Most South Africans will be holidaying at local destinations this year, good reason to update your getaway space to cash in on this trend
WORDS: HELÈNE MEISSENHEIMER – PHOTOS: SUPPLIED
With good interior design practises and a few special touches, you can transform your holiday home into an extraordinary rental for you and your guests. Here’s some helpful advice.
First impressions count
Beautify your entrance area with an ornate mirror or a beautiful painting on the wall. Make sure there’s a dedicated space for hanging jackets and coats, as well as an entrance table for keys, handbags and small parcels. Choose to invest in good art and furniture to make sure this area has that wow factor.
Invest in quality décor
It’s worth investing in a few good furniture pieces to give your guests a memorable experience. Invest in big-ticket décor items like plush sofas, stylish dining room tables and comfortable beds; then opt for more affordable side tables, lamps and bedside units. Extra features such as a hot tub or a TV in the bathroom could get you more bookings from customers looking for that something extra. Consider renting an additional feature to add to the holiday experience such as pool tables, gaming consoles, sound systems or even treadmills
What guests want
Put yourself in the guests’ shoes when walking through your home, noting how you can adapt your space to suit their needs, for example:
1. Place a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates in the master bedroom, with a personalised note to make guests feel welcome upon arrival.
2. Put coffee table books, board games and soft throws in the lounge for those chilly evenings.
3. Station Bluetooth speakers in strategic areas for streaming music.
4. Invest in a good coffee machine for the kitchen. Be sure to have quality coffee and sugar available, as well as fresh milk in the fridge.
5. Umbrellas to use on rainy days and beach umbrellas for coastal stays are nice touches that create a homely effect.
6. Arrange for an efficient professional service to handle essential chores so your guests can relax.
7. If your guests have small children, leave out colouring books and pencils, and if you’re a pet-friendly destination, doggie treats for the pooches.
A good night’s sleep is key to your guests enjoying their holiday. Invest in a super comfy king-sized bed and quality mattress dressed in exceptional linen with a high thread count – a feature you can highlight when advertising your rental. Deck your bed out with plush pillows, a plump quilt and place a comforter at the foot of the bed. Thick rugs will make the floor feel cosy underfoot. If you have the space, create a dedicated luggage zone and provide a laundry hamper. If the bedroom has a balcony, put out comfortable patio furniture.
Complementary sweet-smelling soaps, shampoo and extras like cotton wool and ear buds will make guests feel special, while soft gowns and disposable slippers will provide an oh lá lá factor. If your rental is near a beach or has a pool, swimming towels in cheerful patterns are a good idea.
A patio is a great area for families and larger groups to socialise and relax. Provide a table with ample, comfortable seating. Make it cosy for alfresco dining with good lighting, outdoor gas heaters or fire pits for guests to sit around. Hammocks and daybeds are lovely extras, as are games like dartboards, to give guests something to do while the food cooks.
All in working order
Make sure that everything in your rental home works properly, from big appliances like fridges right down to bulbs and plugs. There’s nothing like a remote with flat batteries or a flickering bathroom light to detract from the experience of a lovely home. Inspect your rental thoroughly before guests arrive. Also check that window blinds, TVs, air conditioners and fireplaces are snag free. It’s a good idea to stay in your rental at least once a year so you have first-hand experience of what needs refreshing or replacing.
Do a courtesy check
Get feedback from guests after their stay and use what they say to improve your rental. Have a guestbook handy for suggestions on how to make a stay there better or send a follow-up email soon after they’ve left asking for feedback – good or bad. Request to use positive comments on your website, as future guests are far more likely to book a holiday let with good reviews.