Reprint & Permission About Us Disclamer

UnderTheDoormat: Redefining Luxury Home Accommodation

Merilee Karr
The Executive Headlines

Discover the Extraordinary Comfort of Home Away from Home!


As homeowners, we all desire to maximize the use of our properties. However, leaving them empty when there are people who would love to experience them is a wasted opportunity. Renting out our homes can be intimidating, as we want to ensure that our valuable space is properly taken care of in our absence.

Fortunately, UnderTheDoormat is here to help. They provide a fully managed service that handles everything, from marketing to cleaning, to guarantee that your home is enjoyed by guests and maintained well. Moreover, their Peace of Mind Pledge guarantees that your property is secure while you are away, allowing you to rest easily.

Under the visionary leadership of CEO and Founder Merilee Karr, it has emerged as a game-changer in the industry, providing travelers with the opportunity to enjoy the finest homes while offering homeowners a chance to monetize their property.

Incepted in July of 2014, UnderTheDoormat sprang from Merilee's ardor for fostering a symbiotic connection between proprietors and voyagers. Following a lucrative profession at Shell, Karr harnessed her proficiency and enterprising nature to conceive a utility that would enable landowners to unleash the authentic potential of their assets.

The fundamental principle of UnderTheDoormat is centered on transforming the absence of homeowners into a beneficial situation. By permitting travelers to luxuriate in the comfort of their homes, homeowners can effortlessly earn a substantial supplementary income. However, the benefits go beyond this; the company ensures that homeowners can enjoy complete tranquility throughout the entire process. UnderTheDoormat's expert and fully-managed service attends to every detail, granting homeowners the freedom to unwind, secure in the knowledge that their property is in reliable and capable hands. With a fastidious attention to detail, the company has established the Peace of Mind Pledge, which encompasses first-rate insurance coverage, comprehensive control over availability, and an unwavering commitment to hygiene standards – a crucial consideration in today's world.

It boasts a distinctive portfolio of more than 250 handpicked residences situated throughout London. These exclusive accommodations provide a wide array of options to cater to the refined preferences of discerning travelers. Each exceptional property meets the company's rigorous criteria and embodies the pinnacle of opulence, coziness, and refinement. By carefully selecting and curating a collection of abodes that embodies the very essence of London living, UnderTheDoormat provides a captivating glimpse into the city's rich culture, enthralling past, and incomparable allure.

The resolute devotion of UnderTheDoormat towards achieving excellence has garnered them several commendations and widespread acclaim. Their mention on the BBC and attainment of esteemed industry awards are testaments to their unswerving determination to establish new precedents in the luxury accommodation domain. Being the pioneer enterprise in its sector to obtain the official certification of the Short-Term Accommodation Association (STAA), it manifests its pledge to maintain the most elevated benchmarks and spearhead the path for conscientious advancement within the domain.

Having welcomed over 12,000 guests from 80+ countries, its global reach continues to expand, playing a pivotal role in the evolution of luxury home accommodation.


Join us as we embark on their captivating journey!


Visionary Behind the Company

Merilee Karr is the CEO and Founder of UnderTheDoormat – an award-winning luxury short-term rental company. Merilee founded the company in 2014 after a successful global career at Shell. Her vision for UnderTheDoormat is to enable modern travelers to enjoy the comfort of home with the professional service of a hotel. They offer two approaches, the UnderTheDoormat fully managed model, a "Distributed hotel", and Hospiria, integrated technology for property portfolio owners and managers to access the sector, projected by PWC to be worth $330bn in Europe by 2025.  

Merilee regularly features on television and radio, including BBC News and Sky News, and speaks at industry events, including the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF), and Expedia’s annual global conference. She has been recognized with several awards, including JP Morgan’s Top Female Powered Companies in 2021, and Business Woman of the Year in 2019. She has also led UnderTheDoormat to win industry accolades such as Travolution, Best for Staying 2020, Builtworld, European Prop-Tech Company 2020, and Best Online Travel Agency (OTA) in 2021.


Behind the Success

The challenge of grasping the significance of patience while building a business was the biggest hurdle for Marilee. Being a driven individual, it was difficult to accept that progress takes time. Establishing a great business and building a reputable brand requires patience, a virtue that must be learned. Marilee always aimed to create a robust company while expanding it rapidly. The company has matured significantly since its inception, partly due to her high expectations as she comes from a reputable global firm. This growth is a testament to the strong foundations in place. It is crucial to strike a balance between doing things correctly, which affects a company's reputation, and doing things swiftly, which aids in rapid growth. Sustainable growth is impossible without substance, so the company always strives to maintain equilibrium to achieve success in the long run.


