Four years ago, Annie and John Williams opened Kingfisher Creek Self-Catering Cottage in the beautiful Guernsey Private Reserve, a conservancy neighbouring South Africa’s Kruger National Park.
Situated close to Orpen Gate, the cottage is popular with local and international guests alike, although Annie says that 90% of their visitors come from Germany, Holland and France, all looking for a self-drive escape in the African bushveld.
Annie and John partnered with NightsBridge right from the start, and for Annie it’s been a fantastic experience: “I love NightsBridge, I absolutely love it. Their customer service is really, really good. If you have a problem, it is sorted quickly. They are very responsive and happy to help.”
Implementing the NightsBridge system was also a breeze. “When I first made contact with NightsBridge,” explains Annie, “Someone got back to me the same day. They organised a ‘walkthrough’ of the system and a mini-training session, but it’s actually very simple to use.”
Even better, according to Annie, is that NightsBridge is happy to do the related admin (or ‘faff’) on your behalf, including helping you to link to other OTAs like Booking.com. Another plus? “NightsBridge is well-established in South Africa, guests recognise their booking form and are comfortable with it, as everyone has used NightsBridge!”
In November 2019, Annie and John opened Kingfisher Creek Lodge (complete with one- and two-bedroom tented suites) – less than six months before COVID-19 closed tourism overnight.
One of the changes that COVID-19 has ushered in is the need for touchless tech. Annie has adopted NightsBridge’s online check-in procedure, and so far, so good.
“We started using the online check-in form as soon as it was launched,” says Annie. “The forms associated with COVID screening and contact tracing are quite cumbersome and guests and guests can get frustrated. The online form saves so much time. Seventy per cent of guests complete it before they arrive, and I am actually thinking of setting up an iPad at reception for those who don’t – they can then complete it on arrival.”
Annie is overwhelmingly positive about NightsBridge’s new tech. “I would recommend it 100%. It’s as easy as going into guest booking, hitting guest communication and selecting check-in.”
Travel is beginning to open up, local guests are returning and hopefully, international guests won’t be far behind. Kingfisher Creek is thrilled to offer the convenience – and safety – of online check-in and check-out thanks to NightsBridge.