Contributed By Members about Private House Stays and its Services.
When I bought my licensed B&B, the Creel, before the start of last year’s tourist season, there was a whole stack of things to do to make the place my own and prepare to receive guests – get the property ready, get my mind around what I would be serving and how, get a website that would be attractive to potential guests up and running, and get in gear to take and manage bookings. Each one of these items was a minefield (and a mindful) so I was really pleased that I took up a friend’s suggestion and farmed the last item – the booking management system – out to Private House Stays. One can – and should – do one’s website (I recommend Weebly, which is free, but a do-it-all yourself thing) but I was very pleased to find myself working with Private House Stays to integrate a ready-made booking system into it. It was wonderfully useful and nice for me to have one area of my activities where there was a friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable real person with actual experience of the B&B business a simple phone call away to help with the setting up of a vital aspect of a B&B operation. Private House Stays’ booking calendar system slotted nicely into my website and, through their website, furthermore generated a number of extra bookings. I certainly don’t think I made a mistake into linking up with Private House Stays for my operation.David Sinclair-Loutit
We joined Private House Stays several years ago and from day one, have found Cassie and Archie to be supportive, friendly and extremely helpful. With more guests choosing to book online – Private House Stays online booking system is clear and user friendly. The Calendar is easy to use and can be updated daily without any fuss. I recently updated my website and Cassie phoned to point out several aspects on the website which could be improved. This was very helpful. Thank you!Diane Wright
We dithered for several years as to the benefits or otherwise of an on-line booking system. We had concerns that losing direct control of bookings might open the doors to potentially disturbing guests - stag parties and the like - to be weighed against the obvious advantages. It turns out that with Private House stays we have retained control and gained all of the advantages. We have no hesitation in recommending PHS to others. The ever-friendly Archie and Cassie set everything up for us very quickly. The system allows rejection of bookings giving the control we need and also covers us against double bookings. Thanks to Archie and Cassie, for making it so user friendly.Ian & Ann Relf
We have been with Private House Stays for nearly six years and are very satisfied with the service, support
and professionalism of Archie, Cassie and the team.
We are impressed that they continue to evolve and adapt the booking system to respond to both owners and customers needs.
The back office functions for the owners are very user friendly, logical and take into account the needs of different businesses.
The commission based bookings are at a fair rate and the recent introduction of a small booking fee has not impacted on booking levels. We would be happy to recommend PHS to other B&B owners.
After consulting with Visit Scotland we decided a web booking engine provider was essential.
After some research we found Private House Stays page and were immediately impressed with the quality and user friendly aspect of their site.
Being new to the guest house business Cassie and Archie's support has been hugely reassuring and their generosity in sharing their immense knowledge is literally invaluable, we would not hesitate to recommend PHS services.
Netherfield B&B, Dulnain Bridge
We at Netherfield have been with Private House Stays for several years and have found the system very easy to
use both for us and more importantly our guests, if we did have any problems we only had to pick up the
phone and either Cassie or Archie were there to help and guide us.
In December we had a new web site designed and within days Cassie phoned us to point out a few flaws we had not noticed, so thank you very much Cassie.
Jan and I have no hesitation in recommending Private House Stays and would welcome any enquiries from those who have not joined this happy band.
Rosebee B&B, Aberdeen
We have been with Private House Stays for a year now, and found the booking system very quick and easy to use. Cassie was very helpful and put time aside to talk us through the site and train us on setting up our seasons, pricing and calendar. She assured us of ease of use - and she was correct. Both Cassie and Archie at Private House Stays are jolly and friendly, and having run their own B&B in Edinburgh for many years are always happy to help and offer advice. This is very important to us, knowing we are not inconveniencing them if you need change something, or go over an area you may have forgotten. Thank you both.Jane and Paul Davidson
Hawthornbank Bed &Breakfast, Oban
We have been with Private House Stays for a year now and would have no hesitation in recommending them to others. Archie and Cassie are a delight to deal with and set everything up for us quickly and efficiently. Our system was up and running in no time and is very easy to use. Help, if required is only a phone call away. The system allows you to reject bookings if necessary so there is less chance of a double booking and also this allows you, as the business owner, to still have control over what bookings to accept. A major failing with other online booking systems. Thanks Archie and Cassie, for making it so easy!Robert and Morvern Wright
The Town House, Edinburgh.
