After one set of guests departs and before the next set arrives we have to clean the holiday cottage, change the linen in bedroom and bathroom and check the facilities/stores. Normally, we have about four hours to achieve this task and, depending on the state of the cottage, it takes 90 minutes for two people.
Checking the facilities/stores, includes safety checks (such as smoke alarms), replenishing beverages, supplying fresh milk and biscuits, replenish household paper products (loo rolls, kitchen towels, tissues), checking the rubbish bins and performing an inventory check. We also check the Internet service, phone and TV (satellite service, DVDs and soundbar. All the lighting is checked and blown bulbs replaced and where necessary batteries replaced. We also tidy the maps and walk guides; each guest seems to find a different way of organising these items before departure. We change the access codes on combination locks. All electrical devices are checked for safe operation.
In cleaning the cottage, we swap out the towels, soaps and shampoos. We make the bed, with clean linen. Every room and the stairs are vacuum cleaned. Furniture is cleaned with a vacuum cleaner to remove any pet hairs then put back in the correct location. The bathroom fixtures are all cleaned and checked, the toilet is cleaned and disinfected. All surfaces are dusted and wiped. All linen, seating covers, curtains is checked for damage or stains. The ground floor windows and doors are cleaned on the outside using specialist equipment and solutions. If any rugs have become stained, they are replaced during the turnround.
The kitchen is cleaned including all work surfaces and tables, We check all plates, cups, cutlery, glassware, pots and pans for cleanliness and and chips. We check the kitchen stove for cleanliness and grime. The washer drier machine is checked. The refrigerator is emptied and cleaned. Any waste is disposed of, and waste bins are provided with new liners. Any missing items are replaced. Just before our departure, we mop the tiled kitchen floor.
At the time of writing, five years from opening the business, we have yet to break even for income against expenses. At the moment we subsidise every guest night by a few pounds. We anticipate that eventually we'll make a profit. It means that every breakage, breakdown, damaged or stolen item just pushes the break even date further into the future. We have zero sympathy with any guest who says the cottage is too expensive! Our rates are about half the local Premier Inn and the accommodation is about twice the size of a Premier Inn room.
At the last turnround we discovered that the shower drain fitting has been damaged. Fixing this damage will require the removal of the shower cabinet, and lifting the floorboards. In the same turnround we discovered that the hair drier was missing from the bedroom dresser. It has been stolen. We discovered earlier in the week, during the laundry process, that one of the large fluffy bath sheet towels had become indelibly stained and will need replacing.