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This article is sponsored by Plum Guide to introduce you to their service

With the first of the Covid-19 vaccines administered this week, there is growing optimism about the ability to take a proper holiday in 2021. I for one am starting to plan out several long-awaited trips.

Many people, however, will have concerns over staying in hotels for some time yet. For this reason, 2021 may be the year that many people try out renting a holiday home for the first time.

If this sounds like you, Plum Guide may be able to help.

What makes home rentals via Plum Guide different?

Whilst I love to earn and redeem points for stays at the big hotel chains, there is something special about staying in an unusual private home.

From a turreted folly in the New Forest, to a cabin in the Catskill mountains and a luxurious farm in the Australian outback, home rentals have meant I’ve been able to experience some pretty special stays.

One downside of booking a holiday rental is that it requires considerably more legwork. Reviews need to be read and evaluated for both realism and authenticity, and you can end up losing hours to finding the perfect stay. You can’t even be certain that reviews are not manipulated.

Enter Plum Guide.

Plum Guides has responded to this problem by introducing what is effectively the ‘best of Airbnb’.

It offers interesting and unique home rentals in a range of locations – but handpicked and assessed to ensure the standard of accommodation is reliably high.

Plum Guide claim that their team personally review every single home in a destination, and conduct ‘the world’s most gruelling vetting process’, only accepting the very best onto their site. It guarantees that any property listed on the Plum Guide website is a quality home and that it looks exactly as it does in the pictures.

Where can I stay?

Judging by the website, there are indeed some impressive homes available. Here are a few that took my fancy:


Fancy a stay in a ‘geodosic dome home’? No, I didn’t know what this was either, but it’s a giant pop-up portable home. This one comes complete with a 4 metre home cinema, hot tub (yay!) and stunning Devon location. Click here for more details.

Buckminster Fuller geodosic home

If you fancy a city break like no other, this quirky home in central London will certainly provide you with a unique stay. With a great location by Exmouth Market and fascinating art and ceramics, this home is remarkable.

Discovery apartment

If corona restrictions call for a staycation, you don’t need to compromise on luxury. This stunning property near Woolacombe Bay in Devon has jaw-dropping views, sleek interiors and four bedrooms, so plenty of room for an ultra-stylish family holiday. Oh, and it comes with a fully stocked bar…

The Early Risers home


Private Pool? Check. Understated chic interiors? Check. Moments from achingly hip Elia Beach? Check. This Mykonos rental looks hugely attractive on a dull December day in South London:

Sardine Run


A lovely Puglia villa that combines style with comfort, The Cactus Garden looks like the perfect place to unwind in the Italian sunshine.

The Cactus Garden


If you get the chance to take a city break in 2021, you could go all out with this Barcelona home that directly overlooks the Sagrada Familia:

Gaudi’s Churchyard

Covid protection

Plum Guide are now guaranteeing a full refund on bookings if your trip is halted due to COVID restrictions, regardless of the individual cancellation policy of the home.

If you can’t travel due to either contracting COVID or travel restrictions you will receive 100% refund.


Some of the properties above are particularly spectacular and – to be honest – come with an appropriate price tag.

However, Plum Guide offer a range of price points. For example, several homes came up in my Barcelona search for under £100 a night. If the quality threshold is as high as they promise, this looks very reasonable.

The Plum Guide website is very straightforward to navigate. I found the map function much better than some of the other home rental sites I have used in the past, making it easier to identify exactly where the home was located.

If you think that a home rental may be the best way to holiday in 2021, and you don’t want the hassle of wading through hundreds of reviews, it’s worth taking a look at Plum Guide. You can visit their website here.

Comments (26)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Harry T says:

    Inb4 the usual crowd arrive to complain about a promotional article on a website they read for free.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      “Grr advertorials”

      in chat: “Here’s my referral code: LOLFREE£”

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Harry T – saved me the effort – was going to threaten to cancel my exorbitant subscription fee !

  • Chrisasaurus says:

    I was just going to remark that on the property next to the sagrada familia they’ve chosen property highlight number 1 to be black vases on shelves – and I would say they’re unusually minimalist either, my vases don’t exactly have heated steering wheel and full wet bar attached

  • John Tickner says:

    Not to put a downer on the plans, but UK citizens are not permitted to travel to the EU after January 1st under current regulations.

    • ChrisC says:

      And those restrictions are likely to be lifted by individual countries very soon and even if that does not happen we aren’t going to be barred for long as a lot of Europe needs us to visit because they want our money!

