Magnificent Seven

Magnificent Seven

magnificent 7 main pic

Less than two miles away from seven of Newquay’s world famous beautiful golden sand beaches, Hendra Holiday Park aims to offer something for everybody. Located in glorious countryside, just outside Newquay in Cornwall, with 80-acres of landscaped parkland, Hendra welcomes approximately 1,000 to over 3,500 people a night during the peak season, in a range of accommodation options, including camping, touring, glamping, holiday homes and lodges. It may come as a surprise to many that for such a large park, Hendra has been owned and operated by the same two families for over 47 years. Hendra was started in 1972 with just camping and touring but grew and grew as time went on and now has over 300 luxury holiday homes of different types, sizes and styles and over 600 pitches ranging from standard grass ones to super ones with water, electricity and cable tv connections. Family holidays are Hendra’s passion. The second and third generations of the Hyatt and May families are both involved with the day-to-day running of the Park and the fourth generation are small children themselves. The families live nearby, and with everything, including administration, located on the Park this makes the day-to- day running of the business very efficient. Hendra’s guests span several generations too, many have been coming to Hendra since they were young children and now bring their children and grandchildren to the park – so they have grown with the business. Hendra is passionate about sustainable tourism and is committed to protecting the Cornish heritage and landscape by making sure providing family holidays has no impact on the environment!

SOLAR FARM
Hendra has its own solar farm, which provides over 70% of electricity to the Park, and two Biomass boilers which heat the Oasis Fun Pool using locally sourced wood chips. Hendra’s commitment to being a sustainable business has been recognised with the Gold Award for Sustainable Tourism at the 2016/17 Cornwall Tourism Awards, building on the ‘Winner of Winners’ award at the Cornwall Sustainability Awards in 2011. Hendramagnificent 7 pic 6 not only has great accommodation and a wonderful location, one of the things that keeps guests coming back are the facilities. The Oasis Fun Pools are one of the main attractions of staying on the park. The indoor pool has a river rapid ride to take your breath away, water cannon and geyser for a real soaking, then get drenched under the giant tap, fountains and waterfalls too.
There are three water flumes, the fast and furious high-speed aqua whiz flume, the exciting wet & wild 265ft super flume, and the fun for all gentle fun slide! There’s a brilliant toddlers’ pool for safe water splashy fun with a slide, squirty creatures, and lots of warm water to splash about in! In the summer months the outdoor pool is open, a perfect place for cooling off, with sun loungers around the pool for relaxing in the sun – bliss! There’s so much to do for kids, so t hey won’t be bored. The indoor play centre Henry’s Play Loft will keep little ones occupied for hours, a skate and scooter park for older kids to enjoy their skateboard or scooter in a safe environment, an outdoor gym, a play park and indoor amusements too. Families love the Hendra Safari Train, which goes around the park each morning. Hendra has a range of dining options, the terrace bar and restaurant is open early until late, and a coffee bar offering hot and cold drinks and snacks. There’s a fish and chip takeaway for a traditional seaside supper, or Mario’s Pizzeria for freshly baked pizzas served in its Italian themed restaurant or as takeaway. Both have outside seating, which overlooks the children’s play area. The fun doesn’t stop when the sun goes down. Lots of evening entertainment make a night in our Venue cabaret club a must. The evening starts with mascots Henry and Henrietta Hippo entertaining the kids and then the holiday favourite bingo, followed by live acts on stage including comedians, theme nights, variety acts, game shows, bands, karaoke, talents shows, illusionists and more. Hendra has won many accolades, in 2018 alone it scooped AA Platinum Award ‘elite park’ 5 Pennant rating, Gold 5 Star Visit England ‘exceptional’ quality grading, two South West in Bloom Awards, a Gold award for Tourism and Leisure category, The Bruford Cup for Best Horticultural Display, Platinum Loo of the Year Award and the Hoseasons Diamond Award. The awards show the Park's commitment to excellence as a top destination for family holidays.

MAKING A DIFFERENCE
magnificent 7 pic 3Hendra chooses a charity each year to raise money for, and guests kindly donating an optional 50p on each booking. This is small change but makes such huge difference and last year, together with collecting tine on the park, raffles and other fund raising events Hendra raised a record-breaking £13,398 for Macmillan Cancer Support. This year the chosen charity is the Alzheimer’s society, which is the UK's leading dementia support and research charity. Another way Hendra’s guests help to make their stay green and sustainable is by ‘freecycling’ a facility provided on the park so they can leave behind unwanted holiday items like beach toys, windbreaks and BBQs at the end of their break for other guests to enjoy. The park actively encourages guest feedback, via surveys, reviews and social media, which is always valued and responded to. It’s vital to continue to make Hendra the holiday destination for future generations too, so it’s important to keep improving, developing and maintaining the Park, whilst being sustainable. It is a challenge, but one that’s relished by owners and staff.

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Tranquil Escape – Cofton Holidays

Tranquil Escape

tranquil escape mainCofton Holidays has been welcoming holiday-makers for over 40 years..

