5 Tips for Writing an Effective Vacation Rental Listing Description

Oct 19 2022
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What’s in this article?

As a vacation rental manager or owner, you want to attract as many bookings as possible. Eye-catching photos that reflect your short term rental’s (STR) unique style, great amenities, and a stunning location are all important for attracting guests, but they’re not the only things potential guests will base their decision on.

Pictures might catch a traveler’s attention, but an attention-grabbing listing description can make potential guests click instead of scrolling past your rental.

In this article, we’ll give you tips on how to write an effective vacation rental description, as well as provide some vacation rental description examples and a free template that you can use for your listings and boost bookings.

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Why do you need a good vacation rental description? 

You need to get your rental description right because studies show people won’t hang around long if something doesn’t grab their attention right away. The average human attention span is merely 8.25 seconds which gives you a small window of opportunity to get the attention of potential guests and make them stay longer on your website or listing.

If you’ve got a very attractive property in a great location, it can be tempting to leave the heavy lifting to your images. But the best STR property listings have characterful descriptions that give your guests a taste of what they can expect.

For example, “Wake up to the sound of waves crashing on the shore and enjoy a cup of coffee on your private balcony while you watch the sunrise over the water.”


“The rental has a balcony with an ocean view.”

The first sentence creates a mental image that is more appealing and aspirational. Rather than coldly stating facts, it suggests a lifestyle and experiences the guests will enjoy. By doing this, you increase the chance of getting an emotional reaction to your listing that will make somebody want to buy and you’ll set your listing apart from the rest.

One thing to keep in mind though: you want to be careful not to overpromise and underdeliver as guest disappointment upon arrival is not going to help you attract good review scores for your rental.

Don’t worry if this seems like a lot of pressure—we’ve listed a few vacation rental description examples below to give you some inspiration.

5 vacation rental description examples

In addition to listings on Airbnb’s website, we’ve also looked through some of the most liked homes on Airbnb’s Instagram page to find some great examples of descriptions.

While the examples are tailored to different types of rentals—entire homes, private rooms, and hotel rooms—they all have one thing in common. They use persuasive language to create a mental image that makes you want to book the rental. 

We’ll take a look at them in detail below.

1. Zion EcoCabin: Zion A-Frame

A-frame cabin in the woods with a wrap-around porch
Zion EcoCabin’s vacation rental description Source: Airbnb

Airbnb listing description:

“Soak up the sun and unwind in the Zion A-Frame. The unique convertible door lets the indoor comforts of this cozy cabin blend seamlessly with the stunning nature of the South Zion Mountains. The A-Frame living space is expansive — an open-air concept to reconnect humans and nature, allowing you to enjoy the natural world around you.”

Why we love it:

  • The first sentence immediately sets the scene and gives a sense of what it would be like to stay in this rental.

  • We love the persuasive language that makes you feel you’re already there, soaking up the sun and enjoying the stunning scenery.

  • Unique features are highlighted, such as the convertible door that lets you enjoy indoor comforts while surrounded by nature.

  • The overall tone is relaxed and inviting, calling out to those who want to escape the busy city life.

2. Crow’s Nest—Private, Spa, High-Speed Internet

A Screenshot of Crow's Nest Airbnb listing
Crow’s Nest vacation rental description Source: Airbnb

Airbnb listing description:

“Located high in the redwoods of Monte Rio, the Crow’s Nest provides a birds-eye view of the old-growth forest surrounding the property. Take in the stunning views from our patio, the hot tub, or through the many large windows in the cabin.”

Why we love it:

  • The title tells you exactly what you can expect—a private rental with stunning views and a hot tub.

  • It hooks you in and builds suspense. You can’t help but keep reading to find out more about this mysterious property.

  • The description is short and sweet, getting straight to the point without any fluff.

  • The images in the listing reinforce the description and give you a good sense of what the rental looks like.

3. AMALFI & SPA: Unique Villa with Pool And Hot-Tub

AMALFI & SPA vacation rental descriptionSource: Airbnb
AMALFI & SPA vacation rental description Source: Airbnb

Airbnb listing description:


“This gorgeous modern villa is characterized by clean lines, open spaces and huge windows which gives the feeling of indoor-outdoor living.



