katies-bath-blog

Wow, we’ve been busy!

The Bath Holiday Company - Crows Nest - BlogWell, it’s been all fun here at The Bath Holiday Company! That’s not strictly true actually because we’ve all been working incredibly hard getting all our new properties ready to offer to our guests! We are terribly excited about the unique homes we have and we’re so proud of their quirkiness and character. You’re going to love them!

Whether you’d like to stay on a farm, in a chapel, in a country cottage or a city apartment, we’ve got an amazing choice for you. We’re so lucky in Bath to have such beautiful countryside all around the city and we can now offer you rural places to stay that are very close to Bath to give you the best of both worlds. Look at the ‘Our Properties’ page for more details.

Crow’s Nest is owned by the lovely Caro, whose nickname is Crow. This nest is one that she would love to live in herself but she lives in the farmhouse so that she can look after the animals on the farm and make sure that you have fresh produce to buy from her fabulous farm shop. Do feel free to have a gentle wander and see the newborn lambs, one of whom Caro bottle-feeds herself. Crow’s Nest has spectacular views that you have to see to believe and is a very special place to stay. It’ll get booked up fast so take advantage of our introductory offers and get in quick in case Caro moves in herself!

The Old Inn Farmhouse also has converted farm buildings to offer you. The Hare, The Pheasant and The Partridge have been completely renovated into luxurious holiday apartments with everything you need for a lovely relaxing stay. The owners have left no stone unturned to make sure that you are cosy and comfy. Again, just a short drive to Bath and very special introductory offers available. Book all three if you want to share with friends or family!

If you like quaint English Wiltshire villages with their lovely stone, historic churches, village cafés & pubs, then we have Roman Cottage in Colerne for you. A cute, cosy cottage, great for a couple, but with room to bring your baby or someone else to sleep in your room. It’s very peaceful here and very romantic if you’re that way inclined. Another beautiful building and more very special introductory offers. And again, if there are lots of you, we of course have Euridge Cottages just up the road too… We are spoiling you!

We’ll keep you posted on our other new holiday lets. The converted chapel may need its own special mention. I did get very excited when I had a look around – amazing place! Watch this space!

We Love Rugby!

six-nations-rugby-ballHere at The Bath Holiday Company we love our rugby so we’re so happy that the Six Nations tournament is upon us. A weekend of rugby is the best kind of weekend in our view! (We love all sport actually!) It’s great to see the Bath Rugby players being picked for their countries and Bath have always featured heavily in the Six Nations. I remember a few years ago there being 9 of our players in the England squad!

Wins for England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland were great to watch. If you visit Bath during these games, the pubs are bursting! It’s a great atmosphere. And of course when Bath themselves are playing, the city is packed to capacity and buzzing! If you can’t get a ticket it is almost as much fun to watch it in a pub in Bath and to experience the street buzz. If you open the windows in a couple of our holiday let apartments you can enjoy the real roars from the crowd whilst watching it on the tv! It’s also possible to watch the big screen at the ground from across the river and really feel the noise! You can’t get much closer than that to any ground without a ticket.

With Spring just around the corner and the sun already starting to shine on our Recreation Ground here, right in the centre of the city, things are looking up. We have a very special, old-fashioned ground with unique views here in Bath. If you are lucky enough to get a ticket, come and stay at one of our holiday homes just a hop, skip and a jump away! Don’t jump straight back into the car and go home! Make a few days of it, enjoy the shopping, restaurants and cafes too and bring the family. Make yourselves at home. It’ll be a few days to remember I promise!

Everyone is Welcome!

The Bath Holiday Company - WelcomeJanuary is very nearly over and the bone-chilling temperatures have risen slightly, which I for one am very grateful for. I quite like a bit of rain instead of being freezing and it doesn’t really affect a visit to Bath. In fact, now is a good time to visit Bath – unlike a beach holiday! And with all the upheaval and unrest in the world at the moment, Bath is a very good choice – and everyone is welcome!

Talking of which, another welcome comes in the form of a new full-time member of staff on February 1st, which is very exciting for us. He has lots of experience in lettings and customer service and has won ‘employee of the month’ for the last few months at his former workplace. We are excited to have him on the team and to continue our excellent customer service for our guests. Welcome on-board David!

Meanwhile we continue to pick the best holiday let properties in and around Bath to offer to our guests to give them a good choice. We have some lovely holiday homes coming on to the market soon and we’ll let you know about them in more detail as soon as we can.

Keep in touch with your enquiries and also if you would like advice regarding holiday letting your own home or property.

Happy 2017!

