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Most searched for rental facilities
13 October 2009

This post is courtesy of the leading holiday rentals website, Holiday Lettings.

If you ask yourself what guests really want from a holiday home, then look no further. We've put together a list of the ten most searched for facilities - if your home has any of these amenities, make sure you tick the relevant checkbox in Stage 2 of your Home Management Page.

1. Pool Private or shared, top of most holidaymakers' wish list is a swimming pool. Whether the pool is on your complex, or in the back garden ensure you let guests know it's there. Holidaymakers can also see whether the pool is indoor or outdoor, heated or not - tick the appropriate boxes when setting up your advert.

2. Air conditioning As much as people love soaking up the sun on holiday, in hotter climates it's important to be able to escape to cooler temperatures indoors. It's advisable to factor all costs - such as air conditioning - into your rates and offer guests an upfront price.

3. Balcony/terrace Somewhere to eat and relax outside is a must for many holidaymakers. Include photos and descriptions so guests can picture themselves dining al fresco, or watching the sun set with a glass of wine in hand. If your balcony has great views, don't forget to highlight this as well.

4. Pets allowed Dog owners often like to travel with their faithful friends, so if your holiday home is in an area with plenty of walking opportunities it's worth considering accepting pets. See our advice page on making your holiday home pet-friendly for more details.

5. Garden Everybody appreciates a garden, especially guests with children and those bringing their dog with them. If you've got a garden at your property, provide some outdoor furniture and make clear whether the space is enclosed and secure, or not.

6. Barbecue Nothing says summer like a barbecue and plenty of holidaymakers agree. If you've got a suitable outdoor space then a barbecue is a great idea. It's worth providing picnic crockery to avoid breakages if you think people will eat outside a lot.

7. Cot Parents travelling with babies and toddlers need homes that have been kitted out with youngsters in mind. Cots are a priority, but don't stop there - have a look at our other suggestions for making your holiday home child-friendly.

8. Jacuzzi/hot tub Jacuzzi baths and hot tubs are great for ski properties and romantic hideaways, but add a little bit of luxury to any holiday home. Use the text in your advert to clarify whether you have a whirlpool, jet bath or an actual hot tub so to avoid misunderstandings with holidaymakers.

9. Internet Your guests may be on holiday, but they still want to be able to get online - wireless, Wi-Fi connections are the most popular. If guests are bringing their own laptops be sure to let them know any passwords they'll need to access the Internet.

10. Smoking permitted Provide ashtrays inside and on any terraces, balconies or patios to dissuade guests from dropping cigarette butts. Buckets filled with sand are another option. You may also like to restrict smoking to certain areas of the house, or just outside as not all your guests will appreciate a loitering tobacco smell.

The phrase 'toddler friendly' is a popular search term on Google, so if you're geared up for younger visitors be sure to work those words into your advert on a couple of occasions. Don't forget to have a look at our advice on kitting out your holiday home for babies and toddlers.

You can find out more about Holiday Lettings and sign up for 15 months for the price of 12 by clicking here.



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Andalusia, Spain: A haven in the hills
10 August 2009

Tim Jepson finds a little piece of perfection in the lofty Andalusian village of Gaucín.

What a difference a mile makes. After we turn north from the grisly Costa del Sol, the coastal concrete and condominiums give way almost immediately to glorious sweeping views across Don Quixote countryside as we drive the lonely road into the mountains of Andalusia.
 
Over the years I've been preoccupied with Italy, leaving Spain a closed book, and this short break marks the tentative turning of a first page. I've gone for the obvious, as you tend to do when you're ignorant, and the pueblos blancos, or white villages, of southwest Spain.

The most obvious and most famous pueblo blanco is Ronda, but I'm heading for Gaucín, which even in my compendious guide to Andalusia receives no more than a couple of paragraphs, promising a lovely setting, sleepy streets, a few bars, a handful of restaurants and some fantastic views. Sounds like my kind of town.

And so it is. Even from afar, the location is astounding, white houses ranged along a lofty ridge, framed by craggy peaks, vultures wheeling overhead and surrounded by miles of sun-drilled hills dotted with carob, cork oak and shimmering fields of wheat.

After an immense climb from the valley, we arrive in pretty narrow streets in the heat-stunned silence of mid-afternoon. A few moments and we find a small bar (the Puente) still serving tapas and ice-cold beer on a terrace with majestic views across the wooded hills and parched plains to Gibraltar and North Africa. Then a phone call to summon Carlos, the charming owner of our hotel rural, La Fructuosa, to open up and show us to some of the most delightful rooms I've seen in a small hotel.

