Archive for the ‘Cottage Owners’ Category

Refresh Your Holiday Cottage For 2016

Friday, January 8th, 2016
Pin It

So the first week of January has already been and gone – how time flies eh? And this means we’ll be back in the peak season for holiday cottages before you know it, so we’ve been doing some thinking about what you can do to refresh your cottage for the New Year. So if you think that your holiday home could do with a bit of a spruce for guests in 2016, take a look and see what you think.

The Kitchen

Now is a great time to take a look through the kitchen and see what might need replacing. It’s inevitable that there will be a few accidents and breakages and some crockery will have gone missing, but have you checked for cracks and chips in all of your plates and mugs?

Then there are the appliances. You’ll want to have a check of all of the appliances in the kitchen and make sure that they’re in working order, from the toaster all the way through to the oven. And you might want to take the chance to replace things like tea towels and oven gloves that might have got a bit stained over the course of 2015.

The Bedroom

And what about the bedroom? Well the of course the easiest place to start is with the bedding. You’ll want to have a quick check and make sure that none of the bedding is too tired looking and maybe even invest in some new sets if you think it might be necessary – remember you’ve got the January sales to take advantage of!

The Living Areas

Now the living areas are probably where your guests are going to spending the most amount of time during their stay, so you want them looking spick and span! Tasks here can range from making sure that everything is shipshape with the soft furnishings, all the way through to making sure that the information pack (if your cottage has one) is fully to up to date with all the best events and attractions for the year ahead.

Hopefully you’ll find this useful when it comes to getting your cottage ready and raring to go for 2016, but we may well have missed a few things out. So if you know of any little tricks of the trade that you think you fellow cottage owners might be able to use then do let us know and we’ll pass it on!

Pin It
Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

How To Make Your Cottage More Festive

Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Pin It

Today on the Sykes blog we’re taking a look at Christmas from a cottage owner’s point of view. It’s always a busy time of year for holiday lets thanks to the countless large family get-togethers and people looking for a quiet break over the hectic festive period. But one thing that might cause a bit of confusion is whether or not you should decorate your cottage. Here at Sykes HQ, we’d always says that it’s a nice idea to have some bits and pieces handy for the holiday period so that your cottage has that festive feel, ready for when your guests arrive.

Welcome Pack

One thing that quite a lot of owners will do throughout the year is leave a welcome pack ready for their new guests. Normally, they’ll contain some essentials such as milk and eggs, but some owners go the whole hog and leave the odd treat in the pack ranging from a bottle of wine through to some cake or chocolates. So over the Christmas period, why don’t you have a think of adding in a Christmas card, some mince pies or maybe even a few Christmas crackers?

Decorations

Of course, decorations are always a nice touch over the festive period but it’s probably best not to go overboard with it all. You want to keep them so that it’s relatively easy to take them down and put them back up depending on your guests’ preferences, which could differ from booking to booking.

The Tree

And of course there’s the pièce de résistance – the tree! Let’s be honest, no set of Christmas decorations would be complete without a tree but what would be suitable for a holiday let? Well you might want to have a think about an artificial tree, there won’t be the same problems with dropping needles and the clean up afterwards will be easier. And what’s more you can keep hold of it to use again the next year!

So there you go, a few little hints and tips on how you can make your cottages a touch more festive this Christmas. However, we would strongly advise checking with the guests before you put anything up, just to make sure that they’d want the decorations up. Remember to keep your eyes open for more helpful pointers for cottage owners.

Pin It
Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Essential Items for Your Cottage Kitchen

Sunday, August 30th, 2015
Pin It

Today the Sykes Cottages blog sees a post specifically for cottage owners as we take a look at one of the most important rooms in a holiday let, the kitchen. We’ll be considering which items you should make sure your cottage is well stocked with so that your guests won’t be left wanting for anything. Take a look and see what you think!

Cutlery and Crockery

Let’s start off with the obvious one shall we? All of the kitchens in our holiday cottages need to have enough cutlery to match their maximum occupancy, however we’d suggest having a few more sets of each item just to make sure. We’d also suggest that our family friendly properties come prepared for visits from the little ones with some smaller plastic sets, just in case the parents forget to bring them along.

With regards to crockery, sets of plates both big and small, should be provided, as should bowls. Then you’ll want to stock up on wine glasses, ordinary glasses and mugs as you’re bound to have a few breakages here and there. Again if your cottage is advertised as family friendly, we’d suggest getting in some plastic beakers and plates just in case.

