In the field of hotel business, experts distinguish a separate category – the so-called mini-hotels, small private “hospitable houses”, which are becoming an increasingly popular type of small business in our country..
In Europe and America, small hotels designed for 10–20 rooms have long become a familiar and commonplace phenomenon, there are such hotels in almost every car gas station, near roadside cafes, just on the streets of large cities.
In Russia, this area of the hotel business is still developing and experts today consider mini-hotels to be the most affordable, not requiring large investments and paying off quickly enough..
What is the difference between mini hotels
It is difficult to determine exactly how many rooms a mini-hotel can have, since these criteria are very different in different countries. In America, where it is customary to measure everything on a large scale, the category “mini” includes those hotels with less than 150 rooms, but in Europe it is customary to call hostels and small hotels designed for a maximum of 50 rooms mini-hotels..
Most often, a mini-hotel is a small building in which no more than 10-20 rooms are located, and sometimes it is an ordinary apartment in which two or three rooms have become separate rooms.
The main feature of small hotels is that it is much easier here to create a truly homely coziness, an atmosphere in which the owners know all their guests very well, not only by sight, where guests communicate, perhaps have lunch and cook in the common kitchen, but are glad to regular customers like friends or relatives. This feature can also be called the main advantage of the mini-hotel, attracting guests – usually it is very quiet and cozy here, the owners pay attention to the wishes and habits of their guests. Such an individual attitude is impossible in large hotels, where guest service is put on stream..
Another feature of mini-hotels is that often the owners themselves live in the same building and are independently engaged in servicing all guests, preferring not to hire outsiders. Of course, such a family business is possible only in very small hotels, up to 10-15 rooms, but in any case, many owners take an active part in the work of their mini-hotel, in contrast to large hotel complexes, which may simultaneously belong to several large investors.
So, the main distinguishing features and features of mini-hotels are:
- silence and a small number of guests;
- lower prices, especially when compared to five and four star hotels;
- geographic diversity – mini-hotels can be located almost everywhere, in the center of a metropolis, near a train station, airport, roadside cafe, on the seashore or on a river, which implies a large selection, as well as convenient transport links and proximity to major local attractions;
- home coziness and a high level of comfort, quite comparable to ordinary private apartments;
- individual approach to clients;
- conceptuality, often each room of such a mini-hotel is decorated in a special style, there are no standard rooms, rooms can be located in the attic, in the outbuilding, and in a separate annex. And often the whole hotel turns into a mansion of the early 20th century or a Mediterranean villa, offering rooms in the chosen style.
Although it is not customary to assign stars to mini-hotels, experts still distinguish several types of such small hotels:
- Hostels.The most inexpensive, designed for young people traveling to cities and countries with light luggage, as well as business travelers who save on accommodation. Hostels can be located in an ordinary apartment, from 4 to 8 guests live in a room, sometimes the owners even install bunk beds to save space.
- Family guesthouses.Such mini-hotels are very popular with families with children, here much attention is paid to young guests, in each room, unlike the hostel, there is its own shower and toilet, as well as a kitchen where parents can cook food for their kids. If the family guesthouse is located in a private home, the owners often equip a playground in the yard to create additional amenities and attract customers.
- Business hotels designed for those guests who often have to travel for their business.Such guests appreciate the silence, the opportunity to receive partners in their room or specially equipped room. Such mini-hotels usually offer full board, since busy guests have no time to cook food..
- VIP hotels.The most expensive category of small hotels, sometimes these are separate studio apartments with a full set of household appliances and an open terrace, or small cottages, united by one closed courtyard with landscape design, where there is a picnic area.
There are also so-called fashion hotels, where the emphasis is on style and special atmosphere. For example, a real mini-hotel-museum with furnishings from the late 19th century may appear in an old mansion, or a small Gothic castle offers “haunted rooms”. It is not yet possible to call such mini-hotels a widespread phenomenon in Russia, rather it is a special attraction for tourists and they are located in places known for their attractions and popular among travelers. In addition, such fashion hotels usually offer rather expensive rooms..
Where to open
According to Alexander Lesnik, General Director of Hotel Consulting & Development Group, today mini-hotels occupy only 5% of the Moscow hotel market and are a very promising area of activity. So, opening a small hotel in an old, reconstructed mansion in the center of the capital is much easier than finding a fairly spacious building site in the central area and building a large hotel.
In St. Petersburg, a recognized tourist center of our country, mini-hotels are much more widespread. According to a study by the international real estate consultancy DTZ, mini-hotels now occupy 25% of the hotel market in the Northern capital. It is interesting that most often in St. Petersburg former communal apartments are rebuilt for mini-hotels, of which there were quite enough in the city at the end of the 90s. The area of such hotels is usually about 200 square meters, they are located near train stations, in the historical center or in the immediate vicinity of metro stations.
In the past few years, mini-hotels have been actively opening in the cities of the Golden Ring: Suzdal, Vladimir, Yaroslavl, Kostroma, Ivanovo and others. There are also relatively many travelers here, and the niche of small and inexpensive hotels is still practically free..
Also, among the places that are promising from the point of view of opening a mini-hotel, experts consider the Moscow region, especially resort areas near water bodies or having a convenient transport interchange with Moscow, the villages of Karelia, Baikal and Altai, that is, those regions that have their geographic location and beautiful nature attract travelers, and not only from Russia.