Having been in the guest house business for around thirty years, we’re only too familiar with changing trends and our guests’ expectations. The fact that PHS is a Visit Scotland partner for the updating of our availability calendar has proved to be invaluable. Our business has become a way of life but we don’t want our business to rule our lives so we’ve found that the PHS system meets our needs, is extremely user friendly, intuitive and above all else, has served us well in attracting new custom. We would highly recommend PHS to small family orientated businesses that don’t want to be tied to large on-line booking agencies. Our thanks of course to Cassie for getting us started and for her on-going support.Susan and Robert Virtue
Dunclutha guest house, Leven.
As relative new comers to the guest house business we inherited the private house stays system,and what a god send it has been, right from the off Cassie was there to help me get to grips with everything, nothing was too much hassle, we have had nothing but help and support from Cassie and Archie, especially in the early days when we knew nothing! The system is easy to use for both us and guests and if we need any other help or advice they're just a phone call away. I would recommend the PHS system to anyone is this business, it's very reasonable for the fab service you get. Thank you both Archie and Cassie and the team.Julie and Richard Hind
Glascorrie House, Ballater, Aberdeenshire.
I heard of Private House Stays through my friend who runs a successful B&B. Archie and Cassie have had years of experience in running a B&B themselves and I found that very reassuring. The set up of my website was simple and quick. The on-line booking system is user friendly. I find them very helpful. Every time I contact them I get that one to one attention unlike larger organisations. This is my first year with Private House Stays and already I have had a good number of bookings for this year. This is far beyond what I expected so early in the season. I recommend anyone to join Private House Stay as they give an excellent service.Jan and Neil Williams
Cruachan Lodge, Sutherland
We were apprehensive about joining private house stays, considering the amount of search engine company's who constantly bombard us with ‘deals’. After only a couple months we are already noticing a difference in the amount of bookings, and the ease in which they are processed. Archie and Cassie actually deliver... Without ripping us off!Maggie and Dennis Campbell
I really needed to get an online booking system on my website following the demise of the old Visit Scotland system. I was, initially full of enthusiasm as I began researching options online. My enthusiasm soon turned to despair, as I rejected system after system. I needed a system that was clear and user friendly, one which gave flexibility for my flexible accommodation options, one that looked good and which worked with ease! I was beginning to think that I would never find such a system, when Cassie called me out of the blue and she was heaven sent! She answered all my questions, she talked me through the setting up process clearly, got back to me immediately. The PHS system was clear, transparent and actually looked good! Since joining PHS, bookings have definitely increased and I am able to manage my diary with ease, it is more organized than it has ever been. I can only say a big thank you to Cassie and Archie, and thank them for the thought and detail they have put into creating an effective system, and for the high level of friendly, personal support they provide to their clients. I think because they know the business so well from having their own Bed and Breakfast, they know what is required in a good booking system - and that makes all the difference. It is a great pleasure being part of the PHS group! Thank you both!Cathy and Allan Low
Tigh Na Mairi Bed and Breakfast, Fort Augustus
Although it is less than 12 months that we have associated with Private House Stays, our experience has all been all good. From the very first contact with Cassie it was a smooth process, with help from Archie to set up our listing with them. Knowing that they are both on hand if we have any hiccups with the booking system to help us out is great. The web page for the guests booking is easy to use and simple for me to alter and update as often as I like. Last year we received good quality and quantity of bookings and hope this year will be even better. We look forward to a mutually rewarding partnership with Private House Stay for many years to come.Clive and Julie Fowers
Aurora Bed and Breakfast, Shieldaig, Wester Ross
