The Cornish holiday let market is a crowded one so your property faces lots of competition. If you want yours to stand out in this crowd and fill up your booking calendar outside the easy summer season, you need to make your property special. Creating holiday home wow factor needn’t cost a fortune, but it does require thought, care and time. Read on to discover our space-by-space tips for creating a holiday let that stands ahead of all others.
First impressions are super important and they’re lasting. With this in mind, make sure all your online advertising is tip-top with quality photos and compelling copy. Be on hand to answer all queries as soon as possible and always go the extra mile to help with information and advice.
Top tip – get some expert advice on how to present your holiday let online.
Your next step to adding that wow factor to your Cornish holiday let is the property itself. Each space can offer something extra:
Sofas – settee, sofa, couch, call it what you will but consider it part of the decor not just the furniture. There should be enough of them – or they should be at least big enough – to seat the maximum number of guests. Smart and potentially squishy sofas are almost impossible to resist!
WiFi – it goes without saying that your property should have high-speed broadband WiFi. Make sure it reaches all corners of the house, especially if you’re aiming to attract the family market – teenagers like to be connected 24/7!
Entertainment – the TV should be a Smart TV and for an extra, take out a subscription to Netflix, Sky TV or Amazon Prime. Provide a games console for families. On the other hand, if you’re providing a relaxing retreat, perhaps a digital detox haven, equip the living room with some good books and board games.
View-gazing – if your Cornish holiday let comes with an amazing vista or enjoys an unpolluted night sky, add a telescope so that guests can stargaze or check out the ships or the local wildlife.
Quirky detail – add the occasional unusual ornament or large picture to show your holiday let’s personality. But don’t overdo it and don’t go too over-the-top because you risk putting guests off rather than wowing them.
Top tip – place a vase of fresh flowers near the entrance to reinforce a freshly cleaned holiday let.
Go as high-spec as you can afford with your appliances. Holiday cottages and farmhouses often benefit from an AGA, which always adds a wow factor to a holiday let kitchen. Don’t forget a dishwasher – even a slimline one makes all the difference because no one really wants to wash up on holiday. A coffee machine such as one that takes Nespresso capsules is another bonus (make sure you provide the capsules too).
Equip the kitchen with quality tools and gadgets. If it’s a chef’s kitchen, why not provide cooking and baking equipment? And don’t forget a supply of basics – tea and coffee, cooking oil, salt, pepper and sugar as well as a few extras such as herbs and stock cubes.
Top tip – colour-coordinate your kitchen so that cabinets, countertops and appliances all fit well together. For a sleek effect, buy smaller appliances (kettle, toaster, etc.) in the same colour.
If you’re got room, put king-size beds in all double rooms. Super-king adds that extra wow. Top them with plenty of pillows (at least 2 per person) with different fillings like hotels do with their pillow menus. Provide good lighting for bedside reading and for each person. For the ultimate in a heavenly night’s sleep go up a size on your duvet so there’s enough for both in the bed. E.g. on a king size bed provide a super-king duvet.
Top tip – buy zip and link beds that can convert to single or super king depending on your guests’ needs. Comfort and adaptability.
Guests will love bathrobes and it goes without saying that towels should all be soft and fluffy. Provide a set of towels per person including one large bath sheet (bigger than a bath towel). Amenities are another area where your Cornish holiday let can really shine. Stock the bathroom with some locally sourced lotions and potions and include a little note saying where they’re from.
Top tip – a local supplier may be prepared to give you free samples in return for publicity or offer your guests a discount encouraging them to buy locally.
If your outside space gets lots of sunshine, provide an umbrella for some welcome shade. Make sure your furniture is clean and has comfy cushions – these tend to get stained with mildew so replace them often or buy cushions with removable washable covers.
For family holidays, put some children’s play equipment in the garden. This could be a small climbing frame, slide or play house. In larger properties, a set of badminton, swing-ball or croquet will appeal.
If your Cornish holiday let is lucky enough to have a pool, put some loungers or reclining chairs next to it. And again, make sure the cushions are uber-comfy.
Top tip – provide a barbeque so guests can cook al fresco. Make it a gas one to avoid the hassle of charcoal and firelighters.
Different types of guests will appreciate different holiday home wow factors. For example, for families, stock up on equipment for young children. Include a cot and highchair plus useful baby gadgets such as a bottle steriliser and blender for pureeing food. Provide a few toys and if your holiday let is near the beach, some buckets and spades with a fishing net.
For dog owners, put out water and food bowls and provide a towel for drying the dogs after a wet walk. A welcome treat for pooch always gone down well after a long journey too!
Top tip – find out more about catering for different niche markets for Cornish holiday lets
The welcome hamper your guests find as soon as they walk in the door is an easy to add holiday home wow factor and worth spending money on. Make the contents as locally sourced as possible and suited to your guests. Anyone will appreciate scones with a pot of Cornish clotted cream or a tub of Cornish ice cream in the freezer (don’t forget the cones as well). Couples will love a bottle of wine and a few nibbles.
Top tip – if you include local produce, add a note about where it’s from and how guests can buy it when they’re staying. Tell the producers you’re using their products and they might cross-promote you as well.
Experience is the new watchword in holidays so many guests will be looking for more than just a bed when they book with you. Online information also risk there being almost nothing new to discover when they arrive.
Except that locals always know something an outsider doesn’t. Share your ‘secret’ information with your guests – tell them about that quiet beach in August, the local baker serving the exquisite pasties or when’s the best time of year to see bluebells, dolphins or otters. Add this information to your welcome pack – preferably the front page.
Top tip – add a hint of your insider secrets in your online advertising to entice people to find out more.
At Cornish Traditional Cottages we’ve been helping owners add a wow factor to their Cornish holiday let for over 50 years. Find out how we can help you bring those extra touches to yours so it stands out in the crowd. Get in touch now.
We are very proud of achieving our Quality Accredited Agency status by Visit England, and as a result, we have a close working relationship with them and in particular their assessors.
We have recently heard that there seems to be a trend for attempting to claim for slips/trips in the bath; the Visit England Assessments team have been made aware of five cases over the winter.
It is therefore very much worth considering a belt and braces approach by ensuring that all properties are providing non-slip bath mats regardless of the bath or shower surface.
Bath mats are a great way to ensure safety in the bathroom. Placing a rubber bath mat in the shower or bath, and a non-slip bath mat on the bathroom floor to step out onto will go a long way towards reducing the likelihood of slips, trips and falls.
The bath floor can be slippery at times and a person can quite easily lose their footing which could lead to a fall and possibly a serious injury. Bath mats offer a simple, affordable solution to the problem by covering up that slippery surface.
There are a wide variety of bath mats available to suit all shapes and sizes of bathroom suite; and remember to get a spare for a mid-season change.