In a previous blog I explored how you can upgrade your holiday let enabling you to maximise your prices and extend the season. It focused on really thinking about how your guests are likely to utilise the accommodation. One of those considerations is guests who want to be able to cook rather than eat out.
I was therefore very interested when a connection recently posted about a new holiday let they were completing and asked for advice on what people felt was important in a holiday let. Many respondents commented that they wanted a well equipped kitchen so I thought I would share my thoughts on the elements to consider.
The appliances that you include will often depend on the size of the accommodation and who is most likely to stay there. If the accommodation is a small apartment or cottage then you probably won’t have space for all the large appliances. If it’s a large property that will be let to families then you are more likely to have room and also your guests may well want to be able to do laundry.
Let’s start with the oven. A dual oven which has a separate grill is useful and preferably a fan oven. Another top tip is choose a model where the controls are easy to understand. You don’t want to have to ring the owner/ lettings company as I once did, in order to figure out how to work the oven (the images in the instruction manual didn’t match what was on the actual control panel).
A microwave is essential and I recommend one that is decent power and has a keypad style control i.e. that allows you to enter the amount of cooking time.
Dishwasher. If you have the space then a dishwasher is nice to have even a slimline model and definitely for the family market.
Washing machine. I do think that for accommodation which is aimed at families with young children this is important especially if guests are going to be staying for more than a week. With youngsters it can be difficult to pack sufficient changes of clothes to last a stay of any length. Being able to do a quick wash can be invaluable.
The essentials are obviously the kettle and toaster. As these are likely to get a lot of use, I think it’s worth investing in good quality ones. A four slice toaster rather than two is handy even in the smallest let.
Coffee machine. A nice coffee machine is almost a must. It doesn’t have to be fancy, in fact I often think that with technology which users aren’t necessarily familiar with, keeping it simple pays. A machine that takes a variety of pods is the starting point although for more luxurious, higher end properties you may want to go for a machine that offers a few more options.
This is where it gets interesting because who knows what any of your guests might want to cook? I think it’s helpful to consider what you have in your own kitchen although you aren’t going to include everything. What are the items that you use most? The basics are your pans, knives and routine utensils. Again you want these to be a decent quality that are going to withstand a lot of use. You need a full set of pans including frying pan and a selection of knives suitable for carrying out a number of functions. When choosing utensils such as spatula, tongs, slice etc you don’t want ones that are going to bend or break easily. Tools with silicone heads are heat resistant so are a good choice.
You will also need things such as chopping boards, oven dishes and measuring jugs. Equipment such as a grater, corkscrew/ bottle opener, can opener and perhaps garlic press should be added to the list. This section isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list but is designed to get you thinking.
Crockery and Glassware
When choosing crockery and glassware consider the style and location of your property. A smart City Centre apartment will lend itself to sleek crockery and glassware whereas for a cottage or farmhouse in a rural or coastal location something more rustic in stoneware or earthenware would be more appropriate. Plain white crockery from a range where individual pieces can be purchased as well as a set is useful because it makes it easy to replace breakages and you don’t have to worry about a design being discontinued. If plain white seems boring then you can easily add coloured or patterned charger or serving plates and table mats. You shouldn’t assume that everyone drinks out of mugs either. Cups and saucers and a tea pot, milk jug and sugar bowl are all part of making your property feel like a home from home especially if they are going to be relaxing in the property.
Glassware needs to include a selection of styles, wine, tumblers, hi ball, flutes and don’t forget a water jug.
If al fresco dining is likely to be a prominent of your accommodation then I recommend including some outdoor tableware to minimise breakages.
By extras I mean things such as tea towels, dish cloths – perhaps a few essentials such as kitchen foil, cling film, salt and pepper, cooking oil. Those bits that guests might have forgotten and which they don’t want to have to go out and buy for a short stay. Your guests may need things like oven gloves
And Finally …
Many holiday lets offer welcome packages or hampers, a cake or scones, or a selection of local products which is a very nice touch. Referring back to the above, if you have a washing machine and/ or dishwasher leave a few tablets/ pods in a dish or child proof container. Leave a few pods for the coffee machine even if it isn’t enough for the duration of the stay, a few just as a welcome sets the tone .
It’s important to have a folder with all the instructions for using the various appliances and gadgets. If any have quirks or a knack of how to operate them then additional guidance is useful.
Need advice? Call me on 07745 876182 for a free initial no obligation chat. I cover the Wirral, Cheshire, the North West and North Wales