Improve Your Guest’s Experience With All 5 Senses

By Kylee Niederhauser

Sight – Smell – Sound – Taste – Touch

Would you guess that all 5 senses are important to consider when curating a great vacation rental property?

When a guest reserves an Arrivls property, they are typically booking based purely on visuals. They’re booking because they like the look of the house in the listing photos and the amenities they read about in the listing description. But once they arrive on-site, we want to make sure that all 5 senses are wowed.

Read on for a few tips that you can easily implement into a vacation rental property – or for when you’re hosting guests in your own home!


First impressions are often a deciding factor of whether or not a guest will return to your property, so we try to make sure ours is always a good one! Cleanliness is of course important, but paying extra attention to the details will ensure your guests have a great first impression of your vacation rental home. Open the blinds to let in natural light (or leave a few lights on if you know they’ll be arriving late), neatly arrange the welcome beverages in the fridge, fluff those pillows, and casually but neatly rest that throw blanket over the side of the couch. These are all minimal effort tasks with big impact results!

Fluff those pillows and straighten those books on the nightstand – first impressions are everything! Pictured above: One of the guest bedrooms at Saguaro in Scottsdale, AZ.


Most people go on vacation for rest and relaxation, so we try to make sure our guests get the best night sleep possible when staying at an Arrivls property. One of our easy tricks is putting a sound machine in each of the bedrooms. Even if your home is in a quiet area, many people like to have white noise (such as a fan sound) playing while they sleep. By providing a sound machine like this one, guests can choose from a variety of sounds to play as they drift off to sleep. Families with young children will especially appreciate this extra amenity!

All of the bedrooms at Palmeras in La Quinta, CA, have sound machines for guest use.


There’s nothing that can ruin your stay at a vacation rental home quite like an unpleasant odor can. Keep your guests (and their sense of smell) happy by making sure to odor-neutralize the space before their arrival. As much as some of us love the smell of freshly cooked bacon, it’s a bit different when you’re smelling someone else’s breakfast from that morning.

Steer clear of strong fragrances that can be found in some room sprays or candles (for liability and safety reasons, we steer clear from candles all together). Your rental should smell pleasant and clean, but not perfumed. Vinegar is an excellent odor-neutralizer, especially when trying to mask cooking smells.

An odor-free kitchen at The Rockaway House in Mission Beach (San Diego), CA


Who wouldn’t appreciate a basket of snacks after a long day of traveling? We know we would, especially when travelling with kids, so we always leave an small assortment of goodies for guests to enjoy when they arrive. This is another low-effort, high-impact idea and you don’t need to break the bank with this gesture. We typically stock up on a variety of snack-size items (think trail mix, granola bars, chips, cookies) from Costco and leave one or two of each snack type in a basket in the kitchen.

We also leave a few drinks in the fridge – a local beer, hard seltzer, or sparkling wine if the guest is celebrating a special occasion. Bonus points if you leave things for kids as well! We keep juice boxes, goldfish crackers, fruit snacks and fruit + veggie pouches in stock for when we’re hosting families.

The dining room (and snack bowl!) at Eichler Orange in Orange, CA


Going back to the importance of a good night’s rest, we make sure to provide quality bed linens at all of our properties. These microfiber bed sheets seems to get softer after every wash, and we are such big fans that we switched out the sheets at our own home for a set of these instead! We also make sure to have soft blankets stored around the house for cozy-ing up on the couch or for an added layer of warmth for sleeping.

Guest bedroom at Palo Verde in La Quinta, CA