This smart design is energy efficient and packed with amenities such as; air conditioning, pressurized water, and water heating system, laundry room, butler pantry, gourmet chef’s kitchen, and beautifully designed common areas with all the comforts.”


Why we love it:

  • This Airbnb listing description does a great job of highlighting the unique features of the villa.

  • We love how it mentions open spaces and energy-efficient design.

  • It also does a great job of listing the available amenities.

  • While it may be a bit longer than some of the other examples, we think it does a fair job of describing the property and what guests can expect.

4. Historic Guesthouse & Gardens by the Marietta Square

A screenshot of Marietta Square’s Airbnb listing page
Marietta Square’s vacation rental description Source: Airbnb

Airbnb listing description:


“Enjoy an idyllic stay with a morning coffee in the greenhouse of this restful garden retreat. Towering oaks and fragrant magnolias frame the peaceful poolside cabana while the fire pit beckons for late-night s’mores. This unique property, formerly the home of two Georgia governors, is overflowing with a rich history. The bedroom of the guesthouse was originally a smokehouse, in the 1840s.”


Why we love it:

  • We love that the historic elements of this property are incorporated into the description.

  • It makes you feel like you’re transported back in time.

  • We love the mention of the morning coffee in the greenhouse—it’s a small detail that really makes you feel like you’re there.

  • The description is short and sweet but packs in a lot of information about the property.

5. The Woodlands House

Screenshot of The Woodlands House Airbnb listing
The Woodlands House vacation rental description Source: Airbnb

Airbnb listing description:

“The Woodlands House sits on five acres of an old-growth private forest. The home itself is a beautiful 4 bedroom home with two outdoor decks surrounded by towering pine trees. It’s the perfect place to get out of the city and disconnect in nature or to use as your base for all the PNW adventures. It’s a quick 30 min drive to Mount Hood or the entrance to the Colombia Gorge and only 45 min from PDX Airport.”

Why we love it:

  • It’s clear that the house is in a secluded, natural setting-perfect for those who want to get away from it all.

  • The description also provides helpful information about nearby attractions and how long it will take to get there.

  • This is a great example of an Airbnb listing that provides potential guests with all the information they need to decide if this is the right rental for them.

Vacation rental description template

There’s no magic formula for the perfect vacation rental listing description. But, if you’re looking for a starting point, we’ve got you covered.

The word count or the length of your description positively impacts your listing’s ranking, especially on Airbnb. At present, Airbnb allows only up to 500 characters. The readers can view only the first two paragraphs before they click the ‘Show more’ link.

Here’s what it looks like:

Airbnb show more
The Woodlands House Airbnb listing description Source: Airbnb

It’s easy to cross the character limit if you’re not careful. Be concise and to the point.

Here’s a vacation rental listing description template that you can use as a starting point:







{type of house}


{neighborhood name}

. Close to

{restaurants, shops, and attractions}

. Has unique features

{list a few features}

, and it’s

{is / is not }


{is / is not }

smoker-friendly. Rent

{amount per month}

, and security deposit of


. Utilities

{list of utilities}

are included. Call

{your name}


{your phone number}



Here’s an example of how this template might look in action:


Perfect place for a family or group of friends: hardwood floors, 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom apartment in Marais. Close to great restaurants, cafes, and shops. Has a unique layout with a lofted bedroom, and it’s pet-friendly. Rent is $2,000 per month, and security deposit is $1,000. Utilities (water, electricity, gas) are included. Call John at +1 (555) 555-1234.


You can get creative with this template—add unique details and make it your own. Remember to keep it under 500 characters, so potential guests quickly digest the information.

How to write the perfect vacation rental listing description

Now that you’ve seen some examples and have a template to work with, it’s time to start writing your own vacation rental listing description. But how do you make sure it’s perfect?

This section covers everything you should and shouldn’t do when writing your vacation rental listing description.

