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Self catering in Europe and cleaning of accommodation

(26 Posts)
Reastie Wed 08-Nov-17 08:45:04

I've been looking for hours a while at self catering in Europe (mainly France/Belgium/holland as we don't want a huge drive from Calais). Everywhere I find seem to have cleaning not included and it's expected you clean the accommodation for the next guest. So is this usual? I assume so...

I feel uncomfortable having a holiday maker be the one to clean before me as it likely won't be a very thorough job and adds anxiety to me going on holiday as I worry about how carefully they will have cleaned. I have issues with this btw, don't judge me! Not to mention that I'd rather not have to feel like I need to clean the house thoroughly for the next guest before we leave, but the main issue is the state of accommodation and how well it's been cleaned for our arrival.

Can anyone recommend websites where holidaymakers cleaning instead of a cleaner are not the norm?

jenpetronus Wed 08-Nov-17 09:32:57

As a gite owner in Brittany I find this outrageous! It takes us around 7 hours to clean on changeover day, I would never dream of expecting a guest to clean - if they take out the recycling and the rubbish I'm happy!

As a guest I would feel exactly like you too.

Which sites are you looking at Reastie?

mummymeister Wed 08-Nov-17 09:36:29

have you looked on airbnb? there are places on there where you pay a cleaning fee on top so can assume that they clean for you. agree it is a pretty stupid thing for the owner to do to rely on the person leaving to leave it clean and sounds a bit cheapskate.

WinnieTheW0rm Wed 08-Nov-17 09:39:41

I thought that meant they would be charging you an additional fee for cleaning, not an expection you to do it yourself.

Because no owner is go to want to face the terrible reviews if departing guests can't/won't/don't clean properly or at all.

RicottaPancakes Wed 08-Nov-17 09:39:49

It's normal, I because of the attitude that ir's a bit rude to expect other people to have to clean up your own mess.

BarbaraofSevillle Wed 08-Nov-17 10:03:31

I would be surprised at any holiday property that expects the guests to clean because how do you know they are going to do it at all?

Surely someone checks the property between parties? Changes the bedding and towels, checks that all the crockery and cultery is clean and still there?

In my experience, the normal expectation is for guests to clear all rubbish, wash up and take all their belongings with them.

The owner, agent or a cleaner then comes in, replaces towels and bedding, does a clean and generally checks that the property is ready for the next guests?

BabyDreams2018 Wed 08-Nov-17 10:07:32

I've seen some SC have an additional fee if you want a cleaning service. The usual is to leave a place tidy like you found it. Maybe it depends on the Country?

AveEldon Wed 08-Nov-17 10:14:47

We often rent in Scandinavia and cleaning fees are usually optional

ExConstance Wed 08-Nov-17 13:52:09

Whether cleaning is charged for or not I would always ensure the kitchen and bathroom are clean, the floor is swept and rubbish taken out.

Reastie Wed 08-Nov-17 14:25:53

I'm not debating leaving the place in a decent condition. We empty bins/Hoover/wipe down the bathroom, empty the dishwasher etc etc but we don't do a proper clean ready for the next guests.

My parents a few years ago stayed in France and did a rough clean of their SC place assuming there was a cleaner only to get a rude email from the owner when they returned home saying they had had to pay for a cleaner between stays after their stay as it wasn't left in a suitable condition. They had no idea there was no cleaner between guests and they were expected to do it all ready for the next people. That was their oversight not realising but makes me think it might be the norm.

It just puts me off staying anywhere where cleaning is optional as the last guests may not have paid for a cleaner.

Jen your place looks lovely but sadly it's too far for us to drive to or we would book with you! I've been looking on loads of sites through google and optional cleaning fee seems commonplace.

jenpetronus Wed 08-Nov-17 14:52:36

Reastie I'm not trying to talk you into staying with us at all, but you can cross the Western channel to St Malo/Caen/Cherbourg etc which is much closer to Brittany (unless you live in Dover obviously, then there's no point!)

