When it comes to vacation rentals, there are certain amenities and features that guests expect and appreciate - both from a design and functionality perspective. Whether you're thinking about an investment, or already managing a property, it's important to consider what guests are looking for. Here are the 9 must-haves for a successful vacation rental that will get great reviews and have guests coming back.
1. Comfortable beds and bedding
One of the most important things for guests is a good night's sleep. Make sure your vacation rental has comfortable beds and quality bedding, including pillows, sheets, and blankets. All white everything is best so you're able to bleach them, but you can add pops of colour with decorative pillows and throws. You'll want mattress and pillow protectors to prevent stains and dust mites, and you will need at least 2 sets of sheets per bed for quick turnovers between guests.
If you're just getting started outfitting a new place these bed bundles from Brooklinen are so convenient and excellent quality. Our mattresses are all Endy because they ship quickly, are super comfy and Canadian! We bought our mattress protectors from them as well, but Everyday Essentials from the Superstore is another great (and super affordable) brand for pillow and mattress protectors.
PRO TIP: the same rule as sheets goes for towels. At least 3 sets per potential guest, and all white for ease of cleaning.
2. Seating for each guest
While this seems obvious, many rentals actually don't consider the maximum number of guests that could be staying at the property when planning their layout and furniture selection. If your rental allows for 8 guests based on the number of available beds, make sure your primary living and dining space has comfortable seating for 8.
This 3-seater sofa is really comfortable and the texture in the fabric makes it really durable for a high traffic area.
3. Fully-equipped kitchen
Now, not everyone wants to cook on vacation (I sure don't), but larger groups or families renting homes will often choose to cook at least some meals for convenience and cost. Make sure your kitchen has all the necessary appliances, cookware, and utensils for guests to prepare their own meals. With dinnerware and glassware, ensure you have at least 2 sets per maximum number of guests. This is important so that guests don't have to wash dishes after every use, and also in case items break (which they will). Stick with white dish sets for a cohesive look and so that items are easier to replace when necessary.
PRO TIP: Having a BBQ (if your property allows for one) is a huge benefit for many vacation rentals because it's a quick and easy way to feed a bigger group. It also means less wear and tear on your kitchen. If your BBQ is propane, always make sure you welcome your guests with it at least 50% full.
4. Large dining area
A fully-equipped kitchen would be a waste if your guests didn't have somewhere they could gather to eat. Your dining table should be large enough to accommodate the max number of guests that your rental could have. And remember that this table won't only be used for dining, but for games, puzzles, or even as an extra work station.
This large walnut table allows for an additional two chairs to be added to the ends to seat 8 comfortably. The extra chairs don't have to match the others so they can be brought over from a different part of the house, or can be stored away to not overcrowd the space.
5. A dedicated workspace
With more and more people working remotely, many are taking extended vacations with plans to do at least a little work from their destination. A vacation rental with a dedicated workspace will be much more attractive to a potential guest - as will fast and reliable Wi-Fi. Make sure your vacation rental has a strong internet connection, and include the password in your welcome materials.
This desk actually doubles as a console table (or rather....is a console table), so it can be repurposed as needed throughout the space. It comes in unfinished pine, so you can leave it au naturel or stain/paint it to match your décor.
6. Sustainable products
Not only are they good for the environment, but eco-friendly, all-natural products (soaps, shampoos etc.) do not go unnoticed by guests. They show that you care about your property and the people staying in it, and add a touch of luxury to their vacation experience - much like a hotel would. The same applies to cleaning supplies that your guests and cleaning crew will use. While guests expect a clean vacation rental, accidents do happen. Make sure your rental is stocked with stain-removers and equipment, including a vacuum, broom, and mop for any spills or messes.
7. Ultimate privacy
Privacy is crucial to the guest experience. They've gone on vacation to relax, unwind and enjoy their time away without being disturbed or intruded upon. You want them to fully immerse themselves in your property and enjoy all of the wonderful amenities you've worked so hard to provide. If your rental is in a condo building, don't fret. Privacy is not just dependent on location or density, but on the security and safety of the property, and aesthetic solutions - like blinds and drapes on all windows and doors.
8. Outdoor space
Outdoor space, such as a patio or balcony, is a great feature that guests appreciate. Make sure the space is comfortable and inviting, with seating, sun protection and ideally, a BBQ. If your property is light on outdoor space, provide guests with recommendations for local attractions, restaurants, and activities. Include a list of your favorite places in the area, along with directions and contact information in your welcome materials.
9. Views and amenities
We all know that people love a great view (Drake even wrote a song about it), so if you have one - flaunt it! Design your space to maximize it, and make sure your marketing materials promote it. If your property is light on views, let your guests know some must-see spots in the area where they can enjoy it.
10. Personal touches
First impressions are everything, especially on vacation. Welcoming your guests with fresh flowers, a bottle of wine, a local coffee or a stocked snack cupboard and a handwritten card will go a long way in setting the tone for the rest of their stay which, will result in more positive reviews, referrals and return visits.