Close Icon

by Andrew Jay / Owner

This month’s feature is the charmingly elegant Sea Cliff Cottage, just a short stroll from the white sands of Pentewan Beach in South Cornwall.

This character-filled holiday let has recently undergone a rather dramatic makeover, which has unusually seen the property’s number of bedrooms drop from four to two, with fantastic results.

Sea Cliff Cottage

This immaculate Grade II listed holiday home sits within a private cul de sac above the village, with lovely views across the Pentewan Valley.

Sea Cliff Cottage was previously a four-bedroom property but after speaking with the Quality Assurance team at Cornish Cottage Holidays, owner Marie took the bold move of transforming the property into an even more luxurious coastal bolthole for her guests to enjoy. This included turning one bedroom into a plush bathroom with a walk-in shower and roll-top bath, while the other became the ultimate for movie fans; a state of the art cinema room with an LED starscape, gourmet popcorn, and a quirky cocktail station.

We thought we’d take a moment to ask owner Marie for her take on the project and how she has found her journey in holiday letting.


What led you to get into holiday letting?

It was not planned. When my son was little we would spend the whole summer in Cornwall so it made sense to have our own place. As my son got older he didn’t want to spend so much time there so we decided to rent it as a holiday let. Which meant we could still enjoy it but so could other people. I find it very rewarding and fun to do. I could see that Sea Cliff Cottage was a very lovely place that would benefit from some love and attention to reflect the very special place that it is.


Since all the changes at Sea Cliff Cottage, what is your favourite space in the house/garden?

That changes depending on what time of day it is, the weather and the season……

Morning – Coffee on the veranda with the birds.

Sunny day – Relaxing on the loungers with my kindle looking at the views of the valley.

Rainy afternoon – Getting lost in a movie in the Cinema room under the twinkly LED starscape ceiling.

Sunset –  De-stressing in the Eco wood-fired hot tub watching the sunset over the valley.

Winter – I love Cornwall in winter and my favourite has always been after a bracing walk on the beach to cosy up in the living room with the log burner.  However, I cannot wait to try the Scandinavian style hot tub this winter. Relaxing in the hot tub with the smell of the wood under a star-lit sky while it is cold outside is the best feeling. 


What makes Sea Cliff Cottage unique to you?

“I love its quirky drama. It doesn’t reveal itself at once but you turn a corner or go up the stairs there is a gradual reveal of how special it is.”


Are you happy with the changes you’ve made and do you think it will enhance bookings?

“So so happy. I have to give credit to Tara at Cornish Cottage Holidays because before I made any changes she came to give her take on what I should do. What she advised I do seemed so radical and so out there it was quite scary. She suggested I change one bedroom into another bathroom and another bedroom into a Cinema room plus install the eco hot tub in the garden.  At first, going from four bedrooms to two felt counter-intuitive but once I thought about the advice, I fully committed. I decided that if I was going to do it I was going to go all the way and have some fun with it, hence the ceiling in the cinema room which is a twinkly LED starscape. The changes I have made make me smile and the icing on the cake is as soon as it was relisted the bookings have started pinging through! It is offering guests something special, unique and I am confident this is; and will be reflected in the bookings.” 


Sea Cliff Cottage is a very special place and it was a special day for your first guests?

“My first guests after the changes was a beautiful young bride who was getting married next door at Pentewan church. She used (Sea Cliff Cottage) it as the base for herself and bridesmaids to stay and get ready pre-wedding and after the wedding, she and her new husband stayed on for two nights before flying off to Europe. I was over the moon that they enjoyed it for such a special romantic occasion.”


What would you say has been your best feedback?

“I am very fortunate to have the most amazing team who makes the cottage work and makes the experience for the guests special. There are always times when things go wrong an appliance breaks down or something unexpected happens. The guests love Claire, my cottage manager because if there is a problem she sorts it. So I think the feedback I am most proud of is when there has been an unexpected problem and they appreciate how efficient and quick it is sorted.”


How have Cornish Cottage holidays been as your letting agents?

“I think the thing that has impressed me the most is the level of personal involvement there has been – a lot of hand-holding!  I am so glad that I took advice from Tara at CCH before starting on the refurbishment. Her suggestion was radical and bold and I am so glad I embraced it.  The actual refurb was quite challenging but while that was happening Tara came out several times with advice. I suppose what I appreciate most is that its personal contact where they know and care about my property.”


What advice would you give to others who may be considering holiday letting?

“That’s easy. Take advice early on.  Choose your letting agents with care. I am actually thinking of doing another one and if I do I will involve Cornish Cottage Holidays and take advice before I buy and get realistic projections of what is possible.  It is rewarding to do personally and financially and I have a holiday home that I love and can enjoy which also provides me with an income.”


What are your hopes and plans for the future?

“I kind of gave that away in my last answer!! I would love to do another one. I am in love with Cornwall and would love to retire there in the future. I have my eye on one at the moment but haven’t yet spoken to Tara but………….”


More bedrooms doesn’t (always) equal higher income

Having more bedrooms doesn’t necessarily mean you are guaranteed to generate a higher return on your investment, as Marie has found to her pleasure. Being even more luxurious with extras for guests to enjoy, Sea Cliff Cottage has now opened up a whole new market for itself.

Sea Cliff Cottage is continuing to thrive in its first full season since the changes were made, so far recording a 25% boost in occupancy this year compared to 2018, with 2020 bookings already looking impressive.


If you’d like to learn more about Sea Cliff Cottage, take a look at the property page.

If you are thinking about getting into the holiday letting industry and would like some advice, please contact our owner team on 01326 336773.

Or if you have a similar story that you’d like to share, please get in touch via email: andrew.jay@sykescottages.co.uk

by Andrew Jay / Owner