7 top vacation rental amenities that guests search for

What people look for in a vacation rental


Key takeaways

  • Big-ticket luxuries like pools, hot tubs, and fireplaces are top in-demand vacation rental amenities (and guests will typically pay higher rates for them, too).
  • Improve overall guest experience by adding inexpensive yet sought-after amenities: think pet-friendly policies, good WiFi, and the ability to do laundry.

Ever wish you knew what guests want once they start searching for a vacation rental? Good news—we have the answer. We can’t read guests’ minds, but we can certainly review their search and purchase behavior when they’re on Vacasa.com.

Based on data from millions of site visits and reservations, we’re now aware which amenities guests want most of and search for. Here are the most-desired vacation home amenities that you can invest in to command a higher rate and attract more guests.

(Pssst—if you’d like to see the biggest takeaways from our research, check out our Vacation Rental Search Report, where we dish on travelers’ browsing and booking habits, plus their vacation rental preferences.)

outdoor pool in naples, fl with comfy furniture and a gas grill

1. Pool

Though not as feasible of an amenity as the rest on this list, pools are a guest favorite on Vacasa.com. Their popularity and value can’t be ignored. Whether it’s a private pool or shared pool access in your condo community, offering a pool can help you make waves in searches and drive more bookings.

And it’s not just sunny coastal areas where pools are highly sought after. When we took a closer look, we found some surprises—around a quarter of guests filter their vacation rental searches for pools in these markets:

2. Pet-friendliness

Whether staying at a mountain cabin or a condo along the coast, one thing is for certain—travelers want to bring their pets along for the adventure. About 13% of reservations booked on Vacasa.com included at least one dog. That’s great news for vacation rental owners who open their homes to pets.

And there are more perks of being pet-friendly. On average, vacation rentals that allow dogs have:

  • 10–20% higher rental income
  • 6% higher overall occupancy

Want to make your home even more special for pet owners? Provide the extras their furry friends will love. Think dog water bowls, a dog bed, waste bags, and chew toys.

3. Hot tub

Hot tubs are a hot commodity with guests. While they don’t take up as much room as a pool (they can be tucked in a back porch or small backyard) or require as big of an investment, they can still reap some massive returns.

We’ve found that installing a hot tub can raise your annual revenue by 15–20%. Even better, when you work with Vacasa, we can even maintain the hot tub for you.

In our Vacation Rental Search Report, we found several markets that stood out as hotspots for hot tubs (pun intended)—based on the percentage of people who filter for vacation homes with hot tubs in that destination.

  • 17% Girdwood, AK
  • 16% Sunriver, OR
  • 14% Mt. Hood, OR
  • 14% Oregon Coast
  • 12% Blue Ridge, GA
  • 12% Avon, NC
  • 12% Gatlinburg, TN
  • 10% Breckenridge, CO
  • 10% Leavenworth, WA
  • 10% Sea Ranch, CA
private hot tub on balcony with mountain views in british columbia

4. Internet/WiFi

Today, we’re all accustomed to having quick and easy access to our email, social media accounts, video, texting, and other chat tools to keep in touch. That’s why WiFi is considered one of the top amenities that guests search for. A vacation without high-speed internet is undoubtedly high-stress.

WiFi is probably the biggest essential in any vacation rental. Unless guests are specifically seeking to go “off the grid” or on a digital detox, they’ll be expecting fast and free WiFi right on arrival.

Vacasa’s local teams will make sure guests can get online with ease. We check your internet speeds prior to check-in and allow guests to connect with just one tap via our mobile app.

5. Central A/C

Another thing guests desire the most—staying cool and comfortable. With summer being the peak season in most destinations, guests will want some assurance they’ll be able to escape the heat outside.

While you can invest in cost-effective cooling methods—like powerful ceiling fans or window air conditioning units—most guests prefer central A/C.

Modern vacation rental management.

Your home is a success waiting to happen. We'll show you how.

6. Washer and dryer

Some of the hallmarks that distinguish a vacation rental from a hotel stay, a washer and dryer are now generally considered standard when booking a vacation home. The same mishaps that happen at home can also happen on vacation—red wine spills on your shirt, beach towels get covered in sand, clothes get dirty while you’re out exploring.

The longer the stay, the likelier it is that guests will want to wash clothes. Things can get even messier for guests traveling with children. A washer and dryer is key for guests who want to avoid dragging around dirty laundry. Not to mention, it’s a bonus for housekeepers to simply toss in linens and towels while they clean the rest of the house.

