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Author Topic: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?  (Read 3075 times)

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
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What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« on: November 15, 2013, 12:20:45 pm »
Following on from my other thread, what would you be looking for in a holiday cottage?

The things that are fixed is that we are in a very isolated rural location, and there is no mobile phone signal.  The cottage is in the middle of the farm steading, so there are sometimes heep and tractors passing by, and you need wellies!  How essential is an internet connection?  We can only get satellite here, so it would be expensive to provide.  And how much would you charge?

We are happy to take pets/horses - what facilities would you want for these, as well as the cottage?

john and helen

  • Joined Mar 2013
  • Devon
  • WARNING,,,MAY SAY WHAT HE BELIEVES
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Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2013, 12:37:18 pm »
this is what they charge in Devon

i did some work on a few rentals that where bang smack in the middle of the farm…they are fully booked for next year

http://www.ownersdirect.co.uk/honiton.htm

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
    • Facebook
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2013, 02:43:49 pm »
That's a very helpful link, thank you - 54 cottages listed in my area!

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2013, 02:54:00 pm »
What I look for is that it is suitable for a single person... But then, that's just me. I would go on holiday far more often if I didn't have to pay the same rates as a group of 6. I think there's a massive untapped market for singles/couples who can't find anything at the moment!
Apart from that - would be nice if I also didn't have to pay for stuff I don't need, i.e. TV, washing machine, freezer, all mod cons... Everything seems to be "luxury" these days, with pricing accordingly. I know that's what a lot of people want - but the others, who don't want it (and can't pay for it) don't even get asked.

lachlanandmarcus

  • Joined Aug 2010
  • Aberdeenshire
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2013, 04:14:28 pm »
Wood burner or open fire , good range of things to do, ideally pets accepted..


Cosy interior, doesn't need to be too smart but does need to avoid looking like its exclusively furnished with stuff they had chucked out from their own house..... :excited:


Oh and unlike one place we stayed in which was an annexe joined to the main house, if there is a 2 day power it and the main house has a generator but nothing in the annexe, it would be nice to invite your guests in or at least give them a heater and a bowl of soup.... :rant:

doganjo

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2013, 04:41:57 pm »
No kids teeth left in a  bowl on a shelf - we had that once in a cottage in Wales - disgusted.  Told the rental company and got no response.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age

Old Shep

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • North Yorkshire
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2013, 09:18:33 pm »
for the dogs I would like to b able to shut them in a kitchen / utility or hallway at night so they don't creep onto the sofa!


TV , and sky for the OH, wifi or internet is not essential neither is mobile signal.


A nice patio or picture window is nice with comfy chairs so that you can sit and read and look out the window at a lovely view - then it doesn't matter if the weather is naff.


 
Helen - (used to be just Shep).  Gordon Setters, Border Collies and chief lambing assistant to BigBennyShep.

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2013, 09:28:26 pm »
What I look for is that it is suitable for a single person... But then, that's just me. I would go on holiday far more often if I didn't have to pay the same rates as a group of 6. I think there's a massive untapped market for singles/couples who can't find anything at the moment!
Apart from that - would be nice if I also didn't have to pay for stuff I don't need, i.e. TV, washing machine, freezer, all mod cons... Everything seems to be "luxury" these days, with pricing accordingly. I know that's what a lot of people want - but the others, who don't want it (and can't pay for it) don't even get asked.


Why dont you google for some of the Gypsy Caravan type holidays.  There are lots round here who do it.  I think about 2 would be maximum in one of those  :D  Not sure what the going rate is mind - they might be dearer than a luxury b&B  :o
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

moony

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Dent
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2013, 11:00:06 pm »
I would want somewhere warm with workable hot water facilities, basic cooking facilities and TV with Sky. I always like a few leaflets of local attractions and a couple of board games as well.

If I was bringing the horses I would want a couple of stables, a small paddock or turn out area, hay/haylage & suitable bedding on site. Would also be nice to have a bit of information on local rides and the number of a couple of local farriers & vets. Plus somewhere to park the trailer.

Bringing the dogs it would be nice to have a stone/wood floor area to put them in on a night. I also like clear rules on where in the house they are allowed and where they are not. A secure garden for dogs would also be nice for them and would definitely benefit you.

