With the ‘staycation’ trend set to continue well into the New Year, those in desperate need of a little indulgence may at first glance feel that the ‘finer touches’ are sparsely found in self-catering holidays on British soil. Whilst the ‘Great British holiday’ was once synonymous with seaside capers and fairly-average accommodation, the past decade has witnessed the uprising of truly exceptional escapes – homes (and experiences) that genuinely feel like a world away the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
We all like to be taken care of, and whilst traditionally this meant chauffeur driven jaunts to the airport, thoughtful turn-down services and bubbles on arrival at glitzy receptions, those choosing to holiday closer to home are now discovering the joys of personalised service outside of hotels.
Experts at crafting a bespoke stay, our team have handpicked a selection of top tips to help you take full advantage of the options that may be available on your next getaway.
Have a specific requirement? Never be afraid to ask the question!
The chances are that the reservations team for your holiday cottage of choice, have dealt with a similar enquiry before. From asking the homeowner or local teams to sprinkle rose petals adorningly, plump a bevy of additional pillows in the master suite, light the log fire or ensure that only dairy-free milk is left waiting in the fridge, there is a network of people ready and waiting to personalise your visit. In this new era of truly putting the guest first, travel companies are desperate to learn your preferences and being forthcoming with your likes and dislikes makes their job just that little bit easier!
A new generation of concierge services
Once confined to a desk in the corner of hotel lobbies, the term ‘concierge’ has evolved to include all those within your booking journey that are champions of local knowledge and are ready to share it with you. Looking to reserve a table for two at your favourite sunset, seafood restaurant? Need a handwritten guide on the best beaches to take your four-legged friend for a stroll in the spring? There is a wealth of insider insight just waiting to be passed on, to make sure that every second of your stay is unforgettable for all the right reasons.
Self-catering, but not necessarily by your own fair hands
Foodies to the core, there’s nowhere better to sample your way along the culinary roadmap than right here in the UK. However, whilst many a self-catering kitchen now comes equipped with a fully-stocked arsenal of tools, there are a wealth of other, more indulgent catering options at your disposal when holidaying on home turf. Exceptional private chefs work closely with many a holiday company, and a quick Google search can put you in touch with even the most unusual of providers. From classic 4-course banquets to lavish spreads to languidly nibble, the private events industry can take the stress out of a family celebration or milestone event, from the comfort of your home-from-home.
Take a seat behind a new wheel
One of the many benefits of enjoying a self-catering cottage in the UK (vs. traditional international travel), is the ability to load the car with all manner of luggage. Gone are the days of having to be frugal with outfit choices; pack an ensemble for every occasion (as the British weather so often dictates!), plus walking boots, bikes, balls – even four-legged friends! For an added splash of luxury, why not hire the ‘dream’ car to cruise the coast, countryside and riversides in? Plush SUVs with heated seats, sleek little roadsters with convertible hoods – we’re all for a little style!
Tailor-made itineraries to keep even the most discerning explorers entertained
Where many holidaymakers were once content to sit and bask in the summer sunshine, modern travellers take delight in immersing themselves in the culture, natural wonders and hidden secrets of their chosen location. Realistically however, getting under the skin of your destination takes time, so for many the offer of a hand-crafted itinerary to help see you through your stay is classed as the ultimate luxury. Let your travel provider pinpoint the unmissable highlights in your area, pre-booking attraction tickets, delivering bikes directly to your doorstep, even arranging private surf lessons and horseback riding to gain new perspective on your natural surroundings.
Whichever path you choose to set your compass to in 2021, we encourage you to explore the hidden wonders on your very own doorstep, where the ‘finer touches’ are most definitely in abundance.
Laura Dubois is Managing Director at Together Travel. Together Travel is a luxury holiday cottage operator covering the British Isles.
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