How to Create an Inviting Vacation Rental Entryway

The Evolve Team
The Evolve Team
June 8, 2017

You planned your dream ski trip months ago. After a long flight, a car rental, and a half-hour drive, you’re finally stepping in from the snow to your beautiful vacation home – ready to relax, unwind, and get a good night’s sleep before hitting the slopes the next day.

Problem is, the rental isn’t nearly as ready for you as you are for it.

You can’t find the light switch. Your hands are full of car keys, a cell phone, pre-stay instructions, and just-removed gloves, but there’s nowhere to put them down. You end up sitting on the wet floor to remove your boots and dropping all your possessions on the floor next to your luggage.

Already, you’re not having a good stay.

This is the experience a lot of guests have when they first walk into a vacation home, and it can gear them up to be overly frustrated with every other annoyance they encounter. If they can’t find the knives right away or the shower takes a minute too long to heat up, it only reinforces their initial impression: this rental is a disappointment.

Being predisposed to dislike a vacation rental is why reasonable guests leave bad reviews over seemingly petty issues. It wasn’t that anything especially bad happened – they just didn’t like this rental, and they’re looking for concrete reasons for a general feeling of dislike.

How do you make sure those first moments in the entryway prepare your guests to love your vacation rental instead? We’ve got it all laid out for you.

The Basics

Problem: Nowhere to place keysFront hallway key hooks and shelf storage
Solution: Key hooks or a small table
Nothing is worse than fumbling to find somewhere to set your keys – except maybe not being able to find them again. Outfitting your space with some hooks or a small table will allow your guests to skip this frustration during their stay, and let them know that you care about their needs.

Problem: Need to easily hang coat
Solution: Coat rack or open coat closet
If your guests don’t have somewhere to easily hang their wet coats, they could wind up draped across the back of one of your wooden chairs. A coat rack can work in any space, but if you have a closet already, you might consider removing the door to provide easy access and give the entry a more spacious feel.

Shoe rack and umbrella stand below decorative mirror

Problem: Nowhere to place wet shoes and umbrella
Solution: Waterproof storage
Keep your guests happy and your rental water damage free by providing a convenient place for them to remove their wet shoes and store their umbrellas. Waterproof storage and rubber floor mats mean your floors will be kept safe and our guests will be able to avoid the potentially expensive effects of tracking water through the home.

Problem: Nowhere to sit to remove shoes
Solution: Easily accessed seating
Speaking of wet shoes, no one wants to sit in a puddle on the floor to take off their rain boots. Providing a chair or two in your entryway will keep your guest’s frustration level low, and prevent them from being tempted to trek through your living room in search of a couch to remove their wet shoes.

Problem: Trouble seeing when entering the homeVacation rental living room with lots of lighting
Solution: Good lighting inside and out
Your guests won’t be able to take advantage of the thoughtful entryway you’ve created if they can’t see once they’ve stepped through the door. If your entryway is well-lit and has the light switch in an obvious place, perfect! If not, a well-placed lamp or some guidance on where to find the light switch in your pre-stay instructions will go a long way toward making your guests feel instantly at-home.

Region-Specific Touches

If your rental is in an area that tends to accommodate specific types of vacationers, you may want to add some features to your entryway for the unique needs of your average guest. For example:

If you have a ski area rental, include:

  • Ski or snowboard storage
  • Cubby holes for gloves, hats, and scarves
  • Doormats specifically designed to handle snow

If you have a beach rental, include:

  • Durable hooks that accommodate large towels
  • Storage for sunglasses, sunscreen, and beach bags
  • Doormats from which sand can be easily removed

If your area is focused on fishing, outdoor recreation, or nightlife, adjust your entryway with your guests’ needs in mind. Consider what your average guest will be doing and prepare your entryway for their most pressing needs. If you can do that, you’ll be on your way to a satisfied customer – and a great review.

Creating an Entryway When All You Have is an Entrance

Not every house comes with a designated entryway, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create one with the space you have! With the right layout and design scheme, your guests will feel like they’re walking into a grand entrance even if all your rental has is a front door.

Vacation rental front entryway with shiplap accent wall, wood hallway table, decorative mirror, and floral arrangementAccent Walls
Accent walls are the perfect way to differentiate a space from the rest of the room and create a feeling of separation – without using any floor space. If your entrance doesn’t have a lot of room, you might find that something as simple as switching up the wall colors can give the area the distinction you’re looking for.

Another great way to create a visual separation when you’re low on space is including a rug. When properly placed, a rug can create the impression that you’re moving from one room to another – and it will help create another layer of cleaning between the dirt outside and your rental’s floors.

Furniture Placement
In spaces with a little extra room, you have the freedom to strategically place your furniture to create a distinct entryway – no remodel needed. Use a well-placed bookshelf, storage rack, or chair to differentiate the area from the rest of your home.

DecorFront entryway with open french door, large plant, and colorful wall art
Finish off your entryway with some special touches – such as art, plants, or framed photos. To add some space to smaller areas, try adding a mirror – which will serve double duty as an easy way for people to check their reflection before they head out of the door.

Now that you’ve created the perfect entryway, your guests are primed to have a great first few moments in your rental – and carry that good feeling throughout their stay.

When you’re ready to welcome guests into your beautiful new entryway, our team of experts is here to help maximize bookings, profits, and hospitality.

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