Sweetest Homestay Award 2018 – Shortlist

Self-catering and apartment accommodation has experienced a boom in recent years, driven by the popularity of staycations and the demands of business travellers wanting a well-furnished alternative to the traditional but uninspiring chain hotel room. The Sweetest Homestay Award recognises the very best of these properties, which come in a fabulous variety of forms, who offer something different while maintaining the highest standards.

Sweetest Homestay Award judging criteria

  • Does the accommodation have self-catering facilities?
  • How has the host ensured guests have privacy?
  • What extra services are offered to guests?
  • How does the property stand out from other homestays?

We received 100s of entries for this year’s eviivo Awards, and would like to thank everyone who entered, allowing our judging panel to complete the difficult task of shortlisting for the Sweetest Homestay Award.

Congratulations to all of the shortlisted properties below, and best of luck when the winners are announced at the eviivo Awards 2018 ceremony on October 16th!


At Foxhouse Studios, guests can enjoy the independence of a town-centre apartment but with a reception desk providing excellent customer service, often likened to a hotel. The apartments are kitted out with brand new and extensive facilities to give guests that feeling of a “home away from home”.

The Villa Neston owners

Privacy is paramount at this secluded cottage, which has its own private entrance, patio and garden. Neston town centre is just a short walk away, but with no pedestrian walkways nearby, nor any loud vehicle traffic, guests can feel tucked away in their own private dwelling and can make themselves at home.

bowness the stables

Situated in a converted 19th century stable building, The Stables consists of 3 private self-catered units. Each apartment is located in a converted 19th Century stable building and has a characteristic Lake District feel with classic authentic décor. Often catering to couples wanting a romantic weekend away, the owners give guests the keys and plenty of space to feel at home.


There’s something for all ages at this quirky glamp site, where guests can enjoy views of the Mells Valley from the comfort of furnished huts and yurts. Children are encouraged to collect eggs and nature-watch in the surrounding woodland, while couples can enjoy the campfire and gazing at the stars. Guests are left to themselves without any fuss.

The Jonas Centre owner

For a Scandinavian secluded feel, the Jonas Centre offers log cabins with excellent facilities, so guests can feel at one with the wilderness but not totally abandoned by civilisation. The scenic surroundings make for the perfect holiday environment, and whether guests intend on relaxing or exploring the local area, all holidaymakers can enjoy these self-catered digs.


The two traditional brick cottages at Pine Tree Lodge were designed and built by the owner, and decorated in shabby-chic and contemporary styles. Each cottage has its own private parking and garden to maintain the guests’ privacy. Even though the setting is semi-rural, the bustling town of Bridgnorth is nearby – the best of both!


Variety is the spice of life at Rossendale Holiday cottages, where guests can stay in a number of holiday cottages or glamping pods. There’s a communal fire pit and BBQ on an island separated by a stream and guests can enjoy the outdoors experience of camping but with the added comforts of a  solid floor and protection from the elements.


This quaint homestay is set in the grounds of a private estate that dates back to the 16th century, which boasts a fishing lake and woodlands – perfect for a secluded stroll through nature. Each cottage has its own well-equipped kitchen so that guests can cook up a fishy feast if they catch anything at the lake.


History and modernity combine in this collection of 19th century cottages, each with a designer kitchen but original features, such as thick stone walls, wooden beams and studded doors. Guests have access to a swimming pool, tennis court and the private formal gardens, which are all surrounded by tall hedges for extra seclusion.


Family-run Portnellan provides self-contained cottages and lodges on an estate in the heart of the beautiful Highlands. Guests can settle in at their own leisure but the owners are on hand to help with arranging activities such as fishing, mountain biking or kayaking. With grounds as large as these, guests have plenty of space to explore.