Well, Christmas is just around the corner and here at the Sleeps12 office we’re all looking forward to taking time off, putting our feet up and being in the moment with friends and family, but in the meantime there’s much work to be done. What a year it’s been - busy, busy, busy! We’ve taken on some fabulous new properties, seen additions and improvements to some of our long timers, and we’ve got more lined up to visit in the new year. We’ve met more lovely people, had a lot of laughter, and on occasion, it’s been hectic, but we’ve done what we strive to do - another year of happy customers enjoying amazing holidays and short breaks at our large group holiday houses in the UK and France.
Our luxury self catering holiday accommodation is carefully selected, and we get a lot of enquiries but not all of the properties we visit come up to scratch for one reason or another. It might be that they don’t quite meet our high standards, but we take into account the finer details too, so for instance, if there are more than three bedrooms sharing a bathroom, or if the dining table isn’t close enough to the kitchen, then in our eyes, it doesn’t make the grade, so some, even though they’re fantastic houses in stunning locations, we have to turn down.
That said, we’ve taken on some beauties this year, kicking off with Dancing Hill in January; once two cottages where farm workers lived, now a big country cottage that sleeps 12, with a games room, hot tub, swim spa and play equipment. This is a wonderful rural retreat, high on a hillside with panoramic views out across almost the whole of Somerset, and just minutes from the door are the rugged wilds of the Quantock Hills.
Then in February along came the chance to acquire Chateau Le Chuteliere, a romantic 600 year old chateau not far from Poitiers in mid France. What a dream of a house this is! Utterly exquisite, with snooze space for 15 guests, a games room, cinema room, and a saltwater pool on the terrace. It’s well off the beaten track and set in 23 acres of the most gorgeous grounds with fruit gardens, lawns, a lavoir, river and canal; it’s like your own private world where you can’t fail to unwind completely.
In the Spring of 2018 we added House on the Hill and Orchard View to our books, both of these large group holiday homes have proved to be equally popular in terms of bookings and fantastic reviews. House on the Hill is set in a private location in the spectacular Chalke Valley on the Wiltshire/Dorset border, a landscape of rolling hills, crystal clear chalk streams, and winding lanes that lead to picturesque villages with centuries old cottages and welcoming country inns. The house sleeps up to 24 and has a games room and outdoor pool. It’s definitely one for the culture vultures, being full of books and original artworks, and having a movie room.
Orchard View is built on the footprint of a Dutch Barn and is popular with families looking for a farm stay, as it stands on a working farm on the Somerset Levels. There’s slumbering quarters for 12 plus one more, a games room and hot tub, and out the back is an orchard where sheep graze lazily and an old tractor lies redundant beneath trees that are frothy with apple blossom in the spring time.
Remember that blazing hot summer? We were at The Plough near Bath on what must have been one of the hottest days of the year! Forget protocol, it was shorts and vests for us that day! The Plough used to be a village pub but underwent an incredible transformation to become supersized holiday accommodation for up to 29 people; the feel is crisp and fresh and modern, and there’s a games area and a covered hot tub.
Autumn saw Frog Street added to the Sleeps12 portfolio, and as soon as it went live the bookings came in, even though it won’t be ready until February 2019. This gorgeous Somerset longhouse is set in peaceful countryside at the end of a private lane; full of charming English country cottage character, it can sleep 14, has a games room, a covered swim spa, hot tub, play equipment and Nordic style BBQ lodge with a kitchenette attached. Look at the picture gallery, just imagine….
Last month we went to see Shires, which though not ready until April, already has bookings for 2019. This place sleeps 12, with room for an extra 2 at an additional charge, and has a big focus on access friendly holiday accommodation, with level flooring, removable hoists, an intercom, and a lift to the first floor terrace. It’s contemporary in style, with a games room, pool hall with infinity pool, hot tub and sauna, BBQ lodge, and a big garden for the young ‘uns to play in. Out the back the views stretch far across the Yarty Valley to the East Devon hills; bliss.
And finally! Earlier this month our team went to the New Forest to see Ortus House in Lyndhurst, and what a cracker this is! When it went live the reaction blew the owners socks off! Booking, bookings and more bookings, but that’s not surprising as it’s got swimming pools indoors and outdoors, a steam room, games room, gym and play area; it’s packed with wow factor and has room to sleep 15 people. Check it out, you’ll love it.
If you’re planning a large group holiday this year, or a weekend get together for a special celebration, it’s best to act swiftly; in the New Year it all gets a bit bonkers so strike whilst the iron’s hot. Don’t forget that most of our big holiday homes are pet friendly, so no need to worry about the family pooch, and bear in mind that we offer week long holidays, 4 night midweek breaks, and 2 and 3 night weekends away. Perfect for all occasions - family holidays, hen weekends and corporate groups; book now and give yourself something to look forward to when all the glitter and razzmatazz of the festive season has faded.