Join Premier Cottages

The Finest Collection of 4 & 5 Star Cottages in the UK & Ireland - Booked Direct with the Owners

To get bookings, you need a platform, right? The thorny problem for us all as owners is that most agencies and OTAs charge an eye-watering amount of commission, and give us little access to the guest. So here’s something completely different. Premier Cottages is a Book Direct model. A membership cooperative, run by members for members. We do not take a commission or dictate your pricing, and every booking is made direct with you (even if they “book now” on our website). Everything you earn is yours for just one annual fee, which will put you in charge of your Premier Cottages listing on our website and give you access to our extensive database and social media following.

As a membership cooperative, we really are different. Every member of the Board is also the owner of a property in the Premier Cottages' collection. The interests of the Board are totally aligned with those of the membership. We spend 100% of your money on marketing our properties, not on fancy offices or dividends for shareholders. That does not mean that we are a kitchen cabinet of amateurs, though. There is extensive experience, both on the board and among the membership, and we have consistently led the market over the last 25 years.  We were the first company in the sector with a mobile-responsive website, and the first to adopt SSL. We remain the only player in the market with full foreign language websites in French, German and Dutch, and we consistently benefit from innovation grants because of the quality of our website. We have a very large social media following and guest database, which we leverage to great effect. 

We were almost certainly the ONLY player in the market to have halved renewal costs for members during the Covid-19 pandemic, as we put in place an emergency budget, to enable as many members as possible to renew. Survival was really important, as we are about the only space in the market where owners retain full control of their business model. Being a membership organisation gave the board the agility and flexibility to do that, and to announce it to members very quickly after lockdown was imposed.

In addition, we work with you to help you improve your business. We offer support, advice, a regional member network and up-to-date self-catering news. We will also keep you well informed regarding legal matters, promote your business to our vast guest database and offer you the best possible PR for your property.

We are a member-owned marketing co-operative.
Your annual membership fee goes directly into marketing activity.

Our multi-language websites, guest newsletters, social media, and PR coverage ensure your cottages are shown to all the right people.

We represent the top end of self-catering.
Display alongside like-minded businesses to a loyal audience, and join a trusted, quality brand.

We work closely with Premier Cottages, and have done so for over a decade. Our data shows that Premier Cottages consistently outperforms marketing channels with multi-billion dollar budgets Robert Kennedy, Managing Director, SuperControl

Why Join Premier Cottages?

Luxury cottage bedroom

Your Business, Your way

Premier Cottages gives you the freedom and flexibility to run your business the way you want to and to treat your guests as simply that – your guests.

All contact and correspondence is between you and your guests. There are no call centres, handling agents or automated switchboards for your guests to negotiate. Personal service is at the heart of the Premier Cottages ethos.

Of course, we do have some rules, but these are primarily about offering a fantastic guest experience (both at the bricks and mortar level, and also online), and maintaining your properties at a high level. 

Quality is the cornerstone of Premier Cottages, and is why guests come back to Premier Cottages again and again – they know that when they book, they will get quality properties and a great guest experience.

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Alfresco dining at luxury cottage

Strength of Marketing

Premier Cottages was founded 25 years ago on the principle of sharing guest data among high quality self-catering businesses. Of course, GDPR means we can’t operate in the same way these days, but we do have a very significant database of 150,000 guests who come back to Premier Cottages time and again because they trust the quality of the collection. That’s more than most Tourist Boards. We send out regular newsletters to our guest database, and have industry-beating engagement rates for our newsletter, which is a significant driver of bookings.

Premier Cottages was early to the social media table, and has built up an enviable following on Facebook, with great engagement, and is another major driver of traffic to our website. We currently have over 200,000 Facebook followers. Just put that into context for a moment… we have around 1000 cottages to market, so about 200 “followers” per cottage we need to fill.  Compare that with, say, Holiday Lettings, who – yes - have 240,000 Facebook followers, but they have 600,000 properties worldwide to fill – or 0.4 followers per cottage. It doesn’t take a maths genius to work out where the best chance of conversion lies.

  • Premier has a dedicated PR department to gain media coverage for members, with established relationships with national Travel Editors of major newspapers and magazines, securing on average 40 press mentions per month for our members.

    In addition we have a red-hot SEO team, who make sure we maintain a low bounce rate on our website (top line traffic isn’t everything, if visitors don’t follow through!), and deploy all the usual marketing tools available.

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Exterior of a luxury cottage

Join a brand with an unrivalled pedigree for Quality

Premier Cottages’ members have won most of the top national 'Visit England Awards for Excellence in Tourism' awards in the the Self Catering category every year since 2007. Our members have won 17 out of a total of 21 Gold, Silver and Bronze awards in the last 7 years. In addition, our members have won National awards every year in the Sustainable and Accessible Tourism categories.

We ask all our members to be graded by their National Tourist Board (VisitEngland, VisitWales, VisitScotland, VisitIreland). This is because we don’t think that being judge and jury of your own collection leads to an unbiased opinion.  The national tourist boards are brands that are known and trusted by the public. We only accept into membership those properties that can achieve high 4* or 5* gradings.

  • That is the quality benchmark that our guests expect, and the grading system is shorthand for that quality.
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hot tub with a view over rolling countryside

We help you to get the most out of your business

As professional self-caterers, our members want to retain control of their business model and pricing, while taking advantage of the marketing power of a bigger group. As a membership organisation, we are also dedicated to enabling members to gain more of their own bookings direct, and enable them to move away from expensive and controlling agencies and OTAs.

We provide frequent communication and advice on various aspects of running your business, including how to get the most out of doing your own social media, advice on pricing (an art, not a science, but lower is definitely not always better), tips on how to improve conversion rates, changes in the law that affect you, and tips on keeping costs under control.  In addition - outside of Covid times - we have a network of regional meetings where you can share ideas with like-minded owners, and an annual conference which is great for networking and learning more about how to improve your business.

  • We work closely with PASC UK – the Professional Association of Self-Caterers – and were jointly responsible with them and ASSC (Association of Scotland’s Self Caterers) for producing the national Covid cleaning protocols for the self-catering sector, which helped to convince Government that we were safe to re-open. 

  • We also run (free) educational sessions with PASC UK, which help owners to make the most out of their business.

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NEED HELP?

You can call us on 0117 325 8810 or email us your contact details if you would like a call back

(This service is normally available between 09.00 and 17.00 Monday to Friday. At all other times, please submit an email request.)

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JOIN PREMIER COTTAGES TO:

  • Remain an independent owner
  • Keep control of your business
  • Benefit from the power of a strong high-end brand behind you
  • Avoid agency fees
  • Access a substantial guest database
  • Be a part of organisation whose interests are aligned with yours