Blog- Being an Airbnb Superhost

Superhost status – This is the icing on the cake of Airbnb hosting pinned only to the most deserving of hosts. Once this achievement has been awarded, you are awarded a badge and enhanced Airbnb listings.
To be awarded a ‘Superhost’ status, these 4 criteria mist be met…..
1: Host at Least 10 Guests Each Year
These must be booked through Airbnb to count. What helps the bookings is excellent reviews and great photography, clean properties and great pricing.
2: Respond to Guests Quickly
The best way to remember this rule is:
Treat your guests the way you would a fire alarm – respond immediately. Once a year, Airbnb pulls out its calculator and works out the average amount of time it takes you to respond to each new message. To pass the test, you need a response rate of at least 90%.
3: Receive 5-Star Reviews, at Least 80% of the Time
A great deal of effort is required to provide our customers with a 5-tar review and I’m please to say that we have many.

4: Don’t Cancel
Our guests have planned their visit to our location and as soon as they receive confirmation of their stay from StayZo, you owe them a responsibility to provide them with your 5-star accommodation – so cancellation is a no-no.

5: Maintain at Least a 4.8 Rating
Once you achieve your superhost status, then it is just as much effort to maintain your accreditation. If your rating drops below 4.8, you’ll lose your recognition and have to start all over again to retrieve it.
Below are Stayzo’s statistics and achievements.
The best bit of news is that the level of service that is required to maintain these statistics doesn’t only to apply to my guests that opt to stay in a StayZo property through Airbnb – but for every guest that stays with us. The main advantage of booking directly enables direct access to me without going through a third party portal and your requirements, such as an earlier check in (if available), airport pickups, drop offs or any other special requests can be discussed directly


Furniture for Serviced Apartments

Here, I’m sharing some things that I needed to consider when thinking about furnishing our lovely StayZo properties when we came to the setup.

Furniture and Its Functions

We know that our furniture is going to be used by many different people and we aim to ensure that every guest has a comfortable bed and comfortable seating downstairs in the lounge and dining room.

Each piece of furniture was reviewed on the basis that it will perform its function perfectly, looks good and is well made so that it provides longevity.

To add flexibility, many of StayZo’s properties come with Zip and Link beds. These enable a quick switch from 2 singles to a comfortable double.

Size & Shape of furniture

Much thought went into considering the right size of furniture. Every room was measured with the view to purchasing the correct shape and size of the furniture to ensure a clean and clutter-free look.

As a result, the furniture fits well into the available space well and still leave free space for a walk around. By making sure that this looks right, it ensures the rooms look welcoming and well thought out. 

Not over done

We didn’t put excessive amounts of furniture pieces in our properties as too many pieces will crowd the space, blocking walkways and leaving no room for our guests to leave their suitcases etc.

Health and Safety

All of our furniture meet the current Health and safety standards, being fully compliant with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989, 1993 and 2010) legislation, which looks to ensure that upholstery components and composites used for furniture supplied in the UK meet specified ignition resistance levels.

A ‘Home from Home’ experience

All our properties are fully furnished and provide a ‘home from home’ experience. In addition to furniture, we provide:

⊗   Tv / Entertainment units,

⊗   Dining sets to seat 2 to 10 people.

⊗   Rugs, soft furnishings and lighting packs.

⊗   Fitted bedroom cabinet as well as loose items.

⊗   Zip and Link beds.

⊗   Bedding,

⊗   Fully equipped kitchen

⊗   Dishwasher, washing machine, clothes horse

⊗   Vacuum Cleaner,

⊗   First Aid kit

⊗   Sewing kit


Blog – Why I started StayZo – by Tom Whatton. Founder and Owner of StayZo Ltd

My passion for the hospitality industry and the property industry was formed at a young age – but I had no idea they would both come together and form StayZo Ltd – my serviced accommodation company.

From when I was first able to get part time jobs while still studying, I found myself working with members of the public – the customers – for many in companies as varied as supermarkets, on the tills, to making fried breakfasts at motorway service stations. I was always trying to ensure that the customers had what they wanted as quickly as possible and they went away happy.

