What is the Best Way to Improve Your Vacation Rental for the Eco-Minded Wellness Traveler?

Cultivate a Wellness-Focused Home Guests Want to Book Again and Again

Updated 9/2023

As the wellness tourism trend continues to grow, so does the importance of sustainability and eco-conscious accommodation. More and more wellness travelers are seeking out retreats and eco-friendly vacation rentals that prioritize environmental responsibility and global wellness and expect to continue their healthy lifestyle. As a proactive rental owner who wants to mindfully host and manage your property, it’s important to understand the wellness tourism market and how to create an eco-designed space in a way that aligns with your style and budget.

This step-by-step guide will provide tips and insights on how to create an eco-minded travel experience and wellness trip at your short term rental that appeals to wellness travelers. If you are new to hosting vacation rentals, start with our guide on how to start an Airbnb.

The Importance of Creating an Eco-Friendly Vacation Rental for Wellness Travelers

The wellness travel industry is all about a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally, on a trip or destination. For many wellness-minded travelers, this includes a desire to stay in a space that prioritizes a wellness lifestyle mixed with environmental responsibility. An eco-friendly retreat or vacation rental can provide a sense of calm and wellbeing, while also allowing guests to feel good about their impact on the environment. By creating an eco-friendly space, you can attract more wellness travelers and differentiate yourself from competitors.

Physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, environmental, and social are the six core values that drive global wellness tourism and the wellness traveler, according to GWI.

Global Wellness Institute

Benefits of Sustainability and Eco-Consciousness in the Wellness Tourism Industry

Aside from attracting more eco-minded travelers, there are numerous health and wellness benefits to creating an eco-friendly short term rental “wellness retreat”. By reducing energy consumption and waste, you can save money on utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint. Additionally, incorporating sustainable practices and materials into your rental can improve indoor air quality and guest satisfaction. Overall, the sustainability sector is becoming increasingly important in the tourism industry and can help your rental stand out in a crowded market.

The WTA’s mission is to improve well-being and economic growth through travel, and the vision is to make wellness tourism accessible, fun, and rewarding for as many people as possible

Wellness Tourism Association
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1. Wellness Amenities

Beautiful clean bedroom

The growing trend of wellness tourism is shifting the way vacation rentals are perceived and equipped. As more travelers prioritize their physical and mental health during their trips, the importance of wellness amenities in vacation rentals has come into sharper focus. Catering to this demand can not only enhance the guest experience but also significantly elevate the property’s appeal, making it a sought-after destination for wellness enthusiasts.

Creating a Holistic Wellness Space

One way to transform your vacation rental into a wellness haven is by creating spaces dedicated to holistic activities like yoga and meditation. A well-designed, quiet corner with yoga mats, blocks, straps, and meditation cushions can serve as an inviting spot for guests to practice mindfulness.

Consider investing in a high-quality sound system for soothing music or guided meditation. Natural elements such as plants, natural light, and a serene view can add to the tranquil atmosphere. Provisions for outdoor yoga or meditation, such as a garden or a beachfront, can offer an enriched experience to nature-loving guests.

Integrating Wellness Therapies

Another crucial aspect of wellness-focused rentals is the integration of wellness therapies. This could mean offering aromatherapy kits with essential oils that promote relaxation, focus, or energy. Providing massage tools, like foam rollers or handheld massagers, can help guests alleviate muscle tension after a long journey or workout. High-end rentals could consider partnering with local wellness practitioners to offer in-house massage or acupuncture services.

Also, consider wellness tech items, such as sleep aids like white noise machines, wake-up light alarm clocks, or air purifiers, to promote healthy and restful sleep. The goal is to provide resources that contribute to physical relaxation and mental peace, ultimately enhancing the overall wellness experience.

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2. Sustainable Materials and Furnishings

Sustainable furniture

When it comes to creating an eco-friendly vacation rental, choosing sustainable materials and furnishings is key. Many traditional building materials and furnishings can contain harmful chemicals and contribute to deforestation and other environmental issues. By choosing materials that are sustainably sourced and produced, you can reduce your impact on the environment while creating a beautiful and unique space.

