About Us

We’re a very happy married couple (well I’m married and she’s happy, haha) lucky enough to be living in the fabulous city of Barcelona. There is me (Phil), Fiona and our two kids aged 3 and 5. I’m English, Fiona is Irish and we met at a work conference in Prague back in 2003, married in 2004, had our 2 kids in Ireland in 2006 and 2008 and moved over here to Barcelona in February 2011 (phew)! We are loving the life we have carved out for ourselves. It’s not all rosy in the garden though, some times have been very tough but we have always come good.

We had an opportunity to move here with the company I was working for at the time and with the economic down turn hitting Ireland hard we decided that whilst the kids were still young this is a wonderful opportunity for all of us and to give it a go…

If you don’t gamble, you can’t win! Right?

We spent about 3 months planning the move and packing up our belongings and booked everything for the move. Then one cold February morning we were driven to the airport to get a flight and move to a city that we had never been to before and where we didn’t speak the language. I can tell you something when we touched down I did panic and think, ‘what are we doing, this is just plane crazy!

So what went wrong?

Sadly the company I moved over with had different ideas about things and after a few months decided to close the ‘new’ Barcelona office and wanted me back in Ireland. My immediate reply, NO WAY PEDRO!  We had fallen in love with this city and we had our daughter in a school on the same block as our dream apartment, the sun was shinning and the people we had met were fast becoming friends. So thanks, but no thanks we’ll stay put.

We only just had to worry about how we would put food on the table!! Fiona with all her years of experience in IT quickly realised that there were no jobs here in Spain but as Fiona and the Irish would say ‘sure we’ll be grand’!

When you are in a corner you have one way to go, and thats the fighting route. This is what we did, we looked at every possibility on how to bring money in. We very quickly set up a company  using my knowledge of Tourism which would help hotels increase direct revenue. Fiona flew back to Ireland to get trained with our Developer partners.  We also built websites for hotels and small businesses.

The ambition and drive was there but the economic downturn held us back growing the Company and hence bringing an income back into the family.

When you move to a city like Barcelona you have a lot of friends and family that want to come and visit. Not complaining but from day one we both always joked that ‘we need to be charging for this’!…Enter Airbnb!

Enter Airbnb!..

It was the perfect solution, we had a spare room and we needed the income. So we set about getting the the room painted and get some additional furniture and listed it on airbnb. It was up live for 4 days before our first booking from our wonderful friends Jan and Weronika came though and thats when it all started..

We are now here after hosting over 500 people and looking forward to sharing our expertise in hosting and sharing some stories with fellow airbnb’rs


'About Us' have 5 comments

  1. February 19, 2015 @ 2:01 am Treena

    I have just read your story of your beginnings with airbnb and its very fitting to say the lest. This is very motivational for me as I have just started up our airbnb here in Auckland s Northshore, in New Zealand. We built a unit for my husbands mum who has since been diagnosed with Dementia and is now living in specialist Dementia care facility. Like you we also found the same solution to resolve our situation “Welcome Airbnb. When San Francisco open came up I jumped at the chance to go learn more. Fantastic! I presume you were there!
    Im so enjoying learning from our Airbnb Family… Thanks for the opportunity to learn more through your experience…


  2. December 20, 2015 @ 7:50 am White X

    Fiona and Phil – It was wonderful to read about how you started with AirBNb and Glad to know that you are doing really well. The tips and tricks in your blog is very useful for AirBnB Hosts and small hotels .All the Best


    • January 2, 2016 @ 11:00 am Phil

      Thanks a million. It’s been an amazing experience so far and a few years in we’re still learning and still get the occasional panic moments. Happy Airbnb’ing….


  3. June 2, 2016 @ 3:47 am Craig Mannella

    Hey, I have been reading through your guys posts and this blog is great. The tips are good and this website overall is beautiful! I’ve been hosting for a little over a year and have been in the cleaning industry for many years so I’ve decided to start a company called http://www.stayawaycleaning.com. A cleaning service that caters to my local area of host in Long Island, NY. Your site lets me know I have a lot of learning to do as far as improving my website/blog but I’m learning a lot just from reading. Thank you for the tips so far. Going to set up a lodgify site for my listing very soon.

    And I have to say I too love Barcelona! I took a 2 month trip to Europe last year and after I was only supposed to stay for 3 days, I ended up staying in Barca for 2 weeks! (During my trip is when I decided I needed to start my own cleaning company when I got home as I could not find anyone to handle all the small details related to hosting besides just cleaning) Barcelona is the only place in the world I’ve ever been that felt like home after a couple days. Amazing place. Be well and keep doing what you do!


  4. September 15, 2016 @ 9:54 am Bjarne

    Hey Phil & Fiona
    I’m Bjarne (South African of Norwegian descent) and I’ve been an Airbnb host in Pretoria for around a year and a half now. I’ve read all your posts and loved them. I’m in (was, actually) the hospitality trade as a chef and F&B Manager, so it’s been easier hosting and becoming a SuperHost. My partner works in a hotel, so, more hospitality!
    Airbnb is relatively new in SA, although Cape Town (because it’s already a tourism destination) has more than 8,000 listings – compared to here in Pretoria which has less than 400. We are considering moving to Europe (Spain, Portugal… anywhere not as cold!) but am hesitant because of the economic downturn… let’s see how it goes.


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