If you’re currently working in the vacation rental industry, it should come as no shock that more and more studies are coming out of the woodworks that center around the desire to stay in a vacation rental over a hotel movement.

On average, these statistics are showing that about 54 percent of active travelers prefer to stay in a vacation rental over the 23 percent of whom prefer to stay in a hotel, along with the other 23 percent that had no preference over the matter.

It’s no longer a surprise, and truly the new norm, that the vacation rental industry is the way to go with the majority of generations, especially middle-class travelers.

The vacation rental trumping hotels trend has moved into the celebrity, upper-class, realm as well, as more and more celebrities are opting out of their 5-star luxury hotel for a local luxury vacation rental. And it makes sense, why would celebrities, or any traveler, overpay for a soldout hotel, staying in cramped rooms stacked on top of one another with 1,000 other guests, when they can have their own spacious, private, luxury home, for a quarter of the price?

Celebrities opting out of their luxury hotel for a luxury vacation rental has paved the way for other travelers, of all demographics, to also seek out affordable luxury.

Luxury travel is becoming more accessible to all types of travelers. Backpackers to the frequent flyer businessmen and women, to the family of 5 headed out on vacation.

Luxury travel is accessible and people are seeking it out.


Now, we understand not every vacation rental owner has an 18 bedroom villa in Wine Country of Napa Valley, charging $2,000 per night, but there are many ways to make your vacation rental more look and feel more luxurious, attracting those travelers wishing to indulge in affordable luxury for a week.


Here is our list of how to make your vacation rental more luxurious while staying on a budget.


1: Embrace Minimalism

Minalismim has two main benefits when welcoming this style into your vacation rental: elegance and low cost.

Often, vacation rental property owners understandably get over enthused when designing the interior of their vacation rental, and often this leads to over purchasing too many pieces.

Likewise, it’s natural for people to equate the idea of ‘the more you buy, the more money you spend, and the more money you invest in something, the more luxurious or ravish you are.’

This belief doesn’t always apply to the interior design of a vacation rental space.

All the small trinkets you bought to design your vacation rental end up cluttering and disorganizing the space. A cluttered and disorganized room often times makes the space feel dark and dusty (think about your sweet neighbor across the street who has owl collectibles of clocks, statues, lamps, and insists it’s all decor). It’s important to keep the decor simple with a few staple pieces in each room that draw and spark the eye and attention.


2: Play around with new textures

Believe it or not, textures, not colors, are what triggers the eye and mind and dictates how a room feels at first glance, so it’s important to play around with a mix of metals, woods, fabrics, and leathers to find the perfect elegant balance for your vacation rental.

Pillows are the most simple place to start when testing new textures. Pillows can refresh an entire room with just a few simple swaps and makes it easy for you to stick to a budget.

Once you have new pillows in place, play around with the hard and soft spaces of your home, as this is an amazing way to mix and match new textures. For example, in the cold winter months, try adding a faux fur throw to overlay your bed, while in the warm summer months replace the throw with some bright light knitted blankets.

Make one final texture swap with a rug of your choice. Again, adding a faux fur rug can change the whole mood and warmth of a room. If you’re not a fan of fur, opt-in for a large patterned, textured rug that speaks to the ambiance of your room.


3: Create the illusion of higher ceilings

Have you ever walked into an elaborate building or home and are amazed by the height of the ceiling, wondering whose job it is to clean up there (not ours)? You can start creating the same illusion in your vacation rental with just a few design tricks.

If you have a blank wall, this is the perfect opportunity to create a luxurious focal point in the room with an elegant piece of art or framed mirror. Art and mirrors can make a room feel more spacious, luxurious, and organized.

Fine art, frames, and mirrors don’t have to break the bank either. This is a perfect conversation starter to partner with local businesses, shops, and markets for locally produced artwork. Not only are you getting a wonderful statement piece, but you also get the chance to partner and support local businesses, which we talk more about here.


4: Invest in home goods you would be excited to use

We all have that one ratty old bath towel we’ve been using for years and have absolutely zero reasons to keep it. Or it’s those passed down dinner plates with farm animals painted on the rim of the plate, that don’t exactly support your overall personal style, vibe, and desired ambiance.

Well, those things are totally fine for your home, but for your vacation rental, we suggest investing in home goods you are actually excited to use and display.

From high thread count sheets, soft white bath towels, a dinner set that could resemble one for a royal family meal, these small touches can make all the difference in your vacation home luxury feel.


5: Lighting

When you think luxury, indirectly, lighting is probably one of the first things that come to mind. Creating the sense of large windows showcasing the beautiful cityscape that allows bright natural sunlight to beam through, or an entrance way that exudes freshness because it is so well lit and open, or the ability to change any ambiance with the turn of a light switch could all make an impactful difference. None of this is done by the decor or structure of the home, it’s often done by lighting effects.

Great lighting can elevate the overall ambiance of a home and create elegance, luxury, and an open-space feel.

We recommend having a few different lighting options for your guests. This can come in the form of being able to adjust the brightness of a room, reading lamps, and overhead ceiling lighting. Try to use spotlights to highlight the new elegant statement pieces in your home, or perhaps overhead lighting over the dinner table to create a feeling of warmth, home, and togetherness.

JZ Tip: Be careful about the type of light bulbs you use, as you do not want any unwanted yellow tints coming from your lightbulbs.



No matter how much time or money you invest in your luxurious vacation rental features, the forefront of luxury in any industry is the guest experience. As always, be sure to continue to provide optimal customer service to match your newly luxurious vacation rental ambiance.


If you’re needing a little inspiration, be sure to head over to our virtual tours page and check out our favorite luxury vacation rental features, by taking a tour through our homes.