CoolStays: find somewhere special to stay on your next trip away
Before the internet found its place in our lives as something as normal as lunch, most of us probably felt we didn’t have enough choice, but now it’s likely we feel we have too much – especially where travel’s concerned. Every other online travel site seems to be touting ‘the most unique’, or ‘hidden gem’ accommodation options, but what if you want all of the best features in one place to stay? CoolStays; that’s what. Developed to encompass the sheer amount of exceptionally cool rental, B&B and hotel choices out there, Brighton-based CoolStays handpicks the cream of the extraordinary crop for you. Founders, Tim and Claire Wills, let us in on the secrets behind their business brainwave.
Hi Tim and Claire! What was the inspiration behind CoolStays?
We love to travel, and what we love even more is to find properties that have both a great location and something really memorable about them, but there just wasn’t a travel brand offering that. Our aim was to create a beautiful website; something really visual, where you don’t have to trawl through lots of bland properties before finding something extraordinary, and we really feel we’ve done that.
What makes CoolStays different from other businesses of its kind?
I think it’s the time and care we put into selecting the properties we feature as well as how we present them. We handpick them, which means you’re not inundated with thousands to choose from, and we’ve added a lot from our travelling past too! Every property offers something unique and has a wow factor, and we really value the property owners who make their places so memorable; there are some really innovative owners out there offering some amazing services to their guests who really put their hearts into their businesses. It’s great to be able to showcase that.
Do you think more people are holidaying in the UK now that it’s easier to find places that are a little bit different, but not too tricky to get to?
There is no doubt that the UK has an amazing selection of cool places to visit. The country’s rich history combined with a fantastic diversity of landscapes means there are some fabulous places to explore. The recent recession has made holidays in the UK a necessity for a lot of people too, and sites like ours have made it easier for people to find great places to stay within their travel budget. That said, we have properties all over the world for people who are wanting to travel more widely.
What next for CoolStays?
To continue growing and making it our mission to find those hidden gems, and for CoolStays to become much more widely known as the go-to travel site for the discerning guest! We have just launched our ‘Deluxe’ inspiration on CoolStays, which consists of 50 beautifully luxurious properties, from a 11-bedroom chateau in France, to a boutique cottage in one of Cornwall’s prettiest fishing villages.
Where’s your favourite CoolStay in Sussex?
Withyfield Cottage in Horsham. We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary there with friends. It’s the perfect luxurious eco cottage and a replica of a property we loved watching being built on Channel 4’s Grand Designs.
Any other favourites?
Belle Tout Lighthouse has an iconic Sussex location and serves possibly the best breakfasts you’ll find anywhere. We love Treetops Treehouse in Devon too; it’s just magical. Further afield, the Fogo Island Inn in Canada is incredible; it’s remote with stunning architecture and amazing food.