Holcombe Guest Home





Holcombe Guest House is an intimate bed and breakfast located in the small village of Barnetby, Humber­side. Owned by local GP Dr Ajay Vora, the property used to be his surgery before his practice moved to a new building. After careful consideration, he chose Genius to control the heating automatically, keeping his guests comfortable while cutting overheads.

How did you hear about Genius Hub?
“I looked at a comparison review, which rated Genius Hub against its competitors. I was mainly looking for a way to control the heating remotely in my guest house. I think smart technology makes so much more sense to control something when you’re not there. It’s far more valuable than, say, being able to control the lights from your phone when you could just lean over and press the light switch! This technology is really useful for controlling guest houses, hotels, caravan parks, etc.”

Did you look at anything else before buying?
Yes, I looked into Honeywell Evohome and spoke with them. I liked the fact that they’re a big company, but the answers they gave me weren’t satisfactory. The problem with their commercial systems was you have to have a controller in each room, and I didn’t want that.”

How did you feel about Genius Hub, from your first impressions?
I was very excited and interested. I first installed Genius Hub in my home. It was helpful to do that, because when I started using it, I realised that the guests could control the temperature themselves, just by pushing the buttons on the valve. The guests can easily make themselves comfortable, but I can be sure we’re not wasting energy on heating empty rooms.”

What originally attracted you to Genius Hub?
“I wanted a smart heating system that I could set up and leave alone. That’s the best situation; if it just runs itself. It can be a bit hit and miss as to whether the staff remember to do things in the Guest Houses.” 

“For example, some customers want it hotter on a warm day. If the staff forget to turn it up, the customer isn’t happy.  If they forget to turn it down when the customer leaves then we waste energy. The customers just want a seamless experience for the whole process, from booking a room to checking out after their stay. I do all that I can to create that simple and enjoyable experience for the guests, and Genius Hub helps with that. The more automated the Guest House is, the easier it is for me to ensure that customers get the best experience.” 

Was there anything to be concerned about?
“Yes, but when I spoke to the staff at Genius Hub they answered all the questions that I had. I was concerned about how the system would fit into the properties and I also wasn’t sure how easy it would be to use. Commercial building manage­ment systems are expensive and very complicated to use, which wouldn’t be appropriate for us. The good thing about Genius Hub is that it was original­ly designed to be used in the home, so it is much easier for anyone who is not technical to be able to control it.”

“Still, I de­cided to installed it in my own home first, so that I could see what it was like to use. I was also concerned about valves disconnecting from the network, which apparently can be a problem with other systems on the market. This hasn’t been a problem for the Genius Hub system; apparently, it’s because Genius Hub uses the smart plugs to boost the signal around the property. I do have to walk around and change the batteries in the valves once a year, but apart from that, it just runs itself without a hitch.”

Which do you feel contributed most to your decision to buy Genius Hub?
“I mainly decided to buy Genius Hub on the basis of journalist reviews. Several said that this was the best system on the market. Also with the Honeywell Evohome, I didn’t like that the customers could override it from the control unit that’s in the guesthouse.”

“I wanted to have all of the control myself and be able to override it remotely. With many of the other systems, you needed to have the control unit in the room.I actually tried a few other heating controls too, and they were not as good as Genius Hub. Of the systems that I tried, Genius Hub has worked out the best.”

What’s been your experience with Genius Hub overall?

“Very good; the personal touch I have received has been great. Being able to request a call-back from Genius Hub home in the evening works for me too, so I can get called when I’m at home. The customer support was really good and was one of the main reasons I chose Genius Hub home. I also like the fact that the new developments are always coming and despite the fact it’s now two years since I bought my system, I am still getting the software updates to my system to keep it up to date and add new features. I am looking forward to expanding my systems.”

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Holcombe Guest House was named after Holcombe Hill in Bury, Lancashire, where the proprietor Angela comes from.

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