People who love to travel often have standards for the accommodations they select. Travelers want impeccably clean housing with finely appointed furniture, kitchen facilities, and perhaps an outdoor p People who love to travel often have standards for the accommodations they select. Travelers want impeccably clean housing with finely appointed furniture, kitchen facilities, and perhaps an outdoor place for relaxation, such as a deck or patio. Many travel in order to escape their daily routine. For this reason, a luxury vacation rental should include some pampering of guests as well. The luxury traveler responds positively to on-site concierge services, delivery of extra towels or linens, or even a nice gift basket or bottle of wine in their room upon arrival. Some vacation rentals make it easy for guests to schedule a massage therapy session with a local masseuse. All of these extras make for a stress free travel experience. In my opinion, the luxury vacation rental should be attentive to guests’ needs in a way that other accommodations are not.  Following is my checklist for luxury vacation rentals. If you’re paying a premium for a place to stay while traveling, the expectation is higher. Review the list and see if you agree with my specifications. Though a luxury vacation rental may not include all of the items on this checklist, it should include most.
  • Luxury bedding and linens
  • On-site pool or pond for outdoor relaxation
  • Privacy that cannot be found in condos, duplexes, or even cabins sited close to each other without a natural landscape buffer.
  • It is not necessary to book a vacation cabin miles from civilization to get privacy. There are many luxury vacation rentals close to the shops and restaurants of small towns and cities such as Asheville, NC.
  • A private hot tub in each cabin or vacation rental
  • Fireplaces for the winter months, preferably wood-burning fireplaces
  • Wi-fi Internet at no added cost
  • Flat screen televisions
  • Washer/Dryer in the vacation rental or cabin
  • Fully appointed kitchen with updated appliances
  • DVDs available at no cost for the use of guests
  • Work-out room or gym.
  • Attractive interior design and windows that offer an expansive view of the outdoors
  • Games on premises ( ping pong,  horseshoes, basketball, foosball, etc.)
  • On-site concierge services
  • On-site office and maintenance staff that is trained to provide the best possible service and respond to guest’s needs in a timely fashion
Travel to an unfamiliar location can sometimes be stressful.  Staying in a luxury vacation rental where excellent accommodations and service are provided puts guests at ease and allows them to let go and truly enjoy their time away. Many  vacation homes, condos, cabin rentals and other types of accommodations claim to be luxury vacation rentals and are really mundane accommodations with very little, if any, service. Most often, these accommodations may have some of the amenities listed above.  However, a staff that is lackadaisical, or unresponsive to guests’ needs can spoil a good vacation. So can dated facilities or worn furniture, appliances or fixtures, bugs or lack of attention to detailed cleaning. Adding amenities is simply not enough to distinguish a resort, cabin or vacation home as a luxury vacation rental.  The amenities must be high quality and consistent. Perhaps even more important is the fact that many luxury vacation rentals cannot deliver on the promise of superior service. Nothing ruins a good vacation more than experiencing a maintenance problem and being unable to get it fixed. If you do enjoy a truly luxurious vacation somewhere, you should respond positively to the experience in person, in writing, or even online.  If you and your loved ones have a bad experience while staying at a vacation rental, the same holds true.  This type of critique might encourage owners or stakeholders in vacation rentals to improve upon their facilities or staff.   These days the consumer demands more than ever, especially if he or she is paying a luxury price. Do not be silent if you are dissatisfied with your luxury accommodations.  Let management or the proprietor know.  If you feel they have not addressed your concerns, then make your opinion known online at sites like TripAdvisor.com. or the Google Places pages. Before booking a luxury vacation rental, it makes sense to conduct research on customer opinions about the rental online. Look at Google Places pages or TripAdvisor.com to see guest comments about their stay.  For those who use Facebook or Twitter, these are also good sources of information. Look for places with a history of being in business, but recent comments are more helpful that old comments that may not reflect the property's current condition.   If the comments are negative, does the owner or management respond to these concerns publicly?  If the answer is yes, you may have a winner. If the answer is no, then the luxury vacation rental you are considering might not be right for you. If a vacation rental has no reviews, look out! It may be one of the many rentals dumped on the market by distressed owners in the current depressed housing market. In most cases these owners have neither the resources or the experience to meet the standards for a luxury vacation rental. Reserve a cabin at Asheville Cabins of Willow Winds.