My sweet husband has talked for a couple of years about turning our wonderful guesthouse into an Airbnb when he retired. Since he retired at the end of this past year, he has been planning and working on turning his dream into a reality. Frankly, I felt a bit uncomfortable with the idea of strangers staying on our property, but Dan is gung-ho about it, so I will support my man on this new venture.
Our guesthouse has been through a lot; when we first bought our home in 2003, a renter lived there…one we couldn’t get to leave at first, even though he’d been given notice that the property had been sold, and we had no desire to have a renter. He was sullen, a smoker, and not much concerned with cleanliness. We painted and scrubbed, repaired plumbing and other issues, and re-carpeted with a nice light Berber carpet. It was so much better, and our friends and family really seemed to enjoy staying up in what we call ‘The Treehouse’, as we live on a big hill, and the guesthouse sits above the roofline of our home, with amazing views of Birmingham.
Over the years, we’ve had great people stay with us- including Richard Stoltzman (the world renowned clarinetist, who called it “Shangri-la). Ultimately, Dan had the carpet taken out and replaced with beautiful bamboo flooring and he built a simple kitchenette. We made other improvements until we were satisfied that the guesthouse was as beautiful and comfortable as we could make it- it is important to us that our guests feel special when they visit Chez Gainey. We even go up there to spend the night for special occasions or just to feel like we’re taking a little stay-cation. I love waking up in the king-sized bed and seeing the city lights twinkling. That view never ceases to calm and inspire me.
So many of our visitors and guests have told us to turn the guesthouse into an Airbnb, so at least we’ve had practice with hosting people up there and learning the amenities and little touches that make people feel comfortable and welcome. The Gaineys never do anything half way, and Dan has been working non-stop up there to make everything as close to perfect as we can get. As a Board-certified licensed massage therapist (thank you, God!), a seasoned yoga teacher with his RYT-200 certification, and an amazing cook and bartender, he will even offer those services for additional fee. Me? I help greet and help to clean. This is Dan’s baby- I’m mostly going to be cheering him on.
When I came home from my big Clarinet Symposium on Sunday afternoon, Dan was all excited, having me get settled before he would share his big news. It seems that the very day our Airbnb posting went live, we had a professional couple from Atlanta rent it for next weekend. We also had a doctor ask to rent it for an entire year. Thankfully Dan said no to that; we still want to be able to enjoy the top deck and spend a night or two up in our other master bedroom. We’ve decided our motto will be, ‘quantity over quality’ where this is all concerned.
Wish us luck! And- if you’re ever in Birmingham and need a friendly and nice place to stay, I know just the place.