These are the rooms that will make the most immediate impression on your guests, but the most lasting impression will likely be the rooms they turn to for a little R&R: the bedroom and bathroom.
Where the common spaces of the vacation rental are for socializing, cooking, and spending quality time with one another, the bedrooms are meant to serve as a peaceful place to recharge. A good night’s sleep and a hot shower are known to be great restoratives – and guests will definitely notice if they have difficulty getting either.
Here’s everything you need to ensure guests have an amazing bedtime experience in your vacation rental.
A bedroom is more than a place to lay your head. On vacation, it may be the only place your guests get to enjoy some alone time – so you want it to be a comfortable, peaceful space.
We’d also recommend putting some thought into anything that might interfere with your guest’s sleep. Noise, light, temperature, and uncomfortable beds are the most common culprits, so spend a little time thinking about how to create a restful space they’ll be pleased to retreat to.
Always choose bedframes and mattresses that match the size of your bedrooms. A twin bed in a large room or a king bed in a small one look equally silly, and either will make your guests feel like they’re not in a well-appointed space.
That said, we’d always recommend putting a king-sized bed in the master bedroom if at all possible. The size of the mattress is a big selling point for a lot of renters, and most of them hear “master bedroom” and presume it will include a king-sized bed. If you can, try to meet that expectation!
Your mattress is one of the biggest investments you’ll make for your vacation rental bedroom, so be sure to protect it from bed bugs, allergens, and general use with a high-quality waterproof mattress protector.
A waterproof mattress pad does double duty by providing both an extra barrier for your mattress and additional comfort for your guests. They’re also a snap to remove, wash and replace. A great mattress pad can make even an ordinary mattress feel luxurious, so choose wisely and try it out yourself!
Be realistic about the number of people who can reasonably fit into a single bedroom, and bear in mind what types of renters you’re catering to.
For example, we’ve seen vacation rentals that provide three queen beds in a single (large) bedroom, with an owner who would prefer to rent to “business gatherings.” Very few colleagues want to share a bedroom with one another! Keep your ideal clientele in mind when furnishing your bedrooms.
Speaking of which: consider the children. Many couples travel with small children, and providing a crib or a pack-and-play can be an enormous bonus for them if their child is too young to sleep in a twin. Children also love bunk beds, and they allow you to stack two beds in a space usually only big enough for a twin. We recommend securing bunk beds to the wall for added safety!
Guests frequently mention the quality of the linens in their reviews of any property, so be sure to pay extra attention to this aspect of furnishing your bedroom! You’ll want to include:
You might be tempted into splurging on a high thread count or Egyptian cotton, but we strongly suggest a hypoallergenic cotton-polyester blend sheet like this highly-reviewed and inexpensive set. Blends are more durable, resist wrinkles, and are easier to launder.
We’ve found many guests actually prefer the crisp, clean feeling of cotton-poly blends – with the exception of winters in cold regions, where flannel is ideal. Many owners strongly prefer white sheets, which can be bleached to keep them looking like new.
We also recommend choosing a duvet with a durable and attractive duvet cover for a vacation rental. Unlike comforters, duvets can be washed at each turnover, making them the most hygienic, efficient and environmentally-friendly option. Just make sure you’re picking both a duvet and duvet cover that are machine-washable!
Include a throw blanket at the foot of the bed to add another point of interest to your decor, as well as versatility to your bed! Guests can snuggle under this extra layer on chilly nights, or ditch the duvet and use just the blanket and sheets on warm nights.
Make sure you choose a machine-washable, durable blanket like this one, as it will need to be laundered after every guest.
Pillows are where your bed really starts to come together! Provide a minimum pillows of 2 for each guest – one squishy, one firm – so they can enjoy their optimal comfort level. Keep your pillows clean and fresh with waterproof or water-resistant protectors on each one.
Be sure to provide extra blankets, linens, and pillows somewhere in the house, and make sure your guests know where they are. Being able to adjust the bed to their comfort level easily will help ensure your guests get a good night’s sleep.
Storage for personal belongings is a bedroom must-have. Provide plenty of hangers in the closets, and be sure there’s at least one small dresser for items that can’t be easily hung up, like underwear and socks.
If your bedrooms don’t have closets, be sure to include another way to hang clothes. In children’s rooms, hangers aren’t generally necessary (though still nice to provide), but for adult rooms, it may be worth investing in a stand-alone wardrobe with hanging space. Trust us: guests who need a hanger feel deeply inconvenienced when one isn’t available!
