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Right at home in a recession

A new London Agnecy offers Kiwis a homely spcae in the notoriously expensive city.

SCHLEPPING into London from Heathrow and crashing on a mate’s beery floor in Earl’s Court or Hackney isn’t the only way to start your OE.

With many Kiwi travellers used to better accommodation or embarking on their second OE, self-catering in a London home is a more appealing prospect.

Guy van der Westhuizen, a half-Kiwi (his mother’s from Napier), half-South African recently made redundant in London, has set up a business arranging short-term accommodation for antipodean tourists and says it’s one of few businesses that flourish during an economic downturn.

Ivy Lettings arranges affordable short-stay (minimum five nights) accommodation in desirable properties and was founded on two key trends in travel today: first, frustration at the high price of hotel accommodation and serviced apartments, and second, a preference for the independence of a self- catered stay in the warmth and character of a real home.

Ivy’s properties are London homes left vacant while their owners are abroad on business or vacation. Each property, from studio flats to four-bedroom houses, is located within 20 minutes of London’s key attractions and is fully serviced between stays, with maid service during your stay by arrangement.

Van der Westhuizen says that becauseowners are not concerned with demanding the highest possible price for their property, but prefer to have it occupied for a reasonable rate, the result is excellent value for the traveller.

Ivy Lettings can also arrange airport transfers at competitive rates, maid service, equipment for babies and a host of other extras to ensure every convenience of a hotel, but without the expense.

■  More at ivylettings.com.

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