By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies to enhance your experience.
By Harry Roberts

Managing Director, My Favourite Cottages


Top things that ruin your guests’ holiday and how to avoid them

One bad review is all it takes to ruin the reputation of a business, and the same is true for rental holiday cottages.

But while you can’t ensure guests will have a great holiday, as a holiday homeowner, you  can make sure everything’s in place for guests to have an enjoyable stay at their property.

To help holiday homeowners avoid a bad review, I reveal the most common complaints that can ruin guests’ stays and what homeowners can do to avoid them.  


Unclean and unkept

The cleanliness and condition of a holiday home are the first things a guest will notice that can instantly set the tone of the holiday - with unclean accommodation making guests feel uncomfortable, agitated and ripped off.

Ask yourself whether your property’s cleanliness is up to hotel standards? If the answer is no -you’ll need to reassess your cleaning procedures.

Hiring a professional housekeeping service will ensure your property is regularly cleaned to the highest standard, and setting strict cleaning times in-between guests will mean you know when the property needs to be vacant from and to

Additionally, maintain good communication with cleaning teams to avoid an awkward crossover, such as guests arriving while cleaning is underway.

Keeping your property in good repair is equally important. Be wary that appliances such as fridges, ovens and washing machines may break over time and eventually need replacing with regular use. Checking them regularly will help avoid any complaints - or in the worst case, accidents - during your guests’ stay. Having a local handyman on speed dial, such as a plumber or electrician - to deal with such issues - can make getting things fixed much quicker, too.

No essentials upon arrival

While guests booking self-catering accommodation might want to do their own supply shop for their stay, providing basic necessities for guest arrival shouldn’t be overlooked.

Not having access to basic supplies such as tea, coffee, milk, sugar or toilet roll can quickly put a blight on your guests’ stay before it’s even begun.

To make your guests feel at home the second they walk through the front door, a welcome pack that provides your guests with the basics should be standard for every customer. And if you want to include some additional luxuries, why not gift locally sourced delicacies, wine or flowers to truly welcome guests.

While it’s not quite as luxurious, ensuring there’s at least one roll of toilet roll per bathroom is an absolute necessity.

You’re much less likely to get a bad review if you provide too much than too little.

Owners aren’t responsive

Should a problem arise, guests want assurance that the property owner will be on hand to help.

Sadly, this isn’t always the case, and guests can quickly become frustrated by a lack of responsiveness.

While it’s understandable owners may not always be available on-site, someone should always be contactable. Simply picking up the phone to answer customer queries promptly -  or enlisting a property management company that can assist with day-to-day operations - can go a long way.

Not enough information

While your local amenities and services are common knowledge to you, your guests will likely need some guidance on the best places to visit.

Providing an easily locatable folder in the property that includes this information will help guests make the most out of their stay. Information on medicinal services such as dentists, pharmacies and hospitals is particularly-important if you cater to vulnerable guests, such as those with disabilities or the elderly, who may be more likely to need these services even while on holiday.

And keeping your website up-to-date with plenty of quality information regarding the property and local area allows guests to start familiarising themselves and planning their trip before they even arrive.

Poor road access

Single-track roads, potholes, steep hills and blind corners can quickly turn a customer’s dream staycation into a nightmare.

Though there’s not much holiday homeowners can do to rectify poor road conditions, giving customers the heads up will prevent a nasty shock and a scathing review.

A high-quality holiday rental should be able to provide road access information before booking via a downloadable pamphlet.

*Harry Roberts is Managing Director of My Favourite Cottages


Please login to comment

MovePal MovePal MovePal
sign up