7. Fireplace

Fireplaces are especially sought out in mountain destinations with colder climates. And, who can blame those guests? A ski vacation wouldn’t be the same without a crackling fireplace to cozy up to after a tiring day on the slopes. Some guests consider sitting by the fire an essential part of their overall mountain experience. Depending on your destination, installing a fireplace can be a worthwhile investment.

If a new wood-burning fireplace isn’t in the budget, consider a lower-cost electric fireplace, which can bring the flames without the funds.

The key to attracting more guests? Knowing what they want and look for. Thankfully our data—from tens of millions of site visits and users on Vacasa.com—tells us exactly that. Use our research to your advantage when considering what investments to make in your vacation home to boost your rates and rental income.

neutral-hued living space with stone fireplace in East Hampton, NY

Vacation rental amenities FAQ

When guests book a beach house, they’re looking for a coastal experience both inside and out (and in their amenities). Some tips:

  • Decorate using your own beach town as inspiration and bring its unique vibes indoors.
  • Set the scene with coastal hues—think soft blues, neutral sand tones, and vibrant teals and aquamarine.
  • Stock your beach rental with all the essentials for your guests’ perfect beach day, including beach towels, marshmallow roasting sticks, foldable beach chairs, and beach umbrellas.

See how to furnish a beach house rental >

Make your mountain cabin stand out by embracing the rustic, natural surroundings and creating spectacular interiors. Today, the most attractive mountain vacation homes exude as much rustic charm as sophistication. Mix and mingle elements of both for a dynamic design. Think warm woods and rich fabrics accompanied by sleek accessories and polished furniture. Creating a luxe experience can help you get more visibility and attract more guests.

Learn how to decorate a mountain cabin >

From a toaster to towels, bedside tables to dining tables, stocking and furnishing a vacation rental can be a tedious (and seemingly endless) task. Make the process easier by using our room-by-room checklists for your bedrooms, kitchen, bathroom, and living room. Or, download our ultimate vacation home inventory checklist so you’ll know exactly what to stock throughout your entire home.

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California licenses
Vacasa Seasonals Inc.
California DRE #02160171

Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc.
California DRE #01523013

Vacasa offers property management and other real estate services directly through Vacasa LLC and through Vacasa LLC's licensed subsidiaries. Click here for more information about Vacasa's licensed real estate brokerage/property manager in your state. Vacasa’s licensed real estate brokerages/property managers include: Vacasa Alabama LLC; Vacasa Arizona LLC; Vacasa of Arkansas LLC; Vacasa Colorado LLC (Micah Victory); Vacasa Delaware LLC, 302-541-8999; Vacasa Florida LLC; Vacasa Illinois LLC 481.014072, Micah Victory Managing Broker Lic# 471.021837; Vacasa Louisiana LLC, Dana MacCord, Principal Broker, ph 504.252.0155 (Licensed in LA); Vacasa Michigan LLC, 602-330-9934; Vacasa Missouri LLC, Vicki Lyn Brown, Designated Broker; Vacasa Nevada LLC; Vacasa New Hampshire LLC,45 NH-25, Meredith, NH 03253, Susan Scanlon, Broker of Record; Vacasa Minnesota, Broker: Micah Victory, license #40877637; Vacasa New Mexico LLC, 503-345-9399; Vacasa New York LLC, 888-433-0068, Susan Scanlon, Real Estate Broker; Vacasa North Carolina LLC; Vacasa Oregon LLC; Vacasa Pennsylvania LLC; Vacation Palm Springs Real Estate, Inc., California DRE #01523013, Mark Graham, California DRE #00700720; Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Texas, Debra Brock, Designated Broker); Vacasa Real Estate LLC (licensed in Washington, Robert Brush, Designated Broker); Vacasa Seasonals Inc., California DRE #02160171, Lisa Renee Stevens, California DRE #01485234; Vacasa South Carolina LLC; Vacasa South Dakota LLC; Vacasa Tennessee LLC; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Hawaii LLC, 69-201 Waikoloa Beach Dr. Ste. #2F17, Waikoloa, HI 96738; Vacasa Vacation Rentals of Montana LLC, Terah M. Young, Licensed Property Manager; Vacasa Virginia LLC; Vacasa Wisconsin LLC; Vacasa Wyoming LLC. In Canada, this advertisement is provided by Vacasa Canada ULC, CPBC lic. number 75826, 172 Asher Rd. V1X 3H6 Kelowna, BC.

Data is based on Vacasa.com searches and reservations booked April 1, 2020 through March 31, 2021, unless otherwise indicated. Percentages have been rounded to the nearest whole number.