Product Recommendations

Tried and tested products make for a great guest experience.

Having a great guest experience begins by having great tools in place.  Over the years we have tried many different products, and we constantly review and update our list of recommendations.  These products have been tried and tested and are holding up to our high expectations for fantastic guest experiences.  We use them in our own properties- why not use them in your property too?  We may receive a commission from product purchased using these links.

Jump to:     Appliances          Bath         Bedroom          Security          Storage         Wi-Fi

 

 
Appliances
If you don't have purified water, either at the refrigerator or the sink, we suggest getting a reverse osmosis system.  The 50 GPD model is sufficient for most vacation rentals and is easy to install and maintain.  If you have a whole house water filter or a filtered water dispenser with your refrigerator, this isn't necessary.
For blenders, KitchenAid models are the "tried and true".  This one has a tough plastic jar for durability.  We like the simple operation of this model.  Any good quality blender will work, but the fewer buttons the better.
We really like the 3 burner Weber Spirit grills and the 2 burner grills for small rentals.  Regardless of which model you choose, have your gas company run a hard line with a quick disconnect for your grill, so you can avoid the hassles of running out of fuel in the middle of a guests stay.  Investing in a good quality grill cover is also important.
Guests love their coffee as much as we do, and we want to give as many options as possible when it comes to enjoying a morning cup of java.  This is one of the latest models in the line of coffee makers we use; we love that it offers a 12 cup drip, pods and single serve as well.  What more could you want?
If you are going to offer a 5-star coffee experience, this burr coffee bean grinder is the way to go.  Baratza Encore Conical Burr Coffee Grinder comes in both black and white to best match your coffee station décor. 
We love our ecobee Smart Thermostats.  They allow us to make a home comfortable for guests prior to their arrival but not waste electricity in the meantime.  The device also comes with two door sensors allowing the system to shut down automatically when doors are left open, and restart again when they are closed.  Unfortunately, this "auto off/on" feature requires a subscription, but we think it's worth it.  You can purchase additional sensors if you have more than two doors.
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Bath
This is our go to dispenser for bulk shampoo, conditioner, and body wash.  There is also a double and single dispenser model.
For a dispenser that will fit into the corner of a shower, we use this model; it comes in white and chrome finish.
We suggest a night light in each bathroom.  These are dimmable and come on at dusk and shut off at dawn.  We find guests will put them in bedrooms for the kids as well, so having a few extra on hand is always a good thing.  This one comes in a two pack.
Put power right where you need it, so guests aren't moving your furniture to plug in their devices.  We mount them to end tables or anywhere you need easy access.  This small power strip includes 3 outlets, 2 USB A, and 1 USB C port.  The flat plug is great as it minimizes the space between the wall.
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Bedroom  
Every bedroom needs an alarm clock, easy access to outlets and usb ports.  This device takes care of all of that in one easy step and prevents guests from having to pull out your nightstands to plug in their phone chargers.  
Have you ever stayed someplace new and had unfamiliar, strange sounds keep you from a great night's sleep?  Whether it's creaking floors, crickets, or the wind, this sound machine has a wide variety of sounds that help lull the light sleepers to a night of blissful ZZZs.  We put one in each bedroom.  Guests have given us great feedback on them.    
Hunting for or having to run out to buy a phone charger is never a great guest experience - especially in Butler!  We put a charging cord on every nightstand; these come with a six foot cord and include both type C, micro, and lightning plugs.  
Mattress protectors are not a luxury item; they are an essential requirement in preparing your home for guests.  These come in a variety of sizes to meet your needs.  
The Zinus mattresses has great reviews from our guests and come in a variety of sizes and thickness.  Our linens can accommodate any mattress from 7-20 inches thick.  However, we try to avoid the "Green Tea" line as some guests are sensitive to certain smells.  
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Security
Every home needs a backup with key access.  We often recommend 2 of these: one for guest access when needed and another for housekeeping or owners closets.

Before changing any smart locks you already have, please check with us, so we can determine if changing out your locks is necessary.  In the future we will be using Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Deadbolts or the Schlage Encode Smart WiFi Lever locks, they also make a Plus version, but it doesn't provide any additional benefits for us, so don't spend the extra money.  You will only need the lever or the deadbolt, but not both.

If your home has a deadbolt, this is the way to go.  It comes in a variety of colors.  It's important that your lock include key access for backup.  You will only need the lever or the deadbolt, but not both.
We put outdoor security cameras at the front and back doors.  For homes with docks, we suggest putting a camera viewing the dock as well.  For areas where it's possible to run a wire to them, we have had good luck with these wired cameras.  The only drawback to these is they are not POE.  This camera is our 1st choice as we don't have to worry about batteries.  No hub is required for this particular one, but a memory card is recommended.   It allows for cloud storage and access via a subscription service.  
For areas where running a wire isn't feasible, we like this camera.  One of the great features about this camera is the rechargeable batteries that can be easily swapped out.  The camera allows for cloud storage and access via a subscription service.  This camera system requires a hub, which is included, and you'll need to purchase a memory card.
When guests are arriving after dark, having a porch light on can make a big difference.  Changing out a few old light switches for some smart switches can make this a reality.  For lights with a dimmer, we use this switch.  For lights without a dimmer we use this light switch.  We recommend all entrance doors have smart switches, as well as one or two key interior lights.
If there are areas around the home that you want to light up after dark, or if you are looking for dock lights, we like these strip lights.  The lights need to be in a dry or protected area.  They are smart lights and can be set to come on/off at scheduled times.
For exposed areas, we like these string lights. They are unbreakable and screw in for easy replacement when a bulb burns out.  They come in a wide variety of lengths, and multiple sets can be combined into longer runs.  This is the smart plug we like to control these lights.
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Storage
When it comes to storing toys, wood, life jackets, trash etc., we haven't found the perfect solution.  We have tried many, but none are perfect in our eyes.  We use the 230 gallon models for life jackets, toys, and trash while we use the 150 gallon for firewood.  We have had issues with people sitting on them when the tops aren't designed for the weight.  We've had people not lock them up, and the wind will rip off the lid, so the hunt is still on for a great storage container.  This is the one we are using currently.  We spend about an hour putting it together, then we spend about 4 hours modifying it to make it strong and lock automatically when closed to prevent wind damage.  If you have a storage solution you love, please share it with us.
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Wi-Fi
This controller provides access and management of your network services ensuring your internet is up and running at full capacity allowing guests to enjoy uninterrupted access during their stay.  If POE, SSID, and Mesh roaming are all words you are comfortable with, you can probably set this up on your own.  If not, then we can provide some options for setup and installation.
For indoor Wi-Fi access in areas where you can hard wire the device on the ceiling, this is the way to go.  It offers POE, Mesh roaming, easy configuration and works flawlessly.
If you need to cover your outdoor space with Wi-Fi access, this device really covers a lot of area.  It offers POE and Mesh roaming for easy installation and use.
Don't let a three second power outage interrupt your guests' 5-star experience.  Adding a battery backup helps protect your hardware as well as ensuring guest connectivity.  This unit can power your internet equipment for an hour or two in the event of lost power.  We also like that it has a mute button, so in the event of a power outage, there is no audible alarm.
 

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