According to Airbnb a 4 star review means a guest felt the stay to have been as described or the experience met expectations. A coveted 5 star review implies a guest experience that was more than it's description portrayed and exceeded expectations. In short, from good to great! Statistics indicate approximately 60% of travelers are willing to pay more for a better anticipated experience and better amenities. Crafting those experiences is a specialized field of expertise merging hospitality with residential design methodology.
With increased competition to stand out in a crowded space, specialized vacation home interior designers are becoming the most instrumental sources of value for VHR property managers and investor hosts to manifest highly sought after and profitable vacation property portfolios. Vacation rental designers like SLATE interior design and others bring unique expertise to crafting a consistent brand standard and unique guest journey.
Factoring in an ideal guest profile with consideration of the investor's property performance criteria, a professional VHR designer will propose a budget including launch consulting and design fees for a tailored plan, white-glove installation, and amenities outfitting with timeline and recommendations for operational processes. Co-hosting and property management are often additional offered services.
While Airbnb and VRBO, the most robust booking sites for vacation home rentals (VHR), do not officially provide a specific list of features that are most desired by potential guests booking luxury type properties, trends indicate preferences will vary depending on factors such as location, travel purpose, length of stay, and group size to name a few preliminary search criteria. Based on booking trends there are some specific features that are often compelling attractions that do stop the scroll. Incorporating desirable features in the overall plan of a vacation home while optimizing the listing with professional photography and engaging descriptions while maintaining consistent 5 star ratings over time can boost listing rank to reach more potential guests.
5 Basics to consider when planning a vacation home rental project for the luxury traveler:
Location: Luxury vacation home guests often seek out properties off the beaten path preferring to live like a local near to health clubs, coffee shops, boutique shopping, local dining with neighborhood charm.
Design: Guests are most attracted to properties with style and well-appointed interiors featuring high-end finishes and furnishings, spa bathrooms, comfortable mattresses and pillows, luxury bedding, thicker towels and thoughtful touches such as artisanal snacks and beverages, and luxe bathroom amenities.
Amenities: Guests often prefer properties that offer plenty of space and amenities such as outfitted gourmet kitchens, stocked pantries, functional work from home spaces, casual family entertainment areas, pools and hot tubs, fireplaces, outdoor living areas and automated conveniences like digital guidebooks.
Privacy: Guests generally value being able to move about a property without too many other people around. This traveler may seek out properties that offer seclusion, such as stand alone homes in quiet neighborhoods, remote villas, beachfront cottages, or high-rise penthouses and the like.
Personalization:Guests often appreciate personalized services such as tailored pre-arrival arrangements and access to customized experiences through co-hosting service partners who offer party planning, catering, cooking demonstrations, tasting events, neighborhood touring, child care, private yoga or fitness coaching, etc.
Sustainability is an increasingly searched feature for vacation rental guests. Many travelers are conscious of the impact that their travel has on the environment and they are seeking eco-friendly options for their accommodations. They are often willing to pay a premium to hosts who prioritize sustainable features in listings such as organic linens, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, eco-friendly cleaning products, and recycling programs. As well, properties with natural light, fresh air, and eco-friendly materials can provide a more organically relaxing atmosphere, which is often a priority for luxury vacation rental guests.
Lastly, consideration in design and functionality should be made to accommodate travelers with disabilities. This is a specific design approach that cannot be implemented in all types of properties but is a growing expectation among a significant proportion of travelers.
SLATE interior design provides expert guidance and a network of specialized vacation rental resources for vacation rental hosts and scaling investors.
Spread across 100,000+ cities, there are over 6+ million active listings on Airbnb which include penthouses, villas, castles, entire islands, cabins and cottages, lighthouses, yachts, tents, travel trailers, and more as of 2023. On average 6 guests check into an Airbnb listing every second. This does not account for booking statistics on all other booking platforms around the world.