How to Choose the Perfect Holiday Cottage for You!

Ways to Choose the Perfect Holiday Cottage for You!

A well-earned holiday gives you the chance to relax, unwind and make some memories.

With a wide choice of holiday accommodation available, getting the perfect bolthole for you should be easy … right?

Our guidelines will help you to make the right choice.

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While many of us rely on Instagram, TikTok and Facebook to find that initial inspiration, additional research is key.

This means with a little bit of digging into the details, you’ll get the cottage of your dreams!

Great images, blue skies and a candlelit hot tub will entice you … but what do you actually get with your cottage?

The initial aspects you need to consider are:

Where is your cottage?

How far is it from your home?

Is it too isolated or in the middle of a busy town?

Be sure of its location before booking.

Is it available for your preferred dates? Assume nothing. Use the availability calendar and double check it’s available.

Can you afford it? Be aware of dynamic pricing strategies, hidden costs and additional tariffs.


Guests, Human and Animals.

Be clear about how many guests the cottage you want to book can accommodate.

And if you want to bring the dog, check if the cottage permits a pooch or two.

What Are Other People Saying?

Reviews should be researched although sometimes a bad review can be misleading.

There are many reasons for a bad review, from ill-tempered guests to genuine complaints.

It is rare for anyone to have full five-star reviews across the board.

Check out the replies as well, as these often have ‘hidden meanings’ and things can be gleaned by reading between the lines.

While you certainly can’t please all of the people all of the time, a good strike rate is usually a good sign.

If there are repeated comments about cleanliness, and this hasn’t been addressed then it might be best to avoid.

Review platforms are plentiful, and include Google, Tripadvisor, Facebook and others.

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Be Sure of The Important Things

Countless times guests simply don’t read the property description.

Things to check are: how many bedrooms and bathrooms, is there parking provided, local amenities and the cottage location.

It is so much easier these days to check if the blurb is being truthful.

A restaurant ‘just five minutes away’ might be five minutes in a car rather than on foot, for example.

With the ability to check at the touch of your phone screen, you can work out if you can walk to the pub … or not!

What’s Included in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of any home, including a holiday cottage.

As well as white goods, such as fridge, freezer, washing machine, dish washer, utensils, pans, glasses, crockery, cutlery, tea towels, washing up items and more should all be included for the guests permitted.

Check if any of the amenities are shared with another cottage?

Also all cottage owners should get their electrical good PAT tested each year.

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Need to Cancel?

So many people don’t read the small print or the Terms and Conditions and it’s often too late if there is a need to cancel.

Some terms and conditions are strict, others are more relaxed.

That said, life sometimes gets in the way.

If you’re needing to cancel, the first thing to do is let the cottage owner or company know and explain the situation.


What About Hidden Fees, Deposits and Balances?

Additional or hidden fees are more common with platforms such as Airbnb.

However it is possible that cleaning fees are in addition, and pet charges apply.

Don’t get caught out and if in doubt, get in touch.

It is usual to pay a deposit for a holiday and then pay a final balance but some cottage  owners require full payment.

Check the terms and conditions as to when payments are due as some cottage owners may not send out a reminder.

Visitor Guide

Is it Cheeky to Ask for a Discount?

There is a saying: if you don’t ask, you don’t get.

However, there is another saying, too: you get what you pay for.

If it is peak season, then discounts probably are a definite no.

However, there is no harm in asking at quieter times.

If you’re asking for a discount from the outset, then perhaps it might be wiser to look for a property that is more bespoke to your own budget.


What are the check in and check out times?

Check in and check out times allows the owners and their team to clean and prepare the cottage for all guests.

Early arrival doesn’t guarantee entry to the property and a late check can cause lots of problems, plus it is discourteous to the cottage owners and cleaning staff.

Sometimes a late check out is do-able for an additional fee.

If you choose to outstay your welcome, some cottage owners will charge you accordingly.


What Are YOU Looking For?

If you want a city location rather than a rural one then one in the middle of nowhere will not be your dream cottage.

List your priorities and carry out your search with these in mind.


Family Friendly or Romantic Weekend?

A cosy retreat with a hot tub is perfect for a weekend of loved up romance.

However, if it’s a family break, then while it sounds obvious, the larger cottage would be better.

Many cottage owners also provide romantic extras such as flowers, bubbly, chocolate; for family friendly stays, some provide children’s games, high chairs, cots and more.

It is a question of doing your research.


What To Do If The Cottage Isn’t What You Expected

The clue here is ‘expected’.

Keep your accommodation emails and confirmation handy, and if you can, print them out so you can double check the details.

Bring the printouts with you … this is very handy if you’re in a place with little or no phone signal or wifi.

Assume nothing and as this article suggests, if you’ve done your homework, your dream cottage shouldn’t become a nightmare.

Yet if you’re still not convinced and you feel you’ve not got the accommodation you expected, then don’t panic.

This is particularly important if there is more than one cottage at your venue, as some cottages might have different facilities.

It could be you’ve got the right cottage but with different amenities to its fellow units.

If you’ve simply not checked the details, perhaps made some assumptions, and the booking is in fact correct then it is unlikely you’ll have any come back.

However, if there has been an error in terms of dates or accommodation type, then before you get in touch with the owner or booking company, be sure of the following:

1)    Ensure you’ve got the description of the venue you think you’ve booked.

2)    Double check it against the actual confirmation details.

3)    Have proof you’ve paid your deposit and final balance in full.

4)    Double check the confirmation information, including dates.

5)    Check the terms and conditions.

6)    Remain calm and courteous.

7)    Be sure to ask for an email follow-up, whatever the outcome.

Mistakes are rare but they do happen.

What to do next

Book your stay with us or list your property with us.