Regarding the internet I would not be bothered but some people might. I'm sure there are areas that you would visit while on saying there that you could check your emails via your phone at. Maybe it might be possible to set up a secure connection via your own supply and then charge a set rate or if you are charged based on useage have a limit set on the additional supply.

I have to admit I wouldn't be very keen on letting out an adjoining property as a holiday let. The constant changing of people of which you have limited control, some of which are bound to be a nightmare particularly with the on farm situation, would bother me.

Could you not try letting the house with a few acres of land and a couple of stables and try and attract a long term tenant that way? There are people everywhere desperate for such a property, no matter how remote you are.

mowhaugh

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Scottish Borders
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Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2013, 09:13:50 am »
Thanks Moony, that is all very helpful.  We have said in our adverts we could do livery/grazing, but it would have to be in with our horses - we have no acres to spare that we could allocate just to someone else, our Landlord won't let us do that and we would lose our single farm payment on that area.  We have had 3 sets of people wanting to rent the cottage and bring a horse/horses, but all of them have been put off by the lack of mobile signal.


Mammyshaz

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Durham
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2013, 09:53:53 am »
Our yearly holiday is usually the Easter weekend so some form of storage heating or boiler central heating so we can relax around in pjs on a chilly morning. A comfy couple of sofas and cooking facilities and clean beds. Not bothered with TV or Internet or any other form of connection to the world  ;D we want to relax but allowing our dogs is a must.

One thing we would love is an outdoor dog kennel so we can go to that place we would love to visit but doesnt allow dogs and our dogs can be settled dry and safe with an emergency toilet area so we aren't worried about an accident before we get back. Only found one place with this facility and they charge a fortune just for the privilege.

ellied

  • Joined Sep 2010
  • Fife
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Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2013, 10:43:49 am »
The only time I've gone with a group riding holiday I had a great time in basic accommodation but the key things were:
1. Turnout for the ponies close by for checking - optional indoor shelter of some kind but we needed to be out making sure they were getting on the first night and the other nights we were out all day and wanted no unnecessary hikes in the dark to check ponies once we'd got home aching and ready for a rest!
2. Hot showers, drying area for wet clothes (and tack!), basic cooker and heating of some kind.  We didn't have a log fire but tbh after a day hacking I doubt we'd have wanted to be carting logs in.
3. Superb off road hacking for miles without access issues, grumpy neighbours/farmers, or a trek along a road to get there.  This is why we chose the place, the riding, so put info of any decent options, the more the better and if you can give out printed maps, laminated ideally, most folk will leave them behind but all will appreciate not arriving at a bog or an unpassable barb wire fence where the OS says it's clear.  Local knowledge and contacts you have, perfect.
4. Access and parking for lorries and trailers - as we had 8 riders and several vehicles, think of the space and turning for them all and most groups will pack in as many as possible to reduce costs.

If I were going alone rather than riding, it changes a bit:
1. Basics as 2 above but probably the log burner and a view or a snug and SkyTV.  I could be flexible over wet weather choices but not a bland beige and tatty board games for a single middle aged woman who wants to walk, see views, maybe visit a couple places of interest, and needs info on a decent cafe and veggie friendly eating..
2. If I'm paying for somewhere myself then I don't want damp doggy smells - even if I had a dog and wanted to take it I'd want dog friendly space that didn't impact on carpets/furniture as I'd be worrying the owner would charge me for mess and if the dog was wet and couldn't be kept anywhere with a hard floor and a supply of old towels or something, and a mop.. then I'd feel frustrated.
3. Key on this one would be clarity of information - whether areas were off limits, had rules (indoor and out), local facilities, hiking routes, places to see, eat, get that email/phone signal during daylight hours at least daily to check home.
4. The host attitude - I stayed on a B&B on Mull years ago and the family attitude stank, they put us in a huge bland living room and pointedly walked out to sit in the kitchen, possibly they thought it was polite but the way they did it looked as if we were not worth talking to and they couldn't be bothered doing more than bare minimum to get money off us.  OTOH a lady on Islay all but adopted us, took us round her pottery, invited us for tea, gave us all the places to go including a few non-touristy ones, arranged for me to go hacking at a local trekking yard even tho it was closed as her daughter knew the daughter of the family and said she'd have to exercise her own pony anyway so was happy to take me with her, just little things, getting from money making to giving a great time.  Seeing each booking as an individual not part of an annoying necessity but potentially someone that might like to be alone but might want an opportunity to do something entirely different.
Barleyfields Smallholding & Kirkcarrion Highland Ponies
https://www.facebook.com/kirkcarrionhighlands/
Ellie Douglas Therapist
https://www.facebook.com/Ellie-Douglas-Therapist-124792904635278/

