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What makes the perfect cottage holiday rental for you?(247 Posts)
I am new in the holiday rental market, with this summer being my first proper season letting my cottage in Somerset.
I am trying to make it as well appointed as possible. Soft cotton sheets, fluffy white towels, complimentary mini toiletries, champagne flutes, kitchen scales, baking stuff, wi-fi, Netflix, beautiful garden furniture, BBQ, welcome hamper, dog treats, etc.
But I'm sure we all look for different things when we rent a luxury holiday cottage. Could you please share what you feel would make a cottage stand out were you to rent it for a week's away with your OH, family, friends, etc? It sleeps four in two bedrooms. TIA.
Decent sized pans and colanders for pasta and large meals, if you cater to more than 3 people.
A shower or bath that drains properly. One property we stayed at didn't have this and it was a constant worry they would overflow, esp the shower tray.
Bottle opener, cork and beer bottles.
This is basic, but by no means available everywhere we’ve stayed. Bin bags, dishwasher tablets, as well as washing up liquid, washing up brush and gloves, tea towels, oven gloves and hand soap.
Super king sized bed. I won't stay anywhere that only has a double.
A really good squishy comfortable sofa. Not one of those rigid ugly square ones.
I have a big bed and soft comfy velvet sofa at home and don't want to downgrade on holiday.
I'll compromise on pretty much everything else.
@AuntieDolly I would never book anywhere without a dishwasher. Don't wash up at home so don't expect to do it on holiday.
I also look for big beds - we have superking at home so wouldn't book smaller than that
Properly dog friendly, not just “yes you can bring your dog but when you get here there’s a long impractical list of rules for them”
Dishwasher - that the plates fit in, not a slimline one but then provide oversized plates that don’t fit in it!
Smart tv so we can log in to our Netflix, Amazon etc
Reliable WiFi connection
Hot tub :-)
Info about nearby walks, routes, maps, places of interest etc
Info about nearest pubs, taxis if appropriate, dog-friendly places to eat out
An outdoor seating space that is properly lit at night - solar fairy lights would do but better than sitting in the dark!
If there’s a real fire then please provide wood for it, not fun turning up in the evening to a note saying you can buy firewood from a garage you passed 5 miles away.
Decent pan sizes for me too, and decent knives, chopping board that isn't glass! That said my key things are proximity to a good pub and a king size bed (dp is tall). Herbs and spices are handy too. Also prefer a garage or secure parking as we sometimes go by motorbike. I'm not bothered by toiletries, in fact the little ones are very environmentally dubious.
A decent high chair with functioning straps, stair gates, and an enclosed garden (if it has a garden). We always take our own travel cot but I know some people need to have one provided. I like info and leaflets on the local area and things to do. I think you're better off buying cheaper things that you can easily replace like for like, it's annoying when you have 5 wine glasses of varying sizes and plates from 12 different dinner services. I also like things to be straightforward so a good explanation about how everything works and what the recycling arrangements are. I also get irrationally annoyed at having to put bins out whilst on holiday, I paid to get away from having to remember stuff like what bin goes out on what day
Even more than ‘stuff’ I just want an accurate list of what’s there beforehand so I know what to (and not to) bring. I’m not really fussed about things so long as I have them if needed.
Now this assumes travel by car. If by train/taxi I’d want things provided and a list.
Oh one thing sometimes missing a box or cupboard of lightbulbs/batteries/small torches/lighter/long matches(if an open fire)and hoover bags.
Appreciate lots of hooks and a place to hang wet things put muddy boots after walking. Plenty of hangers- more than you would suspect people want.
Plenty of toilet paper and a clean toilet brush.
Oh and please allow the renters to control the temperature of the property. I stayed at one place where the owner kept control of the smart thermostat remotely and we had to text him if it was too cold/too hot, it was ridiculous. Cottage was beautiful and we’ve returned to the area since but wouldn’t stay there again.
Dishwasher, sharp knives, logs in the winter, barbecue and charcoal in the summer. Lots of nice mugs and glasses, so we don't have to keep washing them. No TV (if you must have one please hide it in a cupboard so the room isn't dominated by a big black screen)
@lemonylemony we stayed in one with a couple of other families last year and each room had underfloor heating with the wall mounted thermostat in a locked plastic box and a note in the information saying you forfeit your deposit if they are tampered with. They were all set to 27 degrees! It was February and snowing and we had all the windows open for the first night, on day 2 we bust them open with a screwdriver. It was that or dehydrating to death in the night!
