southbank, this property comes equipped with a 24 hour concierge service and a residents’ gym.

4. Designer Canal Oasis

There are a handful of houseboats listed on Airbnb, and they are an increasingly popular option for those who want to experience London from the river. This one is our favourite, combining novelty with design in one of the most unusual properties on Airbnb.

5. Piccadilly Circus Yurt

This is the perfect choice if you want to combine country and city life. With Piccadilly Circus just a stone’s throw away, you can enjoy this peaceful sanctuary in the knowledge that central London is on your doorstep.

6. Eco Paradise

Yes, another yurt, but this Airbnb offers no electricity or internet. This eco house promotes a more simple way of living, and certainly one for those seeking a cosy hideaway while staying in the city. Oh, and there’s a hot tub in the garden.

7. Victorian Shop

Surround yourself with history and culture with a stay at this unique Airbnb property. This quirky Grade II listed former Victorian shop boasts beautiful art nouveau tiled walls, a mahogany cashier’s booth, and a mosaic tiled floor.

8. Camden Garden Cabin

A great choice, particularly for the summer, this cosy garden cabin leads out to a beautiful decked garden perfect for enjoying breakfast or relaxing afternoons in the sun. With a fantastic location in the heart of the popular Camden area, this property is ideal if you’re looking for a sunny stay in the city.

9. Stylish Penthouse

One of the classiest London listings, this designer penthouse boasts striking architecture, chic furnishing and spectacular views of Chelsea.

10. House on the River

This property combines rustic charm with a stunning location on the Thames. Surrounded on two sides by the river, it’s located just minutes from Canary Wharf and the Olympic Park. The house itself is beautifully designed and has even featured in a number of architectural publications.

A stunning house on the river in London

The Airbnb Checklist: what to remember before listing your property

May 15, 2015

15th May 2015

Think you’re ready to start hosting on Airbnb? Think again.

There’s a lot to consider when taking the Airbnb plunge, and chances are you’ve forgotten something.

But don’t worry, we’ve made a definitive checklist of things to remember before your listing goes live. The majority of Airbnb newcomers overlook at least one of these key necessities, and in doing so fail to make the most of becoming a host. Follow our step-by-step guide and manage Airbnb like a pro.

1. Embrace expenses

Everyone wants to make as big a return as possible, as soon as possible, on their Airbnb rentals. But being too cheap doesn’t pay. Initially, you have to accept some additional costs, such as extra linens, cleaning supplies, toiletries and other essentials. Don’t worry, your investment will soon be rewarded.

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2. Personalise

People choose Airbnb because they want to stay at authentic local homes – they don’t want the bland, clinical experience that they could get at any nearby hotel. Make sure your home reflects your character and tastes, and create a homely environment for your guests. Personal decorations will go down better than generic design, so be creative!

3. Keep it clean

If there’s one thing that will sabotage your Airbnb dreams, it’s failing to maintain a high standard of cleanliness. One cobweb, carpet stain or dusty surface is enough to destroy your Airbnb credentials and jeopardise the likelihood of future guests. If you don’t have the time, invest in professional cleaners – it’ll be worth it in the long run.

4. Nail the photoshoot

Positive reviews, appealing pricing, and a prime location will all interest guests, but nothing will draw attention to your listing like stunning images of your property. Airbnb is visual by design, and the most successful hosts capitalise on this by posting great shots of their home.

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5. Know your safety net

Currently, hosts in the UK are covered by a £600,000 “host guarantee”. This doesn’t cover everything, however, and Airbnb recommends that all hosts should obtain appropriate home insurance on top of this.

6. Make it legal

Airbnb says that it is up to all users – both hosts and guests – to ensure their arrangement doesn’t breach any city, state, district, or country laws. For hosts, this generally means that you must clarify that there are no clauses against subletting in your rental agreement. You may also need to get permission from your landlord before listing your property. For more information, check out Airbnb’s extensive terms.

6 Biggest Hassles for Airbnb Hosts

April 15, 2015

So you’ve decided to become an Airbnb host – great! It’s a fantastic way to meet amazing people from all over the world, to share the secrets of your city with newcomers, and make some money all at the same time.