Nestled in its very own glorious corner of Devon, surrounded by 80 acres of Devon countryside and close to the pretty coastline of Dawlish Warren, Cofton Holidays has been welcoming holidaymakers from far and wide for over 40 years. Guests return year after year to enjoy its beautiful and convenient location, extensive facilities and wide choice of accommodation to suit the needs of all visitors. Purchased by the late George Jeffery in 1975, Cofton Holidays was transformed from what was a basic operation into the stunning landscaped grounds that it is today. The beautiful gardens and established plants that you can see around the multi award-winning holiday park were created by George. Now, Cofton Holidays continues to run under the Jeffery name, with George’s children Roger, Helen, Mellony and Christopher firmly at the rei ns. Cofton Holidays, Holiday Park of the Year at the Visit Devon Tourism Awards 2018, offers a range of accommodation, entertainment and facilities for the whole family to enjoy. When guests drive through the gates of Cofton, they can immediately escape to a tranquil world, leaving the mundane routine of everyday life behind. Guests are greeted by the newly refurbished reception area with the friendly team on standby, ready to check-in visitors to their home away from home. From stylish holiday homes to indulgent hot tub cottages and luxury Georgian apartments, Cofton Holidays offer a wide range of accommodation for guests to choose from. Cofton’s selection of holiday homes is like no other. With two or three bedroom holiday homes available which can sleep up to six guests, there’s plenty of space for the whole family. The dog friendly Dart holiday home is a great example of the high-quality accommodation available at the South Devon holiday park. The Dart features one double bedroom and one twin and also has an additional sleeping space in the lounge with a fold-out bed. Furry, four-legged guests will feel right at home with the addition of a pet mat, small pet blanket and stainless-steel water and food bowls. Suitable for all seasons, the Dart has full central heating and double glazing, ensuring that the family is kept warm and cosy throughout the winter months.

HOT TUB COTTAGES
Embracing the popularity of hot tub holidays, Cofton launched its range of hot tub cottages in 2016. The three exquisite homes can be found on the Eastdon Estate, set away from the main park yet close enough to enjoy its facilities and entertainment. Each cottage has breath-taking views including classic Devon farmland and beautiful views of the Exe Estuary. Newly refurbished for 2018, Cofton’s five holiday apartments are located within the Georgian Eastdon House on the Eastdon Estate. Interior designer Julie Jeffery transformed the apartments into highend, luxury accommodation complete with elegant furnishings, 55” TVs and high-specification kitchen areas. For those who prefer traditional camping holidays complete with roasted marshmallows and their own home comforts, Cofton Holidays offers a range of camping and touring pitches to suit guests needs. Rated number one for Dawlish campsites on Trip Advisor and holding the coveted AA 5 Pennant Gold Award for its caravan and camping facilities, Cofton Holidays offers grass, hard standing and fully serviced pitches perfect for tents, caravans or motorhomes. The fantastic range of facilities on offer at the family-run holiday park is just one of the reasons why guests return year after year. With two pools, one outside and one indoors, guests can enjoy splashing around whatever the weather.

INDOOR POOLtranquil escape pic 2
The heated indoor pool includes a fun splash pad area and hydrotherapy loungers, perfect for parents to relax on whilst the kids play. Other on-site facilities include a gym, restaurant, pub, steam room, sauna, fitness studio, soft play area, playground, sports wall, outdoor pools and much more. Guests also have access to five coarse fishing lakes, miles of cycle paths and nature trails that take visitors through woodland to the golden sands of Dawlish Warren beach and nature reserve. Cofton Holidays has recently invested £20,000 in its indoor cycling studio in addition to adding brand-new classes to the gym’s timetable, located within Ashburn Springs Spa and Leisure. Widening its kid-friendly activity offering, Cofton Holidays has also invested £50,000 in a new Woodland Adventure Area which features a 25m zip line, a climbing cage, rope ladders, balance beam, balance lines and scramble nets. Free kids’ club take place each day throughout the school holidays, from Easter through to the October half term.

PICTURE-PERFECT
South Devon is home to an abundance of picture-perfect landscapes and attractions. Famous for its beaches, Devon is THE place to go for sand, sun and fun. Cofton Holidays is only a short walk away from the golden sands of the Blue Flag beach at Dawlish Warren and its fascinating Nature Reserve. Also close by is Teignmouth, the location for the 2017 film The Mercy, starring Colin Firth and Rachel Weisz. Cross the bay and you will end up in the picturesque village of Shaldon where the ‘Smugglers Tunnel’ is located. Walk through the tunnel and discover the secluded Ness Cove beach, perfect for a relaxing picnic by the water’s edge. Speaking on behalf of the family, Director Helen Scott is incredibly proud of how Cofton Holidays has developed over the years: “As a family business that’s been running for over 40 years, we know how imt98009portant it is to create a customer experience that guests want to share. We invest in our facilities so that our customers can have an even richer experience, encouraging them to return year after year, generation after generation. Throughout 2019, we will continue to add to our offering which includes expanding our dog friendly accommodation offering.” With so much to see and do in this glorious corner of Devon, it’s no wonder that Cofton Holidays has such a loyal customer base. The Warren family said of their recent visit: “We have had a wonderful experience. The site is very clean, all the staff were friendly and helpful, especially the bar supervisor and the entertainment was second to none. We’ll 100% return.” Peter from London said: “The best holiday park we’ve been to in our motorhome. Our children aged two and four love it. Great facilities, entertainment and activities in one of the best parts of Devon.” Cofton Holidays has secured a number of accolades in the last 12 months including Gold Holiday Park of the Year and Silver Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism awards at the Visit Devon Awards 2018, as well as the Hoseasons Diamond Award for Family Run Lodges and Parks. In February 2019, Cofton Holidays will attend the South West Tourism Excellence Awards as a finalist. It looks like 2019 will be another memorable year for the family-run, South Devon holiday park.

