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Are Tents the New Airbnb and Vacation Rental Superstars?

This owner will make you think so!

 

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by Mercedes Brennan in THE A-LIST, VACATION RENTAL TENTS
December 7, 2013
Evening Crickets
Evening Crickets

Warm lighting evokes a romantic Safari escape.

I don’t know about you but I keep seeing tents on Airbnb.

And not just any old tents. These babies are glamorous and attract even the most camping-averse crowd into a booking.

It’s called glamping.

It may be suddenly trendy, but there’s one owner who has been renting her tent to guests for a long while now.

Since 2009, in fact.

And she is crushing it. In fact, if you want to book her Safari-esque tent, be prepared to wait sometimes months in advance.

Why is she so successful?

Imagine this: a weekend camping trip, far away from the stresses of daily life, surrounded by a cacophony of birds, crickets, and rustling breezes. Then, go a step farther and imagine – not hard ground or a dusty campsite – a gorgeous tent retreat with all the amenities of luxury and romance.

Sinya on Lone Man Creek, a vacation rental in Wimberley, Texas, pampers its guests with both the outdoor life and the indulgence of an elegant glamping tent.

Named for the camp beneath Mount Kilimanjaro, which inspired the design, owner Lynn Gallimore created Sinya in 2009 with pampered camping in mind. The design is all about her guests’ experience. “It’s not about what everyone else is doing,” Gallimore said in an interview with FD Luxe, “It’s about what you need.”

Balcony

The front porch is designed to enhance happiness: plush-cushioned Adirondack chairs are posed for meaningful conversation and looking out at the landscape, a fruit bowl for healthy nibbling is within easy reach and both the fragrance and sight of flowers instantly decreases stress levels and increases energy.

WHY IT WORKS

1. Experience, Experience, Experience!

Lynn adheres to the first rule of creating a successful vacation rental: creating a nurturing experience for guests. It’s all about creating lasting memories for people, beckoning them to return again and again.

Before renovations or buying furniture, comes the process of envisioning how best to pamper your guests. Sinya’s design assumes people will want to hang out – sometimes all day long – both inside and out. Comfortable seating, an incredible mattress, plush linens, great lighting and a well-stocked kitchenette all contribute to a sumptuous interior, while the outside spaces are designed to savor the natural surroundings. The Japanese hot tub, plush Adirondack chairs looking out on the creek below, a hammock for napping or reading and the hummingbird feeder all beckon guests to interact with the surrounding wilderness.

In an interview with The Statesman, Lynn says, “It’s a place where people can come and feel safe. Modern life is stressful. There’s a lot of interference. What I hope to offer is chances for people to make all of that interference go away. Sinya is a nurturing place, and a lot of healing happens here.” She goes on to say she hopes Sinya will help her guests create meaningful memories: “It’s not a weekend getaway, it’s an experience.”

The tent is exquisite- I can’t believe I would say that about a tent! Not only is it comfortable, but it is beautifully furnished. And very clean. The views are beautiful and the area peaceful. Since returning home, I have such an appreciation for the memories of our stay at Sinya. I am more than impressed with Lynn and what she has created and continues to share with others. I am looking forward to returning again and again. — Happy Mama, Dallas

Ofuro

The Japanese soaking tub or ofuro, along with the wall ferns, an overhead sail cloth shade, hanging lanterns and remote controlled candles, enhance the feel of a private sanctuary.

Being in a tent offered a unique setting without giving up any creature comforts. Lynn’s apparent passion is insuring her guests’ stay is a grand experience. Sinya on Lone Man Creek was the perfect retreat offering a great chance for my wife and I to relax and just “be” for a few days.  – Robert from Shreveport, LA

2. Let There Be Light!

Windows on all sides allow sunlight to stream in from most angles, brightening Sinya’s interior. Moreover, the curtains, linens, bedding, ceiling and upholstery are in pale colors, all adding to a bright and shining inside. The safari tent’s light cloth roof make the ceilings soar, giving an airy and roomy feel to the tent’s relatively small floor plan. In the evening, task lighting makes for effective reading and preparation of food while mood lighting (including remote controlled candles) creates a romantic atmosphere.

The safari tent’s light cloth roof make the ceilings soar, giving an airy and roomy feel to the tent’s relatively small floor plan. In the evening, task lighting makes for effective reading and preparation of food while mood lighting (including remote controlled candles) creates a romantic atmosphere.

“The tent feels light, spacious, so comfortable.” – LRD of San Antonio, TX

Sofa Room

The interior receives abundant sunlight from the many windows. Furthermore, the cream colored ceiling, curtains, and upholstery reflect even more light into the rooms. Light interiors have been proven to boost mood, a key success factor in vacation rental design.

3. Contrast of Lights and Darks

Good design demands contrast. The eye craves it; otherwise, vision gets sucked into what I refer to as “Black Holes.” People’s eyes like to feel engaged with the objects in a room and crave a variety of tones. Dark and light surfaces contrast well next to each other, conversely, light tones look good next to other light tones. However, never place medium and dark tones next to other medium and dark tones! The eyes can’t easily differentiate one object from another and the whole tableau is lost.

