standout vacation rental

How to Create a Standout Vacation Rental

Posted by Craig Pearce on

As Airbnb operators and well-traveled vacation rental guests, we’ve learned a great deal about standout vacation rental amenities over the years.

Beyond a desirable location and the aesthetics of the design (e.g. layout, furniture, decor), how do you get a rental property noticed and secure more bookings?

Our three top tips to make your vacation rental jump out are:

  1. Provide great photos - Images are the most important selling tools for your property. Hire a professional if you don’t trust your iPhone camera skills, and upload the images that really highlight the best aspects.
  2. Add special amenities - These are beyond-basic amenities that customers will either view as luxurious or superior to other vacation rentals they’re considering. Think premium bedding, wood burning fireplace, hot tub, super-plush towels, beverage fridge, and games & literature collections.
  3. Enhance the outdoor space - Vacation is about relaxation. Not flaking out on a sofa like at home, but unwinding outside. To reconnect with themselves and with nature, guests prioritize a nice outdoor space to sit and read, bird watch, or simply stare at the starry sky. 

Combining these last two tips is where GOODLAND comes in: We offer unique outdoor amenities and products that add value to your vacation rental, drastically increase interest, and enhance your guest experience.

vacation rental with outdoor amenitiesArro Dunes - images courtesy of owner Kelsey Coppetti


We’ve discovered distinctive outdoor amenities and experiences create the most memorable moments for guests, and encourage sharing with friends & family. It’s the ultimate compliment to have a guest post an image and glowing review of your vacation rental—helping get it noticed, and remembered.

Guests will seek out specific amenities based upon your property type and location. Give some thought to what activities they might enjoy in your setting and highlight these in your listing. It can be as simple as watching sunsets from a certain viewpoint, or a more elaborate play structure for kids.

standout vacation rentals offer experiences

Anupaya Cabin Co. - photo by Janalla

Pools and tubs in almost any shape and form are a universally popular draw making them one of the best vacation rental amenities. Like countless others, we’re specifically drawn to bathing in nature because it inspires a greater connection to ourselves, eachother, and to the nature around us.

While we’ll always be partial to natural wood burning soaking tubs, similar exclusive amenities like a simple outdoor shower on a deck, a hammock strung between the trees, or a sauna placed at the forest’s edge can provide restful and shareable experiences for guests.

vacation rental with wood fired hot tubThe Trail House - photo by Tristan Deggan


Despite what many people think, fire heated hot tubs are simple to operate. The hot tub’s wood stove is built just like a conventional wood stove. Make a small fire in the stove box, feed it with wood, and stir the water as it heats up—it’s that easy.

The GOODLAND Wood Burning Hot Tub was designed with short-term vacation properties in mind. It creates a standout vacation rental by providing a special amenity and an amplified outdoor experience, with minimal owner effort and cost. 

When we searched for the right hot tub for our own home and then our rental property, The Trail House, we knew that we didn’t want to deal with any complications like electrical hook-ups, chemical cleaners, or having to drain a boatload of water each time a guest left. We also wanted to avoid the jets of a jacuzzi-style tub in our peaceful forest setting.

Most styles of wood fired hot tubs offer these benefits to owners:

  • Work completely off-grid: no wasted energy costs to maintain temperature even when not in use
  • No need to chemically treat or filter water 
  • Generally low maintenance (exception: all-wood tubs can leak and require scrubbing) 
  • Don’t require repairs or replacement parts like electrical tubs
  • Fill with a garden hose or on-demand hot water system
  • Use a small bundle of firewood for heating each time
  • Year-round use - most wood fired tub designs can be used throughout the winter

best amentities for vacation rentals


We intentionally designed our Wood Burning Hot Tub to be ultra easy to set up, simple to maintain, and safer to use, so more time can be spent enjoying a steamy soak.

  • Small footprint requires less water and doesn't take a lot of space
  • Only takes 90 minutes to heat up (30 min longer if the guest is unfamiliar with the process)
  • Drains and fills quickly, cutting turnover time between guests
  • Premium materials and construction to withstand heavy use
  • Aluminum tub liner is antibacterial, durable, and easy to wipe down
  • Insulated stove lid and chimney heat guard have safety in mind
  • More accessible shape for all ages compared to taller round hot tubs
  • Easy to move and change hot tub’s seasonal location
  • Cleaning between guests is easy and straightfoward
  • Use as a cold water plunge tub in hot weather without having to buy another system

We’ve also developed a range of bathing accessories to augment the function of our tub and amplify the soaking experience.

If you’d like to dig deeper, learn about how our wood fired hot tub design differs, how eco-friendly it is, and details on how a wood stove hot tub works in our Resources. Or, discover how to set up your guests for a 5-star soaking experience in this video from GOODLAND co-founder and Airbnb Superhost Kendra. 

outdoor amenities for vacation rentals

Photo by Jonathan Kuhn


Added-value features such as outdoor amenities appeal to a wider range of guests and guarantee interest in your property. In our research, potential guests will select a vacation rental with outdoor bathing over one without if given the choice.

Amenities offering heat also attract guests in slower shoulder seasons. Most importantly, gain more income by increasing the rental rate by an average of $35 USD per night, generating an additional income of $7,560 annually (based on a 60% occupancy rate).

GOODLAND has an Accommodation Partner Program for hosts as well as other special outdoor amenities for vacation rentals in the works. Join our newsletter to be one of the first to hear when they’re available.

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