Cofton Holidays
Tel. 01626 890111
www.coftonholidays.co.uk

 

 

Sky No Limit For Hoseasons Team

Sky No Limit - HoseasonsSky No Limit For Hoseasons Team

Team members at Hoseasons in Lowestoft have braved a skydive, taken on the Tour de Broads cycling event and tackled a Tough Mudder, with more plans to climb Snowdon and hold their own Golf Day later this month in their efforts to reach their £10,000 fundraising target. The product team at Hoseasons are taking on this series of fundraising challenges to raise money for the Family Holiday Association, the only national charity providing seaside breaks and day trips for families struggling with issues such as severe and long-term illness, mental health issues, bereavement, domestic violence and disability.

Angie Watson, Head of Fundraising and Comms at the Family Holiday Association, said: “We are thrilled that Hoseasons have set themselves such a fantastic target, and the energy and ambition of the staff involved has proven to be simply wonderful! The support has been fantastic and the money raised will help many, many more families for whom a holiday is a lifeline – giving them relief from daily struggles, a chance to smile together and create precious memories to last them a lifetime. What a gift to give!” Scott Drew, Head of Product at Hoseasons, said: “We’re delighted to work with the Family Holiday Association and support such a worthwhile charity. Taking a break can make a real difference when it comes to family wellbeing and there’s no better place than the seaside to put a smile on people’s faces.”

The Bubble Factor

The Bubble Factor

Hot tubs

Hot tubs are simply too good to resist, offering the bubble factor for holiday lets up and down the country.

The most common Internet search term with accommodation and holiday properties, no-one can afford to ignore the hot tub appeal.
And hot tub investment adds up. The increased pricing of a hot tub accommodation upgrade can see payback in under one year on the initial hot tub investment. Hoseasons and Sykes have both conducted their own independent research and say you can expect a 25% uptake of bookings if offered with a hot tub.
“What most of the holiday park resorts are looking for are simple spas with basic controls, a great warranty and back-upservice,” advises Gareth Jones, of UK Leisure Living, the UK’s reigning Spa Retailer Of the Year.
“A good quality holiday hot tub should last 10 years, no problem,” Gareth points out. “But I would advise to replace a holiday spa every five years,” he continues. “A bit like a car, the older they get, the more things tend to go wrong.
Hot tubs can take a hammering over the course of a season. Covers in particular, typically see toggles ripped. But, as they are heated up from cold every week, compared to every three months in a domestic settings. its the overall wear and tear on the pumps and heating elements that really takes its toll. “Changing the spa when the warranty runs out would also make commercial sense. As a business you can lease or finance them and this a great way of funding hot tubs at your premises. They also have a residual value to sell on after your term has finished.”

COMMERCIAL SENSE
“As with anything in life you get what you pay for! Buy a quality product from the start that will last,” Gareth advises.  “Ensure you get an adequate warranty to match your needs. “Ensure your hot tub supplier has adequate part provisions of core components in the event the tub does break down.  “If you are planning to keep the spa beyond its warranty period check the prices on packs, pumps and heating elements.  You don’t want expensive parts to pay for outside your warranty period,” continues Gareth.  “Don’t forget we live in a world of web reviews and poorly maintained hot tubs are dirty water is any excuse to leave a bad review,” he advises. “This is why its essential staff are adequately trained. I am always a big believer that the tub quality needs to mirror the property.” With new HSG guidelines, parks need to be seen to have product that is compliant. Although the HSG282 is not statutory law, it is considered best practice and is viewed as an approved code of practice. The standard would be used in a court of law asa measure of whether or not a risk holder has complied ‘as far a reasonably practical’ to meet the requirements of the Health &Safety at Work Act 1974.
In accordance with regulations made by the Health & Safety Executive, regular testing of both pH and disinfection should be made at least three times a day and the results logged and kept for at least five years. A monthly microbiological test is also required, testing for Legionella every quarter. “A lot of holiday parks are not aware, or worse still, ignore the Health & Safety guidance that is published relating to hot tub use and control of Legionella in spa pools in business and commercial settings,” comments Chris Brady of 1 Stop Spas,Lincolnshire, who offers a fully compliant Marquis Spa that ismore than fi t for the holiday let purpose.
Working with Marquis Spas, 1 Stop Spas have designed aHSG282 compliant hot tub which also boasts some additional features such as simple auxiliary controls, limited hands-on parts, plus filtration systems and in-line sanitisers to reduce the risk of water related illnesses.