Utensils

Then there’s the utensils. The easiest way to think about these is to consider what you use in your own home in day to day life. So for example tongs, graters, sieves and tin openers etc should all be a given. Then you’ve got things like pizza wheels and garlic crushers that you might not think of at first but will certainly come in handy. One good way to make sure that you have everything that you’d need is to spend a few nights in the cottage yourself and see if you miss anything whilst you’re there. Make sure you leave a good set of kitchen knives and a sharpener in the property so that they don’t get too blunt.

Cookware

With regards to the cookware, a good set of saucepans (and lids) in various sizes will always go down well, as will set of frying pans. You should also make sure that there are a few baking trays ready for your guests to use and a casserole dish will certainly be well received during the colder months.

Hopefully you’ll find this to be useful when you’re kitting out your holiday cottage’s kitchen, but let us know if you think of any items that are regularly forgotten about. Or alternatively if you would be interested in finding out a little bit more about joining Sykes as an owner, take a look at the Let Your Cottage section of our website and request a free information pack or call up our Owners Department on 01244 356666

Pin It
Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

How to Make Your Garden More Eco-Friendly

Wednesday, June 24th, 2015
Pin It

Well I think that it’s safe to say that summer is well and truly here! The temperatures are on the rise, there’s been some glorious weather of late and we’ve even indulged in a couple of ice creams over lunchtime here at Sykes HQ! But for me, one of the best things about summer is spending some time out in the garden, whether it’s soaking up some sun, tucking into an alfresco meal or even doing a spot of gardening. One thing that I’m hoping to get done this year is looking into how I can make the garden a little bit more eco-friendly, so I’ve been doing a bit of research and found some hints that might be of use. So if you’re a cottage owner looking to reduce your property’s footprint, or you’re just after a few tips, take a look below and see what you think.

Harvesting Rainwater

One thing that surprised me was how much water we use in our gardens. For most of the year, we’re ok to rely on the rainfall to get the job done but there’s usually a short period between July and September where nature needs a hand. But rather than just taking water out of the mains, you could try investing in a rainwater harvesting system. These can range from a simple butt collecting water from a drainpipe, all the way through to a complex system that can feed water back into the plumbing in your house, but they all get the job done! You can easily get your hands on a butt from your local council or a garden centre and fitting is a simple task, but the best thing – you don’t need to follow any hosepipe bans!

Attracting Wildlife

One of the easiest and most successful ways that you can make your garden more eco-friendly is by encouraging more wildlife to move in. Whether it’s choosing the right kind of plants, providing food or creating a shelter, every little thing helps and your garden will soon start to reap the rewards! Here at Sykes Cottages we worked alongside the North Wales Wildlife Trust to create a resource that shows you how to turn your garden into a bird’s paradise which you can see here, or you can take a look at the RSPB’s latest initiative Make a Home for Wildlife which features loads of information on the subject.

Going Native

One further change that can be made is to really put the emphasis on native plants when your doing your gardening. Not only do these plants provide a plentiful food source for the local wildlife, but using them also reduces the risk of invasive exotic alternatives from gaining a foothold in your garden. If you need any more convincing, the native plants are more accustomed to the climate here meaning that you have to put in far less work to look after them!

So hopefully you’ve enjoyed reading and have managed to pick up a couple of hints and tips that will help you make your garden a little greener! Maybe you’d like a little more inspiration? If so then you should have a look at some of our cottage gardens for some ideas or if you have any hints or tips then get in touch over Twitter or Facebook and we’ll help to spread the word!

Pin It
Jamie Tomkins

By Jamie Tomkins

Jamie is a big fan of long weekend walks with the dog, especially when there is the chance to refuel with lunch in a country pub. Living in Lancaster for three years gave him the perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time in the Lake District.

Owner Guides: Make your Property Fit for an A-Lister

Friday, May 22nd, 2015
Pin It

At Sykes Cottages, we want all of our customers to feel like A-Listers. Whether they’re looking to book a cosy log cabin for two on the edge of a forest or a luxurious manor house in the countryside, we want all of our customers to feel like royalty from the moment they begin their search to the final moments of leaving feedback. As holiday home owners, we’re sure you want your guests to feel like a celebrity whilst they enjoy their stay, so we’ve compiled a short list of some things – suitable for all budgets – that you can do to make your property fit for an A-Lister and make them feel like a celebrity during their stay at your property.

Living Room

Whether in a self catering holiday rental or in your permanent home, the living room is a hugely important family space, so making it both homely and opulent is a sure fire way to make guests feel like royalty! Starting off with a muted colour palette in terms of decoration gives a great base for any little extras you feel like adding to increase the luxury of the room.

Save

It’s not all about the big things when it comes to making your holiday cottage guests feel like the rich and famous; little touches such as opulent light shades, high quality pillows and fresh flowers can really make a difference and they don’t have to cost the earth!

