Lancashire Times
A Voice of the North
Phil Hopkins
Arts & Travel Editor
8:00 AM 19th February 2021

Startup Cotswold Holiday Company Sees Staycations Soar

The ‘Covid-Effect’ on UK tourism has delivered a bonus to Cotswold Cottage Gems as bookings for the mid and high seasons this year soar by 64 per cent.

Many travellers, weary of ‘you can go here but you can’t go there’ missives from the government, with the eternal threat of self-isolating in a hotel upon their return from foreign climes, appear to be voting with their feet.

Gemma Elizabeth Conway
Gemma Elizabeth Conway
That’s the message from Gemma Elizabeth, who runs Cotswold Cottage Gems in Gloucestershire.The luxury holiday company enjoyed a hugely successful summer season between lockdowns last year with a one hundred per cent occupancy rate across all its locations.

“We’re seeing that many Brits are choosing the Cotswolds for a staycation again this year, just like last,” she said.

“With our risk-free bookings and Covid-secure services, many UK families have holidays planned with us for later in the year, looking for a change of scene and an opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones. So far we’ve received just one overseas visitor booking.”

Cotswold Cottage Gems began with just one cottage in May 2018, but now owns 11 luxurious cottages located across the Cotswolds, plus The Lansdowne, a 14-bedroom boutique guesthouse which serves breakfast, in Bourton-on-the-Water.

During the lockdown period, the company has also expanded its property collection with four new properties including two chocolate box Cotswold cottages in Stow-on-the-Wold called Coniston House and The Crook, plus Darly Cottage in Bourton-in-the-Water and Magnolia Cottage in Moreton-in-the-Marsh.

Darly and Magnolia cottage have been renovated personally by Gemma Elizabeth and all properties feature furnishings and final touches from local suppliers.

“We’ve bought four new cottages this year investing over £2 million. That’s how confident we are that the UK hospitality industry will bounce back,” adds Gemma Elizabeth.

“All our cottages really offer a home away from home, but through lockdown we’ve worked with local craftspeople to provide unique items in each cottage.

“Steven Wood based in Chipping Campden uses reclaimed beams to create exquisite furniture that’s truly one-of-a-kind and we’ve also commissioned unique artwork from a local artist, Brenda Gibson from Little Tew, of nearby picturesque scenes to help guests feel immersed in the Cotswolds during their stay.”

As well as luxurious surroundings, guests at Cotswold Cottage Gems benefit from a bespoke concierge service. Gemma Elizabeth can arrange a personal chef to cook meals at the cottages; make local bookings; and even drive guests to local pubs and collect them at the end of the evening when restrictions permit.

“It will all help make this year’s staycation extra special,” she said.

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