Welcome to “ON THE MARKET”, the new section of Luxury Bed & Breakfast website specifically designed to showcase the best B&Bs for sale across the country.
If you are looking for a B&B for sale in your local area but can’t find what you’re looking for here, drop the Luxury Bed & Breakfast team an email or call with your requirements and we can get in contact with our network of estate agents to see if we can find you your next dream B&B.
If you would like help with any of the above, please contact our team on 01737 852 342 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
WSTA calls on Chancellor to cut alcohol duty by 2% and boost Treasury coffers
The Wine & Spirit Trade Association (WSTA) has called on the Treasury to cut wine and spirit duty in the upcoming budget and help boost the public purse, in a budget submission sent to the Treasury this week.
It says by delivering a freeze to wine and spirits in 2017 the Treasury landed a bumper tax windfall and at the same time helped cash strapped consumers and gave a boost to British businesses. But it says the respite was short lived. In 2018 the Chancellor chose to once again freeze spirit duty but singled out wine for an unfair duty rise.
According to the Government’s recent Alcohol Duty Bulletin, in the last six months since the wine duty hike there has been a slump in wine sales leading to a 2.1% drop in revenue to the Exchequer – falling to £2.4 billion down from just over £2.5 billion. If the same rate of decline continues forecasts show the Treasury will lose £93 million in 2019 compared to 2018.
For beer and spirits, both of which received a duty freeze at the last Budget, the revenue income was more positive with beer up 2.4% and sprits up 1.7%.
WSTA CEO Miles Beale said: “Duty rises are bad for consumers, bad for business and bad for the Exchequer, as the Government’s own figures clearly show. After wine was singled out for a duty rise wine revenues have fallen on the previous year, in line with a slump in wine sales.
“We recognise the fact that alcohol duty is an important revenue stream for Government to fund public services, which is precisely why we are calling for a 2% duty cut on wine and spirits. A cut will not only boost Treasury coffers but also bring a boost post-Brexit to British businesses and consumers, whereas another rise will have a negative impact on all three.
“If Government chooses to increase what are already some of the world’s highest alcohol tax rates, it will not only push up prices for people who voted them in but also hit hard an industry that prides itself in flying the flag for brand Britain.
“We agree it’s time for government to change the UK’s unfair, outdated and restrictive wine and spirit duty regime. However, the Chancellor should pre-empt reform with a duty cut.”
UK drinkers now pay £2.23 on duty per bottle of still wine, £2.86 on a bottle of sparkling wine and £8.05 for every bottle of spirit at 40% ABV. This means that for every bottle of wine Brits buy 55% of the cash goes on tax and for the average priced bottle of spirits its 73%.
The UK alcohol industry is one of the most heavily taxed in Europe, stung by the third highest duty rates for wine and fourth highest duty rate for spirits across the EU.
British drinkers currently pay 68% of all wine duties collected by all 28 EU member states and 27% of all spirits duties. This is by far the most of any member state despite accounting for only 11% of the total EU population.
The WSTA is calling on its members and the public to lobby MP’s to highlight the UK’s grossly unfair alcohol taxation policy.
See the February issue of Luxury Bed & Breakfast magazine for a feature on UK wine tourism.
Isle of Skye B&B 2020 Fire – Latest News
On the 7th January this week, Cairn View of Skye B&B in Borreraig (north-west in the Skye island) suffered from a devastating fire.
The fire ‘ripped’ through to the building to a mere shell as it spread across the property.
Incredibly, all the guests in the B&B were swiftly evacuated, and have been reported to be “safe and well”
It has yet to be confirmed why the Isle of Skye B&B Fire occurred in the first place and if it could have been prevented.
(This BBC article ) offers insight about fire fundamentals and their havoc on businesses, specifically wildfires)
The article highlights that the majority of wildfires are actually caused because of human behaviour such as deliberate arson, lit cigarette carelessness, , playing with fireworks or flammable substances such as gas cylinders.
The trouble is when there is a lot of wind in the air and when a wildfire has just begun. The wind causes the fire to travel and wreck havoc on whatever is in the path of it.
John Finlayson, the councillor of Skye has expressed his condolences and thoughts to all involved in the blaze.
He states it is never good to hear about incidents like this, but equally as unfortunate to hear about them at this time of year. He also mentions that it was lucky for the fire service to arrive in such a prompt time, and hopes the year will improve for Isle of Skye in the months to come.
Eviivo My Diary App Review – Award Winning B&B Software
Technology has once again taken away hours time of tasks that were once difficult and consuming – and in the B&B and guest accommodation sector, this could hold more true with automated guest booking software.
In this Eviivo My Diary Review, we will go into the app’s features, benefits and functionalities – to inform you of whether Eviivo My Diary App is the right fit for your B&B.
