Airbnb Industry Insights

The Top Chalet & Countryside Stays Across Europe For A Charming Winter Getaway

December 15, 2020 |

With Europe currently in the midst of another coronavirus wave, we can all likely agree that the timing of recovery for the travel and hospitality industry is uncertain. However, there are some positive data points that show a promising future for the short-term rental ecosystem. 

Case in point: in the few weeks following the positive vaccine news from Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford University, we noticed a 9% uptick in short-term rental reservations across the globe compared to that same time period last year. This is unusual, as usually during this time of year booking numbers generally decline. And considering more and more guests are booking last-minute stays that are longer on average, it’s looking like it’s going to be a busy holiday season.

For anyone looking for a charming winter getaway – whether it be to spend time with family over the holidays, explore a new city while working remotely or simply drink hot chocolate and relax by a fireplace – we’ve put together a list of the top chalet and cabin properties across Europe powered by Guesty.

Luxury & Remote Chalets Across Europe

With fluctuating restrictions causing uncertainty around travel plans, those who are travelling right now are opting for “drive-to” staycations a few hours away. 

For those looking to plan their next domestic vacation, Smiling House offers a network of private chalets, villas and apartments across the world. In Europe specifically, Smiling House manages luxury properties across Switzerland, Spain, France, the UK, Germany, Austria, Italy, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus.

No matter where your backyard is, these luxury homes are ideal for anyone looking for a 5-star retreat, offering complete privacy, top-notch amenities and spectacular views. Any guest at one of Smiling House’s chalets would have direct access to a variety of outdoor and socially distanced activities, from skiing and glacier walking to hiking, mountain biking and rafting. 

With the popularity of self check-in, Smiling House has perfected pre-stay communication with guests, collecting any special requests or needs in advance in order to prevent any face-to-face interaction once a stay begins. This includes anything from a stocked fridge to pre-ordered ski equipment waiting in the ski-room upon arrival. 

Mountain Retreats For The Digital Nomad

With remote work the new norm, Europeans are giving up traditional metropolitan office spaces and instead choosing to work from spacious rentals in rural, suburban or mountain areas, as long as they provide the necessary means to operate productively and comfortably. The result – for many the work-from-home trend is transforming into “work-from-any-home.”

These digital nomads aren’t just trading in their workplaces, they are also life shopping and experimenting with cities to see where they might want to settle after the pandemic. Many are choosing to break traditional leases, and instead are booking 1-3 month-long extended stays. 

GuestLee, a Swiss luxury property management company, offers high-end chalet stays coupled with instagrammable views of the Alps and outstanding work-from-home amenities. The properties come equipped with high-speed wireless internet, laptop-friendly workplaces and plenty of space to host small company events or team meetings. When not working, guests can enjoy a myriad of concierge services and extras, ranging from private saunas, wine cellars and direct access to ski slopes. 

GuestLee is also now promoting longer stays of 30+ stays with more focus on in-house amenities, targeted discounts and relaxed cancellation policies. With heightened guest sensitivity towards health and safety amid COVID-19, GuestLee also offers self check-in to properties upon request and certified sanitary inspections. 

Contact-Free & Socially-Conscious Countryside Stays  

Most guests today are more comfortable booking rentals that offer contact-free experiences, such as self check-in, and are frequently asking about any extra steps being taken to keep them safe. 

Air Manage Suffolk, an end-to-end property management company with properties across the UK countryside, revamped their cleaning and safety procedures to meet these new guest expectations. Although the company had already been using keyless entry technology across all units prior to COVID-19, they began to market these features more heavily on listing descriptions and in communication with guests. 

In addition, Air Manage Suffolk’s properties inherently limit interaction between guests and staff. All are private homes with a full-serviced kitchen, washer & dryer and private outdoor space. And the company decided to introduce new operational protocols to enhance guest safety, adjusting check-in time from 3pm to 5pm in order to give cleaning staff additional time to clean and sanitize properties between stays. The company also avoids sending any staff into a home while a guest is there, unless completely necessary, to keep all parties safe during the pandemic. 

In order to perfect guest experience, Air Manage Suffolk’s offers 24/7 support to answer guest inquiries instantly and introduced a 100% refund policy if guests cannot travel due to COVID-19. Most recently, the company has equipped all its properties with individual NHS QR Track and Trace codes in line with the current regulations in the UK. 

Preparing For 2021 

With many travelers looking for suitable accommodations for their holiday travel, we’ll see chalet and private stays like these become increasingly popular in the next few weeks as we head into Christmas and New Year’s Eve. And those property management companies who make the necessary changes to meet new guest expectations – from supporting extended stays to implementing contact-free tech – will outperform their competitors. 

For more information on the state of the short-term rental industry as we head into 2021, take a look at our Coronavirus Infocenter.

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