Luxury Vacation Rentals – How to Create Your Perfect Holiday Home Instruction Guide

When vacation rental guests first arrive to a new or exotic holiday home in a foreign city, often the first thing they seek out is the “villa book,” or the “home instruction guide.” This manual acts as a guide and reference throughout their stay and most smart vacation rental owners provide this as an enhancement to every guests’ stay.

The Book can be the key to having happy guests. The Book saves vacation property owners/agents a lot of time and potential trouble because the guests are able to help themselves to answers and guidance, rather than calling the owner or manager every time they have a question or concern.

Below we list the essential data and those optional enhancements which should be included in the Villa Book. Some owners of Uber-luxurious properties have turned their Villa Books into a high art form, suitable for publishing!

Basic Contact Info should include:

-The Street Address of the home and the home’s telephone number.

-Local Number for Police, Fire, Ambulance and/or Private Security in the neighborhood or building.

-Owner or Manager’s phone number, location, hours of availability, alternate contacts for an emergency.

-Numbers for any emergency service providers “on call” to the home, in emergencies, such as: Plumber, Electrician Handyman, Locksmith, Mechanic.

Check-in and Check-Out instructions, if any: Where should guests’ leave keys, comments, and so on.

Who has Home Access: Notes and names of any gardeners, caretakers or other service providers who may have access to the home or exterior, their usual schedule or scheduled visit during the guests’ stay.

Other essential items for the book are:

Maps, Addresses and Driving Directions to important places such as: Local Hospital Emergency Medical or “Walk-In” Clinics; Bank, ATM and Money Exchange; Airport, Train Station,and Bus Stations; Post Office, FedEx, UPS or other Express Mailing Businesses; Grocery Stores, Butcher, Baker, Liquor Stores, or other Essential Stores; Internet Cafe รฉ or Business Center; Recommended Restaurants, Cafes, Clubs, or Thoroughfares; Local Places of Worship with phone numbers.

Local Maps and Transportation: Provide guests with multiple copies of bus maps, subway maps, bike paths or other transportation to get around locally.

The Car: If a car is being provided as part of the Dominican republic luxury villa rentals or exchange, do include the instruction manual any any registration or insurance documents in an easily found place. Further, makes notes for the guest on the following:

  • How to adjust the seats if not immediately obvious
  • Preferences for the appropriate or required type of fuel to put in the car and map of locations of nearby gas stations
  • Where the gas tank is and how to open it from inside the car, if there is a special button; where is a safety and tool kit located within the car.
  • If a convertible, how to put the top up and down appropriately
  • Any special instructions for key fob, key ignition, unlocking the steering wheel, or other potential problems a new driver may have
  • Any instructions to carry out in an accident or emergency (i.e. “use the throaway camera found in the trunk to document the accident, call XYZ insurance agent, file a police report, etc.”).
  • Always keep a first aid kit, documentation supplies and blanket in the trunk in case of a guest emergency.

Other items for management of the vacation home:

Emergency Instructions and locations: instructions for use of the backup generator, what to do or who to call in an electrical outage, telephone outage, where are circuit breakers, what to do in case of flooding, and so on.

Electrical Notes for the home: If the home uses 220, clearly state this and any special instructions for those who may have brought appliances or equipment of a different current.

Temperature Modification instructions for the home. Such as: Heating Air Conditioning Thermostat; Storage location of free-standing fans or heaters; Location of extra blankets; Heated floor locations and on/off area for floors; If the use of A/C or Heat will incur an extra charge to the renter, clearly state this in the Villa Book. Include approximations or specifications of what various usages will cost and how the financial details will be handled (i.e. deduction from deposit, etc.).

A List of Quirks of the Home. These may include: Issues with running water such as a long time to wait for hot, etc; Non-operational items like windows, lights, inaccessible rooms, etc; Neighbors, their animals, children, or noise issues; Difficult operation of old-style keys, gates, or other potential frustrations.


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