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What’s the key to a good holiday home?

Cleanliness, comfort and style. Those 3 points may seem simple but people frequently get this wrong. As a Home Critic for Plum Guide, I visit and test many a home against criteria that the home must pass. As well as this like some of you I  have travelled quite a bit and have many experiences of places good and bad burnt into my memory.

With that in mind, I have put together a list that will help anybody who is looking at turning their home into a short holiday let home/apartment. Let me know your thoughts below, I’m interested to see what you look for when choosing a holiday home.


You would think it is a given to have clean linen, who wants to get into a dirty bed right? Although coloured sheets aren’t exactly dirty, I can’t be sure that they are clean either. 

You may want to add personality to the bedroom, I get it, they can be dull sometimes, but it’s a no from me when it comes to patterned bed linen. 

Opt for clean white cotton or linen sheets. Linen, hemp and bamboo are great because they are warm to the touch and get softer with time. It’s always great to sleep on cloud-soft cotton sheets too.

If you do want to add colour or pattern, go for blankets or cushions for a bit of liveliness but again they must feel and be clean. No one wants to pull out a never-ending hair that doesn’t belong to them from your bedding.


Who hasn’t been excited to check into a hotel room and went straight to the bathroom to check out the products. That’s part of the enjoyment of staying in a hotel and it should be in a homestay too.

The thing is holiday homes are hotels, just way cosier. They should feel indulgent and memorable. 

You can buy small travel size bottles to use or have reusable pump bottles that feel really nice to use. I would even check out any local brands that may be making lovely soap or hand creams and see if you can partner with them. 


OK, I’ve unpacked now what to do with this suitcase. It’s just there isn’t it but wouldn’t it be great if it could just not be? Have you got any cupboards you can turn into a storage space for guests? If you do they will appreciate it, especially if the bedroom is on the small side.

Storage doesn’t have to be plain either, salvage vintage drawers and trunks to add depth and a spot of history to a room. Clothes storage should have matching hangers that feel well made, please no plastic or wire hangers.


The kitchen was cleaned after your last guest but after looking in that cutlery draw of yours I may have to wash everything before I use it. This may just be me but sticky cutlery is just not good in any way. 

And what about those random wooden chopsticks that find their way into every draw throughout the land. As a guest paying hundreds a night I want to feel that this is my home and not have remnants from the last guest (unless it’s a not sticky bottle of truffle oil, I’ll take that).

Giving your drawers a clean and the cutlery a rinse will make a difference it’s the little things that get reviewers going. 


I think one of the joys of a homestay over a hotel is meeting the owner and hearing from them about the local area. They are normally very passionate about it and a great advocate.

Showcase local products anywhere you can. Homestays should be somewhere to escape your actual home and pretend that you have a new one for a few days. That’s the great thing about staying in a home in a residential area. You will meet people going to work, taking their kids to school.

Include homewares and artwork that are local to the area. Local food products are great for guests and hampers are a great way of showcasing local producers.


Have you ever turned over a double-side rug and remembered what colour it usesd to be? Your guests may also see what colour it used to be and we don’t want that. 

If you can opt for furnishings that can be washed over and over again so that they can be cleaned after each guest. It may seem obvious but you would be surprised at how many homes have overly worn and sometimes stained textiles.


My Interior Design serviced is here to help you to create a home that guests will rave about. From layouts to interior details I can help with your project. Click here to get in touch via the contact page.