Dark and light surfaces contrast well next to each other, conversely, light tones look good next to other light tones. However, never place medium and dark tones next to other medium and dark tones! The eyes can’t easily differentiate one object from another and the whole tableau is lost.

Sinya’s light wood floors, curtains and ceiling contrast with the green and wood walls. The cream upholstery contrasts with the slightly darker pine floors. The dark pillows on the sofa contrast with the pale cotton slipcover. Contrast is often the defining trait that marks good design from mediocre.

Contrast is often the defining trait that marks good design from mediocre.

Tent Bedroom

Although subtle, Sinya’s design has layered light tones with darker ones – light ceiling, darker walls, lighter curtains, darker floor, black and white hide rug, darker linen pillows against white bedding. The eyes feel engaged.

4. Honoring the Body, Skin and Eyes = Happy Guests (Every Time!)

Spoiling your guests with comfortable furniture for their bodies, soft surfaces for their skin and good light for their eyes is practically a guarantee of rave reviews. Gallimore did not cut corners here. In the

Gallimore did not cut corners here. In the bedroom, she sourced high thread-count, sustainable bamboo sheets for the uber-comfortable mattress (a Simmons Beautyrest Classic Plush Firm Eurotop Mattress). If guests wish to read in bed in the evenings, the bedside lamps give off a warm and abundant light. No worries about eye strain here.

Even the soles of the feet were considered – a mixture of cotton and hide rugs cushion the feet against the hardwood floor. Furthermore, the fluffy towels and the velvety, cotton upholstery on the living room sofa is truly wonderful to lounge upon.

Bedroom in Afternoon

Sinya’s guest reviews almost unanimously mention the comfortable mattress and soft linens. The cotton and hide rugs cushion bare feet. Bedside lamps deliver ample reading or tablet light.

“The linens and towels were so comfortable and the bed was like falling into a huge ball of cotton!”  – Monica K

Spa Bathroom

The bathroom is reminiscent of a country spa: the claw foot tub is deep and ample, making a long soak tempting at any time of day. Fluffy white towels, eco-friendly bath products from Bee Kind, and plush bathrobes all complete the pampering package.

5. Convenience and Ease

Gallimore anticipates her guests’ needs before they even arrive. Firewood, propane gas, WiFi access, and daily housekeeping is included in the rate. She has a well-stocked kitchen containing all the essentials – olive oil, salt and pepper, flour, honey, sugar, basic spices, coffee and tea, half and half, smores fixings – along with the popular option of meal catering.

She will deliver delicious meals for an extra fee and even takes dietary restrictions into account. One guest review mentions a delicious gluten-free breakfast defined as “unforgettable.”

Quality flatware, napkins, plates and glasses add dash and elegance. Guests appreciate a sensorial experience when eating and remember the heft of a fork, the softness of a napkin, the clink of a glass and the weight of a plate.

Breakfast Delivered

Gallimore delivers delicious and beautifully presented breakfasts upon request. Quality flatware, napkins, plates and glasses add dash and elegance to the place setting. Guests appreciate a sensorial experience when eating and remember the heft of a fork, the softness of a napkin, the clink of a glass and the weight of a plate.

Information on what to do in the surrounding area is readily available in a guest notebook. Suggested restaurants, hikes, wine tasting excursions are explained in detail and reservations can be made upon request. However, Sinya is so cozy and self-contained, many guests are not keen to leave the retreat, as mentioned in several of the gushing reviews.

Upon arriving at Sinya, we had NO idea just how beautiful and perfect it would be. Lynn is the most gracious host and don’t be surprised by daily visits from Simba and Brando, her two beautiful dogs. Every morning we woke up to the sunrise and had our coffee out on the balcony overlooking the hills and the river. Hummingbirds were flying by us at all times and the sounds of the water and all the birds in the area left us begging for just one more night!! It’s so conveniently located to the little town as well as plenty of wineries. However, we had to drag ourselves out to leave the beautiful surroundings. We will definitely come back and can honestly say we had the most romantic getaway honeymoon ever!  – Ken H and Tenley

Get the Glamping Look

Both Exclusive Tents and Canvas and Tent sell luxury tents, much like Sinya’s. Exclusive Tents’ production is in South Africa and Canvas and Tent operate out of Australia. They have both standard and custom models. Manufacturing takes anywhere from 10 to 12 weeks once an order is placed and then freight shipping another 30-45 days.

Tent Elevation

The Alphecca Tent is 46 sq. meters and is made by Canvas and Tents

 

Hide Rug

Argentine cowhide rug by Safavieh, sold on Amazon.

airbnb bamboo sheets

Bamboo sheets are an ecological option and these from BedVoyage are incredibly soft. Wayfair

Remote control candles are a safe option for vacation retreats. No fire hazard with these babies! Sold on Amazon.

 

GET THE FREE LIST OF SHORT-TERM RENTAL ESSENTIAL ITEMS

THE 31 MUST-HAVE ESSENTIALS THAT GUARANTEE GUSHING GUEST REVIEWS

On the house!
100% Privacy Guaranteed