More than two decades spent dedicated to the beautiful north Cornish coast.
Words by Dan Warden
In homage to Cornwall’s geographic co-ordinates, Latitude50 was so named in 2007 and the brand has grown from a start-up business in the mid 90s, to a well-established name in Cornwall’s burgeoning luxury holiday industry. The name reflects the founders’ love for, and dedication to, this most beautiful of regions, and this is something that is very much shared and championed by the Latitude50 team today. A passion for Cornwall and geographical knowledge, combined with industry expertise and research from parent company Travel Chapter, means Latitude50 is now able to offer both owners and guests the very best of both worlds. The Latitude50 experience is etched into the landscape around Rock, Daymer Bay, Polzeath and Port Isaac, a tight, geographical focus that’s maintained to ensure that the team – from their office in Rock – are only ever minutes away, should owners or guests need them. Within the office, desks are occupied by passionate professionals who themselves are local to the area. In fact, between them, there isn’t a local break that hasn’t been surfed, a dog walk undiscovered, a local cuisine unsampled, or, indeed, a property within their portfolio that hasn’t been visited.
I speak with Katy Austin-Waters, Latitude50’s Portfolio Manager, who tells me more about the brand and how it works to stand out in an increasingly crowded marketplace. “We work incredibly hard to keep our marketing fresh and our brand unique,” she explains, “and part of this is offering a fully managed service that includes both bookings and property management. This allows us to offer a seamless service to both owners and guests, and ultimately save owners money.”
Geography also plays a key part, it seems. As Katy puts it: “Our niche in north Cornwall means we’re experts in the area, and our team are extremely quick in responding to owners and guests. We can attend any of our properties within a matter of minutes, and we’re happy to do so, because we understand that the calibre of properties in our area requires a high level of care and attention.”
Refreshingly, Katy explains that another important part of maintaining this level of service is keeping the portfolio to a manageable size. Instead of overburdening themselves with properties and thereby compromising the quality of service they’re able to offer their owners and guests, by maintaining a manageable number of properties on their books, not only can they ensure a bespoke level of service, they can also ‘flex’ this service to suit each owner’s specific objectives. In other words, at Latitude50, one-size does not fit all. And nor should it.
This is key, especially when you consider the myriad types of holiday home that Latitude50 represents. There is a minimum threshold, of course: “We look for properties of a premium standard that we know our clients will love,” says Katy. But they also relish those with unique features, such as clifftop locations or waterside positions, and those with swimming pools and hot tubs. Character, too, is important; Cornwall is replete with characterful homes from various periods of history, which themselves make fascinating bases from which to enjoy a Cornish holiday. “We also look for a broad portfolio in terms of property size,” says Katy, “and at present we have everything from a studio barn conversion suitable for solo travellers and couples, to single homes accommodating up to 14 guests, to neighbouring properties sleeping up to 28, and everything in between. We love dogs, too, and so do our guests, which is why we have over 96 dog-friendly properties within our portfolio.”
Of course, Latitude50 isn’t the only brand representing holiday properties in the north Cornwall area. But, says Katy: “We represent the most outstanding, and we provide a service that matches. We, as a team, have visited every property and can therefore ensure our guests pick the right one for them. Our expertise also allows them to make the most of their time here, and we encourage guests to pick our brains about anything, from wedding planning, to local caterers, to dog walks and days out.”
Properties and area knowledge aside, Latitude50 also understands that sometimes, it’s the little details that make the biggest difference, which is why guests arrive to a carefully curated hamper of local treats, for people and pups alike. It is these little touches that Latitude50 has become known and loved for and with the increase in numbers of people discovering the benefits of a holiday in Cornwall over their usual travels abroad, they are now more important
With the foreign travel restrictions that were put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19, ensuring guests felt immediately welcomed on their UK staycation was more important than ever. With that in mind, I ask Katy how Latitude50 feels about the staycation industry here in Cornwall now, and how the brand intends to continue providing exemplary service as popularity of UK holidays continues to boom. “Holidays in our geographic area are a fantastic tradition for families within our client base,” she explains, “and we have a large number of repeat guests who return year on year, and who have holidayed in the area for generations. We pride ourselves on looking after our repeat bookers, who get first refusal on the same week each year.” In reality then, not a lot needs to change – this brand has, for decades, been providing the very best in service for owners and guests alike. And as the team look to the future, their approach to ensuring they represent the optimum blend of properties, and never too many, will ensure that as more people than ever make their way to Cornish shores for their holidays, with Latitude50, their stay will imbibe the same love for this beautiful county that inspired its founders more than two decades ago.