TICKING BOXES
1 Stop Spas’ bestselling holiday hot tub is a Vita Spa Joli,which is a compact shape and has low sides that can easily be incorporated into new or existing decking. The Vita Spa range also uses off the shelf Balboa control system sand pumps, therefore sourcing parts quickly is easy, meaning minimal down time if you were unlucky enough to develop a fault.
Over the past ten years, a significant amount of holiday park operators and holiday let owners have purchased and operate what are in fact domestic hot tubs only designed for home, and not intended for commercial use.
Commercial spas, the type found at health clubs and spas, are generally much larger than the average portable spa with bigger and better filtration and sanitation systems along with other features that suit much heavier bather use.
Says Chris: “The release of HSG282 is very particular for all the right reasons, however, there were little or no hot tubs available on the market that ticked all of the criteria thatHSG282 recommends.
“Now that the industry has taken time to digest the detail released in HSG282, we are starting to see manufacturers designing and producing hot tubs which will be fit for purpose and comply with HSG282 in the very near future.”Chris adds: “The biggest consideration which is often overlooked is aftercare. We recommend that you have the spa serviced at least every six months to ensure any wear and tear is identified early and rectified to avoid breakdowns. It is advisable to team up with a local hot tub retailer, who can provide aftercare on your doorstep.” For holiday park operators, adding a hot tub is an opportunity to enhance visitor appeal and to add a premium to the letting price of the accommodation. Appealing to families as well as couples, for many holidaymakers, having their own hot tub, is the highlight of their break.
Perfect any time of the year, hot tubs are especially indulgent when it is cold outside to add to the lure of an autumn or winter holiday offering. Potentially profitable, there are however, many pitfalls to avoid before taking the plunge and adding a hot tub to your holiday offering. Shrewd operators and owners will look before they leap when it comes to showing duty of care, not to mention doing the necessary sums to ensure a profitable bottom line.

North-Wales based, UK Leisure Living offers 10 holiday hot tubs in its fully-compliant Aspen range from four seater to eight seater in a range of colours and sizes and at different prices.Supplying hot tubs to some of the country’s biggest parks,UK Leisure Living ensures its spas are fit for purpose whether residentially-owned or a holiday let.“Our spas are holiday compliant and have an ozone and in-line chemical feeder as standard,” explains UK Leisure Living’s Gareth Jones.“Our Aspen range have a simple layout and components canbe easily replaced,” adds Gareth.“We stock, in our large showroom, almost all of our holidaycompliant hot tubs. This means if a spa does go down, we can borrow a part of a floor model, repair quickly and get it back up and running very quickly, minimising down time.UK Leisure Living Tel. 0845 034 35 50 www.hottubsnorthwales.biz

North-Wales based, UK Leisure Living offers 10 holiday hot tubs in its fully-compliant Aspen range from four seater to eight seater in a range of colours and sizes and at different prices.Supplying hot tubs to some of the country’s biggest parks,UK Leisure Living ensures its spas are fit for purpose whether residentially-owned or a holiday let.“Our spas are holiday compliant and have an ozone and in-line chemical feeder as standard,” explains UK Leisure Living’s Gareth Jones.“Our Aspen range have a simple layout and components canbe easily replaced,” adds Gareth.“We stock, in our large showroom, almost all of our holiday compliant hot tubs. This means if a spa does go down, we can borrow a part of a floor model, repair quickly and get it back up and running very quickly, minimising down time. * UK Leisure Living - www.hottubsnorthwales.biz *

Away Resorts approached Urban Cedar at a recent Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show as they were interested in its contemporary hot tubs for use at their parks around the UK.Not only did they like the look of the Urban Cedar hot tubs but they also wanted a hot tub which was more commercial and designed specifically for a holiday home use as Urban Cedar’s are.They had experienced problems in the past with other hot tubs which allowed the guests to change the temperature and filter settings. Urban Cedar had a meeting with Away resorts and created a tailored solution to their exact requirements. This included chlorine auto-dosing, tamper proof jets and fitting a dual control system so the guest can only operate the jets and led lights. Away Resorts subsequently placed an order for over 40 hot tubs for three of their developments which were delivered and installed by April 2016. We have continued to work closely with Away resorts and are currently looking at design ideas for 2018. *Urban Cedar Hot Tubs www.urbancedarhottubs.co.uk*

Before you make a decision on which hot tubs are the best fit for your holiday setting, make sure you check out the Riptide range of spas. A quality build with a robust holiday let specification for a long trouble-free experience, Riptide offers a choice of three models. The four, five and six seater options are all available with built-in chlorinators, no pillows and no surface- mounted controls to be interfered with.All of the range offers easy filter removal for faster cleaning and includes courtesy lighting at the front steps to help avoid slips and falls.It is not too late to add a hot tub or two for the 2018 as Riptide has product in stock for immediate delivery. Large orders can be unloaded directly from containers on customers’ sites in just eight weeks.For one-offs or small orders of two to five units, Riptide offer an onsite handover service. For larger orders, Riptide prefer to train the park maintenance team to handle basic service and parts replacements.Riptide Spas www.riptidepools.co.uk