Overview of Eviivo My Diary
Eviivo started out as a company back in 2004. Eviivo brought together a team of others possessing talent and prior knowledge with the same goal to aid hotels, Luxury B&Bs and other guest accommodation businesses to succeed online.
Evivvo My Diary is one of the 7 fully-functional softwares which falls under the bracket of their Eviivo suite.
One of the repeated claims on the product website state that Eviivo My Diary offers complete control over managing guests and bookings, and takes the edge off this laborious task, so you can focus more on your business objectives and targets more.
Key Features & Benefits
Eviivo My Diary boasts these following features for B&B owners:
See all your bookings on one page. Change bookings and times at a glance.
- Efficient and productive
Sink into drag and drop user interfaces, and enjoy searching for any terms quickly
- Robust & Flexible
12,000+ booking situations are supported.
- Any Device, Anytime
You don’t have to be at your laptop. You can manage your guest accommodation business on your iPad tablet or Android phone if you like.
- Overbookings No More!
No more paperwork, no overbookings.
- Exception Management
Spot deposits due, no show fees, or expired cards at a glance, and process in one-click to improve cash flow.
- and more!
Potential Cons and Drawbacks
Although Eviivo My Diary offers a complete solution to guest management, it does also recommended business owners to get all the softwares contained in the Eviivo Suite.
These softwares are:
- My Diary
- My Website
- My Channel Manager
- My Promo Manager
- My Guest Manager (similar software to what My Diary claims)
- My Dashboard
- My Payment Manager
The potential of this drawback would be the potential expenses of all the suite after the 30 day free demo.
Eviivo have published a quick video with interviews from established B&B owners, about their experience with My Diary.
Eviivo My Diary software offers a robust and seamless experience when it comes to managing guests and issues in your B&B, particularly dealing with the issue on overbookings – a problem that all B&B owners don’t wish to experience.
Deciding on getting the full Eviivo suite will be suitable for larger accommodation providers with firms, but the My Diary software will be suitable for smaller, independent accommodation businesses.
How to respond to a social media backlash
You can get social backlash on the internet which can be a horrible experience – particularly if you’re running a hospitality business.
Anyone who runs a hotel, B&B or any other form of accommodation operation will be all too familiar with the damage that can be done to both pride and room sales when a poor online review hits TripAdvisor, and then cues the social backlash.
It’s a horrible feeling – particularly when you’ve invested blood, sweat, tears and an awful lot of your own money into a business you absolutely love and get social backlash.
The same goes for social media – one off-hand comment by an unhappy guest can ruin your week and present a completely unfair picture of your lovingly-crafted business.
With that in mind, and considering the unfortunately inevitable fact that your establishment will suffer from a social media backlash at some stage, I’ve put together some tips on how to turn it around and avoid digital disaster.
Don’t respond instantly
It’ll be tempting to – I understand that. You’ll be angry, hurt and desperate to put the record straight, but by replying instantly, you’ll only end up saying something you’ll regret.
Take a breather, step back and collect your thoughts.
Don’t paper over the cracks
Whatever you do, avoid deleting the offending post, as some social networks will allow. Once something is posted online, it’s there in some form forever, and the process of deleting a negative comment about your business will only anger the author. Plus, you’ll look decidedly guilty.
No – not that kind of personal! Rather than offering a canned, robotic response, show your human side by responding with a genuine, heartfelt reply.
Address the person by name and refer to the precise details of their complaint. Apologise for the fact they’ve felt compelled to post such a roasting review and say you’d very much like to turn things around.
Take it offline
The worst thing you could do at this stage is continue the conversation online. If you unwittingly find yourself up against a ‘keyboard warrior’, as they’re known, you’ll only end up in a spat that the whole world can see.
Instead, take the conversation offline. Provide a number to call you on or ask the poster to send you theirs via direct message
That’s it! By following the steps above, you’ll create a positive trail of response that anyone can view, and those that do will realise you care deeply about your business; they’ll be on your side.
But what about the original poster? Well, you’ll either get through to them on the phone and discover they’re rather more pleasant when removed from the digital domain, or they’ll simply disappear without trace. And you can move on.
Marketing Director at Welcome Systems
Epstein House Liverpool – Owner Patrick Duggan Interview
The owner of Epstein House Liverpool, a Liverpool hotel housed in the former home of the legendary Beatles manager Brian Epstein, has hailed the recent regeneration of its Anfield neighbourhood. Bill Lumley talks to Patrick Duggan about the property and its Fab Four history
Patrick Duggan, whose Epstein House Hotel has featured on the television shows The Hotel Inspector and Four in a Bed, is looking for a buyer to take over the business and believes its local area has been turned around by recent investment.
Epstein House Liverpool officially opened as a hotel in 2003. Since then the surrounding area encompassing Liverpool’s famous Anfield stadium has recently undergone a £260 million programme of regeneration, with the building of 600 new homes and the refurbishment of a further 600 properties.
