For business-sake you must avoid doing this in your holiday home

What am I talking about? Providing style over substance. You need to provide both!

The lack of substance is something I experienced first hand last week on a short break in the UK. 🤦‍♀️

Yes I constantly advocate that you pay attention to the way your property is styled and presented, to the extra touches you add.  Of course you have to woo your future guests online by  using the best photographs you have.  But there has to be substance to that style.

In other words, the reality of a stay with you has to match up to and indeed exceed the impression portrayed online.

For example if you show a tray of beautiful crockery and plates as a lead photo on your website you must make sure they’re in your holiday home for guests to enjoy.

Sure, I didn’t pick to stay in this cottage because of the crockery (although the blue and white mugs were gorgeous), other factors such as location, facilities etc played their part.  I always chose somewhere where the owner has taken time and gone to some effort to decorate attractively and coordinate the rooms with tasteful accessories (yes scatter cushions matter but that’s a topic for totally different blog!)

Don’t get me wrong, it didn’t ruin my holiday, but it didn’t make my heart sing either.

Guest expectation and managing that expectation is key to your business. No point going to all that effort to get them to book and then by simple things that you could change easily, letting your guests down when they’re staying with you.  This isn’t the way to get rave reviews, to get them to tell their family and friends about you and to get them to rebook.
(An aside – 20% of my own holiday cottage’s guests are return guests – an important part of my profit line!)

Here are more examples of the simple things this owner (who I met and was lovely) could so easily change and my expectations would have been met:
  • the lighting in the bathroom was far too low – make up application impossible
  • the bed although super comfy and beautifully styled, squeaked everytime I moved one inch, just needs an adjustment
  • no wardrobe, but that’s fine as hangers where provided – but only two hangers in each bedroom
  • Amazon Firestick was promised (so I could access IPlayer and Netflix) yet it was password protected so couldn’t be used
  • the fridge was tiny for four people; I get that if there’s no space but this kitchen had plenty
  • half a dozen fresh eggs, such a lovely touch, were provided in the welcome hamper, but only one egg cup

The problem is, once guests start to pick up on these things, they look for more. I know I did.

I had a nice time there, when I could have had wonderful.  As an owner make those small changes and deliver wonderful.

One easy way for this owner to have found these issues is if she had stayed there herself. As she lives locally I guess she thinks there’s no need to do that?

I’ve written a blog about the importance of road testing your holiday home, click here if you want to read more <<Why road testing matters>>

If the owner had left me a feedback form I would have completed this. I did prepare a draft email but I didn’t get round to sending it.  Nor did I leave a public online review mentioning these things, that would have been unfair and felt unkind.  As a positive I would have for sure mentioned the thick fluffy towels and home made bread.

It was just the simple things to fix, in my opinion that let it down. So please avoid doing this in your holiday home. Avoid offering style over substance – offer both. You owe it to your guests and your business going forward.


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