After I had finished my accountancy training, travelled the world, got married and had my 3 children, I began to think more about my other interest, property. I became aware of serviced accommodation on a training course and knew quite quickly that this is an area that I wanted to start working in.

The hospitality industry has a history that spans millions of years. Even in ancient times, there were inns and private residences available to the public. The industry has grown by leaps and bounds since then and it shows no signs of slowing down. The Hospitality and Travel Industry employs more people than automotive, mining, financial services and manufacturing combined and the Industry contributes 10.6% of the Global Gross Domestic Product. This sector of the economy has a growth rate over 150% of the global average.

Property has always been a growth area. The prices of houses increase year after year in every part of the country and everybody needs a roof over their head.

I made the decision of combining property and hospitality together fairly quickly, but what I needed to think about was where my first property would be located. As many people do, they return to their roots, and I was no exception. I was born in Welwyn Garden City and during my childhood, right up to the present day, I had read many times in the local press about the lack of accommodation, the lack of hotel space in the local WGC area. Nothing had changed much – so StayZo in WGC came to be.

We opened our first property in May 2018. During my research into the area, many of the other properties available were 1- and 2-bedroom apartments but we at StayZo broke this mould – our first property was a 3 bedroom house – the first in Welwyn Garden City.

Since our opening date, we have attracted guests working on projects in the town and other areas around, guests that have moved away from the area and are returning for get together’s with their families and tourists that use the house as a base.

After fine tuning the operational process including IT and forming a great team of housekeepers, maintenance guys and gardeners StayZo opened its second property in Hatfield, then in Winchester, we refurbished a house in Bradford and our latest property is based in Peterborough.  

The future seems bright for StayZo. We are always on the look out for offering more locations whist continuing to give our valuable guests a first class service.


Why stay in Bradford

ARTS

Victorian museums hosting modern artists, 21st century performances surrounded by Edwardian architecture alongside innovative festivals.  If you want to become immersed in culture then Bradford district is the place to choose.

Bradford was awarded the title of the world’s first UNESCO City of Film due to the city’s rich film heritage and its inspirational movie locations. Bradford has been a film location since the beginning of cinema, with its indigenous film industry being traced back to the years around the First World War. To this day Bradford district is still chosen and featured in top films and TV series.

Bradford is proud of its cultural heritage. This city was the birthplace of the famous artist David Hockney, and you can be enthralled by his works at Salts Mill and Cartwright Hall.

Salts Mill

Salts Mill is set in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Saltaire. The Grade II Listed historic mill building was built in 1853 by Sir Titus Salt along with the village to house his workers. The whole area is of architectural and historical interest.

1853 Gallery David Hockney

Salts Mill is home to one of the largest collections of David Hockney’s art. On the ground floor you will find the 1853 Gallery which houses a permanent exhibition of works by David Hockney.

Gallery 2 and the Saltaire Exhibition

On the second floor beyond Salts Book and Poster Shop is Gallery 2 and the Saltaire Exhibition. Gallery 2 has a collection of work by Henry Marvell Carr R.A entitled “The Textile Process” and Simon Palmer’s collection of Saltaire paintings and drawings. At the rear of the gallery is the Saltaire Exhibition which is a fascinating exhibition which explores Saltaire’s history from 1853 to the present day.

Shopping

If you enjoy shopping then take time to explore the many independent shops in the mill which include everything from bikes to antiques. Stroll around the Salts Book and Poster shop and browse in The Home a luxury home ware and furniture shop.

Cafes and Restaurants

A popular choice with locals and visitors alike is Salts Diner, found on the second floor. If you just fancy a coffee visit The Espresso Bar (go through the Diner and turn left). On the third floor is Salts Mill’s excellent fish restaurant, Café in the Opera (open Wed – Sun 10am – 5pm).

Cartwright Hall

Cartwright Hall is Bradford’s civic art gallery and offers an exciting programme of contemporary exhibitions, with four permanent galleries displaying works from its art collections. The collections consist mainly of 19th and 20th century British art, with strong collections of international contemporary prints and contemporary South Asian art and crafts.

