Ragini and Scott opened their first BandB in Chiswick, West London, in 2011 and then subsequently opened their second one in Kew in 2016. Over the four years that Chiswick BandB was open they housed over 700 guests and experienced many magical moments that allowed the couple to learn the ins and outs of what it takes to run a successful BandB, as well as business, from within a family home. This blog post tells the story of the journey that led up to the opening of Chiswick BandB and later onto the creation of their second BandB in Kew.
Ragini is a norm breaker; she has never fit into any mould and has the attitude that no task is too big to be completed. Having lived on four continents, her experiences and knowledge are utterly unique and inspiring. She made a successful career for herself working in sales and marketing for a variety of notable companies over a period of 20 years she decided to leave the corporate world and try taking on some new, and more fulfilling, challenges. She dabbled in coaching, writing books, poetry and even did a five-year course in Naturopathy, earning her a degree in the subject in 2010. In 2011 she found herself in need of a new project and thus Chiswick BandB was born! The idea behind the BandB was born out of Ragini’s desire to break out of the confining corporate life and to work alongside her husband Scott and her daughter in a productive and cohesive way, as well as to be able to efficiently utilize the skills that the family possessed collectively. In working together the family was able to provide a unique and authentic atmosphere for the guests that they welcomed and had the pleasure of learning together.
Scott had spent his career working as a successful retail consultant, a job that took him to every corner of the world. In recent years he decided to slow the pace a little bit and began working from home and was therefore able to help Ragini with the setting up of Chiswick BandB but also to continue on with his projects such as the Retail Leaders Program. Although there was initially some resistance to the idea of having people staying in their home, Scott and Sachi were quick to jump on board with the BandB and it soon became the joy and pride of the Annan’s life. Scott took on the job title of ‘CEO of laundry’, whilst Sachi managed the breakfasts and the upkeep of the rooms. Ragini was in charge of running the English language school section of the BandB that allowed the family to meet over 400 students who travelled to Chiswick from far and wide.
Chiswick BandB became a lively yet calming meeting place for people from all over the world, nestled in a quiet corner of leafy London, and not one week went by without the Annan’s and the guests learning something new from one another. Ragini’s students became fully integrated within family life. At breakfast the long marble table that has now become the icon of both Chiswick and Kew BandB’s would seat couples and students from places far and wide who could enjoy their tea and toast together over lively discussion. Over the course of four years it was an extreme rarity to see the table empty in the mornings, and it is as a result of the kind and generous guests who came to stay with us at Chiswick BandB that we were able to open our new property in Kew.
Taking the decision to move from Chiswick was due to the fact that both Ragini and Scott had spent the best part of 30 years living there and felt it was time for a change. It was a decision well made, as Kew Gardens BandB is situated 2 minutes away from the UNESCO world heritage site The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew as well as being a 20-minute tube journey away from central London. Kew is the perfect combination of suburban charm mixed with the lively energy of London; you wont find many places quite like it. We hope to welcome new faces and our familiar friends for more relaxation, discussion, learning and fun. There is never a dull moment in an Annan run BandB, whether you’re looking for somewhere to come and stay whilst seeing the sights of London or hoping to meet new and like minded individuals to learn from and create with, Kew Gardens BandB is the place for you. We believe that in life, each person that you interact with has the ability to teach you something new, we hope to learn from you and to make your stay with us one where you have the chance to learn something from us in return.
Some photos from the Kew project: