• Diane Bobek

9 Things To Keep In Mind When Designing For Your High-End Vacation Rentals In Hawaii

Updated: May 25

When designing your high-end vacation rental, you’ll want to make sure each detail comes together seamlessly to exhibit the “Spirit of the Islands” – much like the islands of Hawaii. People from all over the world come to these islands in hope of experiencing bliss, so what if your vacation rental could do that for them? When creating your high-end vacation rental space, keep the following things in mind and you’re sure to delight and impress your guests.


The Right Furniture Fabrics

The fabric on your furniture plays a huge part in the balance of a home. It’s especially important to use solution-dyed acrylics in common areas such as the kitchen, den, and living room. Solution-dyed acrylics ensure long-lasting color and durability and remain soft to the touch, which is highly recommended for rental properties and high-traffic locations. I love to incorporate fabrics based on their functionality rather than just their look – this helps ensure you won’t have to replace pieces in your home frequently. One of my past projects featured durable fabrics and solution-dyed acrylics, serving as an effort to protect the furniture from sun damage.


A Fully Equipped Kitchen

Designing a luxury kitchen is more than picking out beautiful cabinetry and countertops that are cohesive with your aesthetic. A kitchen is often a gathering place in the home, so creating a layout that keeps community in mind is important. From appliances to finishes, I like to coordinate all elements while creating a comfortable and spacious room. In one of my latest kitchen designs, we added convenient charging stations under the granite countertops along with additional storage.


Choosing quality kitchen tools generally guarantees they last longer. A rental with a fully-equipped kitchen will keep guests coming back and give personal chefs everything they need to create a delicious meal. Include products like high-end blenders for smoothies, acai bowls, and fun tropical drinks. In Hawaii, a kitchen isn’t complete without a tea kettle, rice cooker, and steamer so be sure to include these appliances to give your guests the full Hawaiian experience. Displaying a welcome gift in the kitchen with Kona coffee and chocolate-covered macadamia nuts will provide your guests with the perfect start to their vacation.


Luxurious Bedding and Towels

You can have the most comfortable mattress and pillows but if your bedding doesn’t share that same quality, it won’t take long for your guests to tell. Use high-end bedding that is simple and white so it’s easy to clean when it gets dirty. Plus, your housekeeping staff will appreciate that they can easily clean and remove pesky stains in just one wash. Luxury linens last much longer and keep their softness over time so guests can truly relax while they’re away at the beach and in bed.


Bath towels in a rental property should be soft to the touch and absorbent so guests can always feel like they’re getting hotel-level treatment. Ensure the bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths are white so that they’re easy to wash and stay looking fresh at all times.


Find beach towels that are cohesive with your vacation rental so your guests can easily tell the difference between their towels (if they bring any) and yours. Having a fully stocked rental home will make their vacation much more enjoyable.


Tasteful Art and Décor

Artwork and décor truly tie a home together and add a touch of personal style. Keep it simple, yet refined by choosing local accessories. I like to use the different island styles I am known for when picking out pieces for homes. From casually elegant, contemporary, Hawaii modern, and coastal, you can find something that fits your home perfectly. This will make your rental feel more authentic and give your guests an opportunity to enjoy beautiful art from the islands of Hawaii.



Rugs and Window Coverings

Rugs, curtains, and window coverings are the pieces that pull each room together and allow me to integrate different textures into a space. They can feature accent colors and patterns you love without being too overpowering and instead highlight features in your home. Window coverings are especially important in Hawaii since the UV index is higher than average and can cause damage.


Staged Photos

Before you begin renting out your home, take a photo of each room so your housekeeping staff knows exactly what you want it to look like before each guest arrives. Taking pictures will allow for consistency, especially if you change your staff throughout the years. This will also let the housekeepers know where all the decor should go so nothing is out of place in the rental and you can easily tell if something is missing.


Fully Stocked Garage

When your guests arrive on the island, going to the store for beach supplies is the last thing they’ll want to do. Keep your garage equipped with everything they could need for their trip so you can save them space in their luggage and precious time on the islands. Details like this truly go the extra mile and make staying at your rental more enjoyable. Guests will want to come back to stay with you because they know you’ll take care of them. Items like a car charging station for electric vehicles, coolers, durable beach chairs, and snorkel gear are greats additions to any home in Hawaii.


Hawaiian Literature

The islands of Hawaii are a privilege to visit and many people don’t understand their history. To educate your guests, you can include literature in the home for them to read. The Hawaii state motto is “Ua Mau ke Ea o ka ʻĀina i ka Pono,” which translates to “the sovereignty of the land is perpetuated in righteousness." Teaching guests about “pono” (righteousness) and how to take care of the land when they visit will make them more appreciative and see Hawaii through a fresh set of eyes. Here are some of our favorite books:



Brochures With Recommendations

Each island is filled with amazing hikes, food trucks, restaurants, and shops so be sure to leave some suggestions for your guests. Let them know where to find the best sunrise or sunset hikes, great shave ice, delicious kalua pig, and the best poke in town. These recommendations will save them the stress of reading a plethora of online articles with so many overwhelming suggestions. You can easily create your own brochure of favorite places on sites like Canva in less than an hour and customize it to fit your rental’s aesthetic. Print multiple copies so your guests can take them.


When you add intentional details to each part of your design process for a Hawaii vacation rental, you’ll be surprised by how quickly you get booked. Especially in a place like Hawaii, where the weather stays relatively consistent throughout the year, you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect guests who want to make your place their regular vacation destination.


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