New Homes For Your Stay!

The Bath Holiday Company - Hilltop Hideaway - 01January is traditionally the quietest time for holiday lettings in the U.K. so we’ve taken the time to add some more properties to our portfolio to give you more choice of places to stay. Our range is getting more and more diverse so that, availability permitting, we can offer you whatever your requirements desire. We choose our holiday homes very carefully so that we can remain an independent family business and still give you the very personal service that we are proud of.

We now have a beautiful modern family house, less than a 10 minute walk into the centre of Bath. It’s such a rare find and a great place to stay because it has parking for 2 – 3 cars, is in a quiet cul-de-sac, with a large garden with barbeques and an amazing sunken garden for socializing. It’s a great house for a get-together – sleeping 7 people. Have a look under ‘Our Properties’ – it’s called St. James’ Park.

If you prefer to be a bit out of Bath and in the wilderness, we have a real getaway in the hills. Sleeping 4, with incredible views, a wood-burner, balcony and garden, it is just beautiful. All of this and yet just a 10 minute drive into Bath at most. Find more details under ‘The Hilltop Hideaway’.

So there is still no shortage of hotels in Bath and they are popping up all the time but we are very happy to be able to offer holiday homes to let so that you can all stay together. Even if you are a couple, it’s so much nicer to have more than just a room and we will do all we can to make sure that you have everything that you need for your stay so watch this space for more options in the coming months.

As a property owner, please let us know if you would like advice on renting out your own home for holiday lets also and we will give you no-nonsense, no obligation advice for the best way forward for you and your property.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

festive-tbhcI hope you are all ready for Christmas? Only 2 more days to go! I always leave my wrapping until the last minute and then regret it, as it always takes so much longer than anticipated. Christmas Eve is usually a bit ruined by the last minute panic, doing the job I hate the most! I know people who have Christmas all wrapped up (pardon the pun) by October however and I hope you all have it all more under control than I do.

Bath has been very busy for the last 6 weeks or so. Not just the shops, Christmas markets and restaurants but all the hotels, bed and breakfasts, holiday lets and our own lovely holiday homes. Our laundry company has been working so hard to make sure that everyone has lovely clean, crisp, cotton bed linen for their warm beds and fluffy towels for their baths. Our housekeepers have been busy cleaning, sweeping and polishing to make sure that everything is clean and sparkly. All our guests have to do is shop, relax and sleep!

Christmas Day is beautiful in Bath. There is hardly a soul to be seen and this makes it very very special as it’s like going back in time. I would highly recommend it for a walk around the quiet streets. It’s not an experience that can be bought and it’s the only day when everything is closed so it is a rare treat and it’s well worth doing if you get the chance. All our holiday lets are full over Christmas so we hope that all our guests will do this.

So Happy Christmas everyone! Have a look at our website over the holidays and pick a property for January – we will be releasing some very good deals to help you get over the stress and rush of Christmas. Visit the Bath Thermae Spa and pamper yourselves a little. Come and relax in Bath at one of our holiday lets and get your breath back. We are always open!

Market Research – Live Like a Guest!

the-bath-holiday-company-live-like-a-guest-www-holiday-lets-comThe Bath Holiday Company did some mid-week research last night. We stayed at one of our lovely properties so that we could feed back to the owner on what, if anything, needed doing to make sure that it is absolutely perfect for our guests. Well, I wish I lived there! I just had the best night’s sleep I’ve had for a long time! Such a comfy bed! The apartment was very warm (outside it was minus 2!), spotlessly clean, in a lovely, pretty, quiet but central location and extremely comfortable and relaxing.

Now I’ve lived in Bath for a long time, so I know all about the beautiful locations but it was so good to experience the, well, the experience of holiday lets. I don’t go away an awful lot because I live in one of the best holiday destinations in the world and I’ve stayed at only a few holiday homes in my time. Most of my experience comes from years and years of feedback from our own guests. So to do this first-hand was wonderful and I’m so happy to say, 10/10 – already perfect!

I made a delicious breakfast of scrambled duck’s eggs and smoked salmon (sounds posh but the bread was reduced in Waitrose – 29p!) – all easily made in the substantial kitchen that was completely fully-equipped. A pot of tea was a treat because at home I always bung a tea bag in the cup! (Tea and coffee was provided.) Then a quick load of the dishwasher and a fresh and bracing 5 minute walk to our city centre office.