in the hills

  • Joined Feb 2012
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2013, 11:07:17 am »
. log burner/ open fire


. must take at least 2 dogs and be dog friendly ie. not make me feel guilty for wanting to take them


. hard flooring and def. no white/cream carpets  :o  Floors can easily be wiped if need be and feels cleaner than carpets for each new lot of guests.


. I like it to be really clean when I arrive and I leave it the same way


. I do like an arrival "pressie" eg. wine and choccies and leaflets of area.


. Last cottage we stayed in was brill. Had local OS maps, flasks, picnic hampers, soap, disposable razers, all cleaning equipment, walking sticks, brollies, bbq, board games, pens, towels galore, dog bowls, combs ...... everything new looking and very clean. Best we have stayed in and not expensive. May seem over the top but would def. return and have recommended to everyone ... so perhaps worth their time. Owners offered us a reduced return visit because we left the property so clean and tidy (how we found it).


. A basic tv is all we need but the children enjoyed the modern systems in the above cottage ..... novelty factor for our children.  ;D


. Fenced/safe garden for dogs and wee children.


I wouldn't mind needing wellies but guess you'd have to make that clear because I know some people that would be well freaked out by a muddy yard  ::)

Carse Goodlifers

  • Joined Oct 2013
  • Perthshire
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2013, 05:27:48 pm »
It doesn't matter what you do, someone will ALWAYS complain about something.
You'll think that you have everything covered but no, someone will let you know that you haven't.
Unfortunately, that's just life - you'll never please everyone.

We returned to a cottage this year in Skye for the second year on the trot.

It was pet friendly, wooden floors for easy cleaning.
There were rules regarding where the dog could and couldn't go - i.e. not in the bedroom upstairs.
There was a small bottle of red & white in the fridge on our arrival along with a pint of milk and a vase of flowers - a really nice touch.
There was also a number of tea bags, sugar and coffee to cover guests until they got to the shops.
We also had the option of buying local escallops for our arrival or our departure - hand picked by the cottage owner.
My mobile reception wasn't great (but hey it was Skye). 
There was an internet connection but we never used it - we were on holiday.
Plenty leaflets about local attractions etc (speak to the local tourist office).
A list of local restaurants and a couple of sample menus with prices.
There was also a space where folk could if they wished record a list of birds spotted in the garden or else where on the island.  In the conservatory was an old pair of binoc's and a bird book.
We also got some coal - if we wanted more we had to buy it in.
A water and food bowl was provided along with a couple of leads for the dog.
Dog poo bags might be an option.
The kitchen had just about everything - including an old style wicker picnic basket.

It is maybe worth speaking to the Tourist Office to see what they think.
Hope that helps.

Marches Farmer

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Herefordshire
Re: What do you look for in a holiday cottage?
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2013, 06:01:48 pm »
We have a 4* holiday cottage on the farm and what you need to think about is what type of guest you want and how you're going to market it.  A lot will depend on your star rating - contact VisitBritain for advice - they'll need to inspect annually to ensure the standard doesn't slip.  For instance 4* must have a separate freezer and a bathroom for each bedroom, grab rails for shower and bath, excellent décor and cleanliness, number and quality of linen, cutlery, etc., is prescribed .....  The higher your rating the more you can charge.  We get a lot of GPs and academics - don't know why.  Our selling points are working farm, level access, Grade II character cottage, no pets or smokers (many guests actively seek accommodation that's not going to trigger asthma, for example).  We now close December-February inclusive, apart from Xmas/New Year fortnight - the cost of heating the cottage (which is open to the rafters) from cold and only being able to charge low season rates isn't worth the effort!

 

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