Make Your Guests Happy With A Few Books

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Creating an appropriate listing, adding a few pictures highlighting your property, bringing a real identity are the keys to your rental success, but that’s not all!

Travelers now want to feel at home, even across the world.


A few tricks can help you create a unique atmosphere in your property and allow guests to forget they’re renting a vacation house. Your goal is to create a home away from home and as you could see above, our first trick involves sharing a few books with your travelers.

Why sharing books?

Discover how a few books can enhance your guests’ experience and their comments.

This tip is cheap and easy to set up: we all have a bookstore or a book fair nearby! (If that’s not the case, you can still order some used books online).

Providing a few books in your rentals will help you bond with your guests: they want to know the local life, which means getting to know you a bit more. That’s also a great opportunity for them to relax and feel comfortable in your rental. After all, what’s better than a good book after a long day of walk or visits?

Which books should you get?

  • Local and international classic books, but also best sellers: keep an eye on books ranked by Amazon! Depending on countries, you can check which ones are most sold and which ones are international successes. Ever heard about this famous book A Year In Provence, by Peter Mayle? Provide a few copies in your property and your guests will be more than happy to discover some of them!

  • You can also subscribe to a local and a TV magazine.

  • Add a few regional guides to your collection, in several languages: French, English, German, Spanish and Italian, for example.

  • Finally, you could also suggest your travelers to leave one or more books behind after they leave, and ask them to add a note for the future guests. This is one more occasion to receive positive comments and attract more travelers who enjoy this spirit of sharing.

There are a thousand ways you can satisfy your guests and being on holiday is just the perfect moment to start reading a good book!

A Few Words With High Park Barns

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A couple of weeks ago, we introduced you to the charming Nantucket Retreats properties in Massachusetts, USA. For this second part, we’re crossing the ocean and taking you to the wonderful region of Devon, UK. Nestled between the Cornwalls and both the Bristol and English Channel, this peaceful yet typical region is a true haven of peace for anyone who’s keen to discover the United Kingdom.

Hi there, could you start by introducing yourself in a few words?

We’re Paul and Anne-Louise White. We moved to North Devon in April 2014 with our sons; Alexander and Elliot and their two dogs: Monty and Bertie. Previously, we had lived in Dubai for 20 years so it was a bit of a change! We wanted to do holiday barns so that we could spend more time as a family, as our boys are only 6 and 4 years old.

What kind of rentals do you manage?

We moved into the property in April 2014 and have spent the last three years renovating the barns. We describe ourselves as being in the perfect location as we are in the countryside yet only 3kms from the beaches of North Devon. We now have 7 holiday rentals ranging from a one bedroom barn to a 7 bedroom country house. All have been finished to a very high standard.

What's your best memory as a host?

All our guests rave about Paul's home made scones that we include in the welcome gift basket. We like our guests to start their holiday with a homemade cream tea. We have had chefs staying in our properties so it does put Paul under pressure to make sure his scones are good!

In which house you manage would you like to spend your next holidays?

We always spend a couple of nights in all our properties just so we can make sure that they are fully equipped and comfortable for our guests.  We have been so busy with our holiday rentals that we haven't had time to think about a holiday!


What makes High Park Barns so special?

We made the decision to install a wood pellet fed bio mass boiler. All the properties are heated by the bio mass. We also built an indoor swimming pool and have a 6 seater hot tub for our guests to enjoy. The pool is heated by our bio mass boiler and so is at 30 degrees - we like it warm!

We have 14 acres of grounds and our guests are welcome to enjoy the gardens as well as the private lake. We live on site so are always on hand to assist our guests with any questions, e.g. where is the best place to walk their dog or which restaurant would we recommend.


- Paul and Anne-Louise, High Park Barns owners.

You can also follow them on Facebook!

A Few Words With Nantucket Retreats

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2017 just begun and among our New Year’s Resolutions, was our wish to give YOU a chance to speak and share your experience as a vacation rental owner or manager.

Because managing holiday properties is more than just a job, it is a unique commitment towards your guests.

Let’s introduce this shared experience on vacation rentals with Nantucket Retreats, a collection of houses situated on the island of Nantucket, Massachussets, USA.

Hi Kenan, could you start by introducing yourself in a few words?

In 2004, I returned to Nantucket to help a friend fix up a rental property. A visiting family arrived next door, and to their dismay the housekeepers had not finished cleaning the house. My friend and I felt so bad, that we went over and finished cleaning it for them. Afterwards, over a few cocktails and laughs, we talked about the rental process and their experience.

The entire process was very impersonal. You arrive to the island, pick up a packet with keys, directions, island guides and miscellaneous sales brochures. You were now on your own to find the property, figure out where everything is in the house and how the mechanics work.

I thought to myself, what a crazy way to run a hospitality business – This is lodging and lodging is hospitality, not just real estate. I knew I could provide a better service and experience for visitors.

Nantucket Retreats emerged to provide a complete vacation service. We begin by finding the ideal location, then help to plan the perfect vacation, from event tickets, dinner reservations, grocery shopping and anything else you may need. When you arrive on the island, we meet you at the home to acquaint you to the property and answer any questions. If you need a ride, we will even pick you up! Enjoy your undisturbed visit, but know we are here when you need us. Just like a hotel concierge.

The vacation rental business has changed since we first began. More and more homes are operated in a similar fashion and even the real estate agents are offering more services. But one thing stands clear with Nantucket Retreats – yes, we are a licensed real estate company, but our focus is on our guest’s vacation experience and not selling them a home.

At Nantucket Retreats, we specialize in vacation rentals. So when your travel plans include Nantucket, I hope you will consider staying with us, and letting our family take care of your family!

What kind of rentals do you manage?

We manage 6 properties on Nantucket. Mostly larger single family homes, and a couple of townhouses.

What's your best memory as a host?

I've had a lot of great memories over the years, which is what makes this business so rewarding.

When someone only gets a few weeks off a year and they have chosen you as their host, it’s critical to make sure you provide an exceptional experience. The most recent was a couple on their honeymoon who had never been to Nantucket before. This was more than just their typical vacation and we did everything we could to make sure everything was as close to perfect as possible. The personal email I received after they returned home, thanking us for a truly amazing honeymoon was so rewarding. This is what keeps me motivated every day.   They have also rebooked their first anniversary vacation with us for this year as well!

In which house you manage would you like to spend your next holidays?

Some of our guests prefer larger homes, however, I prefer a smaller quaint cottage with spectacular views. I would choose The Cottage, which is a small 2-bedroom quintessential Nantucket cottage that overlooks Sesachacha Pond. It is just a couple of minutes to walk down to the beach to go sailing and I would enjoy sitting on the front porch, watching people walking by as I sipped on a cocktail. There is also a private patio out back to grill, have a family dinner or just be alone and read a book. To me, it's a peaceful, cozy setting and this is where I would choose to stay for a truly relaxing vacation.

What makes Nantucket Retreats so special?

Our guests are reserving more than just a vacation rental. They are reserving a vacation experience. Our mission is to pamper our guests with casual luxury accommodations and exceptional guest services. In order to fulfill our mission, we aim to better understand our guests and their needs.

-Kenan, Nantucket Retreats manager.

You can also find them on Facebook!