Ashley, born and bred in the Ebbsfleet area of Kent, joined forces with neighbour Mark Sheppard to look at the possibility of renting their own homes out during the Olympics. Ashley said, ‘being so close to Ebbsfleet International, visitors can enjoy staying in the beautiful Kent countryside and yet they are only 11 minutes away from the Stratford Olympic Park via high speed rail’. They had initially only intended to rent out their own homes, but were quickly inundated by people looking for good quality affordable accommodation. Recognising the potential for homeowners and businesses in Kent, they set up London Village Rentals to deal with the enquiries. Several months on, the business is thriving, working with local hotels, inns and private homeowners, London Village Rentals have become experts at sourcing accommodation for people whatever their budgets.
Mark continues, ‘we are really enjoying meeting visitors from all over the world. We have just helped an Olympic team who clearly had never heard of Ebbsfleet before, find accommodation for their family and friends travelling to London in support of the athletes. They wanted to stay together in one place, so we needed somewhere to suit each individual visitor’s budget, and for some of the group it will be their first time in the UK so they want to make the most of their visit and experience London and British life. We have been able to place them in The Manor Hotel in Gravesend and have arranged trips to historic Rochester and Bluewater shopping centre, we have also organised private coach hire and a Japanese speaking tour guide to view the tourist sites in London. A ‘Welcome Event’ will be hosted at the 17th Century Inn, The Leather Bottle in Cobham where Charles Dickens stayed and referenced in the Pickwick Papers giving the visitors a true sense of the historic importance of Kent’.
The care taken with the women wrestlers’ trip shows the dedicated service the team at London Village Rentals provide. Mark explains how the business has developed to meet the growing list of requirements from clients. ‘At first we just sourced accommodation, mainly private homes and local hotels, but it quickly became clear that London Village Rentals should be offering additional services to ensure all of our clients’ needs are met.’ They have built a team of people including housekeepers, personal assistants and even offer security where necessary. Private Chef Carol says that she is excited by the opportunity to cater for the Olympic visitors, ‘I am looking forward to cooking for the guests, and we consult with them to ensure that they approve of the menus but we have already had requests for the great British Sunday lunch!’
London Village Rentals are providing similar services for Olympic teams travelling from Canada, USA, Slovakia, Colombia and the Netherlands. As well the Olympic visitors London Village Rentals are working with people due to attend events as part of the Dickens Bicentennial and regularly source private homes for individuals staying in the area who do not wish to use hotels but want a more personal home from home accommodation.
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London Village Rentals offer destination management services including a unique selection of prestige private properties. A full concierge services ensures that clients enjoy a hassle free stay . LVR also offer events venue sourcing, planning and hosting.