I like hotels, but this was so much better! It was so good to be able to eat whenever it suited us and eat and drink whatever I fancied. Just a 5 minute walk from the pub and then a lovely relaxing evening in! I wish I could go back tonight but at least I know for sure that in future I will be booking holiday lets every time when I do go away from our beautiful city and its incredible apartments. All the feedback we’ve had has always been so positive but it was good to experience it first-hand even though I didn’t have time to get the full benefits as it was just one night and then up and off in the morning.

My recommendations would be: Stay a few nights, live like a local, relax and come and go as you please! Oh, and for the owners: It really was perfect- thank you!

Bath Christmas Market

the-bath-holiday-company-christmas-marketWell, I think we all have to accept that Christmas is well and truly, madly and deeply here! The lights have been up in Bath for weeks, the shops are full of Christmas goodies and the television ads are hotting up their competition. I haven’t seen the Coca-Cola one yet but all the food shops are pushing their way to the front! Marks and Spencer have even invented a Mrs.Clause in an attempt to win the war! The jury is still out on the bouncing dog… if you haven’t seen it already, you will soon!

Christmas in Bath is very beautiful and the Christmas spirit lives here very happily. The Christmas market is a sight to behold even if you don’t fancy shopping. Germanesque wooden huts are huddled all around Bath Abbey, selling everything from cheese to chocolates, hats to handbags, puddings to pies. Mulled wine and mince pies below the Bath Abbey amongst chatter and shivers, in the evening glow from its broad shoulders are some things that everyone should try to experience at least once in their lives.

Running from 24th November until 11th December it really is a treat to come to Bath to see. Come and stay in the hotels, holiday lets, with friends, wherever you can. Don’t just come for the day – the evenings are too good to miss here. Have a drink in the very realistic pop-up Ski Bar, enjoy the late night shopping and start all over again in the morning.

Christmas may seem to come earlier every year but a Christmas stay in Bath is really worth the effort, even if you fancy it in November.

Live like a Local

the-bath-holiday-company-www-holiday-lets-comIt’s the strapline of AirBnB, which encapsulates everything great about Bath holiday lets. We wanted to write this blog a while ago and one of our latest reviews reminded us that we needed to get on and do it!

“I feel like this is what they had in mind when they started Airbnb: a home away from home. High ceilings, large rooms, a gorgeous view from the front window, beautifully decorated and all the amenities to make for a great stay. Located right in the heart of Bath, it was the perfect location for doing all of the things on our Bath list. It is also just a short walk to the train station which was perfect as we didn’t have to go far with our carry ons. I loved staying here as it gave us a feel of what it would be like to be a local in Bath.”

A holiday let allows guests to see how locals live from so many aspects, right down to even the fabric of the building. The alternative, often a prefabricated hotel room could mean you are in any city in the world. One of my earliest memories of travelling abroad was the strange light-switches, much larger than our traditional UK ones and probably far more practical as it tends to be dark when you need to switch the lights on so the bigger target the better. Of course it goes much further than light-switches – feeling like you are part of the community allows for a much deeper cultural experience and appreciation of the city. I was recently in Venice in a great holiday let that I can’t recommend highly enough (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/12732978). Stepping out of the door, I was accosted by an Italian lady who started off speaking in Italian at 100 miles per hour evidently asking for directions and though slightly frustrated that I could not help her I got a warm feeling of belonging.

Having been born and bred in Bath I can truly call myself a Bathonian, much like the rest of the team. For us it’s a bit like having a friend to stay and you want to make sure everything is looking its best and to show off everything in its best light – not just our properties & their immediate surroundings but the city as a whole. We love to give recommendations and allow people to explore and enjoy Bath beyond the beaten tourist track.

They are obviously paid the big bucks but the marketing people at AirBnB have really hit the nail on the head with ‘Live like a Local’ and we are proud to offer a different side of Bath to our holiday let guests.

Historic Green Street

green-street-the-bath-holiday-company-www-holiday-lets-comSo today, I had a very interesting history lesson when out buying fabrics for a very exciting lampshade making course! The course is on Saturday at Homefront Interiors, which is a gorgeous new interior design shop in Margaret’s Buildings that I have fallen in love with! It’s only a few doors up from one of our most popular holiday let apartments and it sells the most exciting vintage & contemporary furniture, using beautiful and sustainable materials. Please do visit their website www.homefrontinteriors.co.uk or even better, go and visit them at number 10.

Margaret’s Buildings in itself is an extraordinary piece of history but we’ll keep that for another day.

