I just returned from a trip to Scotland. What does that have to do with our Bisbee vacation home, the Toland Adobe? Lots, actually. I’ve rented vacation rentals in various parts of the world (including Bisbee), and I have a strong opinion on how a vacation rental should be “outfitted.”
As I’ve mentioned in other posts, I prefer vacation homes over hotel rooms for several reasons: space, time, money, privacy, and a “home away from home” feel. In a vacation rental, you should expect to have a kitchen where you can make and enjoy home-cooked meals. Not that you should have to cook. Often, I just want some simple take-out or cheese and deli meats and bread and wine. But, if I can’t do more than heat up carry out (referred to as “take away” in the UK), that’s not much of a kitchen.
We rented three vacation rentals in Scotland: all three were 2 bedroom apartments. They were average, 4-star type accommodations (not cheap). However, the kitchens were just barely furnished. Not one had a single mixing bowl, a spatula, or a coffee pot, or a toaster. And yes, they DO drink coffee in the United Kingdom, along with gobs of tea. There are coffee shops everywhere. Vacation rentals cater to tourists worldwide, not to locals. The first place had a Bialetti-style stove-top espresso maker. Your average American wouldn’t know how to use one (I happen to have one). The other two had nothing but a kettle. Good thing I brought my handy-dandy Aeropress with me! Scary, the thought of me being coffee-deprived.
Only one of the Scotland apartments had a single potholder; the rest, zip. No paper towels, no napkins, and just one single dish towel for 3 nights. Crappy sponges. Only one had any knives, and there were just 2 dull steak knives. There goes that loaf of french bread with brie and pate! Not one of the three apartment kitchens was suitable for cooking even the simplest meals. Bacon and eggs? No way — there were no spatulas or tongs. I’ve also rented two vacation rentals in Bisbee, and while the kitchens were more furnished than those in Scotland, they contained dull knives and worn-out cookware.
Now compare this to the Toland Adobe! We have a full set of cookware, a full set of regularly-sharpened knives, and dinnerware, silverware, and glassware for a dozen guests. Guests will find a dozen+ small appliances: everything from a coffee pot to a crock pot to an electric skillet. Full sets of measuring utensils. A mixer, a blender, a toaster. We even have a bread machine there (because I took a hankering for one a few years ago). We supply at least a dozen dish towels, new sponges, various wraps and zip-type plastic bags. There are multiple cutting boards and various types of kitchen gadgets. Want to barbecue? There’s a gas grill on the porch. Eat outside? We supply plastic dinnerware and “glass” ware, along with full sets of real glassware. We also supply child-suitable dinnerware and a high chair.
Want to cook a savory meal? We supply dozens of the typical seasonings you might use, along with always-fresh flour, sugar, etc. Can you tell I like to cook? Yes, I do, and I know what it’s like to rent a place that doesn’t have more than a salt shaker to season dishes. I need sharp knives! I really need a clean coffee pot!
We frequently hear from guests who remark on how well stocked the kitchen is.
Vacation homes are affordable for couples and families. If you want to cut your cost per person, consider traveling with another couple and splitting the cost. Get the guys to barbecue dinner and you’ll save even more money. Bring some bacon, eggs, bread, butter and coffee (or pick up some pastries at our local Safeway), and you’ll save even more on breakfast.
You can take your vacation at your own pace. I hate getting up and having to go out first thing in the morning. I prefer to hang out in my pajamas and drink coffee. No rushing! Want to fix lunch? Go right ahead. Then wander around town, take a tour, take a nap, whatever. Want to sit out on the patio and sip some wine while the kids and dog play around you? At our rental, that’s what we like to do — just hang out.
As you can see, I’m passionate about being able to cook when and where I want — and that includes on vacation. If you’re planning a trip to Bisbee and want more information about our Bisbee vacation rental, the Toland Adobe, just ask. Whether you want to cook or dine at some of our wonderful restaurants (or a bit of both), I’m here to answer questions.