Journey of a Leader

Marilee takes great pride in the awards her company has won, as they serve as a unifying force and motivation for her team. While she has received individual recognition, such as Entrepreneur of the Year in 2019, Marilee views the collective achievements of her team as the most significant. Recently, their Homes for NHS scheme won a Global Industry Award for Best Online Booking Platform, which was launched during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, they were awarded the Travolution Award for Best for Staying in 2019, a highly respected travel industry accolade. These awards demonstrate that their team not only has innovative ideas but also delivers on their promises to customers. Other notable awards they won in 2020 include Altovita Best Property Management Company EMEA and Best Demonstration of Duty of Care.

In addition to her role as a successful entrepreneur, Marilee serves as the Chair for the UK Short Term Accommodation Association, a position she is passionate about. Her involvement with the association allows her to contribute to the professionalization and responsible growth of the industry in the UK and globally. Marilee spearheaded the launch of TrustedStays, an accredited short-term accommodation solution for government and business travelers. She has also collaborated with BEIS and HMRC on sharing economy policies and worked with MHCLG to develop industry-wide policies that support a balanced regulatory environment for the growing industry.


Unbeatable Business Model

UnderTheDoormat Group is a property technology company that aims to boost the revenue of property owners, portfolio owners, and property companies by leveraging the short-term rental industry. The company's ultimate goal is to ensure that every property fulfills its potential daily by linking them with top-quality guests through its three products. Primarily, UnderTheDoormat Group manages short-term rentals for individuals who lack the capacity to do so. They have a collection of more than 300 units located across London, including their flagship aparthotel, 3 Sloane Gardens, which they operate on behalf of Cadogan Estates.

Secondly, the company distributes to providers who possess quality hospitality but require assistance with distribution and technology. The short-term rental technology landscape is highly segmented, and their B2B SaaS platform, Hospiria, consolidates the technical stack, enabling property companies and managers to have a single, ready-made platform to focus on guest hosting activities. Lastly, their TrustedStays platform is the world's first platform that links professional home rentals with government and corporate travelers. Previously, short-term rentals were unable to enter this segment, but UnderTheDoormat Group is connecting them. All three products allow property owners to generate higher returns from short-term accommodations.


Most Remarkable Life Moments

For the first time, an American relocated to Europe, and this decision led to a plethora of novel travel opportunities and diverse experiences. Consequently, this experience served as a foundation for her to establish her business in one of the most cosmopolitan cities worldwide, London.


Crafting a Vision for the Future

The founder of UnderTheDoormat, Marilee, envisions transforming the short-term rental industry by professionalizing it and expanding it into a global business. Her goal is to replicate what the global hotel brands achieved in the 1950s for the hotel industry. Despite the industry's current fragmentation, she aims to preserve its authenticity by providing entrepreneurs with technology and access to new markets to help them grow their companies. Marilee's approach to consolidation is not to have a few dominant companies take over but rather to create a different structure that allows all successful entrepreneurs to maintain full control. By providing an umbrella of support, Marilee hopes to facilitate growth and make it easier for businesses to reach new heights.


Expert Advice for Women Breaking into the Tech Industry

Marilee's counsel for aspiring entrepreneurs is, "Seize the opportunity! Accomplishment necessitates action. Often, individuals tend to focus on the potential hazards and all the rationales for not pursuing something instead of considering why they should. But the worst-case scenario is that you fail. Once you acknowledge that possibility, things become more manageable. Even if things don't work out, you can always look for other avenues. By not attempting, you'll never know what could have been, and you'll miss out on the opportunity to create change and achieve something. Every successful entrepreneur has taken baby steps towards their goals, and you can too. Take that first step into the uncharted territory. The only way to construct something remarkable is brick by brick, and you have to lay the foundation to make your dream a reality."


Turning Crisis into Opportunity During the Pandemic

The progress of the team is of utmost importance. The motivation to contribute and get involved in exciting initiatives is higher than anything else for Marilee and her team. Despite the pandemic, the last year has been interesting, as it has been a building year for Hospiria and TrustedStays. During the first lockdown, they focused on a charitable initiative called Homes for the NHS, which provided safe and free accommodation to NHS staff in need. In total, they donated over £20m worth of stays. This initiative later turned into a commercial model for TrustedStays when Innovate UK selected it for COVID Innovations. Marilee believes in seizing opportunities as they come because the only difference between a successful entrepreneur and everyone else is taking those opportunities and turning them into reality.