3 ba­sic things to de­cide on be­fore you open a B&B

NZ Lifestyle Block - - Feature Bed & Breakfast -

mar­ket will YOU NEED TO first de­cide what your

lo­ca­tion. A scenic be, some­thing of­ten dic­tated by

to a lux­ury lo­ca­tion can lend it­self more read­ily

from about $160 ex­pe­ri­ence and com­mand prices

to of­fer an ex­tra a night up­wards. You may choose

of a ex­pe­ri­ence like a spa pool, the con­ve­nience

food op­tions. bed­room with en suite, or gourmet


Few peo­ple make lifestyle ac­com­mo­da­tion their pri­mary source off in­come but many use it to sup­ple­ment pple­ment an ex­ist­ing in­come, es­pe­cially dur­ing re­tire­ment. The ex­cep­tion xcep­tion can be if you have more than two rooms and a great lo­ca­tion i in or near a touristi area.

The most com­mon rea­son for open­ing a B&B is be­cause peo­ple want to share their lifestyle and home with in­ter­est­ing peo­ple from all over the world.

The Bed and Break­fast As­so­ci­a­tion NZ (B&BANZ) strongly rec­om­mends you talk to a char­tered ac­coun­tant and IRD about the tax im­pli­ca­tions of run­ning a B&B.


The key to mak­ing a B&B work is the so­cial in­ter­ac­tion, both for you and your guests. A lot of own­ers who en­joy this of­ten find guests be­come friends and the same peo­ple will visit again and again.

How­ever, if you don’t en­joy meet­ing new peo­ple, the in­ten­sity of hav­ing strangers in your home on a con­stant ba­sis can be very stress­ful.

You may have guests who pre­fer pri­vacy, so sen­si­tiv­ity is re­quired on how much or how lit­tle in­ter­ac­tion you have with them. It’s also im­por­tant to have ba­sic rules that out­line your pref­er­ences, for ex­am­ple poli­cies on smok­ing, pets and whether chil­dren can stay.


It’s in the name, but the B&BANZ says if some­one doesn’t want break­fast, you can re­duce what you charge them. It re­quires mem­bers to of­fer a min­i­mum of a con­ti­nen­tal break­fast in­clu in­clud­ing: • a se­lec­tion of ce­re­als • fruit ( (fresh,fresh, st stewed or canned) • fruit juice ( (purepu only) • tea, cof­fee ( (ground,gr not in­stant un­less the guest re­quests it), wa­ter, milk • toast and spreadsspre • yo­ghurt

A mem­ber mem­berm must spec­ify what type of break­fast they of­fer and the charge­muscharge must be in­cluded in the quoted daily price. If you are of­fer­ing a fu full break­fast which in­cludes some­thing cooked, it’s a good idea to ask your guests to choose from a menu the night be­fore to make it eas­ier for you in the morn­ing.

Lunch and din­ner are some­thing you can of­fer as an added e ex­tra, and it can be as fancy or as sim­ple as you have theth time, abil­ity and in­cli­na­tion to pro­vide, but the B& B&BANZBAN warn that it can be very easy to lose money on the these meals so you need to care­fully cost it out.

Foo Food can be an im­por­tant mar­ket­ing tool too: some guests may choose your es­tab­lish­ment over oth­ers be­cau be­cause you of­fer lunch and/or din­ner, es­pe­cially if you ar are far away from restau­rants.


The ones that af­fect you will de­pend to a cer­tain ex­tent on your dis­trict coun­cil but the ba­sics are: Fire reg­u­la­tions: check with the lo­cal fire safety of­fi­cer; the B&BANZ also has its own re­quire­ments for smoke de­tec­tors and their lo­ca­tion, fire ex­its, and evac­u­a­tion. Build­ing reg­u­la­tions: talk to your lo­cal coun­cil build­ing in­spec­tor – the B&BANZ rec­om­mend do­ing this af­ter you’ve spo­ken with a fire safety of­fi­cer so you will al­ready know of any pos­si­ble build­ing is­sues from their point of view. They’ll check the build­ing, but also things such as ef­flu­ent dis­posal, eg will your sep­tic tank cope? Zon­ing and re­source con­sents: talk to your dis­trict coun­cil’s con­sents of­fi­cer. Food han­dling: you’ll need to check with your coun­cil’s En­vi­ron­men­tal Health Of­fi­cer on Food Act re­quire­ments and if you need a li­cence for al­co­hol. In­sur­ance: public li­a­bil­ity, full fire and gen­eral cover, pro­tec­tions for guest be­long­ings, and fully dis­clos­ing to your in­surer that you are run­ning a B&B.



If you make al­ter­ations to your prop­erty and, for ex­am­ple, in­crease the num­ber of bed­rooms in your home to ac­com­mo­date pay­ing guests, check with your coun­cil on whether your rates will be af­fected by a change in what the build­ing is used for. It may be zoned ‘com­mer­cial’ or fall un­der other cat­e­gories which will push your rates bill up, in some cases quite sub­stan­tially.


Depend­ing on the type of home you have, it’s pos­si­ble guests will be happy to share a bath­room (you should warn them in your advertising and when they book), but these days most ex­pect to have an en suite or at least be right next door to their own bath­room.