And, finally, the leader in the number of mini-hotels is undoubtedly the southern resort areas. A huge number of cottages, houses, apartments, divided into several rooms, open their doors to vacationers annually in Sochi, Gelendzhik, Anapa and other seaside towns and villages.
The peculiarity of resort mini-hotels is that they usually work actively only in summer. For the winter period, the owners often simply close their hotel or live here themselves, if, of course, heating is provided there – in many mini-hotels on the coast of the Azov or Black Sea, it simply does not exist, it is more economical, and there is no such need.
How much is
The cheapest way is to open a hostel in your own apartment – the arrangement of additional beds, the purchase of household appliances and additional sets of dishes for a shared kitchen will cost a maximum of $ 5,000. Of course, provided that before that, at least a cosmetic repair had already been carried out in the apartment.
To build a cottage near a federal highway or on the outskirts of a city in central Russia costs about 30-50 thousand rubles. Even more economical – to convert an already erected private house into a mini-hotel – it is enough to attach an outbuilding, convert the attic into a residential attic, or simply convert living rooms.
The construction of a cottage for five or six rooms on the shores of the Sea of Azov will cost the owners of the future mini-hotel 50-60 thousand dollars, and if you use frame construction technologies – even cheaper. Of course, larger mini-hotels, for 10-20 rooms, will cost the owners more, it is also worth considering the rather large expenses for the purchase of new furniture, the installation of air conditioners in each room, the purchase of refrigerators, TVs and other household appliances, which by themselves can significantly exceed the construction costs of the building. As a result, the price of a turnkey mini-hotel, completely ready to receive guests, can reach 200-300 thousand dollars, that is, 6.5-9.75 million rubles.
The largest investments are required to open a mini-hotel in the center of a large city, firstly, it is rather difficult to find a free building area here, secondly, the land itself is quite expensive, and thirdly, the conversion of a mansion or communal apartment into a mini -the hotel is associated with bureaucratic delays and obtaining a lot of permits and certificates.
Experts disagree about the payback periods of small hotels, here both the favorable location and the human factor play an important role – the personal qualities of the owners themselves, their ability to create real comfort and attract regular customers.
On average, experts say, a mini-hotel in the city center pays for itself in 5-7 years, and a hotel by the sea that accepts guests only three months a year – in 10 years.
If we calculate that, for example, a small hotel with 10 rooms, which opened on the shores of the Sea of Azov, offers rooms for 1.5-2 thousand rubles a day, then the maximum revenue of its owners, taking into account the fact that all rooms without exception will be occupied by all 92 days of summer will amount to 1.84 million rubles. The costs of paying for utilities – electricity, water, gas, taxes, as well as wages of employees, the purchase of household chemicals, and so on can reach 400 thousand rubles per season. One should also take into account the fact that it is necessary to take care of the cottage all year round, and it only brings profit in the summer season. But mini-hotels usually do not have advertising costs – they attract new customers with the help of word of mouth, regular customers inform their friends and acquaintances about a cozy and inexpensive place. The maximum that the owners usually go to is to advertise on a specialized website or hang out a sign on the gate, well known to all vacationers – “Rent a room”.
So, the maximum net profit reaches 1.44 million rubles, if the costs of building and equipping a mini-hotel with everything necessary have reached 7-8 million rubles, then, indeed, the owners will be able to recoup the costs no earlier than in 5 years, and then in case of popularity your hotel.
However, experts clarify that all this is only official data, a huge number of mini-hotel owners simply do not indicate their true income, do not register as private entrepreneurs and, accordingly, do not pay taxes..
What documents are needed
To date, the licensing of the hotel business has already been canceled in Moscow, so there is no need to obtain a license to open a mini-hotel. The only license that the owners will need is to sell alcohol if they wish to open their own bar or cafe at the hotel.
However, the owners of the mini-hotel need to register as an individual entrepreneur, that is, go through the usual registration procedure with the tax office at the place of registration, register with all funds, obtain a state certificate, formally formalize contracts with all employees and, accordingly, honestly pay taxes. in principle, not too large. Individual entrepreneurs on a simplified taxation system will pay only 6% of income, plus taxes on employee wages.
This is not the end of the relationship with the state control authorities of the owners of the small hotel – they have to regularly check the fire supervision and the sanitary-epidemiological service, it is necessary to sign contracts for the removal of solid household waste, disinfection, start a book of reviews and suggestions, a log of checks, and so on. … If there is a cafe at the mini-hotel, this list must include contracts for the supply of products and a sanitary passport of the car on which the products will be delivered. In addition, an individual entrepreneur is obliged to maintain accounting in order to accurately calculate the amount of his taxable expenses..
The only exception is a hostel, which has no more than 9 beds, such mini-hotels of economy class do not need to be officially registered, the owner can simply fill out an annual income tax return, while remaining an ordinary individual.
And again, let’s clarify – the overwhelming number of mini-hotels operating in Russia, in particular in resort areas, are not officially registered anywhere, their owners prefer not to receive the status of an individual entrepreneur, cope with servicing guests on their own or do not conclude contracts with employees, especially if they are attracted only for the tourist season. Experts note that this area of business in our country remains one of the most closed and non-transparent.
As you can see, it is not so difficult to open your own mini-hotel, and the investments are small in comparison with other activities. And although the payback period of small hotels reaches 5-7 years, many residents of cities and seaside villages popular among tourists prefer to invest in the construction of mini-hotels, rightly considering such a business the most reliable way to ensure the future of their family for many years.