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How to prepare a holiday cottage

There is lots to think about when assessing the potential of a property for holiday letting.  The first thing is that it is really important that it has year round appeal and will not just attract guests in the summer months. 

You then need to identify your market – Who will want to let it? What do they need?  How do you make them comfortable and welcome?  So don’t put cream sofas in a family orientated cottage or you will be forever washing the covers and the parents will not be able to relax and enjoy their holiday.  For families think games, toys, cots and high chairs and ideas for family days out.  If you are aiming at couples think in terms of creature comforts, glossy magazines and lots of information on restaurants and shops to visit. 

All guests want and expect comfortable, clean and stylish accommodation with a well equipped kitchen, high tech machinery, broadband and really good quality beds and linen – never skimp on quality, items won’t last and won’t give the right impression.  Thats not to say you can’t go to a high street chain store just pick carefully and always add individual touches to make it look and feel special.  And don’t necessarily pick very trendy pieces because they will date! 

Make your guests welcome – if you can’t be there when they arrive leave them a welcome gift – a bottle of wine, some local apple juice (lots of choice for this in Kent and Sussex ask us for more details!), fresh eggs, homemade cake – we even have an owner who specially bakes a pie for each and every guest – how special is that!

Make your accommodation as flexible as possible – with pull out beds, sofabeds for extra guests – so you have more chance of meeting your guests needs – and catching those extra bookings!

The most popular properties are those with added features – something to make your cottage stand out from the crowd – clearly a pool, tennis court or hot tub are wonderful but if you havent these options think of activities in the garden for children or extra special goodies in the bathrooms – something we wouldn’t find at home.

It needs to be immaculately clean at all times – hotel standard bathrooms and kitchens – if you use cleaners make sure they come by recommendation (we can help with this) – guests will never return if it was dirty and they might not tell you either! 

All in all you need to encourage your guests back – repeat bookings are the back bone of a good holiday cottage.  There is much much more but hopefully this will give you a flavour of what to think of and Corinne or I are happy to fill in the blanks – just give us a call.  Sarah Wood

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