- Does someone from onefinestay meet us at the home?
- Who is the ‘lead guest’ you refer to?
- Do we need to bring any form of identification?
- Do you need to take a security deposit for our stay?
- Can we organise for the card to be pre-authorised before we arrive?
- Keys – how many sets will we get?
- Are there rules we have to follow when we’re in the home?
- Will someone from onefinestay be there when we leave?
- What do we have to do when we depart the home?
- What about our card pre-authorisation… how do we get that back?
- What time can we arrive? And, for that matter, depart?
- Can we leave our bags with you if we arrive a bit early?
- Do you offer an early arrival?
- And if we need to, can we leave the home late?
- Do you have places where we can store our luggage?
- What’s the address of the home that we’ve booked?
- What do onefinestay provide for us to use in the home?
- How do you deal with breakages?
- Is it safe?
- Maid services
- Coming with children?
- Customs and immigration
- The Tube
- Car parking
Arrival & departure times
Travelling into London
1. Does someone from onefinestay meet us at the home?
Yes, one of our greeters will be waiting there for you when you arrive. As they get there before you, they’ll be inside the home. So do please ring the doorbell, buzz the buzzer or knock on the door. Because we send one of our friendly faces from our office, it’s really important we know your arrival time. If you are going to be running late, or indeed early, please let us know as soon as soon you can so that we can we can reschedule your arrival appointment.
2. Who is the ‘lead guest’ you refer to?
The lead guest is the person who arrives at the home to stay. This person can be different from the one who booked the home, but you must let us know if that’s going to be the case when you book. One other thing – the lead guest must be over the age of 25.
3. Do we need to bring any form of identification?
Yes, the lead guest will have to, so we can check their details against the booking record, and make sure it is their credit or debit card that will be pre-authorised (see 4. ‘Do you need to take a security deposit for our stay?’ below). So do please make sure the lead guest has brought along a driving licence or passport. If we don’t have this, you won’t be able to complete your arrival at the home.
4. Do you need to take a security deposit for our stay?
Yes. On arrival we will pre-authorise a credit or debit card.
When you arrive at the home we’ll ask the lead guest for ID and a matching debit or credit card. We'll pre-authorise a ‘hold’ on the card (we can’t accept cash or cheques).
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.
5. Can we organise for the card to be pre-authorised before we arrive?
In certain circumstances we can allow the booker to pre-authorise the card before the stay, so that the lead guest can complete arrival without having to go through the process. For that to happen, the booker will need to complete a third-party billing authorisation form (not as scary as it sounds, honest), as well as provide copies of both sides of the credit card to be authorised, and their photo ID (passport or driving licence). Don’t worry, our team can help you out with all of this.
6. Keys – how many sets will we get?
You’ll normally receive two sets of keys per home, although for some homes this may vary. The greeter will give them to you once the lead guest’s ID has been checked, and the card pre-authorisation taken.
7. Are there rules we have to follow when we’re in the home?
Yes, absolutely. Each home has some House Rules, unique to it, set by the host. These will be presented to you, and explained, by the greeter at arrival, along with details of the wifi network and password in the home. Please make sure you do stick to the rules.
8. Will someone from onefinestay be there when we leave?
We don’t meet you when it's time to go however we will pop round to the home after you’re gone (see 10. ‘What about our card pre-authorisation… how do we get that back?’ below). If you have any questions about departing, you can always call one of our team.
9. What do we have to do when we depart the home?
It varies from home to home and therefore your greeter will explain exactly what you’ll need to do when you leave the home. In addition, it will be explained on the House Rules, a copy of which will be given to you upon your arrival.
10. What about our card pre-authorisation… how do we get that back?
Once you’ve departed, our team come round to check the home for any damage and to prepare it for the next booking or the host’s return. We will release the hold within five days after your departure, but it can take your bank longer to process the request.
Arrival & departure times
11. What time can we arrive? And, for that matter, depart?
Standard arrival is from 16:00. Standard departure is any time before 11:00.
