Thursday, November 23, 2017

First Guests!

On Monday, 20th November, I received a text message on my phone congratulating me on guests, Fanny and Yohan having booked into Cave Inn from Tuesday 21 - Friday 24th November. Feeling quite panicked I forwarded the message to Estelle who immediately phoned me. She told me to go onto my AirBnB site and I'd probably find I had activaed "Instant Booking" I checked and it was there. I immediately deactivated the function for the the future.


Meanwhile, I had guests coming in to stay the next day. I phoned Thabesile who works for owner, Ian, and cleans the big house and Cave Inn three times a week. I asked her to really blitz Cave Inn as this was the real deal.

On Monday afternoon Grant and I walked down to Cave Inn (just behind Diddly Squat where's we're still living while building continues) Skabenga and cats in tow, and checked up on the accommodation. Thabesile had come up trumps. The place was sparklingly clean, the linen was fresh and crisp. Towels were hung in the shower and extra toilet/washbasin cubicle. 

Christina, who services all three Estelle's accommodation units had helped Thabesile to set everything out beautifully. There were new mini soaps in the shower and toilets. There were tea bags, coffee sachets and packets of sugar in the kitchen. There was a small jug of milk in the fridge under the bar. Dishwashing liquid, dish swabs and drying towels were set out at the kitchen sink. 

We checked the fridge; it was clean and working. We lit the gas stove plates; all working and we checked the big screen TV. All A1 and 100% perfect. 

 The kitchen and living area 
The bedroom

On Tuesday Fanny messaged me via the AirBnB site,  and said they were at an adventure resort about 70km from here. They would be in quite late; was that in order? Although my website stipulates check-in time from 2pm - 5pm, Grant and I reckoned as our first guests, and because we were still on the premises, we would permit a late check-in this time. 

At 9.10pm Fanny phoned me; there were passing the shopping mall where I have the art shop. Grant and I drove through the electrified estate gate, onto the road and turned around. He drove back to the entrance and with hazards flashing we waited. Within three minutes a car approached, indicated to turn right. Grant opened the gate and they followed. 

We stopped the vehicles beside Cave Inn and got out and greeted our young guests who were from Sweden. Fanny spoke Queen's English (she grew up in the UK) and Yohan spoke slow but good English.We told them where they could start a rigid hike into the mountains and who to contact should they want to rock climb. We told them about Scootours which is new in South Africa.  They are very fit and into adventure sports. And we told them when visiting the Central Drakensberg, they should not miss the Wednesday afteroon Drakensberg Boys Choir concert.  After chatting for a while, we bid them goodnight. 

At last Grant and I (normally very early-to-bed-birds) bedded down. At 10.59 my phone rang. It was Fanny, most apologetic. They had had a shower but weren't to stop the water from running. The shower head continued to pour water although they were sure they'd turned it off. 

Oh dear. I'd forgotten to tell them that the water collects in the roof (no ceiling in a cave!) and even after turning off the taps, the water runs out for quite a while afterwards. They were happy with this explanation. 

Tomorrow is their last day. I've messaged Fanny and asked that she and Yohan visit me at the shop before they leave the Valley. 

Grant and I have had our initiation into guest accommodation. We spoke about it the next morning and felt it had all gone well. 

Our next reservation is a honeymoon couple who are booked in from 17 - 24 December. The family occupy the big house (and possibly the cave) over the holiday period. Then we have a couple from 29 December to 2 January. We know this couple which will make it a little easier. Or will it?

In between I'm hoping and praying for a few bookings (not Instant, that's way too stressful!) from now 25 November until 16 December. 

And with all this, it's business as usual  on the building site and in the shop. 

Here's wishing you all a wonderful Thursday.


  1. Hello, Jo! Congrats on your first guests. It sounds like everything went well. The place is beautiful. Enjoy your day and the weekend ahead.

  2. That is quite a place to spend a bit of time in!

  3. Congratulations on your first guests and all so quickly so it was baptism by fire for you. I'd find it very stressful with instant bookings also both as the caretaker and as the potential guest. I'd worry that everything "worked" as it should. I'm glad it all went off well and that you are already booked into the new year!

  4. I really like that cave a lot. you did very well on your first and I am sure each time will get easier and easier.

  5. I am really glad that the first guest visit went well. And echo those who say it will get less stressful over time.

  6. Congratulations to your first guests ! I am sure they were very satisfied !
    and everything went (nearly) smooth ! It looks very nice !

  7. First time is always the most difficult but sounds like these guests went well. I like the Cave look.


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