Managing Airbnb isn’t without its difficulties, though. From scrubbing dirty sheets to juggling meet and greets, hassle is part and parcel of being a host. Here are some of the biggest hosting management issues you’ll face.

1. Damages & repairs

Damage and repair problems are often expensive, time consuming and can, if not handled well, fuel bad blood between you and your guests. From minor hitches like broken lightbulbs and faulty wifi, all the way to floods and fires, it’s your responsibility to be on hand to resolve these issues. Damages and repairs are usually time sensitive and require an immediate response, disrupting your day, and costing you money.

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2. Key exchange

When travelers arrive exhausted and stressed from their travels, they don’t want the hassle of a complicated key retrieval processes. Alternatively, simply leaving a key under the doormat poses a serious security risk, both to you and your guest. Hence, key exchanges can prove the biggest headache for Airbnb hosts and result in a time-consuming, uncoordinated meet and greet…

3. Meet & greet

Late arrivals are an inevitability when people are travelling long distances to a new city. Transport delays, navigational problems, and language barriers can mean wasting hours of your time waiting for guests. Frustrating and inefficient, this issue will likely become disruptive to your work and social commitments. Equally, you’ll struggle to reconcile a bad first impression if you yourself are late to greet your guests. Worse yet, if you are hosting multiple properties, meeting every guest in person might not only be a logistical nightmare, but a physical impossibility.

4. Screening & security

It’s important to feel comfortable with your guests, so being selective with your choice is key to an enjoyable stay for both parties. By finding responsible and trustworthy people, and avoiding trouble makers, you’ll immediately minimize hassle at the first hurdle. Security is one of the most critical issues when it comes to Airbnb management, so taking time to screen guests is a must.

5. 24/7 support

Would you be happy receiving a call from a lost tourist in the middle of a meeting at work? Or worse yet, getting woken up at 3am because your guests can’t navigate their way home from the bar? During reservations, you need to be available to help remedy any issues that may arise, and be responsive to your guests around the clock.

6. Cleaning & laundry

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Maintaining a clean home for your guests is imperative: you must go above and beyond. They will notice if your bathroom isn’t spotless, if the sheets don’t smell freshly laundered and if food has been left to rot in your cupboards. As much as they might get along with you and enjoy their stay, a failure to provide a high standard of cleanliness will most likely reflect negatively in their reviews and damage your reputation as an Airbnb host.

5 Budget Ideas for Airbnb Hosts

April 15, 2015

When managing Airbnb, it’s important to remember that old cliché: a little goes a long way. Most Airbnb hosts won’t want to pay over the odds just to rent out their room, so how can you remain frugal but ensure a stay to remember? Here are our best ideas for hosting your holiday letting on a budget.

1. Food

Free food is always a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. It’s hard to be unhappy when gorging on complementary delights. One idea is to assemble a welcome hamper full of tasty snacks and treats. It’s also a great way to introduce foreign guests to local cuisine, while not exactly breaking the bank.

2. Books

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If you want to show off your personality and provide an additional perk free of charge, why not share your library collection with your guests? They might enjoy a read before bed and be interested in exploring another literary culture. Another option is to offer a selection of newspapers and magazines for them to read in their spare time.

3. Drink

Having coffee and tea in the bedroom is an overlooked necessity. Your guests will quietly appreciate not having to get dressed and journey across to the kitchen every time they want a hot brew. Ensure milk and water are easily accessible too, so you’re not disturbed in the middle of the night by your guest crashing around in the dark trying to locate the kitchen.

4. Decorations

Artwork and photographs don’t only brighten up the place, but provide easy conversation starters. More personal decorations like family portraits, holiday photos and children’s artwork will also bring a quaint and cosy quality to the room. Four white walls and an empty mantelpiece lacks character and betrays a blatant lack of thought.

5. Information

One thing that is completely free, but that your guests want the most, is local knowledge. Sharing your favourite spots and things to do offers them a native’s insight into the area and a chance to venture off the beaten track. Tell them about the best cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars, parks, shops and activities your area has to offer, and you’ll be giving them a priceless gift that costs you nothing at all.