Spend

Perhaps one of the most asked for amenities from customers, particularly in the chillier months, is that there is an open fire in the property. They create atmosphere in a room, provide heat and provide a wonderful backdrop for enjoying quality family time together!

Splurge

It’s not only celebs who can have their own cinemas, with a big enough living space and a bit of tech know-how, you can create a personal at home cinema for your holiday guests. Put up a projector and a screen so everyone can watch their favourite TV programmes and films together – mixing both luxury and family fun.

Bedroom

image from The Hall

image from The Hall

If there is anything more luxurious than enjoying a late lie in whilst snuggled up in the comfort of a huge bed wrapped in high quality sheets, I’m not sure what it is! Bearing this in mind, when making your guests feel like an A-lister, make sure that you don’t forget the bedroom.

Save

Sometimes, giving that A-list style luxury feel to your guests needn’t cost the earth, it’s much more about the little things that they may not have at home. This is where clap/sound responsive lights come in – fancy not even having to get out bed to turn the light on or off, talk about relaxation!

Spend

Ensure that your guests sleep tight by investing in some bed sets made from Egyptian cotton. Your guests will leave their holiday feeling revived from sleeping in the lap of A-list style luxury!

Splurge

Really treat your guests to the ultimate in bedroom luxury and allow them to wake up feeling like princes and princesses with a king-sized four poster bed!

Bathroom

The Malthouse

image from The Malthouse

 

Perhaps not the most prestigious room in the house, but a celebrity-style bathroom can make guests feel a million dollars! Start off with a well-lit room, big fluffy towels and a large mirror and you’re well on your way to making to making your guests feel like royalty, even when they’re in the tub.

Save

Pop in some luxurious toiletries such as hand wash and hand cream when you’re doing your changeover. Brands such as Molton Brown and Jo Malone just scream luxury and will give your guests a bit of a celebrity style treat.

Spend

If you have the space then a freestanding, claw foot bath will leave your guests feeling as opulent as your bathroom will look!

Splurge

If there’s one thing the rich and famous don’t do (I imagine) it’s standing out of a warm bubble bath straight onto a cold floor and your A-list guests shouldn’t have to, either! Combat this by installing underfloor heating in your bathroom. Not only is this an energy efficient way of heating the room, but it’s one of the little touches that can make your property sky rocket on the luxury scale!

The Paddock

image from The Paddock

Kitchen/Dining

It can be difficult to imagine the rich and famous rolling their sleeves up in the kitchen, but with huge celebrities such as Gwyneth Paltrow sharing their love of cooking with the world, we can’t think of a better room to turn into a celebrity paradise.

Save

Why not fill the cupboards of your holiday cottage kitchen with some nice essentials. Things such as infused oils, balsamic vinegar and a salt/pepper grinder are an example of some inexpensive  additions to help make your property’s kitchen feel fit for an A-lister.

Spend

All self catering kitchens provide the usual; a fridge, oven and basic cookware – why not go a little bit further and provide a smoothie maker or even bread maker? This way your guests can have the ultimate in at-home comforts.

Splurge

If you have the capability to, why not provide a chef to guests in your holiday cottage by arrangement? Your guests can take the night off from cooking and enjoy a delicious home cooked meal and get a true taste of the celebrity experience.

Garden/External

Eden Lodge

image from Eden Lodge

The A-list luxury need not end at the door; you can continue the opulence right out into the garden. If your property has outside space, it would be a shame to waste it but don’t worry as there are a couple of easy additions you can make to your cottage’s outside space, to ensure that the celebrity experience begins from outside your holiday home.

Save

Some good quality furniture is a brilliant yet inexpensive way to ensure that your guests can bask in any sunshine or enjoy an al fresco lunch. Don’t forget to include a BBQ (or if budget allows, an outdoor stone oven) so that your guests can enjoy delicious food, both cooked and served outside.

Spend

Providing shelter from any rain or place to get shade on sunny afternoons, if you have the space and funds, why not treat your property’s external to an internal feel with a summer house? Children will love having somewhere to play, teenagers will love having somewhere to have a bit of time for themselves and the whole family will love being able to spend time together outside whatever the weather!

Splurge

A worthwhile investment to increase how attractive your property is to potential renters who are looking to treat themselves, is a heated swimming pool or hot tub. If your property has far reaching views, why not place a hot tub facing them, so at night your guests can unwind and talk about the day’s events whilst enjoying their wonderful surroundings.

Pin It
Leanne Dempsey

By Leanne Dempsey

A lover of reading, eating and shopping Leanne will often be found spending time with her two pugs or snapping away on instagram. A big fan of the city, She likes nothing more than getting away for a weekend break in the UK, her favourite places being London and Bath.