Self Catering in Scotland

Aros Beag, Tyndrum. Luxury Self Catering for Two in the Scottish Highlands

Self Catering - to stay somewhere and provide for and prepare your own meals.

This is a very popular holiday option as it allows the holidayer the freedom to roam at will and not be tied to specific meal times and locations e.g. in a full board hotel holiday. There are an almost limitless variety of properties to choose from and there is one that will fit the bill regardless of what type of holiday you are looking for.  Property types range from the humble static caravan or wigwam to the stately home or castle. It all depends on your likes, budget and the numbers you are trying to accommodate.

So you want a self catering holiday, where do you start. Nowadays google is as good a place as any. Any business who doesn't have a website isn't really trying or is that good it doesn't need to. Type 'self catering' then the type of property you would like ie cottage or house for 6 people etc and start scrolling till you find something that you like. Any initial search will most likely throw up agencies, this is good thing and a bad thing. So what's the story with agancies then. There are three sides to this equation, your side, the property owners, and the agent themselves.

The Holiday Maker
You see a website with lots of different property types and locations listed in a convenient, attractive way. Usually you can see the availability of the property in a calendar format with prices and basic photographs and a map. The owner has usually paid to be there so that cost will be past on to you. Our advice is to find the one that you like and then google that individual property and speak to them directly. Prices paid by the owner can be zero to nearly 30% of the letting fee plus an anual setup cost and of course VAT. Oh and there is sometimes a booking fee too.
The Property owner
He needs to get as much market exposure as he can and quickly. This property has cost him a lot of money to get ready for the market so the last thing he wants is it to sit for 6 months until his really expensive but really nice website is found by the search engines. Enter the agent, he has a swanky website that has been around for ages and been continuously developed specifically to sell the product that he has to offer. Google thinks it's great and ranks it well for the keywords the owner thinks guests will use to find his property, he therefor needs his property to be on that site. But which one does he choose.... that is the 64,000 dollar question and is costly should he get it wrong.
The Agent
He probably knows a bit about the self catering market and is good on a computer and sees an opportunity to make some money in his spare time by setting up a website selling self catering property lets. The more popular and successful the site becomes the more he can charge ( to a point ). He is nothing more that a middle man, but he is vital to the young self catering business and if he can get it right and pull in lots of surfers then he will make himself a wee bit money too.I must add that the better agencies will specialise in specific property types and work very had to get their name about.

The annoying thing about this and the guy that comes off the worst is the owner as he knows that the market will pay x for his property but that price has to absorb all the agency fees so he looses that on each and every let.

In between all the Agencies you will find individual property websites that have been setup by the property owners themselves. These can be very basic sites written by a sibling of the owner, for example or all singing and dancing sites professionally designed and written by a design house. Be very careful when choosing your property, look closely at the pictures, they tell the proper story, If an important angle is missing it may be because they don't want you to see it. If in doubt ask.

There are a lot a properties out there that are not looked after by the owners but someone in the village will come in at the end of each let and hoover up ready for the next let. I've even heard of some places where no cleaning is done between lets and you are instructed to leave it as you found it. Which is all well and good if everyone has the same standards. The better places will have a direct management input on a regular basis to ensure that the guest can have the best experience possible and be made to feel welcome and not just a means to an end. Use their own site to determine as best you can the attention to detail in the properties presentation which will give you a good insight into the approach the owner is taking to the venture.

Once you have chosen the perfect place for you to spend your well earned holiday, phone or email the owners directly and check availability and cost for the time you require. They will be happy to take a provisional booking from you over the phone until you can get the deposit to them, assuming they don't have a card machine. It is usual for there to be a good housekeeping deposit to cover any damages caused during your stay, this will of course be returned at the end of your holiday.

Self Catering Property in and Around Strathfillan

Aros Beag, Tyndrum
Luxury self catering cottage for two people. The former Coach House for the old Manse of Strathfillan. It has a spectacular riverside location and is newly and modernly appointed with the couple in mind.
Portnellan Lodges, Crianlarich
Beautiful lodges for between 2 and 8 people. Set on a hillside woodlands at the foot of Ben More.
Burnbrae Cottage
Nice wee cottage set in the old hamlet of Cliffton ( now part of Tyndrum )
Inverardran Cottage, Crianlarich
Annex to the main Inverardran House
Glengarry Lodge, Tyndrum
Our self catering lodge is situated in an elevated site behind Glengarry House; the surrounding views are fantastic and well worth the walk up the steps…
The Old House, Glen Orchy
Arichastlich lies in splendid solitude in the heart of Glen Orchy, one of Scotland’s most beautiful glens.
Garden Cottage, Tyndrum
Centrally situated in the village, this cosy detached cottage, surrounded by spectacular hills, is convenient for a wide range of opportunities and touring delights  website
Inverherive Cottage, Crianlarich
Self-catering 3 star quality country cottage set in 3 acres of garden and woodland
Auch Estate, Tyndrum
3 Self catering properties on a working farm and estate

Copyright Aros Beag 2009