Finding the right retreat for All
If you’ve been assigned the task amongst all your friends or family members to find the right cottage rental for your group, you know you have to start early. You know the criteria given out by your group has gotten specific enough to cause you stress and you know that you are probably going to have less fun listening to all the complaints once all arrived. Finding the right retreat for all is not an easy task.
The biggest hurdle to overcome is the location pick. Depending upon whether you are looking now, in the winter or in the spring or summer, will depend on where you start your search. Many people prefer to be close to the slopes like Moonstone, Blue Mountain, Saint Sauveur, or even Banff. I cannot stress enough how important it is to start early. You may want to consider a short drive to and from the slopes, to widen your options. If the summer or spring are your preferred timeframes, being lakefront or on the bay is usually the huge preference. Sometimes having a larger group may make that option a bit more challenging than the location. One thing is for sure, you’ll need to cast a wider net to be successful, and that might mean keeping an open mind on the location and driving distance.
Start by first asking each paying member of your family or friends to put down a list:
1. Must haves (location, timing, landscape, size and basic essentials)
2. Nice to haves (modern items, Wi-Fi, satellite, beach, linens)
3. Luxuries to consider (pool table, hot tub, extra bedrooms, 2+ bathrooms, hot spots)
4. Additional Rental Options (boats, skidoos, skis, canoes, more than one dwelling, later departure)
You will note that I have included the label “basic essentials” under must haves. That could be indoor plumbing, electricity, clean interior. And under luxury I have included “hot tub, pool table, and more than one bathroom.” Many people get a little confused in their search and start by placing the luxury items as a “MUST HAVE”. This will shrink your options, especially in the winter months. And it will also raise your rental fees. Most cottages do not run a hot tub all year round, unless it is a luxury spot. If that’s your primary requirement, be prepared to pay, pay, pay…..You will also note that under “additional rental options” I have also include boats, and motorised vehicles. Again, this is not an automatic inclusion in any rental. The misconception for new renters is that if I can rent the dwelling, why not ask for the boat or the skidoo too? Well, it’s not an option under our current insurance policy – unless perhaps you are working with a resort that has lots of cottages. Most owner do not include such an arrangement. You’ll need to look to a service provider and make separate arrangements.
Finally, once you’ve established to list – and labelled the 4 key search engines with sub categories, you’ve made your job a lot easier. This is of course assuming your friends and family agree with your terms. Chances are they won’t – but it will give you the chance to educate the paying members (not the teens or guests who are not paying) so that they have a clear understanding that making a hot tub a “must have” takes you from $1200 for the week to $3500. Do you really want to spend 3 x the amount of money simply for that hot tub? And if your cousin really must have a boat – then he’s responsible for it and he can deal directly with the marina so that if anything goes wrong, it’s his insurance and his driver’s license that’s impacted – not your damage deposit.
Keep it simple, and keep it clear – “KIS” your friends or “KIC” them… choice is yours!
Image Source: formica.pines via Instagram