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Ask the Experts: What should I leave in my holiday cottage to welcome guests?

Ask the experts…

Q. What sort of things do visitors expect to find in their holiday home? Is it a good idea to leave a pint of milk and some teabags, or should we be baking a cake and arranging vases of flowers?

A. The Helpful Holidays team say:

By the time your guests arrive they may have been travelling for several hours and the first impression is important. Their basic needs are simple: they expect to find the key exactly where they expect, walk into a warm house with a fresh smell and have a drink. They want to feel welcome.However, many owners do much more and go to great lengths to welcome their guests, often with homemade cakes, cream teas, starter packs of local goodies, mini hampers or boxes of chocolates. Our experience is that holidaymakers really delight in finding that a cottage owner has gone to trouble to lay on a thoughtful welcome. It is a relatively cheap and easy way to please your guests and is good business. Owners who welcome guests rarely get complaints and enjoy more repeat bookings.

If you’re relying on a caretaker then it’s more difficult, but a card and a tea tray laid up with fresh milk in the fridge, or a bottle of wine is easy and makes a world of difference. No matter how modest your property, if you provide a thoughtful welcome, you’ll win the admiration of your holidaymakers and do wonders for the reputation of your holiday home amongst their friends and acquaintances.