When their plans changed at short-notice Cabe Franklin and Caroline Webb had a bright idea. The lovely hosts of Balfe Street decided to stay in another onefinestay home over the summer, instead of checking in to a hotel. It gave them the opportunity to experience onefinestay as guests do, and to live like locals in another beautiful home. We asked them how they got on…
How did it feel being on the other side of the service?
We felt very well taken care of. It was nice to get the personal welcome at the home and to get the guests’ experience of being met and taken care of; the gift packages were a nice surprise as was the sense that the two who met us were in no rush – they were not looking to get us in as quickly as possible; they were looking to make sure we were comfortable. It felt very different from being in a hotel, and not just because we were staying in a home.
Why did you stay in another onefinestay home?
We had expected to be out of town during the Olympics, so we let our house out through onefinestay. We then ended up auditioning for and being accepted to be in the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, so we decided to stay. We first thought we would stay with friends or in a hotel, but then it seemed like a good idea to try the onefinestay experience and not feel too disrupted, and onefinestay helped us find a suitable place in our part of town.
What was the highlight of your stay?
The initial welcome was very nice, I have to say. We also liked exploring the new neighbourhood on foot for a week, since it didn’t make sense to spend time on the tube or bus back to ours to go to our usual places.
Was the home what you imagined it to be?
It was far beyond our expectations – much bigger than we had envisioned, and with some gorgeous art on the walls. It definitely gave us ideas we want to now take back and bring to life in our own home!
How did your stay compare to a stay in a normal hotel in London?
First and foremost, for a week it would have been such a struggle to be in a single hotel room or even a suite – but with so much space in the flat it never felt like we were trapped in a foreign place. Being someplace less institutional also made us more likely to explore things like the pub next door – you expect a pub next to a home to be nicer than a pub next to a giant hotel.
Would you recommend the experience to other onefinestay members?
I would – it was a unique circumstance but if you ever need to stay in a place other than your own home, in your own home town, it is a nice thing to do. We have considered using it for trips to NY as well, though I think the inventory is still getting built up there.
Did it make you think of onefinestay differently?
It did. I used to just think people used onefinestay to save money on a hotel – now I realize they get a different experience entirely.