Search

‘Guesthouses dropping like flies because of Airbnb’: Hotelier puts business up for sale

PUBLISHED: 12:22 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 08:27 11 February 2020

Andrea and Daren Squires. Pic: submitted

Andrea and Daren Squires. Pic: submitted

The owner of a 10-bedroom guesthouse in north Norfolk has said she and her husband are selling up because they can’t compete with the likes of Airbnb.

The Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & FurbyThe Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & Furby

Andrea and Daren Squires took over The Cobblers guesthouse, Standard Road, Wells-next-the Sea two years ago but are finding it tough to compete with rival firms which don't have the same overheads.

And although The Cobblers remains open for business as usual, the couple have put it up for sale for £995,000, expecting it may take years to sell.

The Squires have made The Cobblers a huge success, gaining a top five rating on TripAdvisor and ranked almost the best out of 24 B&Bs in the area, at number two. They have loved running it despite working long hours in the peak summer time and doing all the work themselves.

The Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & FurbyThe Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & Furby

MORE: The hair salon where you can pick up a bouquet after a blow-dry

But with more people booking rooms and apartments on sites such as Airbnb and with more places offering short self-catering stays, they've found it tough competition because they have more overheads and tax bills to pay.

Mrs Squires said: "The seaside guesthouse used to be so popular but younger people tend to use Airbnb. We also have to have licences for things like music and fire safety certificates as well as various taxes which people running an Airbnb just don't have; they can get round the regulations which is so unfair, we're not competing in a fair playing field. Some of the apartments are absolutely beautiful, people pay a fortune on them because they've got no overheads like we have and there's more places which are offering self-catering for one or two nights to get the business - so it's undercutting us. Guesthouses nearby have closed; they're dropping like flies. It's really hard work but we've loved it and we would never regret buying The Cobblers."

The couple, originally from North London, moved to Norfolk in 2011 and had enjoyed holidays themselves in Wells-Next-the Sea. They bought the Cobblers, which had been run previously as a guesthosue, but redecorated it throughout.

Daren and Andrea Squires. Pic: submittedDaren and Andrea Squires. Pic: submitted

Agents Everett, Masson & Furby, marketing the property said: "We are advised that turnover is currently in the region of £150,000 per annum. Providing only B&B at present there is scope to offer evening meals or packed lunches as well."

The main house, which is spread over three floors, has eight letting rooms with six double bedrooms and two singles, seven of which are en-suite and the eighth with its own bathroom. On the ground floor are communal guest areas as well as two further letting rooms. There is a kitchen and utility room , a breakfast room large enough for 14 guests and a residents' lounge as well as a conservatory. Outside is a cottage-style garden and eight car parking spaces. The property comes with an owners' cottage with two bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs with a fitted kitchen, cloakroom and lounge on the ground floor with double doors opening out onto a private garden.

The Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & FurbyThe Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & Furby

The Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & FurbyThe Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & Furby

The Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & FurbyThe Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & Furby

You may also want to watch:

Andrea and Daren Squires. Pic: submittedAndrea and Daren Squires. Pic: submitted

The Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & FurbyThe Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & Furby

The Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & FurbyThe Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & Furby

The Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & FurbyThe Cobblers guesthouse, for sale. Pic: Everett, Masson & Furby


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press