Pioneer Vacation Rentals

What can I do to really make my vacation rental stand out?

Posted by on August 10, 2017

You’ve bought your Smoky Mountain Cabin in the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area and you’ve decided to use it as a vacation rental. Whether the cabin is merely an investment or will it be your primary residence in the future, renting the cabin as a vacation destination can be a great success.

Now you’re wondering what sort of things will make your cabin stand out from the other available rentals. What will make your guests choose your cabin? What can you do to your cabin to garner good reviews from your guests that will not only show they will be repeat customers but will also catch the eye of new customers?

Gatlinburg Cabin Cottage on the CreekIf you have signed with a property management company like Pioneer Vacation Rentals, you can ask your property management company for suggestions. They do what seems to grab potential guests eyes when it comes to what should be in a rental cabin.

The first thing to figure out are the assets you already have like mountain views or creek access. Is there a wooded view or trails nearby? What about golf courses or swimming pools? These are all great outdoor assets that can easily be enhanced.

Mountain views call for comfy deck chairs to sit and enjoy the view while relaxing. Also you’ll want your guests to be able to see the view from inside so if there are blinds or curtains on the windows make sure they operate properly and if the windows or French doors are in the public areas of the cabin like living room, game room or kitchen and dining room, consider going without blinds or curtains at all. Maybe a valance at the top of the windows if you like. Opening up to the view will give your guests a sense of satisfaction every time they walk by a window. And also they will be drawn to spend time on the decks with nice deck furniture so inspect deck furniture if it came with the cabin and if need be, replace it with something new.

If there is creek access near the cabin that is a great plus. Is there an area for you to place chairs or a bench nearby for guests to spend time there? Rippling water has its allure and when you’re in the mountains, there’s nothing better than sitting and listening to a babbling brook or rippling stream. If at all possible you should do something to bring attention to it and the quiet reflection guests can have there. Any sort of seating whether its chairs or a bench or a nice thick log will draw guests to spend time there and many will mention it in their glowing reviews about the serenity of your cabin.

If you have wooded views, play it up about the seclusion of being in the forest with the trees surrounding you in quiet, pushing the hustle and bustle of the world away while guests enjoy your mountain cabin. Possibly advertise the sounds of the woods and not the traffic. Far away from traffic and bustle where they can relax.

And golf courses and swimming pools—what an attraction for your vacation rental cabin! Definitely something to mention on your property manager’s website. Is it possible to include a discount to the golf course in your cabin rental? That’s a question for your property manager. Is your cabin located in a resort area where the swimming pool is free? Perfect.

But this article is about decorating the cabin and before we move too far away from decorating, let’s get down to what exactly you should have inside your cabin that will be a great inspiration for your guests to book your cabin and not someone else’s.

Your cabin bedrooms should be comfortable with beds that are inviting. King beds are best, queen are good. If your cabin is larger and has more bedrooms, some twin beds in a room for children will go over well. White sheets give the sense of cleanliness. Nice quilts look very cabin-like. Fluffy pillows add to the inviting look. A bed that invites you to plop down on it is what you’re looking for.

When it comes to living furniture, you’ll want to buy the sturdiest furniture you can afford that still looks great. Though leather looks great in a cabin, you want to consider the fact that with rentals, you may have children that are rambunctious and may wreak havoc on your leather with ink pens, markers, rips, etc. It would be better to consider something with a washable upholstery finish so that spills and rips can easily be repaired or taken care of. Think of adding the color red. Red “pops” in photos of your cabin’s interiors and is a great way to catch attention when guests are looking through website photos of cabins they’re considering renting. Cabin owners would be wise to add a little bit of a bright color to each room, red being one that statistics have shown draws the eye and the clientele. Bringing color to the cabin will serve you in the fact that it can be a draw to the eye in website photos but you don’t want to overdo it. Some will like the ‘log and wood’ look. Make sure, if your cabin is built this way, to allow the warmth of the wood to shine through.

Moving on to what sort of decorative items you should include in your cabin, you don’t want to get too personal. No family pictures should be on the wall. It sort of takes away from the sense that the guest is staying in their own cabin. Also don’t put any antiques that you don’t want damaged in the cabin. Not that anyone would intentionally damage something but don’t take a chance. Antiques can’t be replaced, especially if they are family heirlooms. Photos of the area, like waterfalls and mountain scenes, enhance the ambiance of the cabin. Guest like to stay in cabins to get that ‘cabin life’ feel and that’s what you’re shooting for so pump up the bear statues and assorted cabin décor. Don’t overdo it but definitely go for that ‘look’. Don’t go for a cluttered look. Place a few nice cabin décor items around the cabin but don’t go overboard. If you have ‘knick-knacks’ all over the cabin, it’s more likely they will get broken and it also isn’t pleasant for your cleaning crew to have to dust around 200 tiny statues.

Outfitting your kitchen is pretty easy. Make sure you have a full set of cookware, silverware to accommodate the amount of people that your cabin will ‘sleep’, a coffee maker, grilling utensils and other miscellaneous items like pizza cutters and the essentials. Nothing too expensive but making sure your guests have what they need when they need it is the key.

These are the essentials to outfitting and decorating your cabin. Just remember a rule of thumb is you’ll want everything to be comfy but you don’t want to be extravagant. Nothing too expensive. And also remember: game room items and hot tubs are almost a must for a cabin in the Smokies. Outfit them accordingly. Have fun!

Read the previous article in the series


Information Center


Cabin Ownership

Community Information

Points of Interest

Video Center

Live Cam
The Best Deals in the Great
Smoky Mountains
Signup for our free newsletter to get exclusive special offers and discounts!
View All Articles