THE HOCKNEY GALLERY

This gallery dedicated to the work of Bradford born artist David Hockney, showcases Bradford’s unrivalled public collection. It includes early work and provides an introduction to his life and art with a particular focus on Yorkshire and Bradford.

LISTER PARK

Cartwright Hall is set in the magnificent, Green Flag-awarded grounds of Lister Park, with a boating lake, adventure playground and Mughal Gardens.

Stroll around Lister Park to view sculpture and public artwork, some on loan by the artists, others from Bradford’s own collections.

There is also a privately run cafe in the Lister Park boat house that serves hot and cold drinks, food and ice-cream. Open April – September, 12 noon -7pm; October 11am – 5pm (weekend only). If the weather is good you may find the cafe open outside the usual hours!

Family Days Out

If you are looking to experience live entertainment, you won’t be disappointed. There are always have new festivals being introduced such as the Bradford Family Film Festival, or the long established ones such as Ilkley Literature Festival and Saltaire Festival.

Spend time together as a family and enjoy a day out in Bradford district. Bradford offers great value for money with its many free attractions and activities.

When the sun is shining, burn off some energy at one of the districts many parks; with a boating lake at Lister Park, the Totem and Play Trail around Peel Park or adventure playground in Bingley St Ives. You can enjoy splashing around in the outdoor pool at Ilkley Lido or simply play by the river in Roberts Park, Saltaire.

There is still plenty to do on those rainy days as well.  There are many free attractions such as the National Science and Media Museum, Cartwright Hall and Cliffe Castle Museum. Look out for the activities for children run by Bradford museums and galleries during the school holidays.  For something a bit different try the Bradford IMAX or travel by steam train on the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and the Embsay and Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.

Events and festivals are run througout the year as well child friendly theatre performances and Big Screen Film and Fun Wednesdays in City Park. So you really can guarantee the children won’t get bored in Bradford district.

Rich & Varied Heritage

Bradford has a rich and fascinating history from Roman remains to Victorian grandeur. With a long industrial heritage, Bradford is proud to have once been the wool capital of the world which lead to pioneers such as Sir Titus Salt to build businesses in the area. You don’t have to go far to find out more, simply walk the streets and look up at the architecture or learn more about Bradford’s history at Bradford Cathedral and Bradford Industrial Museum or visit the magnificent Bolling Hall a 17th century mansion house.

Nearby Saltaire, a model Victorian village and a UNESCO World Heritage site is a joy to visit and make sure you join a guided walk to learn more about the village’s past. Saltaire became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, thanks to its preservation as a Victorian industrial village. Mill owner Sir Titus Salt built the village for his workers and today Saltaire attracts millions of visitors to its magnificent architecture.

Today his great mill complex is the key feature of Saltaire, but make sure you visit Saltaire United Reformed Church – one of Britain’s most precious Victorian architectural treasures.

Bradford & Beyond

Renowned for its rolling hills and rugged moorland, Bradford district is a paradise for walkers and cyclists or to simply escape and enjoy the big blue skies and inspiring views. Depending when you visit the countryside can be either tranquil and inviting or wild and windswept.

The rugged and beautiful Pennine countryside and open spaces is what makes Bradford district picturesque and inviting and home to many fantastic walks taking in spectacular views.

You can take a walk on Ilkley Moor where you’ll find breathtaking views and the Swastika Stone, one of the many carved pre-historic rocks found on the moor. You can visit Brontë Country and explore the rugged moorland once inspiration for the Brontë sisters.

So whether you want to grab your walking boots and binoculars, or jump on your bike, the decision is yours but Bradford district is the obvious choice!

Whats on

The moment you set foot in Bradford & district you’ll discover inspirational things to see and do. There’s a flourishing arts scene… fascinating exhibitions… energetic theatres… compelling events… plus stacks of live music to keep you enthralled.