Explore Eco-Friendly Materials and Furnishings for Your Vacation Rental

There are numerous sustainable materials and furnishings available for use in your short term rental. Some popular options include bamboo flooring, reclaimed wood accents, and recycled glass countertops. When selecting furnishings, consider options made from sustainably sourced materials such as organic cotton, hemp, or linen. Additionally, look for furniture made from recycled materials or repurposed items, which can add character and charm to your rental.

How to Choose Sustainable Materials that Align with Your Style and Budget

When selecting sustainable materials and furnishings for your vacation rental, it’s important to consider both style and budget. There are many options available at a range of price points, so take the time to research and compare. Additionally, consider working with a designer or consultant who specializes in eco-friendly design to help you achieve your desired aesthetic while staying true to your environmental values.

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3. Energy Efficiency

Very clean contemporary kitchen

Reducing energy consumption is one of the most effective ways to make your rental more eco-friendly. By implementing energy-efficient solutions, you can save money on utility bills while also reducing your carbon footprint.

Tips for Reducing Energy Consumption in Your Vacation Rental

There are many simple steps you can take to reduce energy consumption in your rental. These include installing LED light bulbs, using smart thermostats, and sealing air leaks around windows and doors. Additionally, encourage guests to be mindful of energy use by providing information and reminders about turning off lights and appliances when not in use.

Implementing Renewable Energy Solutions to Further Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

If you’re looking to take your energy efficiency efforts to the next level, consider implementing renewable energy solutions such as solar panels or wind turbines. While these options can require a larger upfront investment, they can also provide long-term cost savings and significant environmental benefits.

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4. Organic Amenities

Fresh linens

Enhance the wellness experience for your guests by providing organic and eco-friendly toiletries and products. Not only are these luxury options better for the environment, but they can also promote a sense of relaxation and well-being for your guests.

How to Choose the Right Organic Amenities for Your Guests

Choosing the right organic amenities for your vacation rental requires a thoughtful approach, keeping in mind both your target audience and the overall aesthetic you wish to achieve.

Select products that resonate with your guests’ values and wellness goals. Spa products made from natural and organic ingredients, free from harmful chemicals and additives, can greatly appeal to wellness travelers. Look for brands that maintain a strong ethical stance, committing to sustainable sourcing and cruelty-free practices.

Your chosen amenities should also seamlessly blend with the atmosphere of your rental. Whether it’s rustic charm, minimalistic elegance, or tropical escapism, make sure your toiletries reinforce the desired aesthetic, contributing to an immersive, consistent experience.

Choose Locally Sourced Goods and Use Sustainable Containers

Going the extra mile by offering locally sourced products can also make a significant difference. Not only does this support local businesses, it reduces your carbon footprint due to shorter transportation routes. These products often carry the essence of the locale, giving guests a taste of the region’s unique offerings.

Finally, be attentive to the presentation of these amenities. Even the most organic and eco-friendly toiletries can be overlooked if not displayed attractively. Consider reusable glass containers, bamboo trays, or even a small basket to present your carefully selected items in a visually pleasing way.

Incorporating organic amenities in your vacation home not only amplifies your commitment to sustainability but also enhances the wellness experience for your guests, leaving a lasting impression that sets you apart from the rest.

5. Green Cleaning Practices

Mindful cleaning

Keeping your short term rental clean and inviting is essential for guest satisfaction. By implementing non-toxic cleaning products and techniques, you can ensure a clean space without the use of harmful chemicals.

Adopt Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products and Techniques

Choose cleaning products that are biodegradable, non-toxic, and made from natural ingredients. Additionally, consider using reusable microfiber cloths instead of disposable paper towels and incorporating eco-friendly cleaning tools such as steam cleaners. By adopting green cleaning practices, you can provide a clean and healthy environment for your guests while minimizing your impact on the environment.

How to Implement Green Cleaning Practices without Sacrificing Cleanliness

It’s important to maintain a high level of cleanliness in your vacation rental while implementing green cleaning practices. Develop a thorough cleaning routine and schedule that incorporates eco-friendly products and techniques. Provide clear instructions to your cleaning staff and monitor the effectiveness of your green cleaning practices to ensure guest satisfaction.

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6. Indoor Air Quality

Purifying the indoor air

Poor indoor air quality can negatively impact the health and well-being of your guests. By incorporating natural ventilation and air purifying plants, you can improve air quality and create a more comfortable environment for your visitors.

