Being A Guest in a Holiday Home

strawberry Our recent trip back to UK was fleeting but it was a great week, enjoying the spring, visiting family and friends, and doing a lot of catching up. It was helped tremendously by our selection of accommodation which both worked out really well and added to my store of ‘best practice’ stories.

After an overnight flight, a two hour line-up at immigration in Manchester (we’d forgotten to renew our UK passports), and another hour queuing for the rental car, it was a pleasure to be on our way heading to the Peak District to Smithy Cottage in Hopedale. It’s always interesting to be on the other side of the rental transaction, and experience being a guest for a few days, and something I would highly recommend. Firstly, never forget that guests will explore a listing or web site minutely – and will look over and over again at the photographs; share them with friends, and plan their stay based on the information provided. This means that the detail on facilities and features, and all photographs must be accurate and if any changes are made, it’s vitally important to let guests know what to expect.

On this occasion, everything was exactly as described and best of all, expectations were exceeded. We loved the plateful of butterfly cakes with strawberries and cream in the fridge (outstanding), the supremely comfortable beds with fresh white linens and fluffy towels supplied, easy access to WiFi, and overall cleanliness of the property. My husband had slightly different criteria for excellence – his list was headed by a great pub being immediately next door!

The kitchen was well equipped and had plenty of casserole dishes, pots and pans and best of all….a sharp knife. I cook a lot and am not a great fan of eating out which is one reason I love the vacation rental lifestyle, so kitchen equipment is really important to me, and the quality of that equipment can make a huge difference . When we equipped our first rental cottage, I went basic on just about everything – a lower end coffee maker, toaster, cheap set of knives etc., but quickly found out that buying cheap is not the best economic decision as we seemed to be replacing items fairly regularly. By the time we bought cottage number two we were getting more savvy and appreciated that quality really counts, not only for our budget but for our guests’ enjoyment as well. The owners of Smithy Cottage were on my wavelength.

The owners of the cottage lived in the same village but didn’t opt for a meet and greet, or even a stop by to say hello, although we did find a bag of freshly baked scones had been left by the door one morning which was a delightful gesture. We had their contact info if we’d needed to get in touch, which was just fine by us. I like to explore and make my own way around a place and have never liked being met by an owner on arrival at a holiday home. It’s a personal preference so this worked for me.

The true test of a good vacation rental is whether you’d go back and I’d have no hesitation in spending another weekend, or even longer in this delightful spot.

Photo by Chris Blakely on Flickr

lizzie Marshall

interesting to read your personal view on meet and greet Heather. I have always assumed that guests would like to be welcomed by the owner. Perhaps this needs some rethinking on my part!

    Heather Bayer

    Hi Lizzie – Thanks for your comment. I am sure there are many guests who like to be met – how you do it is most important though. Occasionally we do meet guests at my cottage but I am always mindful they want to explore on their own so am very brief. Here’s a post I wrote a while back that promotes meeting and greeting.

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