Anyway! The history lesson was in fact in Green Street from the lovely gentleman who owns Fashion Fabrics there. He has been there for 48 years! Which made me think he must have one of the longest-running shops in Bath. But no, a few doors along is Bartlett and Sons the butchers who have been there even longer than he has and Harris’s the artists’ supplies shop that has been there for around the same amount of years

It made me think… these are the kind of shops you don’t see very often anymore so I asked the shopkeeper if this was the oldest part of Bath. He told me that the Fashion Fabrics building was built in 1624 and there used to be a right of way running alongside the shop for cows to walk from the medieval original city wall to the fields beyond. The street is called Green Street because it used to be the village green! It does make you think…

Many people come to Bath to see the Georgian city but the building up of Bath is a much longer and I think, more fascinating story. Many of our guests who stay at our holiday homes (and the many hotels in Bath) like to come to Bath to shop but we have pretty much forgotten when most people made their own clothes (business was absolutely booming for Fashion Fabrics until the mid-eighties) and before that when we bought each item from a different shop. Even in the very late seventies you could still only buy your clothes from department stores, which were still quite fuddy-duddy so it was often better to get a pattern and make your own. I remember the first shop to sell clothes that wasn’t a department store and we all used to go mad for it but even in the eighties I still made some of my clothes.

Which reminds me, when I first came to Bath, Homefront Interiors was a very busy wool shop!

I’ve come back to the office to book in more guests to our holiday homes and I keep imagining Green Street as the village green and then the butchers, the bakers, the candlestick makers all setting up shop before the big companies took over. Apparently when Fashion Fabrics opened up 48 years ago, there was a butcher, a baker, a book shop, an artist’s shop & before that a sweet shop, a tobacconist and a silversmiths. Oh, those were the days! And we continue to support our local independents in the vain hope that one day these days will return!

Let Us Look After Your Home

the-bath-holiday-company-www-holiday-lets-comAs Taylor Swift will tell you, you’re always going to get haters! There’s been some negative press recently about Air BnB and the way it runs its (phenomenally successful) business, and in true British style, our lovely media have felt the need to get on the bandwagon of slagging off success.

As a holiday let homeowner, Air BnB have personally changed my life for the better, bringing me huge success in enabling me to share my already holiday let home rental with thousands of incredibly grateful, happy, good people. My home has never been damaged, the guests all feel honoured to be allowed to stay there. That may sound extreme but it’s entirely true. In return for moving out of my own home after my family grew up and left (too big for just me), I pay another landlord full rent to live at their property. What’s not to like? Everyone’s a winner.

British media… I give visitors to Bath from all over the world the opportunity to stay in a stunning location in central Bath, all together as a family or as a group of friends, at a price that is so way below the prohibitive Bath hotel prices that it’s often the only way. These lovely people, in return, respect and love my apartment and show more appreciation towards me than I actually think they need to as they are also paying me a reasonable sum of money that everyone involved is happy with. I didn’t need a home of that size any more, I wanted to share it; Air BnB give people the opportunity to do that.

It’s a mutual agreement. A mutual arrangement. It is based on relationship building. Wasn’t that the whole point of AirBnB from the start?

If there are rogue holiday let landlords on Air BnB (and I have only heard this from the media and not in real life), then that is unforgiveable. But this is something we as a company – The Bath Holiday Company – can guarantee against. From our portfolio of properties, the public can read all our reviews – we have 175 x 5 star reviews – check us out – it’s impressive! Everyone’s happy!

And as a company we encourage and want regulation. We use contracts to protect everyone, we use insurance to protect everyone, we take damage deposits. We like black and white, we like rules and regulations, we like to protect everyone involved, from our homeowners to the guests to the housekeepers, to the neighbours, to the local community.
Our directors were born and bred here in Bath. It’s all implicitly important to us. That’s what we do as a holiday let company.

If there is any good to come out of a negative media campaign it has to be some sort of improvement to the attacked industry. Random tales of damage & pushing up local rents (absolutely unfounded & ridiculous argument by the way) & non-existent holiday homes are all very well but where is the counter-argument? Where is the proof of hundreds of thousands of very happy, good experience stories? We have them – ask us! We obviously don’t want random rogue landlords giving the industry a bad name but more than anything, we don’t want unsatisfied guests or holiday let owners having a bad experience. That is what we do, that is what we protect against. That is what the Bath Holiday Company are here for! To make the whole experience stress-free for everyone!

So, British media… please stop. In this day and age with earning a decent living being so hard, leave Air BnB alone. Air BnB have opened up a whole new world (literally) to people who can’t afford crazy high hotel prices & the very people you like to attack to earn a living from the one thing they do have – a home.

And our British Government… if you feel that there is anything that really does need doing to protect everyone involved in this relatively new way of providing travel & income opportunities, please do look at it.