All I Want For Christmas Is........ Happy Guests

    As an owner of my own holiday let properties and now franchise owner of Pass the Keys, South Hams, I know from experience that guests can have a long list of expectations at Christmas. Regardless of whether you are already using a holiday let...

    by Pass the Keys South Hams


    South Hams






    13 Dec 2021

    As an owner of my own holiday let properties and now franchise owner of Pass the Keys, South Hams, I know from experience that guests can have a long list of expectations at Christmas.

    Regardless of whether you are already using a holiday let management company, hosting on Airbnb, or just considering a change in direction, here are my top 10 tips for creating the best Christmas holiday for not just your guests but also for you.

    1. Christmas or Crisis?

    If there are any maintenance issues, resolve these before the Christmas period. Don’t fall down the ‘Oh it can wait till January’ trap because you can bet your life on it, that that pipe will burst, the oven will blow up or the boiler will stop working. No one wants to be in a cold cottage at Christmas with an uncooked Christmas dinner and no hot water!

     2. Enjoy or Avoid!

    Ask your guests if they are coming to enjoy or avoid Christmas.  Not everyone is crazy about Christmas (myself included) so ask the question at the point of booking. If they aren’t keen, then you can ignore the rest of this blog and relax.

    3. Always always always less is more!

    If your guests are coming to enjoy a lovely family Christmas, that doesn’t mean that you can fill your property with those awful homemade decorations that your kids made 30 years ago! Never mind Ho Ho Ho, it’s a NO NO NO!

    In smaller properties, a single traditionally decorated Christmas tree, real or fake, is enough, with a lovely Christmas wreath on the front door. No need for anything more. It just collects dust and can look messy.

    In larger properties, if you feel the need to go to town, just make sure it all ties together so for a more traditional look, stick with golds, reds and greens or if you want to be bang on trend then the Blush Coastal style of sea blues, shimmering golds and blush accents, will create a magical atmosphere.


    All I want for Christmas #1


    4. To Hamper or Hinder?

    If you don’t offer a hamper as standard, then don’t do it at Christmas! It’s a lovely thought and well-received but once your guests have left and written that review raving about the wonderful hamper you provided, your next guests will then be bitterly disappointed when they don’t receive one!

    If you do, then again, you can have fun with this. I’m sure your guests will love receiving the mince pies, Christmas pudding and mulled wine but add a little extra, perhaps a personalised bauble for their tree the following year (a reminder of their stay) and of course, the obligatory Christmas Cracker is a must! 

    5. A Warm Welcome!

    If you have a log burner or open fire, then make sure there is kindling, firelighters and matches available. If you supply logs already, then supply a few more – you don’t want to go to the effort of decorating for Christmas and supplying a hamper, only to detract from the feeling of luxury by not supplying enough logs.

     And turn on the heating before your guests arrive. At this time of year, most people will be arriving in the dark so opening the door to a warm and cosy property is far more welcoming than opening the door to a cold and dark house.

    6. Cosy or Costly?

    I am a slipper wearer. I supply slippers for all my guests and by the same token, when it’s cold and wintery and looks like snow, I want a blanket or throw to keep me warm and cosy. Add an extra blanket to each bed and extra throws in the living area especially if you have a fire pit in the garden! If it means spending out a little more, it will be worth it when you see that 5* review and repeat bookings for the following year.

    7. Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

    Whether your guests are staying for Christmas day or not, they may not want to cook. There are lots of restaurants who since the pandemic, will now supply ready-made food just for re-heating so source the best in your area and send links to your guests. Likewise, supply a list of local food and drink outlets who will either deliver or your guests can collect from. Here in the South Hams, we are surrounded by award winners so take advantage and add to the local economy as well. It will be worth it.

    All I want for Christmas #2


    8. Where and When!

    At this time of year, there are Christmas markets and craft fayres galore! Make sure you have an up-to-date list of What’s on at your property and remember to cater for your guests. If they have children, don’t forget to include the appropriate events.


    9.  It’s All in the Detail

    At Christmas, your kitchen will be used differently than at any other time of the year. So here are my top 5 items that you really do not want to forget:

    Gravy boat

    Loaf tin – for that nut roast

    Kitchen Timer

    Cheeseboard and cheese knives

    Cocktail sticks – can’t have a pig in a blanket without one!


    10. Keep Your Sense of Humour!

    Probably the most important thing to remember is to always keep your sense of humour so here are my top 5 jokes for Christmas 2021:

    What did Father Christmas say when he stepped in a puddle? It’s Reindeer

    What’s the absolute best Christmas present? A broken drum – you can’t beat it!

    What was Father Christmas’ favourite subject in school? Chemis-tree!

    Why did Father Christmas get a parking ticket on Christmas eve? He left his sleigh in a SNOW parking Zone.

    What do you get if you cross a duck with Father Christmas? A Christmas quacker!

    If you’re interested in hearing more about what we do at Pass the Keys, South Hams, click on the link here to book a call - Book a call with Ali or for general information, follow this link here for Our Services and here for Frequently Asked Questions.

     Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

     Pass the Keys South Hams 

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