Many travelers choose vacation rentals for their trips because of the unique guest experience they provide. While hotels can be advantageous for certain types of travel, more guests than ever are steering towards the personalized and familiar experience of staying in a rental home. In fact, Airbnb states their hosts now receive over two million travelers every night.
In order to create the ultimate guest experience, not only do you have to know your travelers and make a great first impression, but you also have to deliver in terms of amenities and special extras.
Hospitality survey for professionals in the vacation rental industry
Vacation rental hospitality experts at The Distinguished Guest recently surveyed approximately 700 vacation rental owners and property managers to find out what hospitality means to them. Lodgify has partnered with The Distinguished Guest to create an infographic which shows the survey results regarding four key areas of vacation rentals. In addition, the launch of this infographic coincides with the release of The Distinguished Guest’s Modern Hospitality Guide.
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Vacation rental hospitality: Bedrooms
Given that people spend around one-third of their lives sleeping, it’s important to remember that guests are also going to spend about one-third of their vacation asleep! As a result, comfortable bedrooms are a must for any vacation rental.
The hospitality survey found that three out of four hosts use white bed sheets at their property.
“Visually, the idea of the white bed is important,” Erin Hoover, vice president of design for Westin and Sheraton hotels told HuffPost. “Something about an all-white bed connotes luxury and a good night’s sleep,” she added.
Besides giving off a luxury feel, white bedding is also easiest to clean (convenient for high guest turnover), and it can even have a calming effect on mood.
When it comes to pillows, 69% of hosts said they provide four pillows for their king, queen and full-sized beds. Over 75% say they opt for polyester-filled pillows, likely due to the fact they are inexpensive and easy to replace. Additionally, they can be machine washed and dried, unlike other pillow types.
Vacation rental hospitality: Bathrooms
The general manager of Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris once told Skift that “the bathroom says everything about a hotel”. The same notion applies to vacation rentals. Guests are going to judge your property not only on the cleanliness of the bathroom, but also the amenities you provide.
The study found that 63% of hosts provide at least two towel sets per guest. While 32.5% provide just one or one and a half. In general, these bath towels follow the same trend as bedding – with 68% of hosts supplying white bath towels at their property.
When it comes to the essentials, two-thirds of property owners provide at least three toilet rolls per bathroom. Each host has their own way of prepping their home for incoming guests, but providing these basics is strongly recommended in all cases.
Vacation rental hospitality: Kitchen
An increasing number of travelers are choosing vacation rentals and other alternative accommodations over hotels for the amenities they provide. One of the most important amenities? A full kitchen where guests can rustle up their favorite meals.
Hosts can sometimes trip up when it comes to not supplying the basics to help guests settle in. That said, it’s positive to see that 57% of hosts provide a welcome basket of goodies on arrival!
Besides this, the hospitality survey found that over two-thirds of hosts provide a brand new sponge and dish soap for each stay. What’s more, 44% of hosts provide at least one roll of paper towels per guest.
Even if your property has a dishwasher, supplying these items helps to ensure that your guests will make the effort to clean up the kitchen after cooking. Not only can this deter them from leaving dirty dishes for your cleaners to take care of, but it also helps avoid any mishaps such as loading non-stick pans into the dishwasher or mopping up spills with your best towels.
Vacation rental hospitality: Cleaning
As one of the biggest pain points in the hospitality industry, cleanliness can make or break a vacation rental business.
Besides regular cleaning after each guest departure, there are more hardcore deep cleaning tasks that hosts have to undertake. For example, the survey found that around half of all vacation rental owners pay for professional window washing (both inside and out) at least twice per year. In addition, for those owners with carpets in their properties, 41% get them professionally cleaned a minimum of twice per year. Whereas the remainder does this as an annual task.
For those with on-site barbecues, 42% of hosts will deep clean it twice yearly. However, one quarter only do this once per year. Let’s hope their guests help out by scrubbing the barbecue after use!
Hospitality in the vacation rental industry survey takeaway
In the vacation rental industry, the guest experience is of utmost importance. It should be a key focal point for any new host and a constant cycle of evaluation and improvement for existing owners.
What you provide for your guests on day one sets the tone for the rest of their stay. According to calculations by Properly, supplying enough basics such as toilet paper, cleaning supplies and paper towels can cost as little as $5 per stay. A small price to pay given the invaluable ROI of this inexpensive investment in terms of guest satisfaction and the positive impact it can have on guest reviews.
In conclusion, the survey conducted by The Distinguished Guest shows that vacation rental owners are already quite conscientious about hospitality in the four main zones of their properties. There are clear majority answers to a whole range of hosting questions – from bedding color to the number of toilet rolls to provide – which can easily serve as a guideline for any new owner starting out in the industry.