Essential Items for Designing a Thoughtful Airbnb

Essential Items for Designing a Thoughtful Airbnb

When it comes to curating the perfect Airbnb, it’s all about anticipating needs. Knowing what a guest must have and, more important, what a guest truly wants, makes all the difference. Here, our cheat sheet for creating an Airbnb that takes hospitality to a whole new level. Happy hosting.

1. A PERSONAL WELCOME

The first experience with your home should be a personal one. This isn’t a mass produced experience. Your guests could have stayed anywhere, but they chose your space. So treat them like the valued guest they are. Write a handwritten note. Call them by their first name. Acknowledge if they’re in town for something special, like a birthday. Two lines on good card stock, and you're well on your way to a memorable first impression.

2. A LOCAL WELCOME TREAT

It’s true: travel makes for hungry people. Leave a welcome snack to greet guests after their long, exhausting day of planes, trains, and automobiles. Even better, choose something local that doubles as a great snack and an intro to the area. People love an unexpected kindness.

3. YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS

Anyone can Google where to eat. But only you can share the nuances. Let your guests into your local insights with a quick and clever neighborhood guide that’s a true reflection of the city.

4. IN-ROOM CHARGER

We’ve all hopped on a plane and gotten off at our destination, only to realize our phone battery is in the red and our charger is still loyally plugged in at home. Anticipate the typical travel blunder and install in-bedroom phone chargers for every guest.

5. GOOD MORNING ESSENTIALS

There’s nothing quite as disappointing as arriving to an Airbnb late at night, passing out, and waking up the next morning to discover there’s no coffee. And not only is there no coffee, there’s no grocery store within 10 miles. Major fail. To avoid your guests getting up on the wrong side of bed, go ahead and have the cupboard stocked with morning essentials: coffee, tea, sugar, creamer. They might not remember if you do, but they’ll certainly remember if you don’t.

6. FRAGRANCE

One of the most memorable things about a space is how it smells. A perfect scent calms, relaxes, and makes someone feel perfectly at home. Choose a signature scent for your space with a thoughtfully selected candle or, better yet, a diffuser. Leave a collection of essential oils for guests to try so they can make the space their own.

7. FRESH FLOWERS OR GREENS

Airbnbs can get in the habit of feeling cold and a bit utilitarian. They have the necessities, sure, but not the niceties. Make your space a touch more welcoming by incorporating fresh flowers or greens in key spots — on the kitchen counter, in the powder room, on nightstands. The live elements immediately warm a space up and make it feel more homey without being too personal.

8. FULL LENGTH MIRROR

Your guests are traveling. They’re in town for meetings or—hopefully for them—a much deserved vacation. On either occasion, it’s certain they want to look and feel their best. A full length mirror is one of those unexpected elements that you can get by without, sure. But it goes a long way to making a space feel so much more functional and complete.

9. A GOOD MATTRESS

The mattress is the biggest quality indicator in your home. For many of your guests, your space is a strictly a landing spot. A place to get some shut eye before they’re out and about for the next adventure. Don’t skimp on providing what they’re truly there for: a good night’s rest.

10. QUALITY TEXTILES

So many Airbnbs are surface level. They've nailed the trendy aesthetic and can post an appealing profile, but they’ve totally skimped on the in-person, textural elements. Who wants to shower with towels that feel like thin sand paper? No takers out there? Exactly. Luxe linens, plush towels, down pillows. Invest in the elements your guests interact with most.

11. ALL THE KNOWLEDGE

The ultimate Airbnb fail is traveling to a place and feeling completely in the dark about what a home has on hand. Do I need to pack my hair dryer? Is there an iron? Do you think they have a coffee grinder? The best gift you can give your guest is letting them clearly know what to expect before they arrive. A well-informed guest is a happy guest. And a happy guest is a 5-star review.