Before you make a decision on which hot tubs are the best fit for your holiday setting, make sure you check out the Riptide range of spas. A quality build with a robust holiday let specification for a long trouble-free experience, Riptide offers a choice of three models. The four, five and six seater options are all available with built-in chlorinators, no pillows and no surface- mounted controls to be interfered with.All of the range offers easy filter removal for faster cleaning and includes courtesy lighting at the front steps to help avoid slips and falls.It is not too late to add a hot tub or two for the 2018 as Riptide has product in stock for immediate delivery. Large orders can be unloaded directly from containers on customers’ sites in just eight weeks.For one-offs or small orders of two to five units, Riptide offer an onsite handover service. For larger orders, Riptide prefer to train the park maintenance team to handle basic service and parts replacements.*Riptide Spas www.riptidepools.co.uk*

Fool’s Gold

Giving Visitors value for money pays off, reports Damien Corbet

FOOL'S GOLD

Giving Visitors value for money pays off, reports Damien Corbet

With the holiday park market as robust as it is, the biggest mistake operators can make is to cut corners. “Customers are increasingly aspirational and are looking for a ‘better than home’ experience” says Jon Moxon, Hoseasons’ Business Development Manager. “People are happy to pay for their UK short break or summer holiday but want to know they’re getting value for money. “So, to ensure the longevity of your cabin or lodge – and to sustain the price – I’d advise any owner to buy on quality, not price and furnish the unit to the highest standard they can.” This sentiment is echoed across the industry. The popularity of the UK ‘staycation’ has been on an upward trend for many years and shows no sign of slowing down. Less travelling time, no language issues, no currency exchange – and safety – are all factors encouraging increasing numbers of Brits to holiday at home. “All these factors have increased demand, with a trend emerging for shorter but more frequent breaks. With all this, guests are also expecting a lot more from their accommodation,” adds Pathfinder Homes’ Kelly Martyr.

In 2018, the winners will be those owners who meet the value for money proposition. Jon Moxon again: “Typically, I would expect these units to be open plan, light and airy with a great sense of space – and packed with features. The accommodation should be fitted out with branded equipment, large TV in the lounge and TVs in the bedrooms, and ideally a hot tub on the deck! Other features customers are looking for are wine coolers, wood burners and of course free wi-fi.

The striking exterior of North Lakes Lodges in Cumbria, part of Hoseasons' Evermore range.

The striking exterior of North Lakes Lodges in Cumbria, part of Hoseasons' Evermore range.

 

BOUTIQUE SITES

“We know space is at a premium on a park, but privacy is a rare commodity and the more space that can be provided between neighbours the better. There are several parks that are comfortably achieving this across the country, from the smaller quirky boutique sites such as Mallory Meadows in Leicestershire and Blossom Plantation in Northumberland, to sites offering activities such as shooting and fishing. Westlands Country Park in Scotland is a great example of a new site mixing traditional outdoor pursuits and contemporary comfort. Overall, it’s a combination of factors that make any unit and park stand out from the crowd. It’s about having a sense of identity and providing a quality lodge experience that is as good, if not better, than home,” added Jon. Another trend Pathfinder Homes is seeing is a strong rise in ‘romantic style’ designs. “We have recently created a bespoke Tuscany design specifically for the romantic rental market,” says Kelly. “This cabin measures at 40 x 22 and is a luxurious onebedroom home with an open plan layout featuring a freestanding bath sharing the same room as the huge super king size bed.” Operators should always be thinking about new ways to market their parks. If your park is situated in the right kind settings, you should certainly consider adapting a proportion of your site to meet this growing romantic break market.

Pathfinder's new 'Retreat' has a carefully planned layout and stunning internal design, utilising a combination of unfurnished style wood and red brick.

Pathfinder's new 'Retreat' has a carefully planned layout and stunning internal design, utilising a combination of unfurnished style wood and red brick.

SMART SWITCH

The growing demand for better value for money, with guests expecting more from their accommodation, are just some of the factors that should encourage operators to consider switching from caravans to lodges. According to Robert Sheridan, Managing Director of Finlog, their log cabins are always more popular than other types of accommodation: “They get more repeat bookings, always book out first and demand higher rents. “From an ecological point of view, you also can’t beat a log cabin. They last for generations, so you won’t need to waste money, time, energy and down-time replacing them every five years or so. As they never go out of fashion, revenues stay strong; they are also far more-energy efficient than a standard holiday mobile home.” Robert also stressed that log cabins don’t really have a ‘season’ and are not influenced by current trends, so their ‘shelf life’ is far longer than a factory-made cabin or lodge. When it comes to payback for your investment, it’s not always a straightforward calculation and there are many factors to take into consideration. The purchase price of lodges varies tremendously depending on model and finish, and the addition of key features for the rental market such as hot tubs. “For the rental market we would typically target a four-year ROI, possibly less given the continued buoyancy in the market,” added Jon Moxon.

Finlog’s log cabins are available in a choice of contemporary or traditional interiors.

Finlog’s log cabins are available in a choice of contemporary or traditional interiors.

ROBUST RENTALS

“With the rental market being as robust as it has been, the main pitfall is not to cut corners,” explains Jon. “As already mentioned, customers are increasingly aspirational and looking for a ‘better than home’ experience. So, for the longevity of the product and sustaining the price, I’d certainly advise any owner to buy on quality, not price, and furnish the unit to the highest standard they can. “It’s also important that the accommodation has a sense of place and fits its location. A white-washed, beach-style lodge in the Yorkshire Dales, flor example would feel out of place! Similarly, if your park has great views, take advantage of them – have a gable window or a central living layout so the bedrooms have an equally good view as the lounge. “Remember the accommodation is a rental unit, so fit it to the highest standard possible and use branded products, but also make sure it can take the hard work of two changeovers a week for 32+ weeks a year.” The message coming from the industry is loud and clear: Don’t cut corners, give visitors value for money and provide the best quality you can afford. The payback will be handsome.