There will prove little to do, in the sightseeing sense, in Gaucín, but who needs things to do when you have somewhere as pretty and pleasant to stay as La Fructuosa? Cool, airy rooms, simply but beautifully decorated, all with those glorious views; a sitting room with tasteful sofas, books, antiques and dark-wood furniture; and – best of all – a sun-dappled, vine-shaded terrace for a humble but perfect breakfast each morning of strong, sweet coffee, oranges, toast and homemade marmalade and wild strawberry jam.

It's all terribly romantic, and no surprise, for La Fructuosa has been an inn for more than 150 years, the lodgings of choice for visiting judges when the court and regional registry were in session. It was also where newly-weds traditionally spent their wedding night. As I said, terribly romantic.

Idle strolls, leisurely drinks, al fresco suppers in jasmine-scented air – Gaucín has all these late-summer pleasures, which you could easily realise in a short break (fly to Gibraltar and it's a 50-minute drive). But there's also more for a longer visit, not least quiet beaches at Barrio del Castillo or Bolonia on the Cádiz coast; the nearby parques natureles of Grazalema, Genal and Sierra de las Nieves; walks to El Hacho (3,320ft), the peak above Gaucín, or to the Genal river for storks, kites and otters; and the pretty white villages of Faraján, Juzcar, Parauta, Alpandeire and Igualeja y Pujerra.

And there's always Ronda, 20 miles away along a wonderfully scenic mountain road (or lovely single-track railway), if you want more sophisticated tourist fare.

I didn't. I'd found somewhere I was happy and saw no reason to move. I may not know much about Spain but I now know about Gaucín. And I like it. I like it a lot.
 

Source: The Telegraph 



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Essential equipment checklist for your rental property
05 June 2009

 Your holiday home may be kitted out with all mod cons, but don't forget the basics.

 
Make sure your guests stay in the holiday spirit: they don't want to have to take time out from their stay to top up household supplies.
 
Regularly 'stock take' and replenish supplies as necessary. Try and gauge from your guests if there was anything they needed to buy during their holiday and remember it for next time.
 
You may find that your thoughtfulness could help you on your way to a repeat booking too.
 
Holiday Home Basics
 
  • Toilet roll
  • Kitchen roll
  • Washing up liquid
  • Dish cloths /sponges
  • All purpose cloths
  • Bin liners
  • Spare light bulbs
  • Washing powder/liquid
  • Hand soap
  • Broom, dustpan and brush
  • Spare batteries
  • Enough crockery and cutlery for at least your maximum occupancy. Allow for breakages and extra visitors.
  • Enough seating for at least your maximum occupancy
  • Basic non perishable food/drink items such as tea and coffee, sugar, and salt and pepper
  • Extra blankets and pillows
  • First aid kit
  • Clothes pegs
  • Matches
 
This was brought to you by holidaylettings.co.uk, the UK's No.1 for holiday homes worldwide. To advertise your property with holidaylettings.co.uk and receive 15 months for the price of 12 in your first year, click here or quote promotional code 45540  when registering.


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Tax cuts for airlines that bring more tourists to Spain
18 May 2009

Spain is to give tax cuts to airlines that bring more tourists to the country. The move was announced by Spain's prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, during the State of the Nation debate in the country's parliament.
 
The measure is key to boosting tourism, which plays a vital role in Spain's economy, according to typicallyspanish.com. Zapatero announced that airlines bringing increased numbers of tourists to Spain will not have to charge their passengers airport tax.
 
If airlines carry more travellers in the second half of 2009 than they did during the same period in 2008, the government will pay the tax on behalf of all its passengers. The move is expected to encourage more tourists to rent villas in Spain and other holiday accommodation. 
 
It is estimated that the move will cost Spanish airport authority AENA 20 million Euros. According to figures from the World Tourism Organisation, Spain was previously the world's second big tourist destination after France. However, it has now fallen to third place, having been usurped by the US.
 
 
 

This story was brought to you by holidaylettings.co.uk, the UK's No.1 for holiday homes worldwide. To advertise your property with holidaylettings.co.uk and receive 15 months for the price of 12 in your first year, click here  or quote promotional code 45540 when registering. 



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