The summer season has finally come to a close, which means that homeowners are preparing their mountain properties for high season and snow.
To help you win the winter season, we compiled a list of the most requested (and some surprising) mountain amenities that travelers demand.
We spoke with the Travel Advisors at Evolve, who spend seven days a week answering travelers’ questions. Our in-house expert, Alex Patershuk, shared some of the top amenities that guests request when booking vacation rentals for their mountain trips.
1. Snow Removal Service
Many travelers call to inquire about snow removal – and whether they’ll have to worry about doing it themselves. That’s why encourage owners to hire someone to remove snow from the driveways and walkways so that the pathways are always cleared for guests.
Providing a snow removal service is a thoughtful amenity that improves the guest experience. When travelers are planning a mountain vacation, they’re thinking about sitting next to a crackling fire or spending a day on the slopes. They’re not thinking about spending time painstakingly clearing the driveway.
Providing a snow removal service is a luxury that gives the traveler one less thing to worry about. It’s also one more reason for guests to positively review your property. Remember that in ski destinations, you’re not only competing with other owners, but with five-star resorts. Set yourself up for success by providing this luxury
2. Kitchen Essentials
The high season for ski rentals includes major holiday weekends. Are you prepared with the full-service kitchen guests need to prepare a traditional holiday feast?
We hear from a lot of travelers looking to book a winter getaway for their entire families. The kids are off from school, offices are closed, and the relatives are gathering to celebrate. They need a vacation home that can accommodate the whole group and make it easy to cook their favorite holiday meals.
Supplying everything needed for a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner gives you a huge leg up over the competition. Mention those amenities in your listing description and it will have huge a impact on your winter bookings.
3. Mountain Access
Most guests want to start their ski vacations the minute they arrive at your property. Make it easy for them with information on nearby resorts and town centers.
Your guests are likely from far away and don’t know much about the area. What do they need to know about your property and how to get to popular destinations? How do they access the lifts? What transportation options are available? Where should they go to rent equipment and sign up for ski school?
Give your guests the inside scoop to help them feel like a local. Tell them which areas may have traffic and how to get around them and provide information on the best times to ski. Compile all these details and send them to guests in an email prior to their stay and include them in a Welcome Book at your home.
4. Garage Parking
Parking is always a top concern for travelers. Travelers consistently ask: Will there be parking spots available on the property or within walking distance? Will they have to pay to park? Is there covered parking in the area?
Because many of your guests may not be used to driving in a snowy climate, it will put them at ease to leave the car in a garage parking space. For guests who are familiar with cold and icy conditions, garage parking is a huge perk because it means there’s no brushing and scraping every time they want to go somewhere.
If you don’t have covered parking at your property, let guests know where they can affordably rent spaces during their stay.
5. Holiday Decorations
Believe it or not, we’ve had many travelers ask if the home they want to book has holiday lights. If the answer is, “no,” some ask that we contact the homeowner to see if they can be made available upon special request.
We don’t recommend going overboard with secular holiday decor. However, simple white lights can turn your property into a winter wonderland and add the festive touch that guests want when vacationing in the mountains over the holidays.
6. Cable and Wireless Internet
Mountain towns are notorious for having poor cell reception. Guests want to know they won’t be forced “off the grid” while they’re away on vacation.
One of the top concerns we hear when booking mountain trips is whether guests will have cell phone service, WiFi, and cable. Fortunately, it’s an easy fix. You can calm any nerves they have about booking your property by providing WiFi, reliable cable, and information on which cell phone carriers work best in that area so that they know what to expect.
7. Fire Features
An indoor fireplace is a staple in mountain cabins. So much so that many travelers will only book if they know they’ll be able to sit around a roaring hearth. If you have a fireplace, you should make it a star feature in your listing to entice travelers.
If your home doesn’t have a traditional fireplace, but you have the outdoor space, consider getting a firepit. Fire pits don’t require big renovations and give travelers a place to warm up after a long day on the slopes.
8. Extra Winter Amenities
Supplying amenities that go beyond just the basics are always a sure-fire way to improve the guest experience, lead the rave reviews, and get loyal bookers. Mountain extras to consider include:
- Warm blankets
- Hot chocolate
- Holiday movies
- Board games
As you prepare for the busy winter season, think about the extra supplies and services you can provide for guests. When it comes to vacation rental hospitality, and little can go a long way for you, your property, and your travelers.
The homeowners who consider what out-of-towners need most are often the ones who get the best reviews and score more bookings.
In addition to these amenities, you may even want to greet your guest with a gift to get their stay started on the right foot. View our guide to see some of our favorite guest-gifting ideas.
Evolve ensures that guests have the best experience and that homeowners are making a big profit. Click here to find out how we can help you increase your income while giving travelers the first-rate experience they’re looking for.
2018 Vacation Rental Owner Insights Report
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