Pods and Huts Advice

Suppliers explain why pods and huts are a great choice for glampsite accommodation

Wooden pod in the forest

Cath CaesarCath Caesar, founder
Plain Huts
07903 313922
www.plainhuts.co.uk

How can shepherd’s hut accommodation benefit a glampsite?
The shepherd’s hut is not only a much-loved traditional icon of the countryside, it also happens to be a very versatile addition to a glamping site. The huts can be used individually to accommodate two people comfortably or combined to cater for families or groups. With a little imagination, however, the shepherd’s hut can become a hardworking attraction on your site. For instance, if kitted out with a kitchen it could serve bacon sandwiches for breakfast, offer a range of sandwich fillings at lunch time, ice creams in the afternoon etc. Off season, it could be hired by groups wanting to organise food for a special occasion or activity.

What is the USP of your product?
Here at Plain Huts we have lovingly developed a slightly contemporary look and feel to our huts. The traditional corrugated tin roof is still there, as are our fabulous cast iron wheels, but the space itself is light and airy, the doors open wide bringing the outside in and allowing furniture and fittings to be changed easily. Maintenance is kept to a minimum; the powder-coated aluminium frames need only a simple wipe over and will not jam shut during the winter months

How can your product be customised or made bespoke?
Our company is called Plain Huts because we are situated on Salisbury Plain, not because our huts are plain. We love to do bespoke and if you have an idea we will happily help to realise it, whether you want a bridal suite, an activity centre, or a charming setting for cream teas.

What options do you have for small, medium and large budgets?
Our smallest huts start at £9,500, but a hut that sleeps two with an en-suite wet room and kitchen would cost in the region of £27,000. For those of you looking for that extra special space, then you might like to consider two huts joined with a raised walkway, deck and hot tub.

Another option is to purchase a kit. These can be bought for £3,800 and provide a starting point for a hut up to 2.4m wide and 4.8m long.

What is the estimated return on investment of your product?
We believe that the best returns are to be gained from the larger huts with an en-suite wet room and kitchen. With estimated bookings of 50 per cent overheads of 35 per cent and rental of £120 per night, the initial outlay of £27,000 would be redeemed in just under two years.

Nick SnellerNick Sneller, director
Classic Pod Company
07971 869058
www.classicpodcompany.co.uk

How can hut or pod accommodation benefit a glampsite?
It is widely understood there are health benefits to being outside in nature, but not everyone is able or wants to camp out. A study by the Institute for European Environmental Policy has found that having more nature in our lives can provide health benefits like increased mental wellbeing and allergy reductions.

The smaller pods, huts, bothies and shielings can provide a means to experience nature but with a little comfort. Our hand-crafted pods are a dream escape from the stress and strain of hectic lives that we all lead. These ‘rooms outdoors’ create a space where you can become one with nature while still enjoying that bit of luxury, and can easily incorporate all our modern-day comforts. These designs can help revitalise people’s ability to re-engage with nature.

Inside wooden hut/podWhat is the USP of your product?
All pods are equipped with double glazing, can have a 12v lighting system, and are extremely adaptable. They can be added to upon request, either adding pods or making them multi-roomed to suit your requirements. The modular aspect of the design gives a flexibility of construction like no other. We encourage you to pursue that creative interest – have that sound-proofed pod as a music studio, and have extra window panels to allow light in an art studio space, the healing pod for practitioners, or your very own dream pod. There is no end to the potential of your pod, addressing your creative or therapeutic needs.

How can your product be customised or made bespoke?
Eco-friendly, insulated and bespoke to your needs, our pods are based around a beautiful roundwood frame on to which panels are fixed. The size and shape of the frame will dictate the final design. Pods can be used for glampsites, personal reasons, farm innovations and retreats. Add an en-suite, kitchenette, wood burner, or bespoke furnishings to create the right space for you.

What options do you have for small, medium and large budgets?
Choose from the highly sought after range including the Hex-Pod at 3.1m, used for glamping, dining or as a studio; and the extremely popular Octo-Pod. Measuring an impressive 4.2m diameter, the Octo-Pod can include a double bed, shower room and kitchenette.

What is the estimated return on investment of your product?
Depending upon the specifications of the pod – whether it has en-suite, a kitchenette, or a unique quality; and depending on the site setting – whether it has majestic views or great nearby attractions, will ultimately dictate the return on investment.

