Holiday Cottages – What Guests Look For

Holiday Cottages & What Guests Look For

If you’re a holiday cottage or holiday homeowner, what do guests look for?

We have put together a list of the best-loved aspects of a staycation rental.


What does YOUR dreamily-desirable holiday venue include?

You will have your own ‘tick list’ of ‘must haves’.

Here is a list of the many things guests look for in a holiday let.


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Softly, softly

Soft furnishings are back, and stark interiors are no longer desirable.

In post-pandemic times, guests look for sumptuous sofas, gorgeous cushions and beautiful throws.

Window dressings such as floor length curtains or window blinds are also sought-after aspects.

Luxe bed linens, freshly ironed and pristine, also tick the box.

If hard flooring forms part of your holiday cottage, then remember to add some thick rugs to soften the hard surfaces.


Bathroom Etiquette


We spend a surprisingly long time in the bathroom, particularly when on ‘vacation’.

A claw foot bath, a whirlpool facility or similar means guests can wallow at their leisure.

Holidays are meant for relaxing, and a candlelit bath is one way to unwind.

And just as important is an invigorating shower with spotless facilities.

It’s up to you if you want to provide some complimentary bath products; if you do so, then a top name brand will create the best impression.


Ornamental Things

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While clutter is a no-no, a few, well-chosen, well-placed ornaments go a long way to meet guests’ ‘must haves’.

Depending on your property location, you can select or even commission a bespoke ornament.

A country cottage might be a great home for wild creature ornaments, for example.

Think also Instagram … place the ornament in an Instagram-able position or against a wow-factor wallpaper background.


Kitchen – The Heart of Any Home

While some cottage guests might not use the kitchen very much, others will practically live in it!

A kitchen with quality fittings including cupboards, drawers and work surfaces enhance the feel of a good holiday venue.

If you have room for a kitchen island, even better!

Think Belfast sinks, state of the art taps, dishwashers, even a quality air fryer … expectations can be very high.

And this brings us nicely onto the welcome hamper you offer your guests.

A few, well-chosen products, preferably from local businesses, creates that lovely first impression.

And a separate dining area is also a must have for some guests.




The last thing you want on holiday is a lack of privacy.

Neat hedgerows, quality fencing, and good window coverings will ensure your guests can relax in private.

Having the cottage all to yourself is also a big ‘want’.

After all, a holiday is often a time to get away from the busy blur of life.

Having quality time away from other people is a big want for many guests.


Hot Tub … Or Not?

Many Google searches for cottages include ‘hot tub’ as part of the ‘must have’ tick list.

Of course, not every holiday cottage has access to one.

If your cottage has a hot tub, then the appeal of your property is enhanced.

Whether it’s an electric one, or a woodfired version, guests do love a dip in the bubbles!

Remember to provide plenty of fluffy towels, dressing gowns and even furry slippers to encourage your guests to use the hot tub during their stay.


The Great Outdoors

Depending on the location of a cottage, some will have access to a garden or an enclosed area.

This part of the holiday experience is very important in the warmer weather; the outdoor space, if done well, can act as an outdoor room!

In the colder months, outdoor heaters might also be an option, along with a chiminea.

A good quality bbq is also a good thing to offer guests.

Those cottages without an outdoor space are fine too, though.

Provide guests with a list of gardens, walks and other outdoors spaces to visit during their stay.


 The Great Indoors

Guests are now looking for more than just a cottage to stay in.

Popular cottage places include the option of additional ‘experiences’ as part of the holiday.

This could be a painting course, a cookery session at the holiday property, or even a guided walk.

Charging guests for this is something that many cottage owners are now introducing.

Offering this enhanced extra to the holiday experience will certainly set a cottage property well above its competition.


 Log Burners

A log burner is perfect for a cosy Autumn or Winter retreat.

There’s nothing better than looking forward to roaring fire after a brisk walk in the cold outdoors.

Or if a log burner isn’t possible, think of the hi-tech equivalents which provide the look of a real fire without the need for clearing out the ashes!



Car parking for holiday lets is often a consideration for prospective customers.

A private garage, carport or a parking space is very desirable.

In some cases, this isn’t possible: so, if not, then providing a car parking permit is a good solution.


Information is the Key

Depending on your type of guest, some will research where they are staying before they arrive.

Make this easy for them by providing a digital welcome pack which you can send to them ahead of their holiday.

A print version in a nicely presented folder is also something that a surprising number of guests look for. It shows, as a cottage owner, you care about the experience you offer your guests.

One of the most asked questions is good places to eat.

Ensure your list is up to date and includes phone number, address, postcode and whether you can book online.

And the best holiday cottages include a wide variety of places to eat, including global cuisines.

Vegan and allergy-aware options are hugely popular too.

Other items that should be included are local attractions, walks, theatres and more.

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Good Wi-Fi, provided free of charge to guests, is often expected.

This can be in the owner’s favour.

If you’ve created the perfect bolthole for your guests, chances are they will share their photos on social media.

Make it easy for them to do this by providing free Wi-Fi in your holiday rental.


 Make It Easy To Book Again

A good majority of guests will return to your holiday cottage again if you’ve met their expectations.

Make it easy for them to book again by offering an early bird offer for a return visit.


Ancient or Modern

If your cottage has an interesting history or heritage, then let your cottage reflect this.

It could be you have well-chosen pictures on the wall, showing the cottage as it was in times gone by.

Or you could provide your guests with information about its past as part of your welcome pack.

Similarly, if your property is a modern one, then this will have its own benefits, such as a greener credentials and good tech.


Hard Work

Ensuring you tick most of the boxes for your guests requires commitment and dedication.

And if you own several properties, then it is a juggling act.

Vista Retreats can help you so why not get in touch today?