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by / Owners

8 Ways to Improve Your Holiday Let Guest Reviews

Ensuring positive reviews for your property is crucial in shaping the opinions of potential guests.

 Our guide provides valuable tips on how to improve your reviews and build guest loyalty.

  1. First impressions count
  2. Get the basics right
  3. Attention to detail
  4. A clean property is key
  5. Quality is important
  6. Little extras
  7. Don’t be put off
  8. Listen and learn from guest reviews

1. First impressions count


To enhance your guest reviews, it’s important to make a positive impression from the very start. You can easily achieve this by making a simple phone call before their arrival or if you live locally, greeting them in person as they arrive.

Such gestures can make your guests feel welcome and comfortable, and demonstrate your availability for any assistance they may require.

We strongly advise all holiday let owners to provide a Guest Welcome Folder with an introduction to the property, e.g. house rules if allowing pets, instructions of facilities at the property and user manuals, and useful advice on local amenities, i.e. where the nearest pub or shop is located.

The lack of welcome basket/pack is in the top 10 most frequently mentioned topics in our customer reviews that rated their holiday a 1 out of 10. As guest expectations are now as high as ever, and as so many properties offer them, a welcome pack is almost expected upon arrival. Even providing must-haves such as tea, coffee and logs for the fire would be a welcomed addition after a long drive.

Marmalade Cottage Ref. 1121980

If you’re looking to go the extra mile to make your guests feel at home, this is the ideal opportunity to boost their initial impression.

2. Get the basics right

Our analysis indicates that cleanliness, maintenance, and comfort are among the most significant factors for guests staying in a holiday cottage. These areas generate significant amounts of positive and negative feedback. Guests appreciate attention to these areas, and any shortcomings can significantly damage their experience.

Fortunately, most issues in these areas are easy to address and maintain. Simple tasks such as checking light bulbs, spare batteries for remote controls and toilet paper during each changeover can prevent any issues from arising.

Homeowners responsibilities to paying guests are to provide adequate heating, hot water, and high-quality WiFi (which can be difficult in some rural locations). If these are not in working order, this can generate negative feedback and lead to guests leaving early.

Providing high-quality WiFi is essential to improve guest reviews. If this is intermittent or none existent, guests will need to know before a booking is made, so check this is mentioned or advised in the description of your property.

3. Attention to detail

After ensuring the fundamentals are in place, it’s the minor details that can enhance the guest reviews for your holiday place. These subtle additions demonstrate to your guests that you’re dedicated to creating an exceptional and unforgettable experience.

It’s important to consider providing additional items and appliances to ensure your guests have everything they need during their stay.

We recommend to all our owners to try and stay in your property to really get a feel of how things work or doesn’t work. If not, put yourself in the shoes of your guests, walk through each room and ask yourself “what would I expect to be included if I was staying here?”.

The Bolthole Ref. 1122122

The importance of having the right equipment in the kitchen cannot be overstated. It can be quite frustrating when you are preparing a meal and find that you do not have the necessary tools.

Small items like baking utensils, egg cups, and a variety of pans can elevate the cooking experience. While guests may not pay much attention if everything is available, the absence of a required item will surely be noticed.

4. A clean property is key

The topic of cleanliness frequently arises in our analysis and tends to generate negative reviews. Guests understandably expect the property they are staying in to be clean, making this a crucial aspect – especially since the Covid pandemic. We recommend a deep clean a minimum of twice a year, depending on usage.

Having an unclean holiday let is an easy way to get bad reviews or even a formal complaint, which may result in offering the guest a refund or gesture of goodwill amount – if you do make sure that everything is cleaned to a high standard, it allows your guests to focus on their holiday rather than the quality of your cleaning.

5. Quality is important

Investing in high-quality fixtures, fittings, and décor for your property may require a little extra cost, but it will enhance the premium feel of your property. Additionally, opting for higher-end products may prove to be cost-effective in the long run as they are more durable and less prone to wear and tear.

The Chimney Ref. 1121936

As we examine guest reviews, we discovered that the level of comfort provided by a holiday rental plays a significant role in determining whether the review is positive or negative.

A good night’s sleep sets the stage for a memorable holiday, and this can be achieved by providing high-quality mattresses, duvets, and pillows.

Including a hot tub as an amenity in your holiday home can boost your rental rates by providing a luxurious touch that most guests don’t have at home.

However, guests expect the hot tub to be in good working order and properly maintained, as they pay a premium price to enjoy this feature during their stay. Failing to meet these expectations may result in disappointment and negative reviews.

6. Little extra touches

In addition to welcome baskets, personal greetings, and information packs, there are some small touches you can add to your property to enhance your guests’ holiday experience.

Placing fresh flowers, a delicious cake, or a small selection of local produce in the property can leave a lasting impression on your visitors. This can lead to positive word of mouth and attract new potential customers to your cottage.

Toys and games for children are a great way to show that you have really thought about your guests. If you know that your party includes children, then providing some games and activities for them is a lovely touch. You can even mention it in your information pack, or tell your guests about it if you greet them in person.

Welcoming furry friends to your property with treats is a great way to show your love for these beloved pets. As dogs are considered a part of the family, including some dog toys in your welcome basket is a thoughtful gesture for those pet-friendly properties that are expecting a canine visitor or two.

Many of our guests are returning customers, some have stayed with us many times over the years even at the same property. Some owners like to offer a discount to returning guests, this can be shown in the welcome folder or shown on the webpage of your property.

7. Don’t be put off

Many holiday cottage owners fear receiving bad guest reviews, whether they are in person or online. But your response to feedback– good or bad – is your chance to make amends and show your property in a positive light.

While it can be tempting to ignore bad reviews from your guests and bury your head in the sand, they can potentially have a huge audience and be one of the first things a customer finds when searching for your property on the internet.

Even if you don’t agree with the complaint or review from your guest, always remain polite. By responding promptly it offers you the opportunity to show how much you value your current customers’ opinions and, if you get your wording right, could help potential customers trust you and book your property.

8. Listen and learn from guest reviews

Feedback of any sort is also an opportunity to improve what you are offering – so try to see it as a positive.

Just as responding to a negative review shows that you care about your customers, replying to positive reviews shows you appreciate them too. So it is just as important to reply to all reviews. 

Take onboard good or bad reviews, build on it and learn from it. For example, if a customer appreciated a welcome pack, make sure you keep offering them to impress future or returning customers.

Need help with the next step of your letting journey?

Click here for your free owner pack or call our local experts on 01665 830783. Alternatively, you can also drop us an email on and we’ll get right back to you.

by / Owners