Keep­ing food and bath­room ar­eas scrupu­lously clean means hav­ing a check­list and do­ing it of­ten and thor­oughly. Don’t keep read­ing ma­te­rial in a bath­room, al­ways have plenty of toi­let pa­per and clean­ing prod­ucts easily to hand (for you and guests), and check these rooms right be­fore guests ar­rive. The Bed & Break­fast As­so­ci­a­tion NZ is the so­ci­ety that rep­re­sents B&B own­ers and op­er­a­tors na­tion­wide. It pro­vides in­for­ma­tion on a range of is­sues in­clud­ing health and safety, in­sur­ance, best prac­tice guide­lines, busi­ness sup­port and train­ing. It has a con­sul­ta­tion man­ual avail­able ($80 to non-mem­bers, free to mem­bers) com­piled by ex­pe­ri­enced op­er­a­tors to help be­gin­ners with ba­sic re­quire­ments.


WHO: Ian & Linda Weight WHAT: West­wind Home­s­tay WHERE: Man­gatarata, 90km south-east of Auck­land


Mark and Kanani Thorn­ton have opted for the cheaper end of the mar­ket. “There’s lux­ury ac­com­mo­da­tion in the area rang­ing from $300 to $600 a night so we recog­nised the need for some­thing sim­ple and af­ford­able, es­pe­cially with peo­ple com­ing through on the bike trail in the area,” says Kanani. “We charge $110 per night, less if peo­ple stay longer.”

The cou­ple run a 6.6ha (14 acre) block. About 2ha is in bush, and they’ve planted another 6000 trees. “We thought we were go­ing to lose them all be­cause in the first sum­mer we ex­pe­ri­enced drought but when the long grass died back in win­ter we dis­cov­ered it had pro­tected them. We still had our trees.” Kanani says she’d al­ways wanted to live on the land, closer to na­ture, and to grow her own food but it was a jump into the deep end for them both.

“We de­cided to keep the build­ing sim­ple and chose macro­carpa as eco-friendly. All of our heat­ing is so­lar, plus our wood­stove for cook­ing. The house has a north-west as­pect, with wool batt in­su­la­tion and a poured con­crete floor which keeps it lovely and warm in win­ter. We have a huge roof and three tanks for rain­wa­ter be­cause I like be­ing con­scious of con­ser­va­tion.”

The orig­i­nal ac­com­mo­da­tion was a Ver­sa­tile shed and a sleep­out for wwoofers but in 2014, two lovely Ger­man guys came to stay.

“They con­verted our shed into ac­com­mo­da­tion which we call The Apart­ment, they’ve made a lovely job of it.”

The Apart­ment has a queen-sized bed plus a pull-out sin­gle bed, with a kitch­enette so peo­ple can cook for them­selves.

Kanani liked the idea of advertising through AIRB&B, a San Fran­cisco-based or­gan­i­sa­tion for trav­ellers who want to en­gage with lo­cals, with the ad­di­tional ben­e­fit of not pay­ing as much as they would for mo­tel ac­com­mo­da­tion.

But most of their clients have come through Book­abach, par­tic­u­larly in the sum­mer. Some of their visi­tors are keen to talk about the Thorn­ton’s eco-friendly lifestyle or to gain in­for­ma­tion about the lo­cal area, but the apart­ment is re­moved from the main house so guests can en­joy their pri­vacy if that is their pref­er­ence.

Natalie Mur­dochch orig­i­nally worked rked as a jour­nal­ist t but quilting has been a hobby of hers for more than 23 years, in­clud­ing ex­hibit­ing and teach­ing all over New Zealand. Now she runs her own re­treat for like-minded crafters and guests.

“Like most of us who have come to the coun­try­side here, I was run­ning away from Auck­land.”

The prop­erty she chose was a dis­used church.

“The prop­erty was derelict for about 10 years, then­the had two own­ers who weren’t able to com­plete their dreams. It l looked like an over­grown church car yard. It suited me be­cause I wanted some­where dif­fer­ent but cen­tral. It’s on a cross­roads and I could see the pos­si­bil­i­ties for a dis­play gallery.

“My kids said ‘you’re mad Mum’ but I could see it. It’s lo­cated in a great catch­ment area, part-way be­tween Tau­ranga, Ro­torua, Hamil­ton and Auck­land.”

Natalie de­signed the house to work as a re­treat but also kept the fu­ture in mind, de­sign­ing the space so it could be sold as a fam­ily home. For the first win­ter she lived in the church while the house was be­ing built but now has a gor­geous home and a busi­ness space with re­source con­sent which means items can be sold from the church.

“I love cook­ing and gar­den­ing as much as I love quilting. Most of the gar­den is for ed­i­ble pro­duce. Any­thing ex­tra I process to feed my guests. I make straw­berry and boy­sen­berry jam from my own berries, I de­hy­drate kale to sprin­kle on savoury dishes, and so on.”

The re­treats are mainly craft re­treats for up to eight peo­ple at a time but aren’t nec­es­sar­ily just quilting re­treats. The most re­cent was for scrap-book­ing.

Natalie pub­li­cises mainly through wordof-mouth and through the Auck­land Quilt Guild news­let­ter. Eight years on, she still loves it. “I will be here un­til I lose my en­thu­si­asm and I have no idea when that will be. It’s such a peace­ful and in­spir­ing place to be.”

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