I have been really happy with the on-line booking system Private House Stays offer, since the first day I started using it in 2011. Having previously experimented with a generic system run by a very large company I was wary about hidden costs, they were taking up to 20% of the whole booking value in commissions. You do not get charged anything extra for bookings made direct from your own website and the majority of my bookings are now made on-line. In my experience on-line booking is now an essential part of an accommodation providers website, with more guests year on year choosing this method of booking. Availability is easy to use and update - I only have to do it once, as the system is integrated with Visit Scotland's website and linked to my website, a real plus at height of season. Having Private House Stays taking bookings means I do not need a whole e-commerce section embedded in my website. When availability is on view and up to date it saves a lot of time dealing with enquiries for availability you do not have. More and more guests are travelling with smart phones & tablets, they prefer to view availability rather than phoning around. Any problems, the solution is an email or phone call away with the very personal service Archie & Cassie offer. And I love the way the users of PHS can request ways of improving the service they offer. Very dynamic.Ann Barton
Culdearn House, Grantown on Spey
So why did we chose PHS? At least 85% of our customers are from overseas and they wanted a safe, secure and user friendly way to give their card details to pay their deposit. We wanted someone who we had confidence in. The Private House Stays system does this. Running a busy hotel is very time consuming and by guests being able to go on line and book saves us time rather than taking their details over the telephone. The Calendar is quick and easy to use and we up-date this on a daily basis without any fuss. Also, the entry we have on the Private House Stays site has brought in many enquiries. Several persons have asked us who we use for our on-line bookings and we have had no hesitation whatsoever in recommending PHS to them. We note that they too are now using the PHS system. Monthly commission accounts are easily received and if there are any questions with either the system, us wishing to add pictures or news etc., then Archie and Cassie on on hand to advise. We have no hesitation in recommending PHS to those who are still deciding which on-line booking system to use.Sonia and William Marshall
Pitcullen Guest House, Perth
We were contacted in September 2011 when we were thinking of installing an online booking system on our website by Cassie from Private House Stays. She explained in detail how their system worked. I was impressed with how professional and knowledgable Cassie was and instantly liked the PHS website. We proceeded with their software the follwoing month. Being able to reject as well as accept each booking is of particular interest to us, as we have bookings coming in from other areas so this was a real bonus. Cassie is always on hand to help out with the simplest of requests which is so important to a novice like myself. Both Cassie and Archie are always looking to improve the site and make it even better - a very pro-active team. With their past experience of running a successful Bed and Breakfast in Edinburgh it gives them invaluable knowledge of how the industry works.Jan & John Bradley Pitcullen Website
Wheatrig, Longniddry, East Lothian
As a new B&B we really needed to make sure that we were building awareness of the fact that we were here, and joining Private House Stays has been an excellent way of doing that. I think that at least 80% of our bookings come via Cassie and Archie.
Our profile on their website is very easy to manage and update which is important. As well as running the B&B I also run a PR consultancy and have a 9 month old daughter to look after so it's crucial for me that admin time is kept to a minimum and Private House Stays certainly ensure that.
I would certainly recommend B&B and other accommodation owners to join Private House Stays. Cassie has been very supportive of us and is always at the end of the phone if we need her."Anna Thomson Wheatrig, Longniddry
I really needed to get an online booking system on my website following the demise of the old Visit Scotland system. I was, initially full of enthusiasm as I began researching options online. My enthusiasm soon turned to despair, as I rejected system after system.
I needed a system that was clear and user friendly, one which gave flexibility for my flexible accommodation options, one that looked good and which worked with ease! I was beginning to think that I would never find such a system, when Cassie called me out of the blue and she was heaven sent! She answered all my questions, she talked me through the setting up process clearly, got back to me immediately. The PHS system was clear, transparent and actually looked good!
