You’ve probably put a lot of thought into the various amenities for guests inside of your vacation rental property. But if you also have an outdoor area available for your guests, don’t neglect it! Many high-end guests love spending time outdoors while on vacation, which gives you a valuable opportunity to make the outdoors even more appealing by adding various amenities. Below, we’ve included a list of the best outdoor amenities to provide at your vacation rental property. Some are a bit more expensive, while others are budget-friendly. All of them are sure to make your guests enjoy your stay just a little bit more than they would’ve otherwise!
1. Pool (and maybe a splash pad?)
A pool is one of the most searched-for amenities. When guests are looking for a vacation rental to stay at, the presence (or absence of) a pool can make or break their decision. Pools increase your competitiveness with other vacation rentals, and they’re great for family-friendly properties. Pools are also excellent for group and community activities. Do you really want to separate your property and install a splash pad? You’ll be sure to wow your guests and they’ll love the photos of the pad as they’re planning their getaway.
Not only that, but a pool and splash pad can also improve the overall aesthetic of your vacation rental property. They give you more of a resort feel and add a ton of luxury. Plus, it can increase the property’s resale value if you decide to sell later on.
Overall, though, adding these high-end amenities to your vacation rental property is sure to increase your bookings and thus your earnings as well. Of course, whether or they are suitable for your particular property can depend on location and several other factors.
When deciding whether a pool and splash pad would be right for your vacation rental, consider the following questions.
- Who are your competitors, and do they have pools or other outdoor amenities?
- If your competitors do have pools, how could you set your vacation rental apart from them? Is a heated pool or all-weather indoor pool an option?
- Will you be able to increase your rate per night if you add a pool and splash pad to the property?
- How will you keep up with pool maintenance?
2. Hot Tub
Hot tubs are ideal for couples and adult groups, although families can have fun with them too. Having a hot tub at your vacation rental property can enable you to raise your rental rate and draw in more guests. If your vacation rental is already at max capacity and can’t take on any more bookings, then adding a hot tub is a way to further increase your earnings without needing to add bookings.
One thing to remember about hot tubs is that they’re not just a one-time expense. Just like a pool, you’ll need to plan for expenses involving maintenance, energy usage, cleaning, repairs, and insurance. And the initial cost itself can range quite a bit, from a relatively affordable $3000 up to $16,000 for more luxurious models.
3. Fire Pit
A fire pit is a great addition to your vacation rental property because it invites guests to gather and enjoy each other’s company, which is often what vacations and travel are all about. Fire pits appeal to just about everyone and can draw in a wide range of guests. Think of families roasting marshmallows around the fire, couples sipping on a bottle of wine while cozied up in a blanket, groups sitting together and telling ghost stories–there’s clearly a wide appeal for fire pits. Plus, they allow for fun year-round (depending on the area and the climate) by enabling guests to spend time outdoors even when it’s a bit cooler outside. Guests can also cook dinner or make some classic s’mores using the fire pit.
Perhaps the best thing about adding a fire pit to your vacation rental property is that there are so many options, and you can really cater the project to your own budget and expertise. You can build a more rustic fire pit for very low cost and low effort. Or you can splurge on an expensive fire pit if you want it to have a more luxurious feel. Do consider safety measures, however, before installing a fire pit. An outdoor fire extinguisher is always smart to have.
4. High-End Outdoor Seating
A well-designed outdoor seating area creates a space for your guests to spend time together. It can also function as a comfortable place to revel in a good book and a beverage. Guests can sit outside to sip on their morning coffee, or they can gather in the seating area at night to chat and talk about the day’s memorable experiences. Plus, outdoor seating creates amazing photo ops for your listing, and it also provides beautiful views of nearby scenery.
5. BBQ Grill and Wood Fired Pellet Smoker
If you want to step up the guest experience by adding outdoor amenities, you should absolutely consider a top-notch BBQ grill and wood fired pellet smoker. Grilling and smoking are the perfect amenities, especially paired with an outdoor dining area, because it enables guests to cook and eat their meals outdoors. The simple addition of these item can make you more competitive; guests typically love the idea of getting to spend as much time outside as possible while on vacation, so your vacation rental property will be seen as more appealing than one without a grill.
6. Dining Area/Workspace
Appeal to workationers and families alike by providing a nice outdoor dining area that can also function as a workspace. Guests will love sitting outside and appreciating nature while working throughout the day, and they can also have a meal outdoors once dinnertime comes around. To optimize your outdoor dining area as a potential workspace, ensure your WiFi extends to cover the area without getting slow or spotty. Plus, an outdoor dining area pairs perfectly with a BBQ grill, and these two amenities together are sure to increase your vacation rental property’s appeal.
7. Space for Kids
If you run a family-friendly vacation rental property, then having a space for the kids to run around and play is a great idea. It’s even better if you can fence in the area and install a sport court with a basketball hoop, volleyball net, pickleball net, four square, etc, so parents don’t have to worry about their little ones getting bored. A high-end jungle gym with a slide is sure to be appreciated along with outdoor games like frisbee, football, spikeball, horseshoes, and cornhole are inexpensive and provide great fun for families and groups alike.
8. Area for Pets
A space for pets is also a great outdoor amenity to have for your guests if you run a pet-friendly vacation rental property. A fenced-in yard is perfect for this purpose. If you have an area for dogs to run around and expend some energy, then they’re far less likely to be rambunctious indoors and potentially cause damage to the property. You might want to instate a rule requiring your guests to clean up after their pets, though–this is where complimentary dog waste bags will really come in handy!
9. Open-Air Cinema
An open-air cinema is an amazing way to attract more guests to your vacation rental property and to bring entertainment outdoors. This amenity can be more of a budget-friendly project, or it can be an expensive undertaking–it’s up to you! A simple open-air cinema consists of a projector, speakers and small blow up screen. (Be sure to weigh the unit down so that your screen doesn’t blow away with a breeze.) Meanwhile, a more upscale setup might require professional installation. But regardless of how much you’re spending on the project, remember to choose an area for the screen where there won’t be a glare. Provide DVDs or streaming services so that guests have something to watch. A nice seating area with a fire pit makes for a great place to sit and watch the movie.
10. Outdoor Kitchen
We’ve mentioned that having a BBQ and smoker is sure to boost interest in your vacation rental property, but what about an entire outdoor kitchen? This isn’t something that is perfect for every vacation rental property, but if you have a more upscale or luxury vacation rental, then it is definitely something you’ll want. A full outdoor kitchen setup with a large gas griddle, wine cooler, beer fridge, or even a beer tap will be sure to please. For the smallest guests, consider purchasing a cotton candy machine. They are low cost and will set you apart from the competition. Your guests will be able to prepare food, drinks, and awesome snacks outdoors while they spend time together making new memories.
A hammock has long been the epitome of vacation relaxation, especially in more tropical locations. If you have two trees that are a good distance apart, then you could potentially hang your hammock there. Otherwise, there are many hammocks available that come with a frame and stand on their own. Provide your guests with pure relaxation by offering a hammock or two for them to enjoy.
Here are our top 11 outdoor amenities that are sure to improve your guests’ experience at your vacation rental property:
- A pool to cool off and have fun in hot weather
- A hot tub so guests can lounge around and relax
- A fire pit for outdoor cooking
- Outdoor seating so guests can spend time outside comfortably
- A barbecue grill and smoker for cooking delicious meals
- A dining area/workspace to sit and focus or have a good meal
- Space for kids to run around and play
- An area for pets to do their business and expend some energy
- An open-air cinema for the ultimate outdoor entertainment
- An outdoor kitchen for additional food preparation
- A hammock or two for true relaxation