Use the Description Luxury Carefully

Beware of descriptions and your adjectives as poorly used descriptions and words, more than anything else, create problems with guests. The most over-used adjective in our owner’s arsenal of words is ‘luxury’.

Is luxury a TV – or is it a home-cinema system. Is luxury a wood burning BBQ – or a high end gas one? Is luxury the world’s best mattresses – or just the fact you supply one at all?

To me, and I think to most holidaymakers, the expression means a lot – but we have very different perceptions of it’s worth. If I was looking for ‘luxury’ accommodation I would want the appliances, but they must be quality brands; I won’t want just a TV — I’d expect a home theatre system; and I’d expect a high end stainless steel BBQ and quality outdoor furniture, as well. The mattresses must be top-range with bed linen to suit, and there should be at least one en-suite bathroom. Overall the property must be stylish with attention to detail showing in every aspect. For me, the word ‘luxury’ in a holiday home rental means I expect things to be at least as comparable as a boutique hotel.

The vacation rental industry has spawned a new breed of ‘luxury accommodation’ (which is good) and we must take heed of what the rental client is looking for when they type in these terms on a Google search. I remember when the term ’boutique hotel’ was introduced to differentiate between mass market hotels and smaller, more unique accommodation. Bedrooms became attractive and super-stylish and lobbies became places to sit and drink coffee in rather than just check-in. We’re moving in this direction with vacation rentals too, as more owners recognise they need to be different in order to become visible in a more competitive market.

If you must use words such as luxury, exceptional, superior or upmarket, you have to make it match the hype. A ‘superior’ kitchen will have the best knives and saucepans, a superior range of cooking (and best-brand) appliances; a ‘designer’ bathroom will look as though it has come from the pages of a glossy magazine and have the latest in trendy features. For an ‘executive’ home to be labeled as such, you’ll need separate office space and include for free hi-speed internet and all necessary equipment for working away from home.

Good impressions always comes down to the detail. A nice thought from a post I read on a forum is: ‘Spend money on things that people touch’ (door handles, taps, knives, saucepans, towels and so on).

Promise only what you can deliver. Then deliver more than you promise

Luxury should include stylish furniture, quality furnishings and appliances, top mattresses, exclusive brands such as Bose speakers, Egyptian cotton sheets, home theatre systems and an office. People who spend lots more money on their accommodation usually want to see that reflected in the quality of the furnishings

Think about any 10 things you could add to your rental property that most ordinary people only aspire to owning themselves – which of these will move your property into luxury?.

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