What is significant about this transformation?
Patrick Duggan says this transformation of the area has resulted in something of a transformation of his own critical views of the local city council. “In the past I have been critical of both Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Football Club, and I haven’t been shy about saying so. However, over the last few years they have stepped up and transformed Anfield so I’m not going to be shy now about saying what a difference they have made,” he says.
Recently he has been looking for a buyer to take over Epstein House Liverpool enabling him to retire. “It’s a really special property, and we have some incredible Beatles memorabilia here,” he says. “You could argue that before the area was regenerated it wasn’t an attractive investment for a prospective hotel owner, but that’s certainly not the case anymore,” he says.
Why is he selling Epstein House Liverpool?
He is selling up because he has decided he wants to retire and head off to Spain or Portugal, having run the hotel for the past 13 years. The property itself is now on the market with a guide price of £895,000. It has nine en-suite bedrooms, accommodating up to 25 guests in total, with double, twin, triple and family rooms with bunk beds. It also has a fully licensed bar, lounge, dining facilities and a car park with 20 spaces.
Beyond the gardens belonging to the property is a totally undeveloped piece of land about 40 by 100 feet in area with room for significant development to extend the existing guest facilities. Like the hotel itself, it too has steps leading down into the garden.
Reflecting its history as the home of the Beatles manager’s family, the property is thus decorated throughout with memorabilia. This collection includes several distinguished features, among them a piano once played by Paul McCartney.
What makes this property an icon?
The three-storey detached property is a stone’s throw from Liverpool FC’s Anfield stadium. Besides its Beatles history, it has a sizeable garden, which has its own access to Stanley Park.
The boutique hotel experienced some well-documented teething troubles in its early years, but it underwent something of a transformation after featuring in 2014 on Alex Polizzi’s Channel 5 show, The Hotel Inspector. The hotel, and its owner Patrick, have since also appeared on the Channel 4 programme Four in a Bed.
Reflecting on his TV appearances, Epstein House owner Patrick Duggan tells Luxury Bed & Breakfast: “Four in a bed is a very genuine production team. The only mischief they get up to is getting the contestants to argue with each other a little more than they would in normal circumstances, but that is to be expected as it’s an entertainment show. It was a positive experience, I made some good friends and I have stayed with some of them since.
In slight contrast, the dynamics of his appearance in The Hotel Inspector were more challenging, he says. “I regard the Hotel Inspector herself as the Hotel Deceptor. She will look you in the eye with her warm attractive eyes and encourage you to believe she is on your side when in fact you are really just fodder for ratings!”
What positions has Patrick worked before owning Epstein House?
Patrick had hospitality experience prior to taking over Epstein House. Before moving to Liverpool, Patrick had been working for some years as a bartender in the US. By the time he left America and moved back to Ireland in 2002, he says, he knew that Liverpool was set to be the city of culture six years later. “It therefore seemed a good time to invest in the city,” he says. “So, I decided to go to the city and look for a few properties to buy.”
A fan of the Beatles and their manager Brian Epstein, he says he saw Epstein House was up for sale and walked straight in off the street, fascinated by the opportunity to buy the house.
He says he was initially surprised that the owners had only recently decided to sell. “They told me the price they were asking, and in order to secure the property I offered them £25,000 more than they were asking in order to get them to take it off the market and seal the deal,” he says.
By the time Patrick took over the business, Epstein House Liverpool had been open as a hotel for three years. Originally the home of Brian Epstein’s grandparents, features one of the largest private collections of Brian Epstein memorabilia outside of the Epstein family. Acquired over many years by Epstein House owner Patrick Duggan, the memorabilia exhibition also includes a model of a proposed Brian Epstein memorial statue.
Brian’s grandparents, Isaac and Dinah Epstein, lived at the house for over 20 years. Brian’s father, Harry, grew up in the house, and Brian was a frequent guest as a young child when his parents Harry and Queenie visited Brian’s grandparents many times.
Patrick says: “Isaac was a Russian Jew who came to this country in 1900. The family opened a (what kind of?) shop in nearby Walton Road before ultimately ending up with six shops side by side, the last of which they made am music shop called NEMS – North End Music Stores. It was the first record shop the family owned,” he adds.
While he says some of his faith in the local council has been restored after the results of its successful endeavours to regenerate the area he still has qualms about politicians. Notably he has for some time been trying to get the official Brian Epstein statue located in the north end of Liverpool, but has met a lot of resistance. “The authorities want everything focused on the city centre,” he says.
“The situation has been a fiasco. The local politicians and councillors do not look after the common working-class areas. I received a letter from the mayor who is still the mayor today promising to help me raise the finance for the statue.” (Pic/link to video of him and Gerry Marsden).