Bradford Festival brings a vibrant, colourful and multicultural programme of the very best international, British and local theatre, art, music and dance right into the heart of the Bradford, in the  multi-award winning public space, City Park. The 2020 Bradford Festival will take place 10-12 July.

Haworth plays host a a wide range of themed events throughout the season, from the Haworth 1940s to the quirky Steampunk Weekend in October.

Haworth’s Steampunk Weekend – 11th to 13th October 2019

Come and enjoy Haworth’s Steampunk Weekend, dress up or just mingle.

Held every year since 2013 the event has gone from strength to strength, come along and enjoy the atmosphere.

The steampunk genre re imagines Victorian & Edwardian science fiction in a “retro-futuristic” style.

Events taking place over the course of the weekend include street entertainers, bands, and a very special “Steampunk Burlesque” show.

If literature is your passion, walk in the footsteps of the Brontë family at the historic Brontë Parsonage Museum.  Booklovers will be spoilt for choice at Bradford & Ilkley Literature Festivals. 

Brontë Parsonage Museum

The Brontes are the world’s most famous literary family and Haworth Parsonage was their home from 1820 to 1861. Charlotte, Emily and Anne Bronte were the authors of some of the best loved books in the English language.

The beautifully preserved museum has celebrated it 90th anniversary of opening its doors to visitors in 2018. Set between the unique village of Haworth, and the wild moorland beyond, this homely Georgian house still retains the atmosphere of the Brontes’ time.

The rooms they once used are filled with their furniture, clothes and personal possessions and displays are changed annually, so you can always be sure of seeing something new.

Ilkley Literature Festivals 4th to 20th October 2019

The North’s liveliest, most prestigious Literature Festival • Over 200 events over seventeen days • Authors’ events, Discussions, Readings, Performances, Workshops, Reader’s Events, Literary Walks, Poetry, Festival Fringe, Children’s and Young People’s Weekend.

Saltaire Festival takes place annually in September, a feast of music, theatre, comedy, heritage, art, sculpture, food and drink, and so much more.  There are numerous arts events during the year brought to you by Saltaire Inspired  – Open Houses Trail, Makers Fair, and the Saltaire Living Advent Calendar . 

About Saltaire 13th to 22nd September 2019

The Victorian mill village of Saltaire was founded in 1851 by Sir Titus Salt, a leading industrialist in the Yorkshire woollen industry. Salt relocated his five factories from Bradford, into one, bespoke textile mill on land adjacent to the Leeds Liverpool Canal, and designed a village around it to house his workers (later named Saltaire, after its creator, and the river by which it stands). Picturesque stone cottages provided homes to Salt’s employees, and the village included facilities such as a school, park, hospital and church. This exceptional village is widely regarded as a prime example of its Victorian times and was given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in December 2001

The festival programme covers two weekends and the week in between. The first weekend features the popular Open Gardens trail, giving visitors the opportunity to explore the village and its history through its current residents. Yards and gardens will host works by local sculptors, in association with Saltaire Inspired, and there will be pop-up and surprise events in homes around the village, with children’s and family activities in the village and Roberts Park. The festival concludes with food, drink and markets in Roberts Park, as well as free live music and entertainment on both days. Music is a key feature of the festival and, whatever your taste, there should be something of interest for you. Free and ticketed events take place over the course of the 10 days, offering a mix of styles and genres

You’ll find the hottest creative talent around showcased in our many galleries too.  Be sure not to miss popular festivals at the National Science + Media Museum – Yorkshire Games Festival, the Bradford Science Festival, and Widescreen Weekend.


Our Bradford Restaurant Recommendations

Whenever and wherever I go travelling in the world I always make sure to find a quality restaurant locally that can provide me with the comforting food whenever I crave it. Even though StayZo has a fully equipped kitchen in each of its houses, finding somewhere nice to eat out after a day at work is very welcome. Some of the best eateries in and around Bradford are:

 For fine dining there is;

AKBAR’S

1272 – 1278 Leeds Road, Bradford, Bradford BD3 8LF

A very famous and always very good Indian and South Asian restaurant. Bradford was the first Akbar restaurant and it has since expanded into other major UK cities. Always has very good reviews on Tripadvisor etc.

