Hospitality is something we care about deeply as a culture. As a vacation rental host, it’s important to take hospitality to the next level by setting up a comfortable and inviting space that exceeds guest expectations even when you're not present. The most flattering thing a guest can say is that they felt "at home" the moment they walked through your door and every moment in your vacation home.
But how can you transform a hotel-clean suite into the perfect home away from home? We know all the little tricks to make your guests truly feel welcome and relaxed.
Start by keeping it casual. Homey, family, or even rustic themed decor are more welcoming for families while a clean gray-and-steel style is more welcoming for traveling professionals. For that "at home" feel, keep it casual (and unbreakable). From kids to pets to playful lovers, the sturdier and more down-home your decor is, the more your guests can truly relax.
Above & Beyond Kitchen Essentials
A few plates, cups, and silverware can make take-out food so much more enjoyable. But to make a vacation rental feel like home, you want an intuitively stocked kitchen. Include everything you'd want in your own kitchen from spices to hand towels. In fact, many hosts stay in their own rentals for a week or so, stocking the kitchen and drawers as if they were a resident just so guests will have that same home cooking convenience and joy.
Subtle Cabinet Labels
Few things make you feel like a guest quite like poking through cabinets to find out what's inside. A few subtle, elegant labels on closed storage can help your guests find what they need and quickly become familiar with the new layout of their home away from home.
Extra Towels & Backup Toiletries
We all forget things when traveling, and a well-stocked guest bathroom can be a lifesaver. Be sure to leave some shampoo, conditioner, body wash, new toothbrushes, and other toiletry essentials. It can also be very welcoming to have a whole extra stack of towels on hand.
Intuitive Drawer Contents
Just like the kitchen, put some thought into those empty drawers throughout the house. Tuck tissues and antihistamines in the bedside table. Fill a utility drawer in the kitchen with handy things like scissors, pens, and tape. Throw a few hair ties in the bathroom drawers. When your guests instinctively reach for something they need, they will be quite pleasantly surprised and rewarded.
Comfortable and Practical Bedding
You want the beds of your vacation rental to look like hotel beds and offer a restful night’s sleep like at home. Make it elegant, but don't over-decorate. Choose practical and soft cotton sheets, duvets, and woven throw blankets that serve in all kinds of weather and sleepover styles. Make your guests feel like they're welcome to nap or lounge instead of like they're sleeping in a museum.
Special Treats for Kids or Pets
If you know children or pets are coming with your guests (or regularly welcome guests with kids or pets), leave special treats just for them. If you have a kid's room, leave a coloring book and new crayon box on each bed. Keep a jar of dog treats in the kitchen and perhaps set out a few as a greeting for families with pets coming to stay.
Themed Welcome Baskets
Finally, don't forget the power of a gift basket. Even a simple collection of toiletries or breakfast goodies could be just what your guests need to feel welcomed. There are several themes of baskets you can build to specially welcome each guest based on their party and vacation plans. You can leave a romantic basket for couples, a fun activity basket for families, an ingredient basket for foodies, and more. Get creative, personalize, and take your cues from the guests.