 

 

Fit For Purpose

Fit For Purpose - Holiday Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are the must-have ingredient in the recipe to holiday booking success it has been revealed. According to self-catering specialists Hoseasons, a private hot tub is the number one searched for item on the website, accounting for more than 100,000 searches each month. With thousands of models to choose from, selecting the right hot tub for a holiday let can be a potential minefield. Holiday home owner Lucy Dawson recently invested in two new hot tubs for her two rental properties at Easter Ellister Farm, situated on the Rhinns of the Isle of Islay - an island off the west coast of Scotland.

CEDAR HOT TUBS : Lucy first invested in a circular cedar hot tub for her property – An Linnean – in 2008. The hot tub proved to a be a very popular addition with guests, so Lucy decided to upgrade the hot tub this year and has also purchased a second hot tub for her other property – Easter Ellister. “Having run the two self-catering houses of similar standard and in the same location, I can say without doubt that the house with the hot tub is more popular than the one without. I would say I get at least 25 per cent more bookings for An Linnean and the property is booked up most of the year round,” says Lucy. “This is the main reason why I have decided to install one at Easter Ellister too.

People just want that little added bit of luxury on holiday and for some reason a hot tub hits those buttons!” Lucy purchased the hot tubs from Eagle Leisure, based near Glasgow. She opted for the seven-seater Freedom model and the six person Vantage model out of the Coast Spas stable. Both have full foam insulation and insulated covers to help retain heat. They also feature Coast Spas’ 50sq ft cyclonic pressurised filtration to ensure the guests are sitting in the cleanest possible water. Each of the hot tubs cost around £7,000, but Lucy estimates that she can make most of this money back within ten weeks of rentals of the property.

RotoSpa recommend that holiday hot tubs are changed every five years to keep them in tip-top condition.

RotoSpa recommend that holiday hot tubs are changed every five years to keep them in tip-top condition.

“It is a big investment to install hot tubs but I believe them to be an essential part of my business in attracting customers,” says Lucy. “I would always advise other holiday property owners to do their research before taking the plunge though. I paid the price in choosing an internet ill-researched purchase the first time around and had countless problems with the tub over the years. It was very costly to maintain and run. She continues: “You need to make sure you are buying good quality, well made tub that is well insulated and good filtration system. “I would advise going to a reputable spa retailer who knows their stuff. I was incredibly impressed with the customer service and installation service from Eagle Leisure, something you just don’t get when you order online.” Eagle Leisure recommend the Coast Spas range of hot tubs for holiday properties. Their bestselling models for this market are the 7ft and 8ft options, which seat up to six and eight adults respectively and are available from £6,995.

 

TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE

“There will be some customers looking for a low end hot tub just to say that they have one,” explains Debbie Ekins, Commercial and Communications Manager at Eagle Leisure. “These usually retail between £2,000 - £3,000, but personally I don’t think there are any great quality holiday hot tubs on the market place within this price range. If something seems too good to be true it probably is.” Debbie continues: “On the other hand, we get some holiday owners who realise that a hot tub purchase of £7,000 - £8,000 is an investment. Adding a hot tub allows the property owner to a) charge a higher rental rate and b) rent out the property to full capacity – so should be able to quickly make their money back. Plus they get the peace of mind knowing they have a quality hot tub that the guest will be happy with and that will last them a long time.”

COMMERCIAL USE

HOT TUBv5

Holiday hot tubs should be suitable for commercial use. Pic Easter Ellister Farm.

Over the past ten years, a significant amount of holiday park operators and holiday let owners have purchased and operate what are in fact domestic hot tubs only designed for home, and not intended for commercial use. Commercial spas, the type found at health clubs and spas, are generally much larger than the average portable spa with bigger and better filtration and sanitation systems along with other features that suit much heavier bather use. “It can be tempting to purchase cheap imported tubs but it can be a very expensive mistake if you experience service issues,” reveals Jason Smith, Sales Director at RotoSpa. “Holiday hot tubs drive revenue so they need to be reliable. If they are not you will regret it. My advice is to buy quality, buy once and buy British.”

The British-made RotoSpa range is ideal for holiday use given its durability, low cost, UK support and the ability to specify bespoke features tailored to the individual risk assessment for the site. The RotoSpa Quatrospa and DuraSpa are among the UK’s bestselling holiday let units, which feature Individual auto dosing sanitiser systems and individual sand filters. The autofill and quickdrain system is operated by the touch of a button and enables the water to be completely changed in less than ten minutes.

In terms of life expectancy, RotoSpa recommend that hot tubs are changed every five years, however, the company has installed tubs on holiday park sites that are still going strong some ten years later. When selecting a hot tub supplier, Jason advises: “Choose a hot tub supply partner with a long pedigree of manufacture and service - someone who will listen to your needs and offer solutions to them rather than try and force you into an overpriced unit from their stock with features unsuitable for high demand use. Use someone who will work with you as a partner not just sell you a tub.”

