Choice Cottages | Self catering holiday accommodation | June 2012

Luxury Holiday Cottages in Devon - Spoil yourself and your family this year by booking a luxury cottage

by Justin Beckley25. June 2012 13:14

With the huge amount of choice on the market when it comes to luxury cottages in Devon, what features should you look for, and how do you separate the luxurious from the lacklustre?

Location, Location, Location

Location is often the deciding factor when choosing a holiday cottage, as it can make or break your holiday. We define a luxury cottage by it having a prime location, preferably with commanding views over the seaside or countryside. As a rule of thumb, self-catering holiday homes close to the coast will always prove to be a favourite with holidaymakers. That said, every person is different and many also look to get away from it all in the countryside. If you want a secluded getaway, then remember to check if the cottage is situated on its own or beside other holiday accommodation. Ask one of our helpful Choice advisors for which property would suit you best, as they know our cottages inside and out.


Luxury cottages more often than not; will have ample space in both the living areas and the bedrooms. There will normally be sufficient bathrooms to cater for the party size and there will often be en suite bathrooms for the double bedrooms. Multiple entertainment areas, games rooms, dining areas and large well-equipped kitchens also feature in many luxury homes.

The personal touch

It is important to offer visitors a real home-from-home experience. With our luxury holiday cottages the owners have taken pride in going the extra mile to make your stay a memorable one and to ensure you settle into the home and relax straight away. First impressions are paramount and, after a long drive and possibly being new to the area, there is nothing better than arriving to some fresh flowers, milk, tea and a a complimentary Welcome Book with recommended attractions to visit and places of interest.

Modern conveniences

Guests will welcome a luxury holiday let with a well-considered interior design that is well equipped. Holidaymakers appreciate quality fixtures, fittings and furniture. Luxury properties should also include quality bed linen & mattresses. During these technologically advanced times, demand for Wi-Fi availability, Satellite TV Packages and games consoles has significantly increased and is always a selling feature. Top end high quality cottages will often include HD viewing facilities, multiple Televisions and in some cases even a Cinema Room.

Hot tubs and swimming pools

Though not at all a requirement, a hot tub may serve to increase the desirability factor of your Holiday Cottage let. Many luxury cottages also have swimming pools, which in most cases are heated. Premium Devon cottages like High View Farm House have an indoor heated pool.


Catering for children opens up your property to a wider audience. Adding a selection of Toys, Games, DVDs and Books makes all the difference, especially if the weather is poor. Outside, it is worth considering a swing set or other equipment. If the children are happy, the parents are happy too.


A large percentage of holidaymakers like to travel with their pets, so booking a dog friendly holiday cottages will give you and the whole family the flexibility you deserve.

Star Rating

All luxury holiday cottages should have a Visit Britain, or equivalent rating of at least 4 Stars, but with a 5 Star Gold being the most prestigious and indicative of world class accommodation.

Remember: luxury holiday homes and large holiday cottages should allow you at least as much space and comfort as you have at home – all in a great location!

Luxury Holiday Cottages

What are your financial objectives when owning and letting a holiday home?

by Justin Beckley19. June 2012 10:31

There are some important considerations you should ask yourself before going ahead with letting self catering accommodation with the aim of commercial income from your holiday home investment

  • What are your financial or Investment objectives with your Holiday Home? 
  • Do you want to maximise the commercial income from your investment or just cover the costs? 
  • How often do you want to holiday at your 2nd home yourself? 
  • What are you prepared to invest in terms of renovations, furnishings, appliances and the like?
  • Will you do your own property management, or will you be employing a holiday home property manager?
  • What price per week are you looking to achieve? 

It is important however, to consider the full picture. The returns from letting a holiday home can be considerable, but there are some costs to be considered too. You will also have to be willing to de-personalise your apartment to take an account of the wide variety of visitors that will stay in your home for let.

This article attempts to break down some of the costs and benefits of holiday lettings.


  • Buying your Holiday Home.
  • Signing on fee and commission.
  • Changeover Costs - If you are going to employ a Property Manager rather than do the changeovers yourself, there will be costs associated for cleaning and linen.
  • Utilities - There will be costs for gas, electricity, water and council tax. There may also be additional costs for broadband, digital TV, garden services, upkeep and pool maintenance, where applicable.
  • Damages and replacement of items due to natural wear & tear
  • Insurance.

Income & Return:

  • The potential equity in your Holiday Cottage over time. 
  • Booking Revenues. 
  • Add to Basket items :: These may include: Pets, WiFi, Travel Cot, High Chair, Beach Towels, Bath Towels, secondary Firewood Supply and where applicable, Hot Tub usage. 

