The recent coronavirus outbreak has brought with it an unprecedented amount of uncertainty for holiday cottage owners but there...
In this month’s owner spotlight, we catch up with William and Charlie, the owners of Penlaurel, a highly photogenic Georgian manor house close to the town of Launceston to find out how they started in the industry and their plans for the future.
This beautiful Grade II listed property lies in the hamlet of Daw’s House, just a mile outside of Launceston.
Close to both coastlines of Cornwall, this charming cottage is perfect for families, couples and friends alike to explore a fabulous region.
Holiday letting wasn’t the original plan for owners William and Charlie Morris, who have been proprietors of Penlaurel since 2010. Their first thought was to create a new build on the land, William said; “We originally bought the property as it had a fabulous building plot attached, the initial intention was to give it a quick lick of paint and sell on.”
“The self-build took a little longer to get off the mark than we had hoped for many reasons (not to mention the very quirky design) and so we put a great deal of time, effort and love into restoring Penlaurel back to its former Georgian glory – the initial plan was to sell the property but over the years we had grown to really love its big rooms and romantic garden and so it was important for us to keep it in the family, but at the same time let other people enjoy her charms.”
The owners own a very well known teddy bear company and as such you might imagine bears have had some influence on the design for Penlaurel; “We wanted to create a theme people would recognise which wasn’t too over the top. Whilst we haven’t yet expanded our portfolio, look out for further “bear houses” throughout the UK in the future.”
There are many things which make Penlaurel the perfect romantic retreat, including an abundance of garden space. The sheltered outdoor hot tub sits to the rear of the property and is surrounded by a romantic and secluded garden, which is especially vibrant in the warmer months.
Cook up a feast for your loved ones in the country-chic kitchen, while keeping an eye on the little ones as they play in the enclosed garden. Once dinner is ready to serve, head through to the dining room to enjoy your meal by the cosy wood burner.
Penlaurel is in an ideal location for exploring both coasts without the heavy price tag being by the sea brings as William discussed; “Guests have very much used Penlaurel as a base to discover the best of Devon and Cornwall without having to pay premium prices to be near to the coast.”
“We are very much an animal friendly property and as such we have had plenty of well behaved dogs through the door, one very well behaved cat and even a request for a parrot (they found somewhere else I think).”
Penlaurel is beautifully decorated throughout so you can imagine the great reviews it receives from its guests; “We get 100% feedback on nearly every booking which we are really very proud of – going that extra mile to put up a birthday banner or a Christmas tree really does make a huge difference and keeps guests wanting to come back again.”
Holiday letting needn’t be a hassle if you work with an agent who can take care of the day to day running of the marketing and housekeeping; “Cornish Cottage Holidays have been fantastic – we were with another firm prior to CCH and achieved around 35% occupancy, however, since moving to CCH and taking advantage of their flexi lets and short break options, this has meant the property has had well over 70% occupancy during 2019.”
For owners who need a hands off approach, Cornish Cottage Holidays also offer an optional fully managed service, where the housekeeping and maintenance is all taken care of, as William said; “For us this service is vital, not only because we are incredibly busy and find ourselves always in the wrong place to manage the property. With a future eye on wanting more properties, we wanted to try the managed service to make sure it worked without us being present – IT DOES – I cannot recommend this service highly enough.”
“Think about what you are offering and who is going to let the property, be as flexible as you can be – holiday cottages are ideal for people with pets and so be pet welcoming and finally, if your property has lots of quirks, then show them in the photos.”
“We hope for many more bear houses to come.”
William and Charlie Morris (pictured) also own the hugely successful brand of teddy bear; Charlie’s Bears, which is home to the Bearhouse Gallery in Launceston and that’s where the magic really happens. You will be transported into a teddy bear fantasy world the moment you step through the huge curved oak door. It has been heralded as one of the best-kept secrets in Cornwall, offering two full floors of all the amazing bears Charlie has created. Entry is free but you are welcome to make a donation to one of Charlie Bears’ nominated charities. Great for a wet weather day for all the family to enjoy!
For more information about Charlie Bears, head over to the website:
If you’d like to find out more about Penlaurel or check availability, take a look at their listing here.