What to include in your property description

While providing details about your rental is important, you don’t want to overwhelm potential guests with too much information. Here’s our list of must-haves for your rental listing description:

1. Emphasize your USPs (unique selling points)

What makes your rental property unique? The stunning views from the balcony, the spacious floor plan, a backyard pool, or a newly renovated kitchen—whatever it is, make sure you mention it in your listing description. This will help your rental stand out from the rest and encourage potential guests to choose your property over others.

Note: If you upgraded your amenities to match what guests in your area want, you must include a description of these in your listing.

2. Property style and furnishings 

Do you own a cozy cabin in the woods, a luxurious penthouse, a boathouse, or a treehouse? The type of rental property you own and accommodation capacities, like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, will play a role in who’s interested in staying at your rental.

You should also give potential guests an idea of what the property looks like inside. Are the furnishings modern or antique? Is the decor beachy or rustic? The more specific you can be about the style of your rental, the more accurately you can target potential guests.

3. Mention and select all available amenities

Of course, you don’t want to mention every little detail about your rental property, like how many teacups are in the cupboard. But a brief overview of your rental amenities can be helpful, especially for guests with specific needs or requests.

Examples of some common amenities vacation rental properties offer include:

  • Cable TV

  • Swimming pool

  • Air conditioning/heating

  • Parking

  • Laundry facilities

  • Fully equipped kitchen

  • Game room

  • Private beach access

4. Type of Wi-Fi

Travelers pack a lot of devices, from phones to laptops, drones, and more. And with so many devices, they need a strong and reliable Wi-Fi connection. Be sure to mention:

  • The frequency of the Wi-Fi (5GHz, 2.4GHz, and so on)

  • The type of connection (802.11ac or 802.11n)

  • The maximum data rate (54 Mbps, 300 Mbps, 867 Mbps, and so on)

  • The number of devices that can be connected at once (10, 20, or more)

Airbnb lets you add this information to your listing, so potential guests can rest assured knowing they won’t have any trouble staying connected during their trip.

5. Neighborhood and surrounding area

Your rental property’s location is just as important as the property itself. Be sure to mention the neighborhood or surrounding area, accessibility to public transportation and what guests can expect in terms of nearby restaurants, cafes, shops, and attractions.

For example, if your rental is located near Times Square in New York City, you could say, “Step out onto Broadway and be right in the heart of the action. Times Square, Rockefeller Center, and Central Park are just a short walk away.”

This is an excellent opportunity to give potential guests an idea of what it would be like to stay in your rental and experience the local area.

6. Details relevant to your niche 

Your rental property might cater to a specific type of traveler or be located in an area known for certain activities. For example, if you own a ski chalet in the Alps, you might want to mention the nearby slopes and ski lifts.

Or, if your rental is located in a surfing town, you could talk about the waves and nearby beaches. This type of detail will help you attract guests interested in the activities your rental property and area are known for.

7. Use keyword-rich language

When potential guests search for a vacation rental, they’ll use specific keywords to find listings that match their needs. For example, if they’re looking for a pet-friendly rental, they might search for “pet-friendly vacation rentals.”

Or, if they’re looking for a specific amenity, like a hot tub, they might search for “vacation rentals with hot tubs.”

Including relevant keywords throughout your listing description will help potential guests easily find your property.

8. Frequently update your listing description

Your vacation rental listing is like a living, breathing document that should be frequently updated to ensure it’s accurate and up-to-date. If there are any upcoming popular events, festivals, annual celebrations, or holidays in the area, mention them in your listing description.

You should also review your listing description periodically to ensure it’s still accurate, even when there are no changes to report. After all, things can change over time—a new restaurant might open nearby, a shop might close, or construction might start on new development.

Hostfully distribution channels
Hostfully integrates with distribution tools like Vrbo, Airbnb, and Booking.com Source: Hostfully

Updating your listings manually across distribution channels can take time and effort. With a vacation rental channel manager tool like Hostfully, you can optimize your listings in real-time across all major listing sites like Airbnb, Vrbo, Booking.com, HomeToGo, and TripAdvisor. So your listings are always accurate, no matter where they’re being distributed.

9. Mention rates and pricing

Usually, owners include something like, “For rates, contact the owner.” But it may seem annoying to some travelers who have to search for the rates on a different page or click through to another website. So, mentioning your nightly rates in your listing description can be helpful.