Tax Incentives for a Holiday Letting Business:

Holiday lettings is recognised as a business (generating earned income) by HMRC, unlike other forms of property letting, which HMRC class as investment income (unearned income)

There are some valuable tax incentives for letting your property as a holiday home, but there are some exacting HMRC rules which you must follow:

Allowable Expenses against Holiday Lettings Business Income:

  • Repairs and maintenance
  • Decorating
  • Heating & lighting
  • Legal and letting agent’s fees
  • Management fees and cleaning costs
  • Holiday Cottage Insurance
  • Mortgage interest payments

Lossess & Tax Advantages - Holiday Lettings Businesses:

  • If letting your holiday cottage makes a loss, for example :: after considerable holiday cottage renovation, you can offset this against any other income you may have from any other source and thereby reduce your overall tax bill.
  • Married couples can maximise tax allowances by having the property in the name of the lowest earner. This is particularly advantageous if the lowest earner is in the lower rate tax band and the higher earner is in the higher band.
  • When you sell you holiday letting you will be subject to capital gains tax as you would if you sold a buy-to-let property, but at a more advantageous rate.
  • It is possible to avoid paying capital gains tax altogether if you invest the proceeds of your sale in another holiday letting property within 3 years. This is known as roll-over relief.
  • Roll-over relief can also potentially be used to avoid paying capital gains tax on sales of other types of businesses, where the proceeds are invested into a Self Catering Holiday Lettings business.

Mortgages for Holiday Homes and Lettings:

  • One way to finance your holiday let is to increase the mortgage on your main residence.
  • Borrowing against your own home may mean you can buy a second home outright, or at least put down a substantial deposit.
  • Alternatively, you may want to buy an established holiday letting business from the owner which may include a portfolio of holiday cottages or town houses. Business finance is available from the banks.

Why use a letting agent? 

Holiday Cottage to Let

Pet Friendly Cottages | Dog Friendly Self Catering Accommodation

by Justin Beckley1. June 2012 13:03

Devon is without doubt, one of the most beautiful places in the world, with endless rolling green countryside and beautiful sandy beaches and what better way to enjoy it than in the company of your best friend, your four legged best friend that is.

Whether it is a soothing stroll or a harder hike that you and your dog prefer, you will find the perfect place for your pooches paws to pound with many walks to discover and paths to choose, from beaches and rivers to woods and open fields, it is all of this and more that makes Devon the best location for dog friendly holidays.

A family holiday really would not be complete without your four legged friend coming along for the adventure, staying in a dog friendly cottage that doesn’t just tolerate dogs, but actively welcomes them makes all the difference to your holiday experience because you know that if your dog is happy you will be happy. Once you have settled into your cosy cottage, grab a lead, your dog and the essential poo bags, and head off on a great adventure together.

From Poms and Pugs, to Newfies and Spaniels there is a route guaranteed to put a wag in the tail and a bounce in the step of your canine companion. For the smaller and perhaps older dog there are gentle costal paths with stunning views for you and plenty to sniff at for your dog. For the more daring and agile dogs there are beautiful woodland walks with rivers in which they can frolic and frisk to their doggy heart’s content. Stopping at one of South West's wonderful country pubs for a cream tea or pub lunch in the garden will give you and your pet a chance to rest and recuperate for the journey back.

If your dog is a beach lover then there are plenty of those to enjoy. Some of the main Devon beaches do not welcome dog visitors during the summer season but there are plenty of blue flag beaches that do so you will be able to enjoy the wide open space and sea as much as you like.

Returning to your dog friendly cottage at the end of a great day of walking, sniffing, running and playing your dog can relax in a home from home environment while you put your feet up and get some rest ready for tomorrows adventure.

About Choice Cottages

Choice Cottages specialise in providing quality self catering holiday cottages to let in Devon, Somerset, Cornwall & Dorset in the UK.

We are an expanding family run company with offices in Bideford, Barnstaple, and Braunton and have a friendly, experienced team providing guests with the personal touch.

We have a wide portfolio of quality hand-picked self catering cottages to let in the South West and are proud of our high levels of service to holiday makers.

These well-appointed Devon Cottages will offer you and your family, fantastic access to the designated areas of outstanding natural beauty and inspiring scenery in North Devon and the best weather in England.

We currently specialise in the West Country Counties with many properties in the popular Seaside areas of: Croyde Bay, Saunton, WoolacombeLee Bay, Westward Ho!, Appledore, Bideford, Teignmouth, Lynton and Lynmouth. In addition, a selection of properties are available for the Country and town locations of: Barnstaple, Braunton, GeorgehamExmoorHartland and Torrington

With hundreds of hand-picked properties to choose from, you are assured of the best of quality, from luxury Holiday Cottages to romantic getaways, pet friendly properties and large traditional thatch Holiday Homes - there is something for everyone’s budget.

Choice Cottages is North Devon's Premier self catering holiday cottage letting agent for owners. We have a growing list of clients who have chosen us to market their holiday home for rent and to deal with their bookings, so why not join us now.

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