12. Can we leave our bags with you if we arrive a bit early?
Yes. If you know that you’re arriving between 12:30-16:00, tell us and you can choose to use our free bag drop service. The process is the same: we meet you at the home, pre-authorise a credit or debit card and check ID, so you can then get the keys, drop your bags and then leave the home whilst we continue to prepare it. You can then return any time after 16:00. It’s a great chance to start exploring the local neighbourhood where you’ll be staying.
13. Do you offer an early arrival?
Of course. We know that not all flights land at sociable hours. If you’re arriving between 05:00–16:00, we can offer you an early arrival. In these cases we block the home off to all other bookings the day before your arrival, so we have enough time to clean and prepare it the night before your arrival. This is subject to home availability and charged at 75% of the cost of the nightly rate of your booking.
14. And if we need to, can we leave the home late?
Yes, up until 20:00. This is subject to the home’s availability and will cost 75% of the nightly rate of your booking.
15. Do you have places where we can store our luggage?
If you are arriving between 12:30–16:00, you can opt for the bag drop option (see 12. ‘Can we leave our bags with you if we arrive a bit early?’ above), which will enable you to leave your bags at the home. For any other times, we recommend using a luggage storing facility at one of London’s main railway stations. You can find more information and see which stations at www.left-baggage.co.uk
16. What’s the address of the home that we’ve booked?
You’ll find it on your booking record. Please check via the link in your confirmation email. There you’ll also find directions to reach the home, and which door to knock on.
17. What do onefinestay provide for us to use in the home?
Many of the things you’d expect from a hotel, and some you wouldn’t:
- Fluffy towels, and boutique toiletries
- A hairdryer
- A starter pack of washing up equipment, and dishwasher and washing machine tablets
- Various kitchen utensils, plus an iron, ironing board and vacuum cleaner
- Wifi in the home
- A welcome pack, with some nibbles to keep you going after your journey.
If you’re staying with us for eight nights or more, you’ll also receive a free maid service, where we’ll change your bed linens and towels, give you fresh toiletries and generally make things sparkle. We can arrange additional maid services for you which will cost a little extra– please get in touch with us to find out more.
18. How do you deal with breakages?
Because we want our guests and members to trust each other, we want you to ’fess up to any damage, inadvertent or otherwise.
We do a thorough check of the home after each stay. If we do find damage, we’ll get in touch with you before accessing the pre-authorised funds.
19. Is it safe?
All the homes shown on our site are private residences. Since the member will normally be out of town, you (and who you’re travelling with) will be the only people staying in there during your booking. Which means it's more private than a hotel, because housekeeping won't be entering without knocking every two hours.
20. Maid services
You can book more maid services if you wish. The cost depends on the number of bedrooms the home you’re staying in has, and whether you want a standard or deluxe service. Get in touch with the team to find out more and book.
21. Coming with children?
We can provide cribs for babies or young children for a one off-charge. If you arranged for this at the point of booking, this will have already been added to your total costs. We can also provide you with highchairs, should you need them, for a one-off charge.
If the home you are booking sleeps your extra guests by way of an airbed, we will make them up with our linens and place them in the home ready for your stay. Airbeds come at an additional one off-charge. If you arranged for this at the point of booking, this will have already been added to your total costs.
Travelling into London
23. 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 from: www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/customs-travel/customs
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 www.heathrowexpress.com
- Gatwick Express: This goes direct from the airport into London Victoria Station in 30 minutes. Tickets cost about £20. www.gatwickexpress.com
- Stansted Express: This goes direct from the airport into London Liverpool Street Station in 47 minutes. Tickets cost just over £20. www.stanstedexpress.com
25. The Tube
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: www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloads/standard-tube-map.pdf
26. Car parking
Some of our homes do have parking facilities: ask, and we’ll let you know about those. For those that don’t the following parking website should help you out: www.parkopedia.co.uk
You should now be all set for your stay with us. If you haven’t found the answer you were looking for, give us a call on +44 20 3588 0600 or email [email protected]
Safe travels, and see you soon.