As a vacation rental host, your success depends upon your ability to create a comfortable and enjoyable experience for your guests. Ideally, you want to provide a seamlessly satisfying stay that anticipates what your guests will want or need before they even arrive. Mastering this art is what really makes the difference between a three or four star review and a coveted five star rating.
There is an entire industry devoted to helping hosts curate a vacation rental experience that will set them apart from the competition, and it’s certainly too much to cover in a single blog post. But everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s no surprise that our attention goes directly to the bedroom and sleep experience. So here are some ideas that you can implement today to put the finishing touches on your rental’s bedrooms and wow your guests (even if they don’t know it).
Provide Plenty of Storage
No matter how long they’re staying, guests are going to spend a lot of time in the bedroom, including using it to house their personal belongings. The longer their trip, the more likely it is that they are going to be to want to make themselves at home and avoid living out of a suitcase. After all, vacation rentals appeal to people because they want experience what it’s like to live locally in the places they’re visiting. Make sure the bedrooms provide ample storage space (including more than enough hangers) to allow your guests to settle in and feel at home. If a bedroom doesn’t have a closet — or the closet that is there isn’t very roomy — consider adding a dresser or wardrobe to make sure there is enough storage.
Use Appropriate Bedding
No matter how nice your bed and mattress are, comfortable bedding will ultimately decide whether or not you guests have a good night’s sleep. As an expert on your local climate, outfit each bed with seasonally appropriate bedding (e.g., blankets made of lighter materials if you’re hosting in Florida). If your location is known for having drastically disparate seasons with a lot of variety in-between, stock up on a few different bedding sets, store the alternates under the bed or in a linen closet, and make sure your guests are aware of the option to switch sheets and blankets to increase comfort. Also make sure that all of the bedding sets match, both the individual pieces (buy them as a set) and with the overall decor of the room.
Keep the Pillows Fresh
When you have sometimes hundreds of people staying in your rental over the course of a year, even the most luxurious pillows are going to get worn down. Good pillows will ensure a comfortable and complaint-free night of sleep for your guests; great pillows will prove to be a surprise highlight of their entire stay. It’s worth springing for high quality pillows, but it’s equally important to maintain them (fluff them between every guest) and replace them regularly.
Increase Space with an Adult Bunk Bed
Whether you’re renting out an apartment in the heart of a popular urban destination or a small cottage in the mountains, there is a chance that you’re losing out on business from groups of travelers hoping to stay in the same place together during their trip. An Adult Bunk Bed is an immediate and effective solution to this problem, allowing you to safely sleep as many as six adults in a single bedroom without taking up any more floor space than a standard-sized platform bed.
Give Your Guests Power
Part of feeling at home in your rental means your guests will want it to be easy to kick back and watch TV, charge their phones, or surf the web on their laptops while they’re hanging out in the bedroom. In addition to providing entertainment options in the room itself (check out our blog post on how to keep your guests entertained), provide at least one, if not two, power strips in each bedroom, so that your visitors can use their personal electronic gadgets without the hassle of having to figure out what they can and can’t unplug.
Let There Be Light
Obviously, you want your bedrooms to have good overhead lighting that will make the space look bigger and homier, but to really go the extra mile, consider adding secondary lighting options within arm’s reach of the bed, something that will allow your guests to read before they got to sleep or quickly turn on a light if they have use the restroom in the middle of the night. Table lamps on a night stand or even sconces above or next to the bed are low cost, easy-to-maintain forms of additional lighting that will make your bedroom space just a little bit cozier.
Cut Out the Clutter
The best rule of thumb to follow when decorating a bedroom for others is that less is more. Pick a simple and appropriate theme and use that to guide the furniture, bedding, and artwork that you decorate the space with, but that should be about the extent of it. Adding unnecessary touches and personal decor — tchotchkes or photos — creates a layer of visual clutter that undermine the great work you’ve done designing the space. Plus, it takes away from the guest’s feeling of inhabiting their “own” space for the duration of their stay by putting too much of your personality at the forefront.
And really, keeping it simple is kind of the best advice overall for decorating the bedrooms in your vacation rental; especially if you’re doing it yourself and not working with a professional interior designer. Your bedroom should provide the comforts of home that visitors can’t get in a hotel, which means letting them feel some personal ownership over the space and not like they’re just temporarily living at a stranger’s house for a few days — even if that’s what’s technically happening. Ultimately, they’re looking to escape for a few days in your location, and providing a comfortable bedroom space is the first step toward helping them do just that.