Coast & Country Cottages – a VisitEngland standard

March 25th, 2015 | By Lucy Jelf

Higher Hill Barn Web Versions 001 (2)


How many of Coast & Country Cottages’ holiday properties are assessed by VisitEnglandEach and every one….!!

You can now book with even greater confidence in the knowledge that all our properties will have been formally graded ahead of the 2015 season.

In 2010 Coast & Country Cottages’ directors Andrew and Karen Jones made the decision to introduce a formal assessment process for the agency’s 400 or so holiday properties.  At that time only a small number of companies were offering their customers an independent grading of the accommodation quality, with most promoting their own ‘in-house’ star rating or subjective assessment.

Andrew and Karen could appreciate that in spite of the agency’s very detailed property descriptions and wide range of internal/external photographs, the majority of new and potential customers needed some additional re-assurance before making a commitment to book a holiday. The nationally-recognised VisitEngland scheme was subsequently chosen as the most exacting and credible option.  The annual quality assessment was initially limited to ‘new’ properties joining the agency from 2010 but it soon became clear that many holiday homeowners could see the benefit of joining – by the end of the first season almost 100 properties had been assessed.

Over the 3-4 years since that launch the number of Coast & Country Cottages’ properties graded under the scheme has continued to grow rapidly, and in 2013 the agency made a commitment to have all assessed by the end of last year (2014), in good time for the new season ahead!  (Whilst this has been an enormous challenge the agency is very proud to have achieved this objective in the time available).  Each grading – the vast majority of which are at 4 or 5 Star level, many with the added ‘Gold’ award – are displayed on the relevant property page of the agency’s website – – all 5-Star awarded properties are additionally linked to the ‘Luxury’ section on the site.

The full details of the assessment scheme are available from the VisitEngland website.  The following quote from the website outlines the process and some of the criteria required to achieve a certain rating:

“The assessors work to strict criteria to check the available facilities. A quality score is awarded for every aspect of the layout and design of the accommodation, the ease of use of all the appliances, the comfort of the beds, the range and quality of kitchen equipment and, most importantly, cleanliness. For very high scoring properties a Gold award may be awarded. The more stars, the higher the quality and the greater the range of facilities and services provided”.

In very simple terms the star ratings are summarised by VisitEngland as follows: 1 Star = ‘Acceptable’; 2 Star = ‘Quite Good’; 3 Star = ‘Good’; 4 Star = ‘Very Good’; 5 Star = ‘Excellent’.  Each and every property advertised on the Coast & Country Cottages’ website is assessed to at least a 3-Star standard!

Five years on from their decision to move to independent assessment Andrew and Karen are delighted to see all properties are now covered by the scheme, and believe their customers feel better informed than ever before making that all important holiday home selection!

If you’re thinking of visiting South Devon and are looking for somewhere to stay, check out the beautiful cottages we have on offer: