Top performing holiday home features

Top performing holiday home features

Back to Owner advice

Holiday letting is a thriving industry in the UK, with visitors from both home and abroad booking properties ranging from quirky yurts in picturesque countryside, to seaside escapes in popular coastal towns.

While location, size and appearance all play a key role in clinching a booking, there are many other factors which can sway guests to pick your property.

We’ve outlined the top features and things you can do which appeal to guests, supported by statistics from our in-house analysts.*

Couple on the beach

Offer short breaks

Getaways of a few days or a weekend are exceedingly popular; approximately 30% of bookings are short breaks. Offering the booking flexibility to accommodate three or four-night stays will support the popularity of your property by making sure that it is not ruled out by guests who aren't looking for week-long breaks. It also helps to increase occupancy during off-peak periods, with people looking for quick getaways to break up the winter months, or family weekends away during school term time. 

Montage of hot tubs

Add luxury with a hot tub

Synonymous with luxury and relaxation, a hot tub can help place your property way above others in a potential guest’s shortlist. Properties with hot tubs receive, on average, 24% more bookings than those without, and can achieve 35% more revenue.

A popular search for families, groups, and couples alike, having a hot tub is certainly a luxury feature, and one which can have a dramatic effect on bookings and revenue in the right property. Not only do they increase the likelihood of bookings during off-peak periods, but they often enable properties to command a higher weekly price. 

The ‘hot tub effect' is magnified when applied to properties that sleep two, as it helps your holiday let become more attractive for a romantic getaway. Properties that sleep two with a hot tub can achieve 37% more bookings and 52% more revenue than the average for this size. For more information, take a look at our article about things you should consider when investing in a hot tub for your holiday home.

Montage of enclosed gardens

Provide an enclosed outdoor space

If your property has outside space available for your guests to use, it's worth ensuring it is suited to their needs. It may not add much to the aesthetic of your property, but being able to advertise an enclosed garden will help you appeal to families and those with dogs. People are looking for a safe place for their children and pets to play, so a garden surrounded by a secure wall, fence or hedge will attract their attention.

This doesn’t need to be a large garden; depending on the available outdoor space, it can be a small decked area or even a balcony with a table and chairs. Meeting the expectations of guests with children and pets will help your property stand out from others during their decision-making process. Not only is it a popular feature, but on average, properties with enclosed gardens earn 4% more than those without. Discover more tips on caring for your holiday home garden here.

White dog lying on the grass

Welcome pets

The occasional guest may have an odd request when it comes to pets (we’ve seen everything, from cats to guinea pigs!), but the most common companion is, of course, the family dog.

40% of all of our bookings include a dog, that means if you’re not accepting four-legged friends, you’re missing out on more than one in three bookings. Imagine the difference that could mean for your booking figures! We do have guidelines for dog owners, and in our experience, they rarely present a problem and the benefits usually outweigh any potential concerns. Take a look at our article on how to make your holiday cottage dog-friendly.

Man using a laptop

Provide Wi-Fi access

Many of our customers will not look at booking a property without internet access, and it is a question the reservations team are asked every day. 95% of bookings are for properties with internet, and this figure is increasing each year suggesting this is a must-have within all properties. Lack of internet can completely write-off your property for a guest who would otherwise have booked.

Children at the beach

Be child friendly

Over 20% of our bookings are with children and over 30% of our bookings in bigger properties that sleep four or more are with children, so it's very useful if your holiday cottage appeals to families. 

If you have a property suitable for families, there are a few simple things you can do and items that you can provide to ensure that your property appeals to people holidaying with children. Providing a cot and high chair is expected; stairgates and baby monitors where possible are always welcome. Some owners like to include specific child-friendly items in the welcome pack when they are expecting young guests, such as a small treat or colouring book. Little touches and considerations can make all the difference when it comes to encouraging good reviews and repeat bookings.

Invest in games and play equipment

If your holiday home is marketed towards families, the allure of play equipment can encourage guests to choose your property over other similar properties in your area.

A games room or barn, outside play equipment, or something as simple as a play chest full of various toys, books, and games can keep a child occupied on a rainy day. A pool table or dart board can provide entertainment for adult guests during a quiet evening in, and a games console with a selection of games can provide fun for the whole family. Any universally appealing entertainment can only be seen as a positive, and may nudge your potential guests towards that 'book now' button. Get advice on choosing play equipment here.

Couple in a romantic cottage

Add to the romance

Bookings from couples or groups of couples can be your bread and butter during the off-peak months. If you're looking to clinch these bookings, small touches can add to your property’s ‘couple appeal’. We’ve found that adding romantic touches to a property could help increase bookings by more than 14%.

Things like cosy throws, cushions, sumptuous bedding, a luxurious bathroom and tasteful ornaments can help couples picture themselves relaxing in your holiday let and make them more likely to book.

Sea view

Celebrate the location

If you already own a holiday property, there’s little you can change about its location, but you can emphasise the positive aspects to your potential guests. If you have a sea or waterside view or are within 5 miles of a beach, make sure that this is clear in your property advert.

Properties within 5 miles of a beach can generate 15% more revenue than those further inland, and a sea view can help your property earn 26% more revenue than the average holiday let, so it’s worth shouting about!

Or if there are country walks right from the doorstep, a pub within a short walk, or a parking permit or dedicated parking space in a central town location for example, your potential guests need to know. 

Family enjoying a BBQ

Go the extra mile

Even when you are not able to personally meet the guests, a friendly phone call prior to their arrival with clear, concise information on how to get into the property sets the mood for the holiday. Leave a light on if they are going to arrive in the dark, and set the heating before they get there if it’s cold. A well-presented, welcoming property can make all the difference to their overall holiday experience – and the positive reviews you receive can benefit future interest in your property.

For more holiday home inspiration, take a look at our article 'Setting up a holiday let: decorating and furnishing'.

Looking to start holiday letting?

We’re always on the search for new owners to let their properties, whatever the style and appeal. 

With an exceptional team who are dedicated to showcasing your property to help maximise its true potential, you get a simple, stress-free and successful letting experience that delivers you a healthy return.

If you are considering letting your holiday home, then we’d love to hear from you. Get in touch and let us help you on your journey. Call 01237 459991 or send us a message.

You can also download a free letting guide.

How to start holiday letting

NB. It is important to remember that in most cases, these figures do not reflect the additional revenue attracted by one of these features alone, but rather a combination. For example, those properties with hot tubs may also have sea views, or a favourable location – it is through combining desirable features that revenues are most likely to be higher.

*Stats updated in September 2021

To get your free comprehensive owner's guide or to talk to one of our local experts