Each piece of furniture that you purchase for your vacation rental properties represents an investment on your part. Each piece also plays into a guest’s total vacation experience.
You want furniture that soothes and relaxes guests. You want furniture that fits seamlessly into the décor and the atmosphere that your cabin or cottage is attempting to create for your customers. And you want hardy furniture—furniture that can stand up to heavy-duty use by hundreds of people.
Obviously, I’m partial to rocking chairs—this is, after all, a post on a rocking chair company’s blog. I can tell you that they’re part of the great American tradition and fit in almost any American vacation cabin or home, whether your hideaway is nestled deep in the Adirondacks or overlooking a stormy beach. We can tell you that a well-built rocking chair can easily withstand the test of time to become an heirloom piece. These things are true, but I’d understand it if you folks felt a little bit suspicious of my motives after reading these glowing endorsements.
That’s why I took the time to gather some proof.
Rocking Chair Reviews
First thing’s first. I thought maybe you might want to see glowing endorsements from vacation cabin customers all over the country. Here are some people who specifically mentioned rocking chairs in their reviews.
If you do a little digging, it’s easy enough to find proof straight from the horse’s mouth that customers just love rocking chairs. It seems like even a plain old Best Western gets ten times better (in a guest’s eyes) when someone takes the time to put out some rocking chairs. Here are a few more reviews which show that rocking chairs are a big, big selling point and a great way to please guests.
You might note as you read through these, that there are few other similarities between the different cabins, cottages and inns mentioned in this list. They’re located all over the country and appeal to different demographics. Each property has its own style, as well.
Eagle Mountain House and Golf Club, Jackson, NH
This customer specifically mentioned rocking chairs in the review, “Eagle Mountain House.”
“Hotel was a very pleasant surprise at great price. Spent first night on the veranda rocking chairs sipping drink from pub. Staff exceptional. Pool warm and clean. Away for 2 days and felt like a week. Free breakfast buffet plentiful with blintzes, waffles, omelets, and more. Golf course inexpensive and right across street. Great place for kids and families! Lots of old charm-old phone booth, old phone in rooms, great old elevator, squeaky wood floors. If you don’t appreciate history, it’s probably not for you.”
You can read other reviews of this vacation property here.
Lighthouse Inn at Aransas Bay, Rockport, TX
Three separate customers mentioned rocking chairs in their reviews on this page. I loved the imagery invoked by the review: “So relaxing and peaceful.”
“Our four night stay at the Lighthouse Inn was the perfect way to spend our much needed vacation! The room was immaculate and comfortable and had everything we could possibly need including robes and beach towels. We had a ground floor room on the bay side where we sat in the rocking chairs about twenty feet from the water and watched the shrimp boats go out and come in. The staff were friendly and attentive. The hot breakfast every morning was delicious and enjoying it while gazing out the windows at the early morning activities on the bay made it extra special. We ate our weight in seafood at the many restaurants within walking distance of the hotel and enjoyed the museum that was just a block away. We will be back and next time we will bring our fishing poles!”
Got great views? Got a porch? You can’t really go wrong by placing some rocking chairs on that porch and in the direction of those views. Guests who sit and relax for hours are happy guests. Relaxation, after all, is what your guests are trying to accomplish.
Knights Inn Dillard, Dillard, GA
The 5 star review, “Great Place to Stay” mentions rocking chairs as well. Read the full set of reviews here.
“This is a great place to stay. Rooms are clean and spacious with refrigerator and microwave – beds comfortable. Has a deck with rocking chairs and great view of mountains. Air conditioning works great (for me) plenty of hot water (for my wife). Excellent alternative for the Dillard House where you can stay for about half the price of Dillard House. Front desk people extremely friendly and helpful. Have not tried the continental breakfast. I highly recommend this motel. My most recent visit Labor Day Weekend 2008.”
This is an older hotel on a rural road in the smoky mountains. Rocking chairs helped to transform what might have otherwise been somewhat unremarkable into a place that was charming, pleasant and relaxing.
What’s in a Name?
Sometimes the “proof in the pudding” can’t be found in the reviews, but in the way that a property is named or marketed. For example, this beautiful property in Coastal, GA literally advertises itself as a “Low Country Style Home with Rocking Chair Front Porch.” This beauty has six bedrooms, views of the water and a private pool—but the rocking chairs on the front porch were what made it into the headline.
This is not an anomaly. This Wrightsville Beach, NC home bills itself via this headline: “Ocean and Waterway Views from Your Rocking Chair.” A cabin owner in Silver City, New Mexico exhorts you to “Enjoy Wildlife from Your Rocking Chair and Swinging Bench on the Front Porch.”
In Pikeville, TN? “Porch Swings and Rocking Chairs” constitutes the entire headline of a charming rural cottage with views of both the mountains and the lake. Note that the rocking chairs got the headline—and not the views! That should tell you a little something about what guests are really looking for. There’s a deck and a boat slip too—neither of which got top billing.
In Jasper, AR you can visit an entire resort called Rocking Chair Ridge. You’ll see rockers and Adirondack chairs on the front porch of these charming cabins—great places to watch the wildlife and to breathe in the mountain air. You can also visit The Rocking Chair Resort in Lake Norfolk, Arkansas.
Add Value Anywhere
What if you don’t own a vacation property? What if you own something else?
Believe it or not, rocking chairs can add value to other types of properties, too. Just take a gander at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, featured on The Points Guy Blog. The owners of this airport placed beautiful, relaxing rocking chairs in a tree-filled atrium. What a great place to wait for your plane! It sure beats those narrow, metal-armed side-by-side seats up at the gate.
I’d love to see some rocking chairs at the mall, when my wife wants to go. I could kick back and watch the fountains while she shopped. Then again, she might spend more. Hmmm.
ROI? You Betcha.
We live in a relationship economy. Reviews are a form of currency when you own a rental property. If you get great reviews, more people will want to spend their hard-earned vacation dollars with you. If you get poor reviews, then you will find your reservations declining.
Rocking chairs help you get great reviews—as I’ve demonstrated. They can also help you earn bookings by giving people the kinds of experiences they want to have. As you’ve seen, many vacationers really want to just sit, relax, and look at something beautiful as they enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of cold tea.
Furthermore, rocking chairs are not that expensive, especially not when compared to other furniture pieces which you might be using to outfit your vacation home. An individual rocking chair might cost anywhere from $100 to $600. You can choose the chairs that fit your budget, knowing that they’re going to pay for themselves over and over again.
And, as we’ve seen, you can in fact advertise your rocking chairs as amenities. You can list them right beside the big screen TV, the private pool, the Jacuzzi tub and the WiFi. Being able to list more amenities makes it easier to market your property. Adding additional amenities may even help you justify a more advantageous rental price.
When you equip a vacation property with rocking chairs, you’re not just filling it full of furniture. You’re filling up with objects which create an experience. You’re creating tranquility. You’re creating an opportunity for long conversations. You’re creating beautiful surroundings and beautiful views.
And while rocking chairs are not the only way to create that experience—you need beds, sofas and dining furniture, after all—they can be an important part of the equation.