HOT TUB HAZARDS

From an insurance claims perspective, hot tub-related slip and trip injuries are not uncommon. If a holidaymaker slips in a wet area, or even inside the hot tub itself, there’s a potential for them to be quite seriously hurt. “Skin irritation claims are also quite high up on the claims list, from minor rashes to quite serious skin conditions,” says Tom Dallow, Customer Claims Manager at Compass Insurance. “We were particularly surprised by a claim made in relation to a baby getting a rash from a hot tub - but this is certainly not the only claim we’ve received relating to an individual who shouldn’t have been in a hot tub in the first place!”

VITAL IMPORTANCE

Further highlighting the vital importance of managing water health and safety correctly, Compass has had one allegation of Legionnaire’s Disease having being ‘caught’ from a hot tub on record, as well as several claims made related to injuries sustained by suction from hot tub outlets. Says Tom: “Thankfully for all involved, Compass doesn’t receive hot tub related claims in high numbers. Of those we have dealt with, park owners will be interested to note that in many cases no negligence was found, so no pay-out to the claimant was made. “However, we must stress that insurers will struggle to defend parks where written evidence of appropriate hot tub management is not available. A compliant, common sense approach is critical.” If parks carry out appropriate risk assessments, follow relevant health and safety regulations to the letter, keep relevant documentation up-to-date and display clear rules on safe usage for users to adhere to, then there’s no reason why hot tubs should be considered a commercial hazard. You should speak to your insurance advisor to discuss your individual circumstances.

 

COMPANY CONTACTS

COMPASS INSURANCE Tel. 01452 511 430 www.compass.co.uk

EAGLE LEISURE Tel. 01355 264466 www.eagleleisure.co.uk

ROTOSPA Tel. 0121 354 3428 www.rotospa.co.uk

WELLIS Tel. 01246 559071 www.wellis.eu

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Finger On The Pulse

Finger On The Pulse

Hoseasons sells well over a million holidays each year on behalf of its partners, who also benefit from year-round, multi-million pound, multi-media promotional campaigns.

Hoseasons sells well over a million holidays each year on behalf of its partners, who also benefit from year-round, multi-million pound, multi-media promotional campaigns.

Staying ahead of your competition and showing off your best assets through strategic marketing is an increasingly essential element for a thriving holiday business. Carefully balancing the elements of a successful marketing strategy to suit the tastes of your target audience is key. For that reason, marketing for all businesses, regardless of size, needs to be carefully thought through, and often requires a multi-pronged approach.

“A good marketing strategy is essential for any holiday park, regardless of size or scale,” comments Mark Warnes, Property & Portfolio Director at Hoseasons. “We recognise that owners take much pride in the operational management of their parks and want to ensure that occupancy is at its highest throughout the year. To achieve this, a fully integrated marketing strategy which includes digital and traditional channels is required to fully showcase and promote the USP’s on each park, to the desired audience.” Hoseasons by Wyndham Vacation Rentals is one of the UK’s leading self-catering accommodation specialists, with over 28,000 places to stay in coastal and countryside settings throughout Britain and Europe including lodges, parks, boats, cottages and apartments.

The brand sells well over a million holidays each year on behalf of its partners, who also benefit from year-round, multimillion pound, multi-media promotional campaigns. Says Mark: “Knowledge, recognition and trust are the most important benefits for any park when partnering with Hoseasons. “The brand is led by people with a flair for marketing and desire to push the boundaries of traditional UK holiday perceptions.

“We realise that customer attitudes to marketing are constantly changing and we ensure that our marketing is fresh, engaging and embraces technology.” He adds: “Our marketing strategy is fluid and we utilise digital methods to drive website traffic and create targeting campaigns that work alongside ecommerce initiatives and traditional channels of print and offline strategies.”

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Golden Season

Lynette and Jamie Cook are presented with their award by (right) Mark Warnes, property and portfolio director of sponsors Hoseasons.

Lynette and Jamie Cook are presented with their award by (right) Mark Warnes, property and portfolio director of sponsors Hoseasons.

Golden Season

The family owners of Waterrow Touring Park in Wiveliscombe scooped a top accolade in the 2016 Bristol, Bath and Somerset Tourism Awards.

The park received the gold award in the camping and caravanning category of the competition in which hundreds of other contenders took part. Stepping up to receive the winning trophy at Bristol’s Cadbury Hilton hotel were Lynette and Jamie Cook who, with Jamie’s parents, are Waterrow’s owners.

The husband-and-wife team quit their successful careers in IT and customer services four years ago to take on the tranquil picture-postcard park on the fringes of Exmoor.

Since moving in, Lynette and Jamie have invested much time and energy into caring for the natural surroundings and introducing many new wildlife-friendly features. Lynette said: “One of the things we most value as caravanners is a welcoming and friendly atmosphere on the parks we visit, and that’s what we’ve tried to create here at Waterrow. “I know the awards placed a big emphasis on the quality of hospitality and customer care provided, so we are particularly pleased that this came across.”

