Whether you’re renting out a 1-bedroom romantic cabin or a large group lodge, your vacation property is luxury priced or fit for tight budgets, it’s important to provide amenities that guests expect no matter the size or cost. Luring in a profit with attractive amenities — like mountain views, swimming pools, hot tubs, fireplaces, firepit tables, home theaters, game consoles, and private pools — is only step one.
If you want to secure bookings, your vacation rental needs to have expected amenities guests will appreciate plus a few extras to entice a booking. Otherwise, your potential revenue will go to neighboring properties that have the essentials guests are looking for in a vacation rental…and that’s the last thing you want. Check out our essential vacation rental amenities checklist to get started!
What Amenities Are Expected at Vacation Rentals Nowadays?
There are 7 key amenities guests expect property owners to provide. Plus, adding and upgrading amenities at your property will help increase reservations and revenue. When you provide what guests are expecting, your property becomes instantly more attractive — and guests are more likely to make repeat bookings. Follow our amenities checklist to make your vacation rental guests comfortable and happy.
Side note: before you ask why air conditioning is not on our must-have list of vacation rental amenities, it’s because we don’t consider air conditioning as an amenity. To us, air conditioning shouldn’t be something to consider — it should simply be provided. Even pop-up and tent rentals have air conditioning these days…
1. Keyless Entry — No Office Stops
Maybe you hand out house keys to renters at a separate office. Perhaps you have a lockbox with a special code for the keys. Whatever you’re currently doing, it’s worth taking a moment to think about the guest experience and how it impacts your investment. Guests don’t want to stop by an office to check in or out or fiddle with physical keys anymore than you do on vacation…
Forget losing keys and making endless copies at your expense. Opt for keyless entry instead! Modern times call for modern measures, and that certainly rings true for vacation rentals. You can create a unique key code for each guest for added safety and peace of mind. And at Georgia Cabins for YOU — a successful and experienced property management company in North Georgia — we’ll take care of keyless entry installation and keycode creations for YOU!
2. Quality Furniture
It should go without saying…but high-quality furniture is a big deal at short-term rentals in today’s market. Guests want to be comfortable in every room, not just the living room, so putting old or cheap furniture anywhere in your vacation rental home is a NO. Yes, that includes the mattresses. Paying renters are going to judge your choices to determine if they’ll return. And we can all agree repeat guests are a lot easier to find than new ones, right?
Of course, it’s unthinkable to expect every guest to love your couches, chairs, tables, and beds 100%. You can’t suit everyone’s taste, but you can realistically provide furniture that’s pleasing to most. Just think: would I be happy to sit, lounge, eat, and sleep here? And if your vacation rental property is pet friendly, consider upgrading to stain-resistant and sturdy fabrics and materials.
3. Fully Equipped Kitchen
Vacation rentals with fully outfitted kitchens help save guests money and time on vacation. Updating your vacation rental’s kitchen with nice appliances (including minor appliances like a toaster and blender), pots and pans, new dishes, silverware, glassware, mugs, and worktops can go a long way in attracting more guests. Cooking homemade meals, saving restaurant leftovers, making coffee, and grabbing midnight snacks are all part of the vacation rental experience.
If you want to splurge on your short-term rental, the kitchen is a good place to invest. Attractive kitchen bits include stainless steel or slate appliances, a Keurig coffeemaker, a double oven, a wine fridge plus wine glasses and bottle openers, an island with bar seats, and a hot water dispenser over the stove. Of course, you don’t have to go all out on this one, just provide good quality essentials you and guests would appreciate in a fully functioning kitchen.
4. Grill for Cookouts
Outdoor grills, whether gas, charcoal, or dual, offer a great way to spend time with loved ones on vacation. At cabin rentals especially, renters expect more outdoors, and that includes a grill for fun cookouts together. Pro tip: before installing a grill at your property, be sure to check neighborhood ordinances. You can also advertise any community grills in your property description.
When selecting a grill for your vacation rental, consider the size of your property. You may actually need a larger grill or even 2 grills to accommodate your guests reasonably. It’s also important to be clear on what you provide and don’t provide in regards to your grill so guests are fully prepared when they arrive. Another tip is not to go for the most expensive grill since it will be prone to wear and tear with greater use at a vacation home.
