A Vacation Rental is Not a Hotel
One of the great things about vacation rentals is that they’re all different. This means that each and every stay in a vacation rental will be a different experience from another property and host. For many, that is part of the attraction of vacation rentals. The unexpected adds a bit of adventure to their travel experience.
A vacation rental is not a hotel. What this means is that vacation rental guests need to keep their expectations flexible. It’s the best way to avoid disappointment with a vacation rental stay.
Guests should be aware of and always expect regional differences in the way that vacation rentals operate, and not be surprised nor frustrated by them.
Did you know… it is quite common in certain areas of the US North Atlantic coast to bring one’s own sheets to a vacation rental, as they are not provided. Some also don’t provide towels. This is just the standard practice in the area, and has been for decades. Guests from these areas are often shocked by what they find provided in our properties! “They even provided towels for our use!!!” they gushed in their online review.
Of course we would… wouldn’t we?
Really, it all comes down to a matter of what one is used to, and what the normal practices are in any particular area.
Vacation rental guests should be prepared to expect differences, and confirm anything that they might have a question about prior to booking. Or at the very least, prior to arrival!
For example, when I book a vacation rental in France, I will be asking LOTS of questions! And assuming nothing!
Guests should also forget everything they know about hotels when booking a vacation rental. They are NOT the same thing.
For example, vacation rentals typically DON’T provide toilet paper. Hotels do. Vacation rentals are self-catering, which means that guests are expected to attend to their own daily supplies and cleaning needs (no one is going to show up at a vacation rental and provide toilet paper and make the bed each day), and the prices guests pay for vacation rentals reflect this.
It is surprising, however, how new vacation rental guests are shocked to not receive what they may get at a hotel, even though they are often paying only 25% of a hotel’s rate on a per bedroom basis.
There is nothing inherently wrong with what vacation rentals do or do not provide, or the differences in practice between them in different areas, and even between properties in the same area (for example, we DO provide supplies that most other vacation rentals do not).
It simply is what it is, and there is a responsibility on the part of the guest to investigate and find out what is included with their rental, and what’s not. For many, the variety of it is what makes vacation rental stays a fun part of their travel experience.
It is important that guests find out what they are receiving for their money at a vacation rental, as it is always a different value equation than a hotel… but it is almost always universally better than what one receives in a hotel or resort.