Last year, in 2017, over 100 million Americans decided to forego home-cooked meals and hot chocolate by the fire, opting instead to travel for the holidays. That figure is only projected to increase this holiday season. For those of us who live in popular tourist destinations like Hawaii, that means busy restaurants, frequent tours, heavy traffic, and, of course, fully booked Hawaii Island vacation rentals.
Island vacation rentals will undoubtedly remain in high demand throughout the months of December and January. Though you may not have to work hard to attract short-term renters during this season, as many travelers are often scrambling to book accommodations last-minute, you must nonetheless work to ensure that your Hawaii Island vacation rental guests are happy with their experiences. It is easy to neglect the niceties that renters adore, like nice furnishings and gifts, when you yourself have so many events and obligations to tend to over the holidays. But a bad rental experience means a bad review, and you simply don’t want that!
Below we explore some of tried and true methods we use to ensure that our island vacation rental guests enjoy their experience. Oftentimes it’s just the small things, like a gift or personal touch, which catapult hosts to super-host status.
Of course, those staying in Hawaii Island vacation rentals expect, and should be provided with, clean, safe, and functional spaces to stay. But we have found that it is oftentimes the small touches, like a gift or a certain aesthetic, that really create magic for guests.
We typically adorn our Hawaii Island vacation rentals with gift baskets. A gift basket offers a warm welcome to your guests and demonstrates generosity. Even a simple gift basket says that you’re not just looking to make a quick dollar off of your guests; rather, you are genuinely invested in ensuring they have a pleasant experience.
During the holiday season, non-denominational holiday gifts add a delightful touch to the standard gift basket. Candy canes, gingerbread cookies, artful wreaths, and hot apple cider are simple and pleasing additions. Of course, if you own Hawaii Island vacation rentals, you will also want to share a little of the island spirit with your guests. Exotic tropical fruits like papaya, star fruit, and passion fruit are a real treat for those hailing from cold climates. If you’re really looking to stun your guests, surprise them with leis or a tropical bouquet. Whether you go big or small, your guests will be impressed with both the gift itself and the kindness of the gesture.
The odds are that short-term tenants of your Island vacation rentals are not interior designers or house-flipping pros. Most guests are not seeking refined décor. Rather, they are looking for a comfortable, pleasant, and attractive space to wake up and go to sleep in. Adding small personal touches can go a long way in transforming a drab rental to the average guests’ simple and attractive aesthetic ideal.
We have found that adding personal touches to a space is far more impactful than installing granite countertops or stainless steal appliances. A personal touch could be anything: paintings, books, a CD collection, or an aesthetic theme. Anything that speaks to the personality of the place you live, or your own personal history, will add the personal touch that guests admire.
Our Hawaii Island vacation rentals all feature paintings and books by world famous artists that we know personally. We opt for white sheets and simple, elegant décor to allow these pieces to take center stage. Guests almost always remark on their adoration for the paintings and the “vibe” they lend to the space.
Some guests in your Island vacation rentals might be hyper-organized vacation planners and arrive with a full itinerary. But many travelers choose to leave parts of their schedules open-ended or plan their vacations as they go. These types of travelers will probably look to you, as their host, to recommend certain activities or restaurants.
To simplify both your life and your guests’, create a detailed “vacation hack” booklet with recommendations for local activities, trips, events, and restaurants. Doing so will take time, effort, and a good deal of research on your part. But it is a one-time investment that will provide ongoing reward in the form of happy guests and positive reviews. It is important to provide recommendations for both adventure and relaxation seeking vacationers. Make your guide as comprehensive as possible, with notes on pricing, location, and the nature of the place or activity.
If you have good relationships with local business owners, you can also make deals with locals to provide your guests with discounts at local joints. This is particularly helpful to travelers who are operating on a budget. The business earns customers; your renters save money; and you get a positive review!