Fall/Winter tips to attract more bookings for cottage in the woods

Summer is coming to an end and I’m looking for tips to get more bookings in the fall and winter. I’m in Ontario,Canada. Thought about adding a hot tub, but I’m not sure if the investment and extra work will be worth it.

Why don’t you do some direct marketing with your target audience. For example if your area is good for rambling contact rambling groups with special offers for members?

If it’s an area where you can forage - contact foraging groups and offer them a package with a foraging expert.

A hot tub sounds expensive. Have you worked out how many additional bookings you would need to cover the cost of the hotub, installation and electricity?

Helsi has a good idea there – target hunters, cross country skiers, snowshoe clubs, that sort of thing.

Even here in Florida buying and running a hot tub is not cheap, and requires at least weekly maintenance – putting in chlorine type chemicals to prevent fungus/algae growth. And you can’t turn off the heater between guests – they take too long to heat up (at least a day), and in winter would freeze and break the tub if left unheated.

The tubs aren’t cheap to buy – $K to 6K USD for anything more than a two-person tub; and delivery to the cottage in the woods would not be cheap either.the cottage

Frankly I don’t think it would pay; or rather take far too long to pay off; unless you personally want a hot tub for your visits to


For me, in the Catskill Mountains of New York State, the Autumn months are as busy as summer. My high season is May through October. Who are your guests? Young professionals, families? Because I can assure you I do not get hunters. The foliage and the cool nights are what draws them in. I’m surprised it isn’t the same in Ontario.

Ken is right. Hot tub is a bad idea. In lieu of that you could always install a jet style tub inside? But probably just as expensive.
I learned early on that my Airbnb was highly seasonal. People don’t usually come to Hawaii in summer because it’s warm in so many other places and airfares are too high. But they are missing out on the best snorkeling. It’s placid and the fish are the most active.

I just plan for the downtime (now) and do my maintenance then or take a break from the burnout. :sunglasses:

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To attract vacationers in the Fall and Winter to a cottage in the woods I think three things are must-haves:

  1. rustic aesthetic, which is open to wide interpretation, but some nod to the rustic.
  2. wood burning stove or fireplace of some sort
  3. outdoor fire pit

Im in southern California.Fortunately we have business year round because of the mild climate.I actually prefer the winter here as the garden is so much prettier when we get a lot of rain. We are located by several colleges so there are always parents coming in to visit their kids…move them in and out. What I would do if I wanted more business is I would go back and rework the whole listing.Spend a day writing an enticing ad;thats what I did! I read many Four Seasons listings and lifted some of their clever little phrases and wove them into my listing to make it sound “special.” Then I took lots of photos and staged the room and outside; I used ladders and lights for the best shots and also the early morning to shoot in the garden. There are many apps on the phone that will enable you to make your photos look supercool, take advantage of those.


I have all of these. Many local B&B, and couple rentals have hot tubs.
Hunters like to stay in hunt camps. I’m going to see about skidoo club members. I only started in August 2016, I had some bookings in October, one in Nov, one for New Years, then one each in feb and April.
I’ve made significant decor improvements which is helping. I get groups of 20-30 year olds, families, the odd couple.
My brother is skilled with plumbing and electrics, water systems, so I won’t need to pay for service calls from expensive providers. There are a few hot topubs for sale,e second hand for $1,000.
I’m going to add a queen air bed so I can sleep another couple.

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