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        I feel it might be that mindset that got us into this situation, but it is true that the tourist destination countries will be keen to attract our tourism dollars as soon as enough of us are vaccinated so as to not be a risk

      • Chris Heyes says:

        ChrisC Best post of the morning lol lol
        QUOTE: And those restrictions are likely to be lifted by individual countries very soon and even if that does not happen
        Covered perfectly lol

      • James says:

        Yes Chris. Just like the German car manufacturers needed us and would make sure the EU capitulates to our every nonsensical whim. Oh…

      • marcw says:

        We shall see.

    • ChrisW says:

      Can’t see Spain banning UK tourists for very long!

    • TGLoyalty says:

      by the time everyone can actually travel again (spring perhaps) being barred wont be a thing.

    • Matthew Lawson says:

      Excellent – lots of great places to visit and stay here in the UK. The UK hospitality sector needs all our support – just as we got between July and October! Book your staycation direct and not through an online travel agency and hospitality business owners (like me) will love you! Thank you.

      • Chrisasaurus says:

        Playing devils advocate here but the OTAs aren’t just a drain on your bottom line, they’re part of your capacity to compete with large hotels and bluntly, if they don’t provide value don’t partner with them!

        • Erico1875 says:

          Yes I agree. Owners complain about OTA fees but dont seem to get the fact that they wouldn’t be getting that booking otherwise.

  • Jo says:

    I don’t mind the odd advert, I find HFP useful.

    As a dog owner we do sometimes book high standard cottages in the UK so I had a look at their Web site. Their search function is not very good and filtering with dog and dishwasher(!), ignoring London, nothing very inspiring there.

    • mr_jetlag says:

      If you already have a dog, why do you need one with the property? 😉

      I also had a look, but those prices are pretty aspirational for a gaff in Woolacombe… pretty sure I’ve seen campervans cost less to buy.

  • Matthew Lawson says:

    Why would “many people… have concerns over staying in hotels for some time yet”? As a hotelier, this kind of careless throwaway comment really does not help the hospitality sector, especially here in the UK, which has done so much to look after our guests yet we are unfairly and unreasonable affected by tier restrictions, even though the evidence shows there is hardly any transmission of COVID in the hospitality sector. Why is it OK to go to the theatre or to the cinema, to a football match or Nottingham Christmas Market, but not OK to go to a hotel? Please play fair – the hospitality sector is dying and needs your support not your unreasonable criticism. Thank you.

    • Rob says:

      I think I’m looking at £7,500 of hotel expenditure during December Matthew, so don’t moan at me 🙂

      • Harry T says:

        Is that just your mini bar tab, Rob?

      • Matthew Lawson says:

        Not a moan, Rob, just a professional observation that it really does not help the UK’s hospitality sector to have an influential blog saying what it did. We were fully booked in November – when usually we are about 50% full in normal years – until lockdown forced cancellation. There is a lot of confidence about the safe practices of hotels which are “Good to Go” accredited by Visit Britain.

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      Bit harsh objecting to: “many people… have concerns over staying in hotels for some time yet” as it is a statement of fact, not a criticism. Whether you like it or not it’s true – my 75yo parents for example put through a significant amount of hotel spend in a typical year, and this year they won’t – nor next until they get the vaccine, so whether or not their concerns are valid (and at 75 they probably are) – it’s a true report of the situation. I run a business and Covid concerns have kept some people away, but they have also opened up opportunities and got us new customers who are impressed by what we do and how we do it. It’s up to us to go the extra mile to show that using our services will be both safe and awesome – not to try and airbrush those concerns out of existence; that won’t help.

      • Matthew Lawson says:

        Interesting. I am just trying to make the point that hotels are one of the safest and well managed places to be – certainly a lot safer than many homes this Christmas.

  • Dominic Barrington says:

    I think Plum is allowed to say that ‘many people…have concerns’ – I don’t think that’s untrue. Many others don’t have concerns, and that’s also good news. I thought this website would be for the ultra-rich, but have just found a delightful studio apartment in Manhattan slightly bigger than a typical NY hotel room – for under $100 per night. I’m pleased to know about this resource!

  • ChrisC says:

    “…interesting and unique home rentals in a range of locations”

    So why are there rooms in an apart hotel in lower Manhatten included?

    Recognised the photos of the suite because I’ve stayed there before and they are the same as on the hotels website.

    Also located on a floor that’s within the hotel section of the building not the private homes.

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