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Oversteps House, Salcombe, managed by VisitEngland Accredited Agency Coast & Country Cottages

A holiday is one of the highlights of the year for most people and it is our aim at Coast & Country Cottages to meet or exceed our customers’ expectations. As one of the leading holiday let agencies in South Devon, we are fully committed to providing our home owners and guests with the highest possible levels of accommodation and service.

As part of this commitment and in order to give owners and visitors a label that they can trust, we are proud to be a VisitEngland Quality Accredited Agency. Nationally recognised and acclaimed as an independent assessment body for self-catering accommodation in the UK, this trust mark provides assurance to owners and customers alike.

If you are a property owner and are considering letting your holiday home with Coast & Country Cottages, read on to find out more about what being a VisitEngland Accredited Agency will mean for you.

Oversteps House, Salcombe, managed by VisitEngland Accredited Agency Coast & Country Cottages

What it means to be a VisitEngland Accredited Agency

Being an Accredited Agency is an official rating from the national tourism agency, VisitEngland. The accolade of being an Accredited Agency aims to ensure accountability, in order to boost trust and confidence. At Coast & Country Cottages, we adhere to the specifications set out by VisitEngland, which are designed to help achieve success for property owners as well as fulfil guest expectations for excellence in a holiday home.

Our certified in-house VisitEngland Quality Assurance Executive, Rebecca Harvey, carries out inspections on the services and facilities of all properties in our portfolio, and is experienced in recommending ways to maintain or improve the quality and rating of a holiday home.

Following the strict VisitEngland criteria, our assessor awards properties with an official star rating. This star rating will be displayed on the Coast & Country Cottages website, and the property owner will be awarded with a certificate.

Why we use VisitEngland  

Quality assessments and trusted accreditations are an important element of a customer’s decision to book. Providing a property rating means customers can select a property for their holiday with confidence, each and every time. As VisitEngland are an independent organisation, having a consistent star rating with other agencies across the country means that guests know what to expect from a property. 

“As the official tourism board for England, VisitEngland is recognised and trusted by guests, which helps to increase bookings and reassure customers of the quality of our portfolio of properties.” Rebecca Harvey, Quality Assurance Executive.

We work closely with our owners to achieve high VisitEngland standards and they understand the need to maintain and improve their holiday homes on an ongoing basis, to meet customer expectations.

2 The Manor House, Dartmouth, managed by Coast & Country Cottages

Are all Coast & Country Cottages properties required to have a VisitEngland assessment?

As a VisitEngland Accredited Agency, all Coast & Country Cottages properties are given a VisitEngland star rating when joining our portfolio. Every property is required to meet VisitEngland’s stringent minimum entry requirements.

After the initial joining assessment, properties will be graded once every 12 months in order to ensure that our ratings are up to date, and that the hard work put in by our property owners is being recognised and rewarded.

Assessments are carried out each year to ensure that guests expectations continue to be met, and also to give advice and guidance to owners that are looking to increase their rating.” Rebecca Harvey, Quality Assurance Executive.

What’s in a VisitEngland assessment?

During assessments, our assessor will work to strict criteria set out by VisitEngland. Scoring is awarded for specific aspects of the service and accommodation, with each element assessed acress 1-5 grading bands. The assessment is objective, and judgement will not be made on any aspect of your property based on style or personal taste. The aim is to add quality without taking away any of the character and style of the property.

Here is a brief overview of a few of the sections covered in a VisitEngland report:

  • The exterior of the building: This includes both physical appearance and overall ‘kerb’ appeal.
  • Gardens and parking spaces: The overall appearance and facilities are considered, including the level of privacy, peace and quiet.
  • The management of the property: Having suitable welcome procedures, local information and support in the event of any issues (some of which will be covered by the Coast & Country Cottages team).
  • Cleanliness: This is of paramount importance to guests, so cleanliness of high standard must be maintained throughout the property, whatever the star rating.
  • Living areas: Decoration, furniture, lighting and space of living areas are all contributing factors.
  • Bedrooms: Types of furniture, quality mattresses and linen play an important part of a star rating. Using the Coast & Country Cottages ‘Travel Lite’ laundry facility will ensure you have this covered.
  • Bathrooms: Facilities and elements such as lighting and ventilation play a role.
  • Kitchen: Quality and condition of appliances and utensils are a factor.
  • Additional facilities: These are optional, but if provided the quality, presentation and ease of use will be considered in the assessment of the overall score.

The full details of the assessment scheme are available from the VisitEngland website or from our Quality Assurance Executive, Rebecca Harvey.

To help you prepare for your assessment, we’ve put together a few suggestions of small changes to improve your holiday home.

What is a good VisitEngland rating?

VisitEngland assessments are scored as a percentage out of 100, which translates into star ratings from 1 star to 5 star gold. Grades are displayed on our website, and all 5 star awarded properties are added to the ‘luxury’ section of our website.

22 Dart Marina, Dartmouth, managed by Coast & Country Cottages

All Coast & Country Cottages holiday homes currently meet a minimum 3 star standard, with the majority of properties achieving a rating between 4 star and 5 star gold. If your property falls below a 3 star standard, our locally-based team will work with you to suggest ways to boost your rating.

VisitEngland’s unique 5 star gold award is given in recognition of exceptional quality. This award helps customers find those extra special places where the owner goes the extra mile, whatever the size, style or type of property.

At Coast & Country Cottages, we understand that quality is the key to success within the modern hospitality industry. For the self-catering sector to be successful and competitive both nationally and internationally, it is important that standards are set high and continue to improve.

If you have questions about owning a holiday home, be sure to read answers to some of our most frequently asked questions on our blog: Owning a holiday home – FAQ’s. Or, read our article ‘what is the cost of running a holiday let for an overview of the top 9 costs of running a holiday cottage.

For more information about letting your holiday home, click here to request a free copy of our Owners Guide today. Alternatively, please call our team on 01548 843773.