London FAQ

The most popular things our guests ask us about are explained here. Alternatively, we're here 24/7 to answer any questions you have – just give us a call or send an email.


Our service

We offer an unprecedented level of service for stays in the finest homes. If you've never experienced onefinestay before, we recommend you read this to get familiar. And, as you'll hear, we're always available to answer any questions you have.

1. Cancellation policies

You can read our cancellation policy in full here.

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2. Cleaning

We carefully clean and prepare each home before you arrive and after you depart, and we'll clean weekly during your stay. More frequent Housekeeping services can be arranged on request, subject to availability and a charge (see 4. Extra services).

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3. Damage

As part of booking with onefinestay, our guests agree to report any accidents or damage. When you arrive we secure a £1,000 hold on your credit or debit card (see 25. Pre-authorisation), and we do a thorough check of the home after each stay. If we do find damage, we'll get in touch with you.

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4. Extra services

We can arrange additional services to make your journey and stay with us in London exceptional. Find out more here.

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5. Guest Services team

Unlike all those home-booking platforms, we have a local Guest Services team in London, available by phone or email 24/7 during your stay. Reach us on +44 20 3588 0600 or london.guests@onefinestay.com

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6. Housekeeping

Our Housekeeping team traverse London cleaning and preparing homes before and after stays. We'll clean weekly during your stay, and more frequent Housekeeping services can be arranged on request, subject to availability and a charge (see 4. Extra services).

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7. iPhone

When you arrive you'll get a onefinestay iPhone with free data, unlimited local calls and a range of useful apps for you to use during your stay.

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8. Keys

You'll get two sets of keys from your Meet & Greeter, along with instructions on locking up when you go out.

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9. Lead guest

The lead guest must be at least 25 years of age.

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10. Payment

We accept Visa, Mastercard and American Express, and bank transfers for stays with at least 7 days' notice.

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11. Travel Advisors

Our Travel Advisors know our cities and neighbourhoods back-to-front, and they're available around the clock to help you find a home that suits.

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London homes

Each home listed with onefinestay is unique, and belongs to a onefinestay homeowner – whether they live there most of the year or for just a few weeks.

We've visited each home in person to take accurate photographs, detailed room configurations and home truths, so you can book with the same confidence you have in the best hotel brands. Our Travel Advisors are available 24/7 to help you choose a home that suits.

12. Air-conditioning

London's weather is mild and most homeowners choose not to install air-conditioning. The majority of onefinestay homes in London do not have A/C, however between June and September we place fans in each bedroom for your comfort.

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13. Bathroom electrical sockets

Many visitors to London find themselves, hairdryer in hand, searching fruitlessly for an electrical socket in the bathroom. Forgetful architects are not to blame – in fact British building regulations prohibit electrical sockets in bathrooms for safety reasons. We've provided hairdryers with extra long leads for your convenience.

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14. Hobs & kettles

One of the quirks that often surprise visitors to London – in Britain the word 'hob' describes a 'cooktop', 'stove top' or 'hotplate'. Most kettles in Britain are electric and need to be plugged in via the plastic base – never placed on the hob.

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15. Home truths

Because every onefinestay home is unique, we highlight any 'home truths' on the listing and make sure you're aware of them when you book.

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16. House rules

When you arrive you'll be given a copy of the House Rules, requests made by the homeowner, that we ask all guests to abide by when they're in the home.

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17. Location

For security reasons, we show only the approximate location of homes on our website. You'll be provided with the full address (along with detailed directions) once your booking has been confirmed.

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18. Smoking

Guests are not permitted to smoke inside any onefinestay home.

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19. Stairs and accessibility

If you're travelling with young or elderly guests, it's important to make sure any accessibility needs are discussed with your onefinestay Travel Advisor before you book. Most onefinestay homes in London have at least a few steps, and many have internal stairs without elevators.

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20. Tamper tape

When we're readying a home for your stay we seal off some drawers, cupboards and (in some cases) spare rooms, for storing away the homeowners' personal effects. Your Meet & Greeter will point out these places which are sealed with red 'tamper-tape', and we ask that you respect these private areas during your stay. Of course, we make sure there is plenty of storage space available for your things.

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Your arrival to London

Travelling to an address in a city you're not familiar with can be daunting. While onefinestay doesn't have a hotel front desk or a big flashy sign, we have put a lot of thought and care into making your arrival as seamless as possible. And we're always available at +44 20 3588 0600 or london.guests@onefinestay.com

21. Check-in and check-out

We'll meet you at the home at your convenience any time after 4pm on your arrival date, and our standard check-out time is 11am. Early check-in and late check-out can be arranged in advance with your onefinestay Travel Advisor, subject to availability and a charge. At the end of your stay, checking out is simple – you'll have instructions on locking up and safely depositing keys (you don't need to meet anyone from our team) and we'll arrive later in the day to clean and prepare for the homeowner's return.

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22. I.D. check and card authorisation

We'll check the lead guest's I.D. and secure a £1,000 hold on a matching credit or debit card which will be released once we confirm no damage was caused during your stay (see 25. Pre-authorisation for more details).

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23. Luggage storage

If you are arriving between 12.30pm–4pm, you can choose to drop your bags at the home. We'll arrange for your Meet & Greeter to welcome you, however please be aware that the home will not be available until check-in at 4pm. If you're arriving much earlier, or you'd prefer not to carry your luggage from the airport, we highly recommend using our partners AirPortr. You can find more information here.

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24. Meet & greet

One of our Meet & Greeters will be at the home to welcome you. If you're going to be running late or early, please let us know as soon as you can so that we can reschedule your arrival appointment.

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25. Pre-authorisation

When you arrive we secure a £1,000 hold on your credit or debit card. The amount is held by your bank until we confirm that no damage was caused during your stay. We will release the hold within five days after your departure, but it can take your bank longer to process the request from the credit or debit card company. If you do damage anything it's always best to let us know before you leave. And once you depart, if we find any damage, we'll get in touch immediately.

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26. Travelling into London

    26.1. Customs and immigration

    If you're a guest flying from outside the UK, and arriving at one of London's three main airports (Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted), please be aware that if your flight is long haul, it can take between 1-2 hours to clear customs and immigration. If you're flying short haul, that wait can be up to 60 minutes, depending on the time of day you're travelling. You can find out more information here.

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    26.2. Trains

    All three major airports have express train services into the centre of London:
    Heathrow Express: This goes direct from the airport into London Paddington Station in 15 minutes. Tickets cost about £20-£25
    Gatwick Express: This goes direct from the airport into London Victoria Station in 30 minutes. Tickets cost about £20.
    Stansted Express: This goes direct from the airport into London Liverpool Street Station in 47 minutes. Tickets cost just over £20 and you can book here.

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    26.3. London Underground

    Heathrow is the only major London airport on the Underground network. All five terminals are on the Piccadilly Line (the dark blue one), and the journey to Piccadilly Circus takes around 40 – 50 minutes. It's a cost-effective choice, but not a good option if you have lots of luggage. For more information and the tube map see here.

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    26.4. Airport transfers

    Of course, you can skip public transport and arrive at the door via our airport transfer service. Find out more here.

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