Airbnb Essentials To Create A Great Guest Experience
While I’ve never considered myself a hotel snob, I’ve always been pretty particular about certain hotel requirements; and for that reason, I’ve never stayed at an Airbnb. When this whole Airbnb business model became a thing, I was very skeptical about staying in someone else’s home.
Was my safety a concern? Naturally.
But alongside that was also my comfort.
You know…the little things.
Last year, however, when going to High Point Market for the second time, I found myself having to seriously consider staying in an Airbnb. Hotels in the High Point, North Carolina area during market are like a prized commodity — very few would be available, considering the THOUSANDS of people flying in, and the ones available would be astronomically priced and/or shady AF. While I’d looked into AirBNBs for hosting styled shoots and have consulted on the redesign of a few, I’d never seriously considered one for lodging. Yet, I have since stayed in two Airbnbs — both for High Point Market — and the way I view Airbnbs has completely changed.
The way a host prepares an Airbnb is no different than the way a host would prepare a guest bedroom…or at least it shouldn’t be.
Both my Airbnb experiences were phenomenal and it’s because I felt like I was truly a guest in someone’s home, and therefore, I felt at home. And in case you’re wondering, I didn’t stay in the same Airbnb the first time because it was already booked my second trip, and now I have a pretty tough choice to make the next time I go High Point Market.
So what makes a great Airbnb?
Furniture & Decor
One of the very first things I do when browsing Airbnbs is scroll the photos, looking specifically at the furnishings and styling. Maybe it’s the designer in me, but I can almost always tell if some thought has been put into putting the space together or if it’s just a hodge lodge of their old furniture & Craigslist finds.
Both my Airbnb experiences started with great photos that showed really thoughtfully furnished and decorated homes. It was evident that thought was put into creating cozy, inviting, and relaxing homes from the large pieces to the smaller finishing touches. In my case both truly felt like a home a way from home, where I could comfortably brew my morning coffee in the kitchen, eat dinner at the dining table, take a hot shower in the bathroom, lounge on the sofa, and rest my aching body at the end of each long day at Market.
Nora Apartment Size Sofa | Harper 2pc Sleeper Sectional | Trulstorp Storage Coffee Table | Lovbacken Side Table | Geometric Carved Wood Ashford Console Table | Round Gold Metal Jonas Accent Table | Mid Century Huxley Chair | Acorn Wood Mid Century Entryway Bench With Drawer
Every Airbnb circumstance is different — someone may actually live there from time to time, where in other cases, its sole purpose is as an income property. No matter which, it’s nice to have touches that make it feel lived in. Photographs, lighting, throw pillows, artwork…all come together to make a space feel homey and not sterile.
In one of my Airbnb stays, there were framed photos of the hosts, while at the other Airbnb, instructions for the wifi, key code, and espresso machine were framed — super cute touches! Both may the surfaces look complete and intentional.
Whitewashed Wood Wall Art | Cotton Rope Storage Basket | 16"x20" Be You Framed Canvas | 36"x28" Sylvie Modern Circular Block Print Framed Wall Canvas | Set of 4 Decorative Throw Pillow Covers | Faux Potted Agave Plant | Charlie Gold Alarm Clock | Whitewashed Wood Wall Art
Nothing says, “you’re welcome in this home” better than clean towels and good water pressure! Not to mention other bathroom touches, likes soap, shampoo, conditioner, and air freshener. Both of my hosts made sure to have stacks of clean bath towels, face towels, and washcloths on hand and accessible in the bathroom. I love how clean, crisp stacks of white towels can transform a bathroom into a spa like retreat, or at least enough to rival any local hotel stay.
But what stood out most were the upgraded shower heads, which can truly give any bathroom experience that luxury touch. While at High Point Market in the Fall, I had to spend one night in a hotel and the shower head definitely left much to be desired, whereas at the Airbnb it was great having more than a light drizzle for a shower.
AmazonBasics Quick-Dry Bath Sheet | AmazonBasics Quick-Dry 8-Piece Towels Set | Wall-Mounted Shampoo & Soap Dispensers | 8'' Wall Mounted Makeup Mirror | 35-Spray 3-in-1 Luxury Showerhead Combo | Get Naked Bath Mat | Bathroom Tray | 16"x20" Be Your Own Framed Wall Poster
I don’t watch much tv — at least not like I used to — so not having a television isn’t a deal breaker for me. But when the thought is put into creating a space that can be entertaining, it certainly doesn’t go unnoticed.
From a quaint television unit to a ceiling mounted projector, just knowing that there was someplace I could literally “Netflix & chill” made me feel like I was thought of, in the way that I would feel staying at a family member’s home.
Even simple gestures like phone chargers in the nightstands & USB table lamps were a nice touch, especially for someone like me who travels with no less than 4 devices that need charging — iPhone, Apple Watch, AirPods, and a power bank.
As I’ve said, both of my Airbnb experiences were for High Point Market, which can be a long, tiresome couple of days. I’m talking about 10+ hours on your feet, walking from showroom to showroom, sometimes nonstop. One day at Market and my Apple Watch clocked 13 hours standing, 11,500 steps, and 5.16 miles.
Imagine having to end a day like day on scratchy sheets or an uncomfortable mattress. Thankfully, I didn’t. Instead, I got to end my days in relaxation because the bed was well made when I arrived — hello pillows — and the mattresses and bedding were chosen with care.
To that end, the entire bedroom experience doesn’t just stop at the bed itself. It was having wardrobe accessories made available, table lamps on the nightstand, black out window treatments…all these elements that come together to create a great night’s rest.
AmazonBasics Wood Suit Hangers | AmazonBasics Velvet Shirt/Dress Hangers | Leather Director's Stool | Umbra Hub Full-Length Floor Mirror | Over-the-Door Mirror in Metal Brass | White Handheld Clothes Steamer | Upright Professional Clothes Steamer | Cameron Clothing Rack | Metal Garment Rack with Wood Shelves
In a lot of hotels you can expect to have a continental breakfast, and if you’re feeling extremely fancy, you can even order room service. Both, however, require leaving your bed and/or spending additional money.
While it’s no scrambled eggs and bacon, it was really nice opening the mini fridge of my Airbnb to see apples, bottles of water, and soft drinks; and atop said fridge, a basket of assorted snacks.
There are tons of essentials that every Airbnb should have. Going the extra mile that makes or breaks the experience.
More than anything, when someone’s staying away from home, they want to feel comfortable in the space that they’re in, no matter how short term. I can’t imagine having to had spent all those long days at Market, only to end the day in a crap hotel room or Airbnb. Knowing that I could rest my mind and body in comfort was priceless. To that end, so is the hospitality of a stranger.