But there’s a right and a wrong way to go about it. You don’t want to just throw out a number without context. Instead, you want to mention rates in a helpful and informative way. This also saves you the hassle of answering inquiries with the question, “How much does it cost per night?”

And if you’re unsure what’s the right pricing strategy for short-term rentals, Hostfully can help. We work with vacation rental property managers to help them streamline their business and become more cost-effective.

Hostfully integrates with dynamic pricing tools Wheelhouse, PriceLabs, and BeyondSource: Hostfully
Hostfully integrates with dynamic pricing tools Wheelhouse, PriceLabs, and Beyond Source: Hostfully

Our property management software integrates with dynamic pricing tools Wheelhouse, PriceLabs, DPGO, and Beyond, which automatically adjusts your prices, so you’re always charging the best possible price for any given night.

What not to include in your description

Knowing what not to do is just as important as knowing what to do. Avoid making any of the following mistakes when writing your rental listing description.

1. Writing everything in caps

When people see text written in all caps, they may interpret it as shouting, yelling, or being rude. So, resist the urge to write your listing description in all caps, even if you want to emphasize certain words or phrases.

2. Using industry jargon or acronyms

Your potential guests aren’t vacation rental experts. They don’t know what “GDS” or “VRBO” stands for. And they don’t care. So, avoid using any industry jargon or acronyms that only people in the vacation rental industry would understand.

3. Using emojis and symbols 

Did you know? Listing titles that include symbols or emojis violates Airbnb’s policy. So, avoid using them in your title and listing description. Violating this policy could result in your listing being removed from Airbnb.

4. Going overboard with adjectives

Adjectives make your vacation rental listing description more exciting and engaging. But too many adjectives can have the opposite effect making your description seem contrived, inauthentic, or even fake. Even if your property is just minutes from Disney World, keep the superlatives to a minimum.

5. Posting photos that are misleading or outdated

Your vacation rental photos give potential guests their first glimpse of your property. So, make sure all the photos you post are high-quality, accurate, and up-to-date. Otherwise, you risk getting negative reviews or getting banned from certain platforms.

6. Failing to proofread and edit

Your rental listing is a reflection of your property. So, you want to make sure it’s error-free. Before you publish your listing, take the time to proofread and edit your vacation rental listing description. This includes checking for any typos, grammar mistakes, or spelling errors.

7. Promotional material or links

Your listing description is not the place to promote your other listings, rental business, or anything else. And don’t include any links to external websites in your description. This will only serve as a distraction for potential guests and take them away from your listing.

Get more bookings with optimized rental listing descriptions

Vacation rental listings can be tricky. You don’t want to oversell or undersell your property. The key is to be clear, concise, and evocative in your listing description. Remember to mention all the features and amenities that make your rental unique. And avoid making any of the common mistakes we listed above.

A PMS like Hostfully can help streamline and optimize your vacation rental listings across all booking and distribution channels. And with our built-in dynamic pricing tools, you can be sure you’re always charging the right price for your rental. With this power-packed tool in your arsenal, you can drive more bookings and boost your revenue.

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Frequently asked questions about vacation rental descriptions

How do I write an advertisement for a vacation rental?

To write an advertisement for your vacation rental, start by creating a catchy headline that accurately reflects your rental. Use descriptive language to paint a picture of your rental for potential guests. Remember to mention all the features and amenities that make your rental unique.

How do I write a Vrbo description?

To write a Vrbo description, use short sentences and easy-to-understand language. Use keywords that potential guests might search for when looking for a rental. And don’t forget to proofread and edit your description before posting it.

How do I make my Vrbo stand out?

To make your Vrbo stand out, research other listings in your area to identify your USP. Use quality photos and descriptive language to make your listing more appealing.

Should my listings be different on Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com? 

Your Airbnb, Vrbo, and Booking.com listings should be the same so you can use a PMS platform to keep one, central source of truth. You’d only want to write different listing descriptions when you list on very niche sites like Homads or Yonder, where what people are looking for is much more narrowly defined.