We highly recommend including a bedside table with a lamp. Most people don’t enjoy reading by the overhead light, and nearly everyone has a few items that they like to keep by their bedside at night, like a glass of water or a pair of reading glasses.
A working clock is a nice touch, though it’s wise to choose a model that doesn’t glow brightly at night. Bright lights can disrupt your guests’ sleep, but they’ll be very glad to have an alarm clock that’s easy to use.
Many guests use their cellphones as an alarm clock or prefer to keep them by their beds in case of emergency. If you can, it’s great to provide an outlet near the bedside table – it may even be worth running a discrete extension cord to provide this perk..
If you don’t have air conditioning in an area with a hot climate, make sure that every bedroom has one rotating fan. A comfortable sleeping temperature makes for happy guests!
Finally, providing at least one full-length mirror somewhere in the house will be very welcome for guests who want to be able to do a quick once-over before heading out on the town.
In general, guests like having a television available in the bedrooms, even if they don’t wind up using it. In master bedrooms, guests very frequently expect a television, so even if you decide it’s not worth installing a TV in every bedroom, you might consider splurging for the master.
TVs in bedrooms are an especially good idea if you frequently host large groups. It can be nice for various sections of the party to be able to split off into various rooms of the house for different entertainment options – a movie in the living room, a late-night show in the master bedroom, and the kids in a bedroom watching cartoons.
Guests expect the bathrooms to be spotless, and anything less than an immaculate appearance could inspire some pretty rotten reviews of your otherwise great property.
Bear in mind that even if your bathroom is very clean, old fixtures, discolorations, or poor lighting can make it look dirty nonetheless. Of all the rooms in your house, the bathroom may well be the wisest one to spend a little money on renovating if the tile, grout, fixtures, or lighting need updating.
While vacation rentals did not traditionally stock soap and shampoo, we’ve found that guests are growing more and more to expect the same toiletries that are available in a typical hotel. We recommend stocking individual-sized body wash bottles or bars of soap, shampoo, and conditioner.
You do not need to provide a single-use soap and shampoo in every shower, as you’ll have plenty of guests who expect to bring their own soap, but provide a small basket in a cabinet with an assortment for those guests who fail to bring their own. They’re quite cheap to purchase in bulk – here’s an Eco-friendly shampoo/conditioner pack of 72 bottles for about 30 cents apiece.
We also recommend stocking the bathroom vanity with the little amenities your guests may have forgotten to pack, such as cotton balls, Q-tips, individual mini-tubes of toothpaste, travel toothbrushes and disposable razors.
Even the most organized travelers will forget something, so having those items readily on-hand will save them frustration and give them a reason to praise you for going above and beyond in a positive review.
You’ll also want to include:
If you have a large bathtub, go for a little extra credit with a basket of sea sponges, bath salts, loofahs and bath brushes to pamper your guests. These items are pretty inexpensive, but they make guests feel you’ve splurged on their behalf, and that’s never a bad thing!
Linens in the bathroom should follow the same general guidelines as bedroom linens. They should be clean, durable, easy to wash, pleasantly soft, and compliment the color scheme of the room.
At a minimum, we think you should provide:
If your home is pet friendly, you may wish to include a few specially-designated towels for drying them off, too! You don’t want your guests drying off their pooch with your nice guest towels.
Please note: people will take indoor towels outside, and outdoor towels in. No matter how well you label and how politely you ask, be prepared for an accelerated wear/tear of your towels. Home Goods, Marshalls, Ross and TJ Maxx are great places to replenish towels affordably.
Bathrooms are full of hard and slippery surfaces and edges, so safety is a big factor in the suitability of your bathroom for guests. Help avoid slips and falls with a non-slip shower mat and bath mat, and provide a small non-slip child’s stepping stool for bathrooms that may be hosting children.
Accidents do happen, so providing a fully stocked first-aid kit should be a priority. Many guests bring small children, so be sure that your first aid kit, along with any medications and cleaning supplies, are safely locked away or out of reach.
Once you have perfectly appointed bedrooms, you need the right resources and expertise to fill your calendar with guests. Our team of experts adds over a decade of experience and exclusive strategies to your toolbox — all to make vacation rental ownership easier for you.