“Gerry & The Pacemakers was the second biggest act managed by Brian Epstein, and his first three records were all number ones; the third biggest was Cilla Black. If I sell the hotel this will come with it – a statue design, with the four Beatles on a plinth.”
After buying the design of the statue he discovered that in order to make the full-size version in bronze made by a top-quality expert it would cost about £60k. “But politicians and skulduggery got involved,” he says. “One of them came along purporting to support our statue in our place but he – unsuccessfully – subsequently tried to move the statue to a different location. He raised some money but since then both the sum he raised and the guy himself have gone missing. This mean that the statue will be in the property once I get around to paying for the full-sized bronze statue. Although it is not top of my agenda as far as I am concerned the home of the statue is safe and secure here.”
He adds: The less you have to do with politicians the better, simple as that.”
Describing the property today he says: “The premises are a pretty nice big mid-Victorian dwelling. It could do with some investment now, but it has heritage, nice size rooms, history, and we are right beside Liverpool Football ground, so we have the X-factor to compete.”
Type of guests
About 60% of guests stay because they are coming to the football, 40% Beatles fans. He says: “We get a lot of international Beatles fans. The Swedish Beatles fan club comes here about five times a year.”
He adds: “Room by room I am always improving things. It is a never-ending job, changing showers or carpets,” he says. “We are in the process of changing from the Digi quad showers to walk=-in showers with no doors.”
He has also submitted a planning application to double the size of the existing conservatory. “This would make it a very nice sized room for functions and for a match day bar. There is already an existing bar which is mainly opened when Liverpool is playing home games, and we also have a bar in the conservatory overlooking a nice garden. We host christening events and other functions. With a bigger conservatory we will be able to host wedding receptions,” he adds.
Existing facilities the hotel can help with include flowers, balloon decorations, entertainment, master of ceremonies, car hire and cakes for special occasions.
The hotel also caters for buffets from £5 per head serving sandwiches, barbecue ribs, sausage rolls, pork pies, soup and Lancashire hotpot.
Patrick has one tip he feels the urge to share with other guest house owners. “When someone has got a room ready, you really have to double check it yourself to make sure it really is done. If you find out it’s not been done – for example if there is no coffee in the room or something silly like that – then it’s too late. Then the guests start thinking these people don’t know what they are doing and then they get on their knees to try and find a second problem,” he says.
The Hotel is listed on booking.com’s website. He says: “They charge 15% but they are just a very strong dominant company and it is hard to do business without the,. We do generate some of our own business but booking.com is a formidable company. However, we could realistically manage without them because of our unique selling point.
“Where else could you get to stay in a place where the man who made the Beatles spent a lot of time growing up with his grandparents? Furthermore the place has a nice feel to it. Everyone who walks into the property appreciates the well-designed Victorian architecture with proportions and the way the light catches you and the cosiness of the place,” he says.
John Gaskell, director at Blacks Business Brokers, adds: “Epstein House Liverpool has always been a stunning property with an incredible backstory, but arguably in the past it has been held back by its surroundings. Now, however, the local area has been transformed and, with Liverpool having just won the Champions League, it represents a great opportunity in a district that has renewed self-confidence and is really on the up,” he concludes.
In addition to numerous original photographs of The Beatles, the provenance that a buyer of Epstein House Liverpool will receive includes:
Signed detailed letter of confirmation Sir Paul McCartney played the piano you are to purchase. This letter is signed and dated by Mr Gerry Marsden who performed on the same bill as the Beatles on the night the piano was played by him.
Signed letter from Mr Ray O’Brien, Wirral Beatles Author verifying Sir Paul McCartney played the piano you are to purchase, this letter states Mr O’Brien witnessed Sir Paul play the piano as part of his set on the 15th September 1961 – this was their final appearance.
Newspaper articles confirming Mr Gerry Marsden played on the same night as the Beatles.
A copy of the agreement between Paramount Enterprises, Gerry and The Pacemakers & The Silver Beatles, confirming they both played at this venue on 6th June 1960.
A signed detailed letter from Mr Cliff Roberts testifying that he played a long side the Beatles in the early stages of their appearances with his band Cliff Roberts and The Rockers and confirms he too witnessed Sir Paul play the piano you are to purchase.
Visitors to Epstein House Liverpool not solely there for the football can also check out World Museum and Williamson’s Tunnels – Friends of Williamson’s Tunnels, some of Liverpool’s top attractions. While in the city they may also experience local shrimp favourites at Panoramic 34, Hanover Street Social, or 60 Hope Street. Liverpool is also known for some great architectural buildings, including St. George’s Hall, Liverpool Town Hall, and Port of Liverpool Building. And of course for Beatles fans there is the Beatles museum, The Beatles Story, with replicas of the Casbah, Matthew Street and The Cavern.