All Tricked Out

When guests go on vacation, they expect to be transported to a place of escape, wonderment, or simply to a refuge of peace and relaxation. While we are lucky enough to live in an area that offers all of these things through the intrinsic nature of the Outer Banks itself, how we construct and arrange the homes that we share with vacationers helps them find what they are seeking. It’s what gets them talking about their experience and what keeps them coming back year after year to stay in the same home. While pools, hammocks, elevators, media rooms, and specialty furnishings are a few features that many Outer Banks rental homes offer, some turn more heads than others. Here are a few extravagant features we’ve come across in rental homes around the OBX.

Rooftop poolUncommon Pools

The sky’s the limit when you’re relaxing in a rooftop pool. With a view from the sound to the sea, all without leaving the refreshing water, a rooftop pool will wow just about anybody. What about doing 65 feet of laps in one direction in an impressive pool fit for even the most luxurious of estates…but with the roar of the ocean in the background when you come up for air? Or taking a late-night swim in a lighted pool, heated to the perfect temperature, no matter what time of year it is? These are the pools that separate your average backyard from an extravagant one.  

“Each year the features in our vacation rental homes get more and more impressive,” said Leslie Etheridge, Marketing Manager at Beach Realty and Construction. “My favorite features, though, are outside the home. Elegant private pools with flowing waterfalls, rooftop pools, extravagant outdoor kitchens and tiki bars come to mind,” Etheridge said. 

Giant lightLavish Decor

Whether it’s art deco, contemporary, coastal country, or shabby chic, one thing remains the same: the “WOW” is in the details! 

Eye-popping color, original artwork, captivating photography, cascading spiral staircases, grand pianos, and jukeboxes are just a few things that have stopped us in our tracks in some Outer Banks rental homes. While some renters desire a more down home feel, there are many out there who want to be wowed! They are spending a lot of money on their Outer Banks vacation, so they expect to be impressed. It’s the little things that create an unforgettable experience, like turning on the light in your closet to reveal a stunning chandelier, or having a seat in the bathroom right next to a beautiful fireplace. These facets are hard to forget. 

The ancient Chinese practice of Feng Shui is founded on the belief that our moods and well-being are directly affected by our surroundings. Whether you believe this or not, it’s undeniable that when renters enter a home for the first time, the way it is decorated, designed, and laid out will immediately affect their perception and thus navigate their overall mood during their stay in the home. Extravagant decor makes a bold statement and usually leaves a lasting impression. 

Unforgettable Elevators

Elevator muralIn the world of rental searches, elevators rank high among amenities vacationers are looking for, adding value to a home. But not every elevator is created equal. Some elevators we’ve seen will leave you feeling like you’re 20,000 leagues under the sea, while some seem to take you on a tour of the entire Outer Banks in just 3 floors. Glass elevators ride past intricate, hand-painted murals or cascade over artistic mural wraps featuring seascapes, famous Outer Banks landmarks, or elaborate underwater scenes.

Elevators such as these “make rental homes unique,” said Kenny Pekrun, owner of Atlantic Elevators. “People will remember them and you will get repeat renters because of that. It’s good to appeal to any kind of niche to make your home different from the rest,” Pekrun said. 

Awesome Amenities

We define amenities as any feature that provides comfort, convenience, or pleasure. We all know a home theater Amenitiesmakes an impressive statement to renters, but sometimes it’s the things that you might not immediately think of that actually make you feel the most pampered. We’ve come across outdoor game rooms fit for a fraternity party, home gyms that rival private fitness clubs, and custom-built home bars that will make you forget you don’t have to tip your bartender…because it’s your Uncle Jim. Sorry Uncle Jim. 

Laundry rooms with more state-of-the-art washers and dryers than a laundromat probably aren’t what you would think of first when searching for a rental home, but when you open the door to a luxurious laundry oasis in the middle of a week with your 20 closest relatives, you’ll realize you can never rent a vacation home without one again! 

The Cozy Kitchens group made sure the cabinets and countertops in The Ocean Club of the Outer Banks were top notch, beautiful, and functional, from the lavish laundry room all the way down to the mini kitchen in the kids’ playroom.

“Art, color, and architectural intrigue come together with some very practical and important amenities to provide our guests the most comfortable surroundings on all of the Outer Banks,” said the owners of the Ocean Club. 

Outside of the home

Sure, outdoor tiki bars and fireplaces in the john are definitely game changers, but what about the extravagant extras that come attached to some Outer Banks vacation homes? Depending upon your rental program, and what you choose to offer your guests, some of the perks that actually come with the home impress the guests more than what is actually in the home. 

Rental packages paired with discounted rounds at local golf courses, cabana services that set up tents and chairs, and meal delivery services that will bring any Outer Banks take-out directly to your beach chair are just a few of the added amenities guests will deem grand gestures.    

Old Favorites 

Here on the Outer Banks we are lucky to enjoy the best of so many worlds! Just as we are able to watch the sun rise and set from the very same porch, we like that perfect combination of “Wow!” and “ahhhhh…” So amidst all Nags Head Hammocksof the impressive features found in some of the most extravagant rental homes here, rounding a corner and seeing a good old-fashioned hammock is the icing on the cake! 

“We might be old-fashioned in our approach to quality and craftsmanship,” said Jessica Magnus, General Manager of Nags Head Hammocks, “but the materials we use have continued to evolve and offer you the finest, long lasting products available.” 

It’s about the quality and the personal Outer Banks touch that makes an element really stick with a visitor. Not to mention the lasting impression when a gorgeous view is involved!  

“We make it easy to take the Outer Banks feeling home,” Magnus said. 

While many of these features are incredibly impressive, it doesn’t mean you have to have something lavish or eye-catching in your Outer Banks rental home to keep guests coming back year after year. 

“‘Tricked out’ features will help book the home,” Etheridge at Beach Realty said, “but it’s the modern conveniences and comfort that will keep them coming back.”   

So put some thought into the things you include in your Outer Banks rental home and put your own spin on what your guests will remember when they head back home. ♦

The extravagant details Abby Stewart enjoys the  most are the ones she finds while exploring outdoors, both back home on the Outer Banks and anywhere else she can get to…as everywhere is on her list!  

Abby Stewart
Abby Stewart is a freelance writer who lives in Currituck County but has spent most of her summers on the beautiful beaches of the Outer Banks.

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