From Budget to Boutique: 7 Ways to Boost Your Bookings & Make More ££

(Above Photo credit: Steve Flannagan, Steve’s Images)

If your holiday let is looking tired, or your getting complaints or poor reviews, take heart, there’s plenty you can do to turn your rental around. Comfortable, stylish décor is a key part of your guest’s stay, so exceed their expectations with these simple tips. Wow your guests from the moment they check in and they’ll keep coming back.


(Photo credit: Steve Flannagan, Steve’s Images)

Read on for seven steps to upgrade your holiday rental without a full refurb:

1. First Impressions
Welcome your guests with some goodies on arrival: tea, coffee, bottles of water, some local biscuits or a bottle of wine. They may be stressed, tired and not in the best mood when they arrive so hitting them with a little welcome gift is a fantastic way to set the tone for their stay. A personalised welcome note can also go a long way, as well as some sort of orientation (and of course clear ‘What to do in case of fire’ notice). Leave feedback forms and call them during their first day to check everything’s OK.

Superhost Tip: “Why not get some branded postage-paid postcards, with a photo of your holiday rental and some local sites. People still send them, so why not promote your accommodation at the same time.”

2. Scent
We’re super-sensitive to new places and smells (often subconsciously). Make sure there’s no smell of damp, drains, bleach or any other unpleasantness—you can’t mask things like this, get them resolved. When you know everything’s clean, it’s nice to refresh the space with natural essential oils (not sprays and puffers which can have your guests sneezing and sniffling throughout their stay). Have your cleaners burn or vaporize essential oils at changeover (but don’t leave candles onsite for guests to use); lemon, bergamot or fig are best.

Superhost Tip: “Setting the table for dinner, providing a nice clean toothbrush cup, and folding the corners on the loo roll tells your guest they are welcome and you’ve paid attention to detail. Add branded miniatures of soap, shampoo and conditioner in the bathroom and they’ll know they booked the best!”


(Photo credit: Steve Flannagan, Steve’s Images)


(Photo credit: Richard Gosler, Pixelhaus)

3. White Accessories
If you want to create that five star luxury feel (and keep your inventory control very simple) stick to white bedding, white towels and white crockery, no patterned sheets or duvet covers, no dingy grey towels, and no floral crockery.

Go for high-quality, hypoallergenic (i.e. not feather/down) pillows, duvets and bed linen. Hotel quality sheets can be found in most high street stores, but my personal favourites online are Soak and Sleep, and King of Cotton. Choose long staple Egyptian cotton sateen for the most luxurious feeling sheets, and use padded pillow protectors and mattress covers for hygiene.

Superhost Tip: “Think like the Four Seasons and offer a pillow menu as part of your booking process. Provide different weights of duvet with extra bedspreads along with your firm and soft pillows to choose from in a cupboard. Bag and label everything with a nice label maker.”


(Photo credit: Russ Snedker)

4. Light Up!
Combine wall lights, pendants, and floor and table lamps with dimmable recessed downlights for maximum effect and atmosphere. Replace all bulbs with LED bulbs and choose cool white for a darker space and warm if you have plenty of natural light. Recycle those ugly old spiral CFD bulbs with the grim horror-movie flicker. Obviously lights are used mostly at night, but they can also come into their own at check-in to create a cosy welcome.

Superhost Tip: “If your light fittings are over 10 years old, upgrade them. Technology and design have moved on so far and you can get stunning lights very inexpensively at DIY stores or Wayfair. Cover yourself by getting an electrician to fit them and getting an electrician sign-off certificate at the same time. Test and upgrade your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and set a reminder to do this every month.”

5. All the tech
As with lighting, your AV (audio visual) setup needs to be up to date—ideally no more than 4 years old.  We’ve got used to bigger screens and HD in recent years and the cost has come right down, so keep your TVs large and HD-ready (and ideally wall mounted in bedrooms). Provide high-speed Wi-Fi, Freeview, Sky or Now TV, and a DVD player (essential to keep the little early-risers happy before breakfast). Label your remotes and have a caddy to stash them in.

Superhost Tip: “Add a Bluetooth speaker, USB sockets by the bed, or a universal charger for guest’s phones and devices. Why not look at modern security systems, with remote locking and a code you can reset for
each changeover?”

6. Make it Match
A holiday home at any level of the market should be stylish, clean and good quality. For maximum impact, don’t give that student vibe with mismatched furniture or anything from the 90s. Have a clear theme, whether that’s based on location, the architecture of the building, or just a clear colour palette. In the bedroom, have at least two cushions on the bed, with a coordinating throw, runner or folded back bedspread (not one that covers the whole bed¬, we want to show off those crisp white sheets). Go to Pinterest, Airbnb, top hotel websites, and of course current glossy magazines, and when it comes to buying new furniture—i.e. curtains/blinds and accessories—go for quality.
Never have an obvious Ikea piece of furniture, or labelled crockery from a budget brand. In the UK, go for John Lewis or M&S.

Superhost Tip: “If you don’t have the time or creative flair, get a designer in. Avoid the costly mistakes and make your rental the most desirable around. Speak to local interior designers and ask to see listings for properties they’ve designed. The photos and reviews should be off the scale—don’t you want the same for your business?”


(Photo credit: Steve Flannagan, Steve’s Images)

7. Ban the brown leather sofas—please!
They are ugly, over-used by your competition, and you might as well be telling your guests, “we don’t trust you, so this is wipe clean”. Modern fabrics are amazingly durable and cleanable; don’t be afraid of a pale blue or grey sofa, maybe with a subtle stripe or texture. It will add far more interest and charm than a boxy brown or black one.

Superhost Tip: “Photos are everything. Once you’ve made the necessary tweaks/upgrades or full renovation, get your rental professionally photographed”.


(Photo credit: Russ Snedker)

Are you keen to boost your bookings and get more five star reviews? Thinking of upgrading to attract higher-quality guests and make more money? Schedule a call with Helen today and find out how Coral Interiors can help with your holiday let.

t. 07784 469334

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