What Makes Vacation Rentals Unique
By Ana M. Kinkaid
Published: 06/11/07 Topics: Comments: -
Vacation Rentals are the newest member of the hospitality industry. Here are some of the ways that vacation rentals offer an attractive alternative to traditional lodging.
LOTS OF ROOM - One of the biggest differences between a vacation rental and almost all other forms of lodging is the space available to your guests. Hotels offer a room. Vacation rentals offer a complete living space. Instead of renting a mere room and bath, you get a much larger area which often includes a kitchen, a backyard, a living room and a dining room. What a difference!
MORE PRIVATE SPACE - Vacation rentals also offer total privacy. In a hotel you can’t walk across the lobby in your pajamas. At a B&B you can’t have breakfast by yourself. In a vacation rental you can.
REDUCED FOOD COSTS - Hotels offer food through their restaurants. The cost of hotel meals includes insurance, labor, décor, replacement and profit. If your guest is cooking their own meals in their vacation rental, they are saving a lot of money as these costs aren’t included in what they spend. In a vacation rental the guest can eat what they want, not just what is on the menu.
Besides being expensive, hotel food is often high in calories. Vacation rentals enable the guest to continue enjoying their regular food habits and save vacation dollars. Does it get any better than that?
OPEN SCHEDULE - Hotels are historically based on the model of a great estate house, not a relaxed home. B & Bs are based on the model of an urban boarding house. Both of these formats operate on a schedule because staffing has a timetable of what must get done when. Breakfast is served from X to Y in a hotel because there has to be time for the staff to rewash the dishes and prep for lunch. Vacation rentals don't force their guests into such a fixed schedule.
The same is true of housekeeping. Housekeeping needs to be able to enter the room during a certain time period in order to "turn the room“. In a vacation rental the guest can sleep as long as they want to because they are the ones who are going to fluff the comforter (or not).
NO ADDITIONAL ENTERTAINMENT COSTS - I will never forget the bill I got once when my then young daughter flipped from one pay for view movie to another in a hotel as if she was at home watching TV! At a vacation rental that problem doesn’t occur.
Guests can bring their own movies or rent them at a local outlet. Speaking of small children, the guest does not have to deal with the hotel porn channel at a vacation rental. Also the hot tub is free and uncrowded!
INCREASED SAFETY - Hotels have large distant parking lots. At a vacation rental you are in a neighborhood setting which is probably patrolled regularly by the police. You are also the only person who has the punch code or entrance card for the residence. It would startle you if you knew just how many people have the code/card to your standard hotel room.
AUTHENTIC COMMUNITY EXPERIENCE - Hotels seldom represent the everyday life of a neighborhood. Staying in a hotel in Houston, for example, is not the same as strolling through a small Houston neighborhood, shopping in its local stores or making purchases at the nearby farmers’ market.
The hottest trend in the hospitality industry right now is authentic regional experiences. No sector of the market provides that as well as vacation rentals.
MORE REALISTIC LIFE PATTERN - We all have our way of doing things. Vacation rentals enable guests to have the greatest chance of transferring their established lifestyle patterns over to their holiday. If a guest loves a warm brandy at 11PM in their bathrobe, then they can have it.
In a hotel, room service may be closed and the bar requires getting dressed. B & Bs rarely have a liquor license.
LONG TERM PLANNING - Hotels are extremely rate-conscious as operating costs can vary greatly season to season. As a result, hotels are often hesitant to quote rates a year in advance.
If a guest is planning a vacation long in advance, this can be difficult. Vacation rentals usually have no difficult booking that far out.
FINANCIAL SAVINGS - Foot per square foot, vacation rentals are offer one of the best values to vacationers. There is no fee for using the hot tub or viewing DVDs. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are when you want them and each meal can be your favorite food.
Be sure to tell your guests how special vacation rentals are AND why they are different than any other form of lodging. Once your guests understand what a vacation rental is really all about, they will return to enjoy them again and again. And they will tell their friends!
Please let us know your thoughts about what makes your vacation rental one of the best choices for modern travelers. I'd love to hear about what makes your property special. Send in your tips and techniques, concerns and compliments. We all have so much to share with each other. I look forward to your calls and emails. You can reach me at 206-343-7777, ext 920 or Ana @vroa.org
THIS WEEK'S TOP PROPERTY: Vista Grande Ranch, Washington State
Located in north central Washington in the beautiful Methow Valley, the Vista Grande Ranch certainly earns its name. This 650 acre ranches invites guests to enjoy over 4,300 square feet of relaxing inside space as well as 1,800 square feet of wrap-around cedar decking outside. And the views are fantastic! We just had to select this outstanding property as the VROA Top Property of the week.
Visit their web site (vgranch.com)vgranch.com and you'll see a property that would delight any guest.
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Ana M. Kinkaid
Vacation Rental Association