If you’re going to make a business out of a luxury vacation rental, it should be a completely memorable experience – including elements that delight and surprise guests. These homes should be far from the tip of every traveler’s tongue, because part of the joy of traveling is discovering things you never thought you would find.
It takes something special to make a luxury home rental the highlight of someone’s vacation, but when they do, you know it’s an exceptional vacation lodge. Here are five extraordinary vacation lodging finds to know about.
1. The Union Street Inn, Nantucket Island, Mass.
Nantucket Island is 30 miles off the coast of Massachusetts. Known as the “Little Gray Lady of the Sea,” the island is famous for its fog, yacht culture, diverse beaches, and the Victorian ambiance of its whaling days. The town’s streets are cobblestone lit with gaslight replicas.
The 12-room Union Street Inn is a restored whaling captain’s home from 1770, mere steps from the main street. The inn is situated on two lush, green acres including a secluded garden. Each guestroom is uniquely decorated, with fine linens and toiletries. The inn is famous for its full, cooked-to-order gourmet breakfast that you can enjoy in the dining room or in bed.
It was voted “best small hotel in the U.S.” by TripAdvisor.
2. Nottoway Plantation & Resort, Louisiana
The magnificent 1850’s sugarcane estate Nottoway Plantation and Resort is home to the South’s largest existing antebellum mansion, stunningly restored to its original grandeur.
Rooms and suites are individually decorated with all the charm of the Old South, but with state-of-the-art services. Guests can stay in the mansion, the carriage house, or in cottages.
Located between Baton Rouge and New Orleans, the massive white columns and grand balconies of this enormous home overlook the Mississippi River and sweeping, oak-draped lawns. The plantation restaurant features a beautifully restored turn-of-the-century dining room with stunning views of century-old oak trees and serves classic Creole-inspired Louisiana cuisine.
It’s a AAA Four-Diamond property and a member of Historic Hotels of America.
3. The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
The Queen Mary is a decommissioned luxury cruise ship from the 1930’s, as opulent as the first class scenes from the movie Titanic. Its decor has authentic polished wood paneling and original artwork in Art Deco fashion. Each of the 347 staterooms and suites is unique and restored to its original glory, but refurbished with modern amenities.
Staying on the Queen Mary provides a taste of transatlantic travel during the mid-20th century. Casual and fine dining are both available on the ship, with the Queen Mary Champagne Sunday Brunch as one of its specialties: a culinary adventure featuring more than fifty unique dishes from around the world made popular by sea travel.
4. Castle Hotel & Spa, Tarrytown, New York
At the Castle Hotel and Spa, guests feel transported back in time. Four poster beds, marble bathrooms, and wood-burning fireplaces suggest that the past is just around each corner. The 31 guest rooms and suites have a castle-like appearance, but with all the functionalities of a modern room. The Tower suites have turret alcoves on the outside and breathtaking views of the hillside Palisades, the Hudson River, and the New York City skyline from the inside.
The hotel’s Sankara Spa is the first of its kind in the U.S. and offers luxurious treatments based on a specific art of natural therapy, a holistic concept aimed at awakening all of the senses. The property also has a one-mile hiking trail and a fine dining restaurant with menus supporting and inspired by local, artisanal farmers in the Hudson Valley region.
5. Blantyre, Lenox, Mass.
This Scottish Tudor-style castle turned luxury vacation lodge, Blantyre, is one of the most picturesque hotels in the Berkshires. Built for Robert Paterson in 1901 and modeled after his mother’s home in Blantyre, the property has been impeccably restored. Guests can choose among eight guest rooms, ten suites, and three cottages.
In winter, guests enjoy an outdoor ice rink and horse-drawn carriage rides. In summer the greens of the Cranwell Spa and Golf Resort are just steps away, and every Thursday guests enjoy a lobster feast on the lawn. Thousands of books are shelved within the halls for visitor enjoyment.
This enchanting inn was named a Yankee Editors’ Pick for Best Luxury Escape of 2018.
Luxury: Design Beyond What The Eyes Can See
If you’re committed to offering vacationers a luxury home rental, remember that there’s more to it than what meets the eye. Decorations which are only meant to be pretty will often go unnoticed, while rooms that illustrate an idea or era can ignite your guests’ imaginations. If you’re thinking of investing in a new property, consider turning a castle, a ship, a historic home, or another kind of lodging that sends travelers down an unexpected path into an unforgettable experience.
Beyond the artistic eye, it’s important to follow travel accommodation trends that will consistently surprise and impress your guests. Keeping your vacation lodge properly maintained will help to avoid accidents, while covering your bases from every angle you can think of is the kind of investment that pays off tenfold in the end by bringing great reviews and recommendations.
If you’re interested in learning more about property management and discovering the many ways Guesty's platform can help your business, we invite you to a free one-on-one session with one of our experts.