February Newsletter 2019 - Home Sweet Homestay

Posted in Newsletters
Published: 16/04/2019
accommodation, Look After Me, New Zealand Homestay, Bed and Breakfast, Digital Hotel
Home Sweet Homestay 
What makes our Look After Me hosts so sweet? 

In 2011 when we launched Look After Me, ahead of the Rugby World Cup, I was told that no one would ever want to stay in anyone else’s home, in exchange for money.

I’m glad I didn’t listen to that advice because we’ve proven it wrong. Our hosts have now looked after over 16,300 guests – mostly spare rooms that guests have booked for short-term accommodation.

Homestays, farmstays and bed and breakfasts are now a legitimate alternative to motels and hotels.

We only need to look at the rise in popularity of the American-owned company AirBnB which has educated the world’s travel market about the Shared Access Economy.

Over the years, we’ve talked to our guests to find out why they love our home sweet homestays. Here’s what they said:

“We love that there’s a friendly face waiting for us at the door.”

“I feel safer staying with a mature female host because I know she’ll just look after me. I hate walking about the city by myself at night for dinner.”

“Barb left a little treat on my pillow!”

“I didn’t know anyone when I first moved to Christchurch but Beth introduced me to a few different clubs she thought I might like. She even recommended a decent hairdresser and gave me the low-down on where to get a good coffee!"

Book your Home Sweet Homestay today!


"I felt completely at home. I had a great time."
- Mary Beth Prondzinki, Alabama, USA
Meet David and Barbara from Mornington Villa. Thank you for taking such good care of Mary Beth while she was attending a conference in Dunedin.

Book your stay with David and Barbara


accommodation, Look After Me, New Zealand Homestay, Bed and Breakfast, Digital Hotel


The world’s first Digital Hotel was opened in Dunedin in 2018 by Mayor Dave Cull and celebrity guest actress Rebecca Gibney (aka Julie from Packed to the Rafters).

We launched the Digital Hotel to trial a new format for Look After Me.

Here’s what’s new:

  • We’re increasing the quality of our accommodation to 3+ and 4-star
  • We’ve changed our look and feel by adding a simple ‘reception’ area to our webpage.
  • We’re trialling new software which allows guests to browse, book and securely pay using all major credit cards, from all devices
  • We’ve made it possible for hosts to list more than one room and book them out separately

So far, the Digital Hotel format has gone well in Dunedin. We were nearly fully booked for Ed Sheeran in March, Pink in September and now we’re gearing up for Elton John and Queen in February 2020. Tickets go on sale for Queen this Wednesday!

Please visit www.staydunedin.com and tell us what you think.

1. Do you like the flowers and bell?

2. Is our wallpaper the right shade of blue?

3. Would you stay in one of our rooms? If not, why not?

Click here to email us your comments!


If the trial goes well, we’ll roll out this new software for the rest of our rooms all over New Zealand starting in June.

A note from the managing director...

If you are reading this, you are, or have been, one of our Look After Me hosts or guests over the years.

I want to take the opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to the more than 16,300 people who have supported us since 2011. Without you, there would be no Look After Me.

Here’s to happy and safe travels.

           Julia Anne

                 Founder and Managing Director

NZ's Accommodation Network

Dunedin's Digital Hotel