Sat 9th Sun 10th April Westpoint Exeter
Sat 10am–4.30pm Sun 10am–4pm

Coffee break with Marsdens Cornish Cottages

We take 5 with Ginny Kay from Marsdens Cornish Cottages to find out more about the holiday cottage company…


When and how was the business established?
We have been operating as an independent family business in the south west since 1973, from our offices in Braunton, North Devon. Following our continued success, we launched Marsdens Cornish Cottages and opened our dedicated Cornish office, based in the lovely town of Looe. Our reservations team all live in the local area and have an in-depth knowledge of Cornwall and are happy to help our customers choose the right property for their perfect holiday.

What is the one thing about your business which might surprise us?
Marsdens Cornish Cottages is part of The Original Cottage Company, and has a number of sister companies around the UK including Marsdens Devon Cottages. When properties are let through us, they appear not just on the Marsdens Cornish Cottages website at www.cornish-cottages.co.uk and in our brochure, but also on our new national website, www.cottageholidays.co.uk. This means that homeowners enjoy the unbeatable combination of national marketing might, backed by local expertise and knowledge of the area. It also means that in the unlikely event that something goes wrong, we are close by and can help, and homeowners and holidaymakers find that very reassuring.

What is your typical working week?
There’s no such thing as a typical working week and that’s one of the reasons why I love my job. I am part of a great team, we work with many different people and the cottages and apartments we let are all different, which makes every day interesting.

How have customers and/or the market place changed since you first started in business?
The internet has brought the greatest changes to our business in the last twenty years. Now, many people book online through our website, although despite the detailed property descriptions and hi-resolution photos, some customers still like to talk to us over the phone before booking that well- deserved holiday.

Another change is that people now book later than they used to. Years ago, most people booked their holidays in January, but now customers book later – usually a few months before the holiday rather than six or eight months before like they used to.

Customers’ expectations have risen over time and high quality accommodation is always in demand

What do you think the ‘next big thing’ is for your business over the horizon?
We are already seeing that more and more people are booking short breaks of less than seven days, so we have adapted to ensure customers can book short breaks on our website or over the phone for most times of year.

The use of customer review websites is also gaining momentum, so good quality accommodation and service will be positively reviewed whilst dissatisfied customers will post critical reviews. If customers review honestly and fairly, this is good both for the industry and for potential customers as they have more information to help them make decisions. High quality providers like Marsdens Cornish Cottages will continue to thrive and enjoy high levels of repeat bookings.

Do you use websites and social media to promote your business and boost sales? How does it work best for you?
Our websites are critical to our business and one of the main ways new customers find us. They are easy to use but also allow customers to see good quality photos of all the rooms, a map and a detailed description – far more than we are able to fit into our brochure. They can also compare cottages, prices, filter results according to their particular needs and book the right holiday for them.

Marsdens Cornish Cottages let properties in some of the best locations in Cornwall and pride themselves on providing the very best customer service and holiday experience. Click for more www.cornish-cottages.co.uk.

Ginny and the team will be at the Cornwall Home Show this May, come along and say hi!