Josephine YoungJosephine Young, partner
White Peak Shepherd Huts
01298 872752 / 07761 983312
www.whitepeakshepherdhuts.uk

How can shepherd’s hut accommodation benefit a glampsite?
As shepherd huts are hugely diverse their list of benefits is a long one. They are suitable for siting almost anywhere, mobile, require minimal set up and provide year-round accommodation. They are also perfect as an on– or off-grid solution (appealing to the escalating number of eco-tourists), family friendly, romantic (ideal for couples and weddings) and can be used as shower blocks or site offices. Each hut is unique and designed specifically for you, and represents a long-lasting investment.

Outside blue glamping podWhat is the USP of your product?
I could mention the exceptional build quality or our tailored design service, or even the marketing advice that we offer, however, what we believe really sets us apart is our customer service. This may seem like a small detail, however those who’ve fallen foul to poor customer service and experienced the frustration and disappointment that comes with it will know that it can make the difference between a good experience and a hellish one. We appreciate that our customers are investing not only a significant amount of money with us, but also their plans and dreams, so to ensure that their experience with us is rewarding and enjoyable we offer the individual level of support each client needs and fulfil our promises.

How can your product be customised or made bespoke?
The beauty of our shepherd huts is that no two are ever the same as we design and build each one to reflect our clients’ differing needs and tastes.

What options do you have for small, medium and large budgets?
Our huts come in a range of sizes from the smallest at 10ft x 6ft to the largest at 20ft x 8.37ft. Additionally, you can opt to have your hut delivered in its simplest form to fit out yourself or leave it to us to finish to the highest specification, complete with kitchen and bathroom, so that all you need to do is concentrate on the bookings.

What is the estimated return on investment of your product?
How much can be charged depends on several factors such as location and the quality of the facilities, however, existing glampsite owners are charging between £70 and £120 a night. When charging £80 per night at 70 per cent occupancy, a single unit grosses a return of £20,560 per year. With our Holiday Huts starting at £27,090, you could be in profit as early as year two.

Please mention a glampsite that has installed your product
Our most recent Holiday Hut went up to the stunning Glenwhan Gardens in Stranraer. Owner Tess has hit the ground running, and despite the fact she opened in the coldest, wettest month of the year, has already had guests staying in her new hut. I have no doubt that her venture will be a huge success.

Nick FeeneyNick Feeney, managing director
One Night Stand Glamping
0203 7733101
www.one-nightstand.co.uk

How can pod accommodation benefit a glampsite?
I asked my clients this and the three main responses were: To extend their season, get a better return on their pitch or just to have a different offering. These are huge benefits of glamping pods in their own rights, but combined I think it makes it an easy decision.

ONE NIGHT STAND What is the USP of your product?
All pod manufacturers will tell you their pods are the best on the market… What I can tell you is we most definitely aim to be. We only use the best materials for our pods to ensure they are fit for purpose and last the test of time. For example, all our exterior wood is either Siberian Larch or Western Red Cedar, which have a life expectancy of 40 years plus and require no maintenance other than staining.

We also offer the most insulated pods on the market, with 150mm of Kingspan or equivalent throughout the pod.

How can your product be customised or made bespoke?
All our clients have different needs and requirements for their pods and while we have our standard range and sizes, we are also able to build to order.

What options do you have for small, medium and large budgets?
One Night Stand researched the marketplace and we found that site owners were frustrated at the difficulties of securing finance for growth. Therefore, we are the only company that offers three ways of getting a glamping pod. 1) Straightforward purchase, 2) Rental, 3) Try before you buy. All these options offer great value in their own right with our ‘Try before you Buy’ scheme being the most popular.

What is the estimated return on investment of your product?
This is a dangerous question, and many manufacturers give out misleading figures to their clients just to make a sale. The true answer to this is it really depends on your site facilities, location, surrounding area and how you offer your pod. It goes without saying if you have a strong offering then you are more likely to get a strong return.

Please mention a glampsite that has installed your product
Back of Beyond Touring Park in East Dorset has just taken delivery of some glamping pods for the first time. They are already looking great for bookings this year and furthermore can now offer a longer season due to the all year-round use of the pods. www.backofbeyondtouringpark.co.uk

Will VickeryWill Vickery, director.
Blackdown Shepherd Huts
01460 929 774 / 07711 489717
www.blackdownshepherdhuts.co.uk

How can shepherd hut accommodation benefit a glampsite?
Shepherd huts can be used as a luxury glamping retreat to give a real sense of intimacy and a high-end camping experience. Blackdown Shepherd Huts are specially designed to make the best out of the room they have to create something really special for guests.

