One of the few remaining independent holiday letting agencies in St Ives has taken on a raft of new properties ahead of the 2022 season, bringing the number of holiday homes in its portfolio to over 60.

Claire Gilbert, founding director of The Cottage Boutique, puts this recent success down to the “energetic, hands-on approach” of her team and their specialist knowledge of St Ives and the surrounding area.

She explained: “We’re a dynamic, experienced team with plenty of personality. Many guests return to our properties year after year, asking us to recommend new properties to try and tapping into our local knowledge for things to do and see in west Cornwall. Owners and guests sometimes receive a less personal and more disconnected service from larger, national agencies.

“We have a wide range of properties in our portfolio, from modern apartments to former fishermen’s cottages, luxury town houses to country farmhouses. The one thing that unites them is that they all have unique appeal and we’d book any one of them for our own families in a heartbeat!”

Gilbert, who founded the business almost 15 years ago, has recently taken over the management of several destination properties in Carbis Bay, an evolution which aligns with the growing popularity of St Ives’ near-neighbour.

She explained: “Putting aside some of the issues caused locally by the G7, the arrival of the world leaders definitely boasted the profile of Carbis Bay, with images of the beautiful setting beamed around the globe. With the scenic train ride into St Ives taking only a few minutes, it’s not difficult to see why Carbis Bay is growing in popularity as a holiday base.”

Gilbert plans to continue harnessing the expertise of her team in the year ahead, helping guests enjoy memorable stays in the area; The Cottage Boutique support fellow local businesses through recommendations, a hamper service and their ‘Boutique Butler’ guide.

Plans are also afoot to support local charities and community projects by encouraging guests to make a small donation each time they book – a donation which would be matched by The Cottage Boutique and used to help fund social and environmental initiatives.

There are also plans of growing the portfolio of properties further afield. “I think some of our regular guests do have the desire to get off the beaten track and discover other parts of west Cornwall,” she said. “So, if properties from beyond the immediate area fit our criteria, we’d certainly consider bringing them into The Cottage Boutique fold.”

Ship Aground St Ives