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Caerfai Bay

With the demand for holiday lets growing every year, it’s essential to make your cottage stand out from your competitors!

We have created a guide containing our top tips to help you stand out and create memorable stays for your guests.

1. Freebies

Hamper with fresh produce

Everyone loves a good ‘freebie.’ Having a ‘welcome pack’ or selection of local produce really creates a good impression. People love to try local produce and learn about the area they are staying in.  Here are some examples of items you could include:

  • Tea and coffee
  • Local jams/ chutney / spreads
  • Bara brith or traditional Welsh cakes (YUM)
  • Some alcoholic beverages or non- alcoholic drink for children
  • If your cottage is pet friendly, adding some treats or a small toy makes their four legged friend feel at home!
  • Fresh flowers
  • Fresh milk, bread and butter
  • Salt, pepper, sugar
  • Biscuits!

2. Necessities

Soap selection

A lot of guests may have driven a very long way to your cottage. Making sure that all the little necessities are covered is a nice little touch. It means that as soon as they arrive, they can flick the kettle on, sit back and relax.

Some items to include:

  • Toiletries i.e. Bubble Bath (for children) , mini shampoo, soap / sanitizer
  • Cleaning supplies i.e. dishwasher tablets, washing up liquid, surface wipes
  • Fire-starter kit – matches, lighter, logs or quick-light logs (Especially in the cooler months, making a fire easy for guests will be a big tick in the box!)

3. The little touches

Home decoration

Guests love themed cottages, whether it’s based on the seaside, woodland or an animal, it adds character to your holiday home and creates an exciting space for the whole family to enjoy.  Soft furnishings such as colourful throws, fluffy blankets or squishy cushions really creates a cosy ambience and makes your holiday home feel like a ‘home away from home’

Why not add seasonal items such as a Christmas tree, pumpkins and Easter decorations? These little extras really add the ‘cosy feel’ to your cottage and make your guests feel like they are home.

4. Welcome book ideas

Wales Coastal Path

Why not create a cottage guide containing all the information for your cottage? This could include local restaurants, attractions, taxi numbers, local supermarkets, best walks in the area or even your favourite fish and chip spot! A lot of your guests may have never visited West Wales before and may have no idea where to explore first! By creating a guide, you can provide helpful tips and tricks ensure that your guests have the most enjoyable stay!

Your welcome book must include all the important information including WiFi codes and instruction manuals (i.e. How to work the oven or the Smart TV). You can use a filing box to store all of this information. Or if you want to be savvy, you can even create a digital version!

You know your cottage and the area the best, by providing your guests with all the relevant information, it will ensure that your guests will feel comfortable in your home and that their holiday runs as smoothly as possible.

5. Targeting the right audience

Cefn Sidan Beach

Who is going to be the main target market for you? Are you accepting pets? Are you family friendly? There are many things you can do to make sure your holiday cottage is suitable for the whole family.

If your cottage is pet friendly, consider adding a small bag of treats or a small toy. Lots of guests may bring their own dog bed, however, providing dog blankets or a small dog mat will ensure that pets have a dedicated place to sit/ sleep and stay off the furniture.

If your cottage accommodates larger families, think about the children. If you have a large outdoor space, consider a football, outdoor summer games such as a skipping rope, boules or Swing ball. For rainy days, you could provide board games such as Monopoly, Cluedo or Scrabble – these games are perfect for the whole family and your guests will enjoy much-needed family time.

6. Regular maintenance/ investment

Re decorating

After the busy summer season, it is important to assess your cottage for any damages or wear and tear that may need to be refreshed. Make sure that you check things like the walls for marks and scuffs, check that the bedside lamps work, radiators, the bathroom fans and the garden. If you have a hot tub, ensure that all the jets and head rests are still intact.

Regular checks and maintenance will ensure that your guests holidays run smoothly and that there won’t be any maintenance problems.

Invest in good quality/durable linen and furnishings. Having good quality furnishings will make your cottage feel luxurious. Investing in items such as high quality bed linen means that they will generally last longer and do not fall apart when washed.

Another thing to consider would be investing in a comfy mattress or foam topper. You want to ensure that your guests comfort is your top priority. A memory foam topper is a cheaper way to make some mattresses a little more cushioned.

7. Adding a unique experience or item

Couple relaxing and drinking wine in a hot tub

Last but certainly not least, consider having a unique selling point. This could be something that differentiates you from your competitors. This could be something small such as a telescope,  stargazing kit, trampoline or games console/room. Again, by having some of these facilities, it makes your cottage more appealing to a variety of different age groups.

If you are looking for the WOW factor, why not consider a hot tub, climbing frame or trampoline? Properties with hot tubs generally make 54% more than other properties in the same region.