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Top tips on how to keep guests happy

Some complaints are caused by events outside of our control, but when we have unhappy guests due to easily preventable problems it has a negative impact on us, our holiday cottages and all of our owners.

Here are some tips on how to keep guests happy by easily avoiding some of the most common complaints.   

Poor cleanliness

Cleaning a holiday cottage is not like cleaning your own home. Guests expect a higher level of cleanliness. No one likes to find traces of someone else’s supper in the fridge, hairs around the bath plug or balls of fluff under the bed. And yes, guests will look EVERYWHERE!

If in doubt, provide your housekeeper with a check-list to ensure that nothing is missed.

House cold on arrival

As always, the first impressions of a cottage are the most important. If you arrive on a chilly evening to find your holiday cottage in darkness and cold, it isn’t a great start to your holiday! If you have a Hive heating system, you can remotely turn on the heating a few hours before your guests arrival to make sure it is nice and cosy for them.  You can also ask your housekeeper to turn the heating on an hour or so before they arrive.

No hot water

Have your boiler regularly maintained, and check that hot water is in ample supply before each arrival. Guests may have driven a long way to your cottage, Having a nice hot bath after a long journey is much needed!


If you haven’t had guests for a few weeks, and depending on the age of your property, it might be worth giving the property an airing before your guests arrive.  Again, those all important first impressions. If there is an on-going damp problem, please try and address the cause.

Full rubbish bins

On several levels this is unacceptable. Not only due to the health issues, attracting vermin and being unsightly, but because this shows lack of care for your property. If you can’t attend to the rubbish, what else isn’t being maintained?

No Wi-Fi

The provision of Wi-Fi is a key decision maker for many guests on booking a holiday cottage. If for any reason yours becomes unavailable, please let us know so we can inform the guests. If they are banking on getting some work done whilst on holiday, then this is a crucial element of their booking.

A strong Wi-Fi connection can increase revenue by up to 26%.

An untidy garden

Again, an important first impression. Guests won’t be expecting your borders to resemble those of Plas Newydd or Bodnant, but they will expect them to be well maintained. If you don’t live locally, looking after the garden can be difficult. We can suggest local gardening services if you need assistance.

Lack of instructions

Whatever the appliance, be sure to have a copy of the instructions in your guests’ information folder. Whether it be for the heating, the television or the gas BBQ – you may think it is self-explanatory, someone else might not.

Lack of cleaning materials, spare light bulbs etc.

Although guests are buying a ‘self-catering’ holiday, they do expect some basic items to be included. A small supply of cleaning products also encourages guests to clean up any minor spills themselves.

Here is what we suggest, in addition to your welcome tray:

  • Dishcloth
  • Tea Towel
  • Dishwasher tablet or two
  • Scourer
  • Washing up liquid
  • Bin bag
  • Kitchen spray/cream cleaner
  • Toilet roll
  • Spare light bulbs
  • Spare batteries for remote controls
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Firelighters
  • Matches
  • Paper & kindling
  • A few teabags and/or coffee
  • Pint of milk in the fridge

These little extra tips on how to keep guests happy should ensure that everyone has a happy holiday!


*Note all stats used in this piece are correct at the time of publication

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