What do you look for in a holiday cottage?

(112 Posts)
WetAugust Sat 27-Jul-13 19:56:13

What do you look for when booking a holiday cottage?

Old / new building?

How important is parking directly outside?

How far would you travel to a beach?

Rural or in a town?

Garden or walled courtyard?

Is downstairs bathroom acceptable?

Minimum number of bedrooms?

Stylish interior or would basic be acceptable?

Anything else?

Location for me is everything. I’m thinking of Cornwall (west / north coast) or Pembrokeshire – probably a bucket and spade holiday if you have children.

It’s not about booking a ‘dream cottage’ just about separating the must haves from the desirables - the sort of cottage you have booked or would book.

Thank you.

BlackandGold Mon 29-Jul-13 18:16:13

Stayed in an amazing converted farm building in Devon last year. Clean, comfortable, everything provided but hated having to drive down one track lanes with passing places to get to it!

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 31-Jul-13 18:51:46

doyouthinktheysaurus, who do you book with?

Ohhelpohnoitsa Wed 31-Jul-13 22:09:12

yrs to comfortable mattress. We stayed in a lovely barn on the Isle of Wight once and the bed was so uncomfortable I nearly wept the second night. I even looked on ebay to see if we could get one nearby. IT REALLY WAS THAT BAD.

ZuleikaJambiere Wed 31-Jul-13 22:48:38

I won't comment on summer holidays, as everything I'd say has already been said. But in addition to a family summer holiday, we go away with friends in the winter and our needs are pretty different then.

Firstly we have failed to ever find a 5 bedroom cottage with 3 doubles/king size, it's nearly always 2 and we have to take it in turns to be the couple in the twin room. Also, the living room must have enough seating for everyone and the same in the dining room - eating in shifts or lounging on the floor drives me mad. As these are winter breaks, good heating and a boot room/utility room are essential for wet clothes. Walking distance to a shop for yet more milk/selection of papers/sweets to bribe the kids is also essential.

(PS if you get one in Pembrokeshire, let me know, it's my favourite place in the world)

Loshad Wed 31-Jul-13 22:56:23

Don't need TV or WiFi, in fact prefer it if not present.
Must haves are washing machine, dishwasher, large table for dinner, and garden. Parking must be close by. No beds in living area. Scenic peaceful location, if sheets provided must be cotton/ linen. Pets allowed if UK! don't tend to stress old dog by taking her on the ferry to mainland Europe.
Do not expect dishwasher tablets etc, always take essentials with us.
Not loads of ornaments/Nic nacks.
Nice extras include board games, sports equipment ( eg fishing rods, bikes, rackets), random spare novels in case you run out of reading matter.

rockybalboa Wed 31-Jul-13 22:58:41

Pet free. I don't want to stay anywhere where other people's smelly dogs have been. Not that fussed about downstairs bathroom. Fuss free and uncluttered whether decor is modern or traditional. Never fail to be amazed by how many tatty trinkets some cottage owners dump in a house, why?!? I do like some element of effort/personal touch though as bland Homebase room set style doesn't appeal. Outside space would be a bonus, don't care if garden or courtyard but if you have outside you should provide a BBQ. I'm not a fan of rural home or away so that wouldn't be a box ticker for me. I like a well equipped kitchen so we can cook our own meals. I've spent an inordinate amount of time looking for holiday cottages this week and to be fair, it's v last minute so we have to compromise but the house in Dartmouth full to the brim of creepy looking teddies was a no no! Not fussed about parking because a lot of places in Devon and Cornwall require you to park in the main town carpark which is fine as long as you know beforehand. I quite like my holiday cottages to be well stocked with up to date tourist info leaflets etc and I like to be able to recycle my rubbish (although I will take recycling home if necess!).

My in-laws have two identical holiday lets (stable conversions). One allows pets, one doesn't. The pets allowed one has a much higher occupancy than the pet-free one.

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 01-Aug-13 19:14:15

neeps I'm not surprised. We have a beloved pooch and struggle to find somewhere that fits our brief (as nice or nicer than our home) but which allows dogs. We often find the better cottages booked up earlier.

We would never want anyone to know our dog had stayed there so I always sweep/vacuum regularly and ensure there isn't a trace of Happiestdog.

Periwinkle007 Thu 01-Aug-13 19:17:57

no pets, having stayed somewhere with fleas once I now ONLY book places which don't accept dogs.

clean, simple, not really old furnishings. Doesn't have to be new and fancy just sofas and beds etc you might actually want to use.

a little garden, nice views? safe for children. not too pokey. nice to have character of some sort if possible. washing machine is helpful for families but I wouldn't use a dishwasher if there was one. parking please, makes life so much easier. it is helpful if more than 1 loo roll is supplied, and a bar of soap too.

leaflets and local info great.

teabagpleb Thu 01-Aug-13 23:47:43

With small children, my desires are a lot different to previously.
Now:
Enclosed garden. Properly enclosed, not just a two-bar fence a toddler could climb under or through.
Washing machine and dishwasher.
WiFi was a godsend when last year's place turned out to have no mobile reception there nor in the nearest 2 towns. We ended up tweeting and Facebooking each other!
Robust furniture, only a few ornaments that can be put away, lack of deathtraps like stairs with a drop.
Spare bedding. Just stayed in a nice apartment but no bedding for the sofabed. Ds wasn't fussed, luckily.
If you provide a travel cot, make it a decent one, not a rickety wooden cot that's too small for a toddler (recent hotel).
If the hot water or heating aren't on on arrival, make sure instructions are foolproof and in a really obvious place.
Also make sure your instructions for finding the place are up to date so people don't end up trying to ask locals in French where there might be a giant illuminated hedgehog and being told it was removed 5 years earlier.

If a small place, somewhere to leave a buggy. Left ours under the stairs of the apartment block last week as advised by the cleaner, so didn't carry it up 2 flights of stairs, only to get a nasty note on it saying it was in the way (no way - no-one could walk there, aisle totally clear) and we should leave it in the car or complain to our letting agent! Was very tempted to reply that the car was in London and to enquire why the architect had left hallway space wasted under the stairs if not for buggies, and they could contact X Agents themselves if they had a problem. But couldn't be bothered.

neontetra Thu 01-Aug-13 23:59:17

Has to accept a dog. Pleasant enclosed garden is a must, with seating. Dh will only stay in period properties (doesn't bother me). A nice looking house is more tempting to book though, silly as it sounds.
Location-wise, I used to insist on at least one pub within walking distance, though now we have dd that is less relevant. Shop and takeaway options within walking distance are a real plus. We favour village locations on the whole.

We booked this year a house through a company we'd used before because the first house was really well equipped, homely, and welcoming. Sadly this time round we were left 1 d/w tablet, 1 cleaning sponge and 2 teatowels - and that was it. This was abroad and we'd flown so it wasn't like we could bring loads of stuff with us. No maps, local info, trashy books, pen/paper/games and although the promised play station did work, most of the games were missing from the cases.

If I were to rent out a house I'd fill it with books, games, cards, pen & paper, provide a map of the area, and a load of tourist leaflets. An oven glove would have been useful, plus salt/pepper, spices etc. I know it all costs money but strongly feel that if you put these touches in at the beginning of the holiday period, then generally guests are happy to top up and leave behind stuff. I certainly have been in the past - left over jar of coffee, half a packet of pasta, that sort of thing.

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