5. Big Screen TVs
Now, you may feel like your guests don’t need a TV on vacation because the view is spectacular and there’s plenty to do in the area. But we’re here to tell you that simply isn’t true, not with our research and experience. Or perhaps you do provide a TV, but it’s older and doesn’t support cable TV or streaming services, like Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or Disney+. If your guest walks through the door to find a dingy TV or no TV…it’s not a good start to their review.
So, what kind of TV is best for your vacation rental? A big screen TV with Wi-Fi-enabled smart capabilities is best. However, you don’t have to get the biggest, most expensive smart TV on the market. There are plenty of big screen TVs at a reasonable price nowadays. Adding a TV of any size is a great addition to the bedrooms as well. Providing cable or streaming services is a fantastic bonus for your renters and will make your property stand out more, but a Blu-ray/DVD player is enough.
6. Washer & Dryer
When your guests travel to stay at your property, they aren’t just packing a suitcase of clothes and products. Everyday items, like towels, cookware, and toiletries, are also packed in the car. With so much stuff to bring, a washer and dryer shouldn’t be a surprising amenity on this list. After all, guests are treating your short-term rental as their home for a few days or weeks.
A washer and dryer at your vacation property means your guests can wash clothes, towels, and extra linens, so they don’t have to overpack. It’s a great convenience for them, and it doesn’t go unnoticed — especially for longer stays. Do you have to provide top-of-the-line appliances? No, just be sure the washer and dryer function properly, and you’re all set! Plus, Georgia Cabins for YOU provides 1 bath towel, 1 hand towel, and 1 washcloth per guest (+ pool towels) that your guests can wash and reuse.
7. High Speed Wi-Fi
No Wi-Fi is like no fresh air these days… We can’t seem to live without it, and renters definitely expect high speed wireless internet at your vacation rental home. Surprisingly, a lot of vacation properties still don’t provide Wi-Fi, and it’s costing them repeat guests and revenue. Don’t let that happen to you!
Yes, we understand the sentiment of disconnecting from the internet on vacation and reconnecting with loved ones…in fact, we promote it. But the fact is most guests don’t want to fully unplug and can feel too cut off without Wi-Fi in our modern world. When you’re in an unfamiliar place, doesn’t having access to the internet for information make you feel more at ease? Plus, a strong internet connection means posting trip videos and photos of your vacation rental on social media — aka FREE advertising for YOU!
Will Providing Expected Amenities Add Value to My Property?
Well…yes and no. Bringing your short-term rental up to standard with expected amenities is simply a smart move and doesn’t necessarily add value so much as it makes your vacation rental property competitive — which is needed in an ever-growing market. And when you can compete with similar properties, your bookings, occupancy, and revenue will increase.
Should I Supply Vacation Essentials for Guests?
Offering extras for your guests on their getaway is always a great way to stand out! Hand soaps and hairdryers in the bathrooms, maybe a few extra trash bags, hangers in closets, and basic cleaning supplies are great options. Keep in mind some shampoos and conditioners, high-quality lotions, earplugs, high chairs, an ironing board, etc. might be more expensive to stock or not worth the liability risks.
At Georgia Cabins for YOU, we provide a starter kit filled with essentials for each stay. Items include dish soap, a sponge, trash bags, paper towels, extra toilet paper, and other things guests really appreciate when they first arrive. It’s enough to get them started, so they don’t have to worry about heading out to the store right away — and that makes a real difference in the guest experience. We also provide a customized digital guidebook that has everything renters need to know to enjoy their stay at your property!
FREE Professional Vacation Rental Assessment
Not sure where to begin when it comes to adding or updating expected amenities at your vacation rental property? Georgia Cabins for YOU is ready to help! Branching from our parent company, we have decades of experience in diagnosing vacation rentals. As property managers, we can also help facilitate any upgrades or additions to your property to lessen any renovation stress.
Plus, we can help you focus on more than just the bare minimum of what’s expected by guests today to maximize your vacation rental investment from every angle, inside and out, when you become a partner! Get in touch with a personal owner representative at 1.800.580.5524 or fill out our easy online inquiry to get started.