(We set them all back at the end and no deposits were lost)
Yes to the list of what is provided! Most hol cottages have things like salt/pepper, vinegar and stuff, but we have assumed that, and then found there wasn't any! Decent sized mugs, rather than just tea cups, and a tea pot. Books to read, maybe some games for children.
Somewhere to hang your clothes! The two most recent cottages - one had locked wardrobes and the second had hooks on the wall with wire coat hangers.
Sharp knives, dishwasher, big pans, oven trays and dishes, corkscrew, tin opener and plenty of cutlery, mugs, plates and bowls. There is no point having a full size dishwasher and only enough crockery to half-fill it. If I book self-catering I want to be able to cater in it without having to struggle.
Somewhere to dry wet towels or wet clothes.
I always appreciate spare towels, especially if there is a hot tub, but they are not essential.
I agree with PP - the most helpful thing is to be very clear on the listing (or on the confirmation) of what is going to be provided and what won't. It's no problem to bring items from home but I need to know what I need.
Decent Wi Fi, decent TV , dishwasher ,microwave,comfy sofa and bed. I'm not that fussed about anything else
Something to make decent coffee in. A caffetiere will do. And not one of those stupid pod machines.
Bedroom: Super-king bed for me too. Also, a reading light BOTH sides of the bed - why on earth do so many places only have one?! A plug socket next to the bed so you can plug a phone in to charge, preferably one on each side. Spare blanket and pillow available.
Bathroom: Decent shower. Shower screen not a creepy, clingy shower curtain. Enough room to dry towels and hang up a bathrobe. I like those pull out drying lines over the bath so I can hand wash things or hang swimsuits up to dry.
Kitchen: It's nice if there's a "welcome pack" with a small number of dishwasher tabs, tea bags, etc, but I'm used to France where there is normally nothing at all and you have to take/buy absolutely everything. So long as it's made clear in the advert I think that's fine. Definitely a corkscrew or two. At least one sharp knife. Everything you supply probably needs to be dishwasher-proof, because guests don't bother reading instructions, and your precious champagne flutes will be thrown in there with everything else! I'm sure you already know, buy more than you need of each set (glasses/plates/cutlery) to keep aside and replace the inevitable breakages and mysterious disappearances so you don't end up with mismatches within a year.
Sitting room: Definitely a comfortable sofa you can curl up on. Enough light to read by. Some random paperbacks of various genres available (can you tell, I like to read?) A few board games for all ages.
General: Opposite to poster above, I'm put off by places that take dogs, I don't want to go into somewhere that smells of wet dog, sorry to those who love their dogs. Information about local area, definitely, including your favourites for local restaurants/pubs. Good heating that guests can control (none of this "the thermostat is set at 16 degrees and the heating is on from 8pm to 9pm only...").
Cleaning: If I'm paying to stay somewhere I expect to leave it superficially clean and neat, so either everything put away or eg left in a dishwasher that has been turned on, but I don't expect to be asked to completely deep clean the house and leave it sparkling for the next person before leaving at 10am, which means a completely stressful end to a holiday. If necessary, charge me more and pay someone else to clean it! (Still gobsmacked about being shown the window cleaning spray somewhere we were staying for three nights. No, not happening. )
Sharp knives and chopping boards that aren’t glass, cooking stuff eg pans and Pyrex dishes big enough for number of guests.
I don’t want to be expected to do a proper clean but I do want basic cleaning stuff like a dustpan and brush so we can maintain a pleasant environment over the course of the week.
Or at least a knife sharpener. Stay in so many cottages that are well stocked but with blunt ‘sharp’ knives.
And GOOD wifi. That can cope with devices and actually has a decent speed.
Washing machine for definite, preferably a separate dryer or a washer/dryer. I have been to some that there is a washing machine and no way to dry the clothes! An outside line is good, but an indoor airer is helpful incase the weather isn't great or for winter lets. I'd rather have our clothes mostly washed and dried for the return journey home. Actually, I wouldn't book it if there wasn't a washing machine.
A separate fridge and freezer. Not a fridge with ice box.
Also - a cheese grater and microwaveable tubs or glassware (maybe a couple of pure jugs). Been to a few who don't have one or both of those!