Just One Click

Just One Click

You cannot afford to miss out on online bookings advises Ashleigh Mackenzie…

Eight out of ten Brits now book their holidays online.

Eight out of ten Brits now book their holidays online.

With eight out of ten Brits choosing to book their holidays online, it’s now more important than ever for parks to have their finger on the pulse in terms of efficient booking management systems. Holiday parks are increasingly looking for greater functionality from their booking and management systems. The ultimate goal is to provide online customers with a quality system that is simple and easy to use, that will not only save time but will also generate more bookings for their business.

“A sophisticated system needs to sit at the heart of any forward thinking holiday accommodation business. It is the glue that holds everything together,” says Wendy Radford-Gaby of Anytime Booking. “Just make sure the booking and management software you choose helps you to solve real life problems at your holiday park.” She adds: “Don’t try to retro-fit a software designed for another market. Use technology that understands you.”

Park owners can keep pace with technology by having a web based management and booking system which operates from one platform, so when an online booking is made it immediately goes into their management system avoiding mistakes and errors.

EARLY BIRD

“September to March is a busy time for system suppliers as it is naturally when new customers come on board. So get in as early as you can to have time to familiarise yourself fully with the system before your busy season starts,” advises Dawn Bee, Managing Director of Netguides.

Netguides offer GemaPark, a cloud park reservation management system with online bookings. The optional park website package gives holiday parks a modern responsive, optimised website with content management, to promote their park and provide integrated online booking. “Our solutions are fully hosted, backed up and managed and we offer 24/7 support,” says Dawn.
“We pride ourselves on our responsiveness and customer service and are constantly listening to customer feedback to make our products easier and more efficient for customers to use.” The system starts from £60 per month for 60 pitches or 12 statics and scales up. The prices include hosting, backup and support so there are no surprise extra costs.
Says Dawn: “With GemaPark we have new connectivity with other providers such as Hoseasons and Pitchup, we have lots more features to support holiday home parks and as always we have development in our online booking widgets to increase usability and conversion.”

In terms of setup, there is a data gathering stage where Netguides get to understand your park, what you offer and how you sell it. The company will then configure the system for you loading your units, pitches and prices and provide the link or widgets to your web developers to add the online booking elements to your website. Full staff training is offered to get the team up and running with the system.
“You will never realise just how important until you experience it,” comments Dawn.

“It improves customer experience, increases the number of sales and greatly reduces administration time. This allows you time to work on your business and then business growth and enjoyment in running the business increase significantly – and that’s important.”

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Outdoor Essentials

outdoor essentials

Outdoor Essentials

Make the most of your park’s outdoor appeal with a few simple measures as Ashleigh Mackenzie reports…

From outdoor hot tubs to state-of-the-art furniture, fitness and play equipment, making the most of your outdoor appeal can be a wise investment.

Switched-on park owners who optimise their alfresco offering can reap rich rewards from holidaymakers who will pay extra for high-spec facilities and luxuries.

Transforming your outdoor areas needn’t be a daunting task. Investing in a few simple and cost effective measures can go a long way in improving aesthetics, comfort and services for guests.

Hot tubs are now a key driver in attracting new and existing business. Holiday homes and lodges with outdoor hot tubs can be rented out at a higher premium and remain a popular choice even in the low season.
According to self-catering specialists Hoseasons, a private hot tub is the number one searched for item on the website, accounting for more than 100,000 searches each month.
Two years ago, the holiday home owners of The Barns in Lyonshall, Herefordshire, made a very sound business investment and installed two hot tubs. Since then, they have seen a virtual stampede in bookings with almost all year round occupancy and have recently added a third.

SOUND INVESTMENT

Manager Steph Gardiner says: “We have walled gardens, wood burners, movie rooms, state-of-the-art kitchens for large scale dining and stunning views. Within that setting we wanted to add a ‘wow’ factor and we very quickly settled on installing hot tubs.” Steph contacted Three Counties Pools & Spas in Hereford and purchased two six person Caldera Palantinos. They proved so successful that she has recently added the seven person Vanto model.

Steph empties and refills the hot tubs after each set of guests, which takes a maximum of one hour, including filling time.
Says Steph: “When guests are in residence, daily maintenance takes less than an hour. We have adapted our procedures and training for the care of the spas and feel we are now very efficient whilst maintaining a very high level of hygiene and cleanliness.
“It’s no understatement that the hot tubs have proved a massive draw,” says Steph. “The beauty about hot tubs is that they appeal to everyone - from children to 80 year olds and they can be used all year round, whatever the weather.
“A group of junior doctors who recently came to stay told me they managed to get 14 people in one and it was the highlight of their year!”

PLAY MATTERS

Whitby Holiday Park in North Yorkshire has invested in a new outdoor play area, with help from play equipment specialists Timberplay.

Whitby Holiday Park in North Yorkshire has invested in a new outdoor play area, with help from play equipment specialists Timberplay.

There is no better way of enhancing and enriching an outdoor space than by investing in play equipment. Creating an innovative play space that fires a child’s imagination and creates a pleasant environment for parents to get together is a winning formula for holiday parks.

Whitby Holiday Park in North Yorkshire has invested in a new outdoor play area, with help from play equipment specialists Timberplay.

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