Since joining PHS, bookings have definitely increased and I am able to manage my diary with ease, it is more organised than it has ever been. I can only say a big thank you to Cassie and Archie, and thank them for the thought and detail they have put into creating an effective system, and for the high level of friendly, personal support they provide to their clients. I think because they know the business so well from having their own Bed and Breakfast, they know what is required in a good booking system - and that makes all the difference. It is a great pleasure being part of the PHS group! Thanks guys"Cathy and Allan Low Schoolhouse, Ballater, Aberdeenshire
I joined Private House Stays last November 2013 recommended by my mother (Dailanna Guest House), who has been with Private House Stays for several years. Cassie and Archie set up my on line booking system with Private House Stays, the set up was very quick and easy to use. Cassie was very helpful and kept in touch with me making sure everything was going smoothly and I had no problems. I look forward to a good season this year thanks to Private House Stays. "Lynda Sangster Mayfield Bed and Breakfast Fort William
"Private House Stays has propelled me into the online world: the website is great, let's face it just having a website is great. Even I can manage the booking system, so it must be fool-proof. I am hopeless at web things and Archie & Cassie have managed to make it easy for me. I don't have any problems with the booking system and the checking of the validity of the credit card makes me feel secure, without my having to take a deposit. I can recommend PHS to make your website if you don't have one - they do look after you."Lynda Gray, 7 London Street, Edinburgh
Having previously relied on email and telephone bookings for our B&B at The Mash Tun we were very keen when approached by Archie and Cassie to come on board with Private House Stays. Once everything was set up the benefits were immediately evident. Not only was it so much easier and more efficient for us to take online bookings it was also easier for our customers to make bookings with us. The system is clear, concise and very easy to use and Archie and Cassie have both been very helpful and supportive with any queries or issues we have had. Since becoming part of Private House Stays our B&B online bookings have grown year on year and we look forward to working with Archie and Cassie for many more years to come.Karen Braidwood, The Mash Tun, Aberlour, Aberdeenshire
We are a long established family business but with changing times we have had to move with the times and have found the online booking system with Private House Stays very beneficial as well as being pleasant and very professional to deal with. The set up procedure was very well explained and simple to follow. Having recently joined Private House Stays, at this early stage of 2014 we have secured bookings already. Looking forward to a good year with the help of Cassie and Archie Bouverie.Janice and Arlene Haydock Winkston Farm House
I joined Private House Stay a number of years ago when I was quite new to Bed and Breakfast. I am not very good with computers and was a bit apprehensive about joining as I thought it might involve lots of complicated systems I would have to learn. I could not believe how simple their system is to operate and how easily everything flows. I have been very impressed by how helpful and quick at responding Archie and Cassie are, any queries or uncertainties they are always available either by email or on the telephone to guide you through any problems you may encounter. It is so nice to have that personal touch.Christine Spark Schonwald Bed and Breakfast
Our association with Private House Stays began over 3 years ago and we have watched them steadily evolve since then. Cassie and Archie's B&B background allied to their marketing and technical skills, has driven the development of Private House Stays into a marketing and booking system which is ideally suited to all B&B businesses. To be able to speak to them personally for advice or to discuss suggestions also serves to boost the mutual confidence required for any business relationship to succeed. We look forward to our continued involvement with Private House Stays in the years to come.Margaret and Donald Campbell. Kinbrylie, Loch Ness
Grant and I have had a busy season, now tailing off as the Autumn leaves tumble, covering our lawns and giving us a different type of work load from B&B and when we successfully opened our garden for a local charity event in mid July. Now we hope for time to refresh our rooms, make a few alterations resting in the knowledge that this year we do not have to worry about 'online bookings' being a burden. We made a great decision when we joined PHS and signed up for their online booking system. We like the booking enquiry arriving prior to us accepting the booking as it still gives us some say in how we organise our rooms; then automatically blocks out the room on our acceptance of the booking, and an even bigger advantage is the Credit Card security system. What a relief.No going back for us!" - Jan MacLachlan
We joined Private House Stays two and a half years ago and were immediately impressed with the service, support and advice provided by Archie and Cassie Bouverie. They provided a professional yet personal service in guiding us through the easy set up process for our online listing. They are always close at hand, through e-mail or telephone support, when needed and have been quick and efficient with resolving any issues that have arisen.
