by Emily Mercer
With Christmas just around the corner, it is important for holiday home owners to get their property ready for Christmas guests.
Melanie Pascoe, Business Development Manager for Helpful Holidays, is talking us through some of her favourite country cottage Christmas décor and top winter tips to make your guests’ stay unforgettable.
Some would say, it is the most wonderful time of the year, so what better way to celebrate the festive season than together in a holiday cottage in Devon, Cornwall or Somerset?
Guests staying over this festive season will be excited about spending the perfect family Christmas together in your holiday cottage or apartment – so expectations are high. There are several things you can do to deck the halls this festive season
Use our quick links below to navigate the content or read on for the full lowdown on how to decorate your holiday cottage for Christmas, along with top winter tips for holiday let owners.
After a potentially lengthy journey, holidaymakers will be looking forward to getting indoors as quickly as possible. As they arrive, their first impressions will begin the minute they get out of the car.
Ensure the gates are open, driveways and paths are clear to avoid any slip or trip hazards. With it being Winter, your guests will most probably be arriving in the dark, so ask your housekeeper to turn on the outdoor light and if your key-safe isn’t near the main door, please remember to provide lighting to avoid unnecessary frustration in getting in.
The most welcome cottage Christmas décor – a wreath hung on the door and some pretty twinkly lights (PAT tested of course) woven about the garden. The festive fun is bound to begin the moment they step through the front door.
Like lighting, heating is key to ensuring your guests don’t arrive to a cold space. Ask your housekeeper to leave the heating at a suitable level and ensure it is working. Fireplaces adorned with country cottage Christmas decorations offer the best home-from-home experience.
Guests are likely to spend less time in the garden and more time cosying up in the living room. We recommend leaving some fuel, or a starter park of logs and fire lighters for the fire.
With any open fire or wood burner, it is essential you arrange for the chimney to be swept regularly – it’s also vital fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in place and working, so this is something your caretaker should check during each changeover.
Boilers may have issues from time to time; we recommend in addition to regular servicing, having a cover service in place that will protect you from costly callouts. It will also mean a responsive solution should guests have any problems during their holiday.
If your boiler uses solid fuel, someone should check supply levels ahead of guests’ arrival and arrange a top-up if possible. Remember suppliers may not be open throughout the Christmas and New Year period.
For more information on boiler maintenance for your holiday cottage, read our blog here.
Families and groups holidaying at Christmas will create wonderful memories to cherish. Their special memories of their holiday at your property will live with them for years to come – it also means that they are far more likely to think about returning to your holiday home in the future.
Decorating your holiday let with a cottage Christmas tree and co-ordinated Christmas decorations and lights helps spread some festive cheer.
Additionally, a real tree can provide the best cottage Christmas décor and create magical memories for children excited about Christmas. If not suitable, a faux tree can be used year after year, but be sure to go for a good quality one which will stand the test of time.
If you would like advice on where to buy Christmas decorations, our locally-based team would be delighted to provide suggestions.
We have some fantastic suppliers of Christmas trees and wreaths in Devon, such as Dartmoor Christmas Trees and Ashburton Christmas Trees, not to mention a variety of popular garden centres.
Families will be ready for time together cooking feast after feast – from cosy suppers to lazy breakfasts and of course the main meal itself Christmas Day lunch.
Don’t forget to decorate the dining table, a simple festive tablecloth, Christmas place settings and crackers offer delightful country cottage Christmas décor.
Ahead of Christmas arrivals, we recommend paying particular attention to cleaning the fridges and cookers. An oven liner can save hours of scrubbing and if you need to swap them over between changeovers is an easy way to present an oven that looks like it has never been used!
We recommend ensuring you have all the essential kitchen inventory to enjoy a Christmas and new year break – think champagne flutes, bottle openers and roasting trays.
Cookware, utensils and crockery will all be in demand, so it’s wise to stock up with some spare items at the property. Leave them readily available or give them to your housekeeper to install should any breakages occur after a Christmas sherry or two!
The refuse and recycling (wrapping paper and product packaging) created over the Christmas period will be undoubtedly high, so make sure your property has instructions on how guests can dispose of their rubbish responsibly. If you need help with finding a commercial waste supplier, please let us know!
Just like any other guests at your property, families or friends looking forward to Christmas together would be thrilled to arrive to some festive treats.
Typically, owners leave anything from a cream tea to homemade cakes, but the options are endless at Christmas: mince pies, yule log, Christmas cake or some decorated gingerbread men for any children in the group.
If you accept pets, why not source some festive pet treats, and mention them in your hand-written card to your guests.
Presentation of anything you leave to welcome your guests will make all the difference, a cake stand dressed with holly or dusted with icing sugar shows a little extra thought has gone in to it. So why not make your guests’ stay unforgettable with delicious, edible cottage Christmas décor.
It may feel like an overwhelming task when thinking about decorating your holiday home for Christmas, but with a bit of thought and professional advice you can transform your property into a festive haven where guests will remember the memories for years to come.
At Helpful Holidays, our team of holiday letting experts are on-hand to offer advice, helping second home owners to understand the best country cottage Christmas décor that will stand the test of time and more.
We’re happy to answer any holiday letting queries you may have, so to find out more about letting with Helpful Holidays, request your FREE owners guide today or call our team of experts on 01647 403014 today.
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