Maximizing Relaxation: Creating Inviting Outdoor Retreats in Vacation Properties

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Mar 5, 2024

People crave a relaxing getaway from the tasking daily grind. And that’s why they flock to vacation properties. This industry is expected to generate a revenue of USD$100.3 billion globally in 2024 and grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.14% between 2024 and 2028 to USD$113.5 billion. 

But sadly, some vacation rentals leave their outdoor spaces in deplorable state. They leave guests feeling underwhelmed and prevent them from unwinding as they’d envisioned. To turn the tide and maximize relaxation, you’d want to spruce up the outside space of your vacation property. Use the following tips:

1. Prioritize comfort and functionality

Your outdoor space is essentially an extension of the living room. Thus, it should be as comfortable and inviting. Start by installing plush seating for lounging and socialization. Options include outdoor sofas, beanbag chairs, chaise lounges with comfy cushions, daybeds, cushioned benches, and chairs. And if you have a swimming pool, you may want to add poolside recliners. 

Next, provide ample shade, especially in areas with abundant sunshine. Commercial giant umbrellas are an excellent choice because of their flexibility. You can readily move them to cast shade on the desired sections of the dining and seating areas. Other feasible temporary shade solutions include shade sails and retractable awnings. But if you desire a permanent installation, consider gazebos or pergolas. 

Besides these artificial solutions, you can also consider natural shade from towering trees like oaks, maples, sycamores, and linden, or canopy-forming shrubs like viburnum, witch hazel, rhododendron, and hydrangea. 

Lastly, install durable, weather-resistant furniture. You’ll be better off with materials that can tolerate the scorching sun, beating rain, snow, and other outdoor elements. Teak, resin wicker, aluminum, wrought iron, and concrete are popular among furniture makers because of their excellent weather-resistant properties. 

2. Integrate nature’s beauty

Nothing promotes tranquility like nature. Thus, it’s critical to enhance your outdoor space by incorporating greenery. Besides the shade-providing trees, strategically add more shrubs and vines around the compound to create an environment of pure relaxation. Colorful flowers and lush greenery can be used as focal points, around which other elements and furniture will be installed. 

Native plants are better suited to your local climate, thus an excellent choice. Their maintenance needs are minimal, giving you peace of mind. Moreover, native birds and butterflies will effortlessly be drawn to these plants, elevating the natural charm.

If space and resources allow, consider adding a water feature. The sound of running water mimicking rivers and falls is really calming. Options include water fountains, waterfalls, birdbaths, and ponds. 

3. Create ambiance with lighting

Lighting is a notable mood setter for outdoor spaces. Soft, indirect lighting is appropriate for evening relaxation. You can achieve this through a combination of wall scones, table lamps, and strategically placed solar lanterns. Their warm, inviting glow sets the pace for unwinding outdoors. 

Go for LED lights known for their energy efficiency and durability. In 2022, LED lights dominated the market with a 46.4% share, indicating that many people have realized their benefits. You can follow suit, too.

You may also want to add string lights for extra charm and fun. Hang them over seating areas or along fences and trees. Those with alternating on and off lighting and varying colors magically transform outdoor spaces with their dynamic displays. 

Adding accent lighting to highlight notable features on your compound is also critical. You may want to illuminate a goodly tree, an eye-catching sculpture, or a winding garden path. All these enhance the visual interest of your vacation property, inviting many holiday-goers. 

4. Define zones for different activities

Creating distinct zones for different activities shows your concern for guests, as they have diverse needs. Some are primarily interested in outdoor dining. Spending on outdoor entertainment has actually increased in recent years, with 78% of boomers and 68% of millennials willing to pay more for a great outdoor living space.

Designate a dining area complete with comfortable seats and tables large enough for serving food. It should be close to the kitchen to reduce the distance one has to walk with food. 

Another distinct area you’d want to create is a fire pit. Here, guests can warm themselves on chilly evenings as they stargaze or roast marshmallows. Don’t forget to install comfortable chairs around the firepit. 

Lastly, you’d want a serene zone for meditation, yoga, or simply relaxing. A deck or patio can serve this function well. Or you can spare a quiet corner hemmed in by lush greenery. A water feature close to this spot will enhance the serenity. 

5. Add entertainment amenities

Take your outdoor space’s appeal a notch higher by adding well-thought-out amenities. Start with outdoor game facilities like cornhole, bocce ball court, horseshoe pits, croque set, or badminton net. Of course, the ideal additions will depend on the space available. Families and groups of holidaymakers will truly enjoy their stay on your vacation property. 

Suspend several hammocks between trees. Set up a porch swing. Guests can have afternoon naps here, perhaps while reading or simply absorbing the serene atmosphere. 


Revamping the outdoor space of your vacation property ensures your guests relax perfectly. Your winning point is creativity, which allows you to transform an empty compound into a tranquil relaxation haven. Consult design professionals for deeper insight into how best to spruce up your outdoor space. The ultimate look will lead to an increase in bookings and an exceptional reputation for your property.

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