I'm still horrified at the thought of expecting guests to clean - your parent's experience is apalling. And what about bedding and towels etc? Are they expected to wash and iron those too?! Hardly much of a holiday if you're spending the last few days doing housework is it? (I feel like I've had an easy week if I manage to get the barbecue grills scrubbed on Friday night grin )

Reastie Wed 08-Nov-17 16:01:19

Quite a few places I've seen actually don't include bedding and towels and you have to bring your own or pay to hire them (I'm presuming put them on the bed too but who knows). We are quite close to Dover so will definitely go to France that route. I'm still struggling for destination ideas though, currently wondering about Normandy as there seems to be a theme park at Caen, monets garden, and a safari zoo park scattered around the Rouen ish area. Do you know Normandy at all Jen? We're looking for somewhere with lots to do with a 7 YO but also somewhere quite quiet and peaceful with dh who hates crowds. Beaches = good but busy beaches full of loads of people = bad. It's hard to tell where to go!

jenpetronus Wed 08-Nov-17 17:25:27

I don't know Normandy that well myself - not well enough to recommend anywhere, but I am a member of a group of (diligent cleaningwink!) gite owners who may be more help. I'll ask around, bearing in mind your requirements and see if anyone has any ideas.

Reastie Wed 08-Nov-17 17:35:44


reluctantbrit Wed 08-Nov-17 21:21:15

I stopped booking sc gites/villas where I have to bring linen and clean. I remember doing it years ago and it really spoiled the last days.

I either pay the cleaning fee or look for the ones where cleaning is included.

I found France is still on the "visitor have to clean" map than for example Spain or Germany.

rookiemere Sat 11-Nov-17 08:38:49

Yes this is very common in France and by the time you add the cost of cleaning, sheets and towels often your bargain apartment is quite expensive!
I try to book through English owners as generally more in tune with how we do things.
Worst was french ski apartment where we had to book inspection before we left - all the best slots were already taken so ridiculously early- then she proceeded to tut at us for apparent dirt and mess even though we were paying for cleaning and it hadn't been that clean when we arrived.

I never make any assumptions about cleaning and ask before booking what the story is.

SJane45S Mon 13-Nov-17 16:24:33

We usually rent apartments through or in the UK, holiday cottages. As others have said, there is usually an expectation that you leave the place in a good state and take rubbish out etc..but there has always been a cleaner in before we arrived and I assume the minute we leave. I think the usual expectation is don't leave it in a tip for the cleaners but it doesn't have to sparkle either!

MaybeDoctor Mon 20-Nov-17 19:41:51

This tends to be a French thing, as far as I know. I remember reading a notice in one such place which asked for the insides of the windows and the interiors of the dustbins to be cleaned and dried!

Having said that, the one time we did clean a holiday gite it was stressful but weirdly satisfying to leave the place as spick and span as when we had arrived. I even mopped under our suitcases as we left!

Reastie Tue 21-Nov-17 15:34:43

Maybe that sounds very thorough!

Humphriescushion Tue 21-Nov-17 15:46:41

I have an airbnb in France and I dont charge a cleaning fee though most do - almost all my visitors have left the place very clean - much cleaner than I would have expected but I would always give it a thorough clean as well. I assumed this is what other owners have done as well. I would just ask before you book what the expecations are.

Reastie Tue 21-Nov-17 18:07:28

Hump where in France is your property? I'm still on the lookout for somewhere to stay!

PandaPieForTea Tue 21-Nov-17 18:23:25

We wanted to go SC in France, but didn’t go to France because I really struggled to find accommodation that either included cleaning or had it as a optional extra.

Cleaning at the end of my holiday would pretty much ruin it. I generally won’t go on holiday anywhere less comfortable than home and we have a cleaner at home, so I include that in my definition of ‘comfort’.

Sorry this isn’t an answer, more a place mark.

Humphriescushion Tue 21-Nov-17 18:29:17

I am way down south so too far I would have thought.

Reastie Tue 21-Nov-17 18:38:56

That's a shame Humphirescushion

Humphriescushion Tue 21-Nov-17 20:35:09

Yes, hope you find somewhere. Good luck

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