If your hotel / guest house is selected to appear on "Four in a Bed", you're already a winner. And if you enjoy the experience, and come across well on the show too, you're a double winner. Who pays whom how much after each visit, and the basis on which the decision of "worth" is made, is interesting - but it's far from the most important aspect of the show. I would far rather have had an excellent shop front which encouraged people to come and stay with us than a competition in which we underpaid every other competitor in order to maximise our chances of winning - in my view that's a way to win the battle, but loose the war. You can end up with a plaque swinging over your gate, but no-one booked to come in and stay. The week that's just been broadcast (and I'm going to post this once the results are known) was close - very close. Calculated as a percentage of payments, one place won. But if it was calculated based on the amount under/overpaid, then victory would have gone elsewhere. And the result if you factor out consistent and game-playing underpayments by one of the four sets of owners would also have gone another way. Frankly, it doesn't matter. If one set of owners seriously underpay everybody else and win as a result, they just make themselves look manipulative and/or desperate.
What did we learn from our two weeks of travel, our visits to three other places, and having three lots of people coming to us?
We learned how fortunate we are to have a season that's nearly year round. This week, the castle in Scotland is closed, I understand. The glamping season doesn't start until March, and visitors to Blackpool as a whole are few and far between. So our rooms have been generating income for us - we were full from Monday night to Thursday morning, and we're already got 7 days later this month with limited availability. And because our season's longer, we have the ability to recoup our ongoing costs over more nights let. In other words, we can offer very good value because of our long season. On the other hand, we could really do with more letting rooms.
We've had it confirmed what an excellent team we have at Well House Manor. At Barton House, Jo does virtually all the cleaning / cooking / changing / reception work. And that means that breakfast times and check-in times are going to be in narrower bands than our guests need. At Knock Castle, and at Applewood Glamping, there are extra staff ... and so there are at Well House Manor. And it's thanks to our team that the place was turned out so well. Yes, I can (and do) take shifts from time to time, largely covering holidays. But Sarah, Rachel, Heather, Leeanne and Poppy are really superb anchors. I hope I always say "thank you" to them - for they not only do the job, they do more than their job and they make visiting and working here a pleasure.
We're also - now - even more rock sure about our policy on charges for optional extras, and cancellations. It's very rare indeed for a room booking to be cancelled without good reason, and to demand full payment from someone for their whole stay if they give less than a fortnight's notice seems unduly harsh; better to let them cancel with kinder terms, and then they'll book again, really come, and become your ambassadors. And - when I travel - I do hate checking out and finding extras on my bill for this and that (and £20 for corkage) - much cleaner and simpler to have a fixed total price. Yes, we could probably get a bit more money in the short term with extras, and a few more bookings by lowering the room rate. And - while I'm commenting - our £95 rate is for the double room, and not a per person charge. Advertising a double room at £47.50 per person seems misleading to me.
So - have we changed anything as a result of the show and our experience? Remarkably little ... the room cleaning sequence now ends with a final wipe over the TVs, and we've changed our holiday plans for 2013 as we may be going canal boating with certain other competitors who were on the show. (written 2013-01-11, updated 2013-01-12)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articlesM444 - Well House Manor - Four in a Bed 
Effect on external factors on traffic to our web sites - an update - (2015-04-26) 
Four in a Bed - most popular answers - (2015-03-31) 
Four in a Bed - the story continues - (2014-01-27) 
Not wanted here - hotel guests who will not be happy - (2013-12-30) 
With the Shpigs and Donkeys - (2013-11-10) 
A further chance to see Melksham on TV - (2013-08-22) 
A hidden hotel gem in Melksham - (2013-07-31) 
Should a hotel accept guests who book for just one night? - (2013-07-11) 
Really good friends - four in a bed! - (2013-06-09) 
20 minutes in to our 15 minutes of fame - (2013-01-20) 
A variety of continental breakfasts - (2013-01-16) 
Being an amateur hotel inspector helps me run a professional hotel - (2013-01-14) 
Well House Manor on Four in a Bed - the ongoing story - (2013-01-12) 
The Experience - (2013-01-11) 
Comparing four VERY different places to stay - (2013-01-11) 
Expecting nothing, but prepared for anything - (2013-01-05) 
Well House Manor, Melksham - on national TV next week - (2012-12-30) 
Melksham welcomes visitors - new blue plaque trail and more - (2012-12-27) 
Quiet little town? Advanced Technology Centre? - (2012-12-08) 
Behind Melksham Spa - Mood Mist over wet fields. - (2012-11-23) 
The bedrooms at Well House Manor - (2012-11-16) 
Guest Guide for Well House Manor and Melksham - (2012-09-18)
Some other Articles
Easy pricing, quick and easy checkoutTV show appearance - how does it effect your web site?Four in a Bed - comment on resultsFour in a Bed comes to Melksham tonightHotel bedroom - even larger TV!