We opted for a full listing on Private House Stays, which allows customers to book online either directly from our website or via the Private House Stays website. We have seen online bookings become our customers' primary choice for booking their accommodation with us. Our guests like the opportunity to check availability and book accommodation instantly and often comment on the ease of the online booking process. This has led to huge reduction in the amount of time we spend answering telephone and email enquiries meaning we can spend more time looking after our guests! The "back office" functions of the booking system such as setting up pricing, managing room availability are all straight forward and easy to manage.
A major benefit of choosing PHS is that commission is only paid on bookings that come via the Private House Stays website and not on those that come via our own website. This is a big advantage as it means we are not being charged for guests who are regular customers or who have found our guest house via our own website/marketing or promotional activities.
It has been reassuring to see that whilst Private House Stays has continued to grow, expand and innovate it still remains a personal and friendly company.
From our experience of dealing with Archie and Cassie Bouverie we would certainly recommend Private House Stays to other guest house or bed and breakfast owners.Alastair and Sarah Hubbard
Cranford Guest House - A home from home in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park
Hi Cassie and Archie ,
Thank you very much! Lovely people to speak and keen in helping you to solve your problems, easy to use system and above all Archie and Cassie are at the end of a phone line when you need them .
Last summer Cassie phoned me because she was going on holiday....Just to let me know....this is the service you get from Private House Stays! Really reasonable priced
... Love it.Lorena, Seaholm Bed and Breakfast
Being a member of Private House Stays has given me the perfect showcase for my luxury bed and breakfast accommodation at Scaurbridge House Penpont. The service, advice, personal attention and support given to me by Archie and Cassie Bouverie has been outstanding and I would recommend them to anyone wishing to promote their superior accommodation on a website devoted to those who care about standards and the importance of being treated as an individual.Elizabeth Ann Hughes, Scaurbridge House Dumfriesshire
It was incredibly helpful to find Private House Stays. Archie was there, straight away to set up the system, link it to my website and guide me through the process.
Private House Stays is very easy to use for a proprietor and a guest alike. For the proprietor, it has a simple system to update your availability calendar which you have for free on your own website, facilities and seasonal pricing with no messing around with deposits and the reassurance that the calendar they use is directly linked to my website so there is no need to worry about double booking a room. Most importantly if I have any problems I know that Cassie and Archie are at the end of the phone, eager to help and quick to respond and sort any queries.
The guests are happy too, the site shows the customer all the information they require with photos of all rooms, they can then fill out a simple booking form, no requirement for a deposit, but financially secure. If a guest does not want to use the system there is always the option for me to process the booking for them.
Please do not hesitate to contact me on 0131 478 5836 if you have any further questions.Denise Walker - 20 Albany Street, Edinburgh
At Kirklea Guest House we are now into our third year as associates of Private House Stays (PHS) and are very pleased with the service provided by Archie Bouverie and his team.
As a result of our entry in the PHS listing our volume of business has increased, year on year, to the extent that PHS now provide us with around 40% of our on-line bookings.
On the technical side, PHS have always reacted promptly and efficiently to any change requirements we have made.
We look forward to continuing this profitable arrangement to our mutual benefit.Moira & Vic Kielnar, Kirklea Guest House, Edinburgh
I had thought about introducing an online booking facility but thought I was too small an operation then I had a call from Private House Stays.
A meeting was set up with Archie Bouverie to visit. In no time at all he was able to demonstrate the flexibility and ease of PHS online booking system. I was hooked! As an owner I can control my content and pictures on the site. I can update the availability calendar for when I take my own bookings so no double bookings! I no longer have the worry of deposits. PHS is able to check guest's identity at the time of booking through checking their bank card which guarantees me payments for any cancellations or 'no-shows'. Adding the PHS online booking system to my website has increased my business and overall efficiency.
PHS offers a fantastic service to both owners and seekers of quality accommodation across Scotland.
I have to say that PHS offers a fantastic service always at the end of the phone should you have any problems.Patti Walker-Booth Brae House Aberfeldy