What is the USP of your product?
Blackdown Shepherd Huts have the drop-down wall bed, which is unique and a great use of space. In addition, we add in all sorts of storage solutions and surprise nooks and crannies. We’ve also recently added a glass roof to some our huts for those who want to stargaze. Clad in our signature feather-edge oak cladding, or wriggly tin, our huts are made for generations to come.

Glamping pod/hutHow can your product be customised or made bespoke?
We offer all types of customisation and bespoke additions. Our Turnkey shepherd huts offer customers the opportunity to indulge their imagination and create their own cosy space, including all the extras like kitchens and bathrooms. Shepherd hut customers can make their huts completely individual to them and they can be as luxurious or as simple as they choose.

What options do you have for small, medium and large budgets?
As well as our bespoke huts in Turnkey, Heritage or Retreat style, we offer self-build options, which are available in a metal or oak chassis. We still work with customers to achieve their dream hut, and thus we have devised a hut build which allows customers to construct their own artisan hut, with our self-build system. Having built quite a few huts, we’ve used our knowledge to pre-prepare the elements which need specialised equipment or components, but apart from that, it’s all down to the customer and their skills (which can be anything from basic carpentry to fully-fledged builder). A self-build option allows the customer not only to save money, but also enables them to add their own personal touch every step of the way.

What is the estimated return on investment of your product?
The key thing is to remember that generally what you project is what you will bring in. So, if you want to attract families at certain times and couples at others, then we advise customers to think about using PR. We use Niche Brands, who work with customers running glamping business to ensure that websites, PR and adverts are relevant to the people the business wants to attract at the right times. We advise that PR will be instrumental to business success and that businesses should see things changing and improving with a PR boost within three to six months. Promotion of a business is key and you need to know what will set you apart from the competition. The key to PR for glamping businesses is getting your brand out there and raising your profile, which in turn should see an increase in awareness, enquiries and ultimately occupancy.

Please mention a glampsite that has installed your product
The high-end Dimpsey hut in Somerset is one of Blackdown’s finest Turnkey huts. Emma Warren set up her glamping business in 2014 and has created the Dimpsey hut as the ultimate in a high-end glamping retreat, which is now an award winning glamping site. Emma has designed it to ensure that guests feel like they are in a luxury hotel. Dimpsey is 18 feet long and contains a double bed, seating, kitchen area and a bathroom with shower and flushing toilet. Dimpsey now also has a hot tub and garden oven in the outdoor area and Emma has created an idyllic retreat for couples.

Phillip TernouthPhilip Ternouth, sales manager
Camping Snug
01208 850376
www.campingsnug.co.uk

How can pod accommodation benefit a glampsite?
For the site owner, a fully insulated structure means all year-round use. Our pods are low maintenance and set up ready to go. It also means no taking down of wet tents and drying before storing. For guests, there is no wind whip or flapping to keep them awake, no waking with the early dawns of the long days of summer, more privacy and security, and a guaranteed dry place should the weather get a little damp.

What is the USP of your product
Complete self-contained glamping, low maintenance, and year-round rental potential.

CAMPING SNUGHow can your product be customised or made bespoke?
The Star Pod is modular – we can build any size depending on the customer’s specification. We have built an H-Shaped Star pod to accommodate workers at a famous festival.

What options do you have for small, medium and large budgets?
Our smallest Camping Snug starts at 4.2m, which can accommodate two adults easily. For medium budgets a 6m standard pod gives you more room. Our star pod is the largest we supply off the shelf. We can supply larger bespoke pods – the only limit is your imagination and size of wallet.

What is the estimated return on investment of your product?
The Star Pods will pay for themselves in one to three years, depending on site location and length of season. Our Star Pods have a life expectancy of 25 years plus. Each pod has a potential to earn over £15,000 per annum.

Please mention a glampsite that has installed your product
The owner of Trecombe Lakes in Falmouth (www.trecombe-lakes.co.uk) helped design the Star Pod. The site has steadily grown over the years and now offers seven Star Pods in an idyllic Cornish location. Their season gets longer and longer each year. This year they were fully booked over the Christmas holidays, which speaks volumes about the build quality and insulation that is used in our Star Pod. They have been fully booked every weekend since Christmas and are now looking forward to another busy season. They have just taken delivery of their latest addition.

Niche Brands