Classic Persian Restaurant

368 Little Horton Ln, Bradford BD5 0NB

Described as a hidden gem, this very highly rated restaurant is not licenced – however you are welcome to bring your own drinks for no corkage fee, but not fizzy drinks.  It is great value and packed Friday and Saturday – so ensure you’ve reserved a table.

Mamma Mia’s

3 Upper Piccadilly, Braford centre BD1 3PE

Seafood, Italian, Pizza – a long standing Italian restaurant that’s been about since 1985 in the same family. Great reviews. Extensive menu. Prices ok. Service was quite quick. Good atmosphere and friendly.

Gastropub – City Vaults

33 Hustlergate, Bradford BD1 1RE

A Certificate of Excellence 2017 & 2019 Winner. A popular British pub in the centre with great food and live music at the weekend. Also sells beers from around the Yorkshire area.

Heathfield Farm – Dining & Carvery

Whitehall 26 Business Park, 2 Heathfield Ln, Birkenshaw, Bradford BD11 2DP

A great, child friendly location, especially for Sunday lunch where all the meat and vegetables are grown / natured at their own farm, on site. They have their own bakery as well, for delicious bread and cakes

Grand Cru Restaurant

559-565 Bradford Rd, Birkenshaw, Bradford BD11 2AQ

For fine dining, this recently opened restaurant is perfect. The owner has been trained at a  Michelin starred restaurant – and the prices reflect the high quality. The owners worked to converted an ex CO-OP supermarket to the fantastic eatery and the reviews show that their hard work was worth the effort. 


Our Hatfield Restaurant Recommendations

Whenever and wherever I go travelling in the world I always make sure to find a quality restaurant locally that can provide me with the comforting food whenever I crave it. Even though StayZo has a fully equipped kitchen in each of its houses, finding somewhere nice to eat out after a day at work is very welcome. Some of the best eateries in and around Hatfield are:

 For fine dining there is;

Red Lion

88 Great North Road, Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Hatfield AL9 5EU

For typical pub grub and local ales, the Red Lion is popular place to eat. It is one mile away from our Hatfield property, so perfect for a summers evening walk.

The place has a nice atmosphere and helpful staff.

A Taste of India

33/34 Salisbury Square, Hatfield AL9 5AF

Has been described as ‘Old Hatfield little secret’, this is a lovely Indian restaurant that has been in this location for many years.

Always fresh and tasty, this is one of my favourites.

Taste it Polish

17 Market Place, Hatfield AL10 0LJ

For great value, tasty and traditional Polish faire, try ‘Take it Polish’ The restaurant is rated highly with locals and the local Polish population and has a great atmosphere.


Our Welwyn Garden City Restaurant Recommendations

Whenever and wherever I go travelling in the world I always make sure to find a quality restaurant locally that can provide me with the comforting food whenever I crave it. Even though StayZo has a fully equipped kitchen in each of its houses, finding somewhere nice to eat out after a day at work is very welcome. Some of the best eateries in and around Welwyn Garden City are:

 For fine dining there is;

Auberge du Lac

Brocket Hall, Marford Road, Hatfield, Welwyn

Beautifully views over the lake at Brocket Hall’s estate await diners at its former hunting lodge, the Auberge du Lac restaurant. Its menu is based on modern French dining with an upmarket ambiance. Fine dining can be enjoyed al fresco, or in the sympathetically decorated dining room, both with views over the lake.

Misya Meze & Grill

67 Parkway, Welwyn Garden City AL8 6JQ

A new restaurant in Welwyn Garden City offers authentic Turkish cuisine. The food is v and it is of a high standard  Really delicious! Excellent service, friendly staff, good food and reasonable prices.

The place has a nice atmosphere and helpful staff.

Red Indian Restaurant

49 Wigmores North, Welwyn Garden City, Herts AL8 6PG

A highly rated, town centre based restaurant. It can cater for most food types such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free. This venue is a Certificate of Excellence 2018 – 2019 Winner

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