Improve Air Quality with Natural Ventilation and Air Purifying Plants

Take advantage of natural ventilation by opening windows and doors when possible to allow fresh air to circulate throughout your rental. Additionally, consider placing air purifying plants such as spider plants, snake plants, and peace lilies throughout your rental to help remove pollutants and toxins from the air.

Benefits of Indoor Air quality to Guest Satisfaction and Health

Improving indoor air quality can greatly enhance the overall guest experience in your vacation rental. Fresh, clean air can help reduce allergens and irritants, promoting better sleep and overall wellness for your visitors. By prioritizing indoor air quality, you can ensure a healthier and more enjoyable stay for your guests.

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7. Recycling and Waste Management

Waste management and recycling

Implementing effective recycling and waste management systems is an essential part of creating an eco-friendly short term rental. By providing clear instructions and resources for guests to recycle and dispose of waste properly, you can minimize your environmental impact and promote responsible behavior among your visitors.

Implement Effective Recycling and Waste Management Systems

Set up separate bins for recycling, composting, and trash in your vacation rental. Clearly label each bin and provide guidelines on what items can be disposed of in each. Additionally, consider providing reusable grocery bags, water bottles, and food storage containers to help reduce plastic waste during your guests’ stay.

How to Educate Guests on Recycling and Waste Management

Create a welcome guide or information packet for your guests that outlines your recycling and waste management policies. Include clear instructions on how to sort and dispose of various types of waste, as well as any local regulations or requirements. By providing this information upfront, you can encourage eco-friendly behavior among your guests and make it easier for them to contribute to your sustainability efforts.

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8. Nature-Inspired Design

colorful dining area

A nature-inspired design aesthetic can create a calming and serene atmosphere in your rental, enhancing the overall wellness experience for your guests. By incorporating natural elements and materials into your design, you can create a space that feels connected to the surrounding environment.

Create a Calming and Nature-Inspired Atmosphere in Your Rental

To create a calming and nature-inspired atmosphere in your vacation rental, consider incorporating natural materials such as wood, stone, and bamboo into your furnishings and decor. Use earthy tones and colors inspired by nature for your walls and textiles. Add touches of greenery with indoor plants, which not only provide visual appeal but also help purify the air.

How to Incorporate Natural Elements into Your Design Aesthetic

Think about how you can bring the outdoors in when designing your short term rental. This can include using reclaimed wood for furniture or accent pieces, incorporating natural fibers like jute or sisal in rugs and window treatments, and decorating with nature-inspired artwork or photography. You can also make use of natural light by positioning furniture near windows and using sheer curtains to allow sunlight to filter through.

Create a serene and nature-inspired atmosphere in your rental by incorporating natural materials, earthy tones, and indoor plants. Reclaimed wood, natural fibers, and nature-inspired decor can enhance the wellness experience for your guests, fostering a deeper connection with the surrounding environment.

9. Sustainable Landscaping

Mindful outdoor living space

The outdoor space surrounding your vacation rental is just as important as the interior when it comes to eco-friendliness. Incorporating native plants and sustainable landscaping practices can benefit local ecosystems and enhance the guest experience.

Incorporate Native Plants and Sustainable Landscaping Practices

Use native plants in your landscaping to support local ecosystems and reduce the need for water and maintenance. Additionally, consider implementing sustainable practices such as composting, rainwater harvesting, and using permeable paving materials. By creating a beautiful and eco-friendly outdoor space, you can provide an inviting environment for guests to relax and enjoy nature.

Benefits of Sustainable Landscaping to Local Ecosystems and Guest Experience

Sustainable landscaping not only benefits the environment but also enhances the overall guest experience. Native plants attract local wildlife, creating opportunities for guests to observe and interact with nature. Additionally, sustainable landscaping practices can conserve water, reduce waste, and minimize the need for harmful chemicals, contributing to a healthier and more enjoyable outdoor space for your visitors.

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10. Farm-to-Table Experiences

Locally grown food

Connecting eco-travel guests with local farm-to-table healthy eating dining options can create a unique and memorable guest experience. By partnering with local farmers and restaurants, you can promote sustainable healthy food practices and support the local economy. Help your guest maintain wellness while traveling:

Connect Eco-Minded Travelers with Local Farm-to-Table Dining Options

Research local farms, markets, and restaurants that prioritize sustainability and farm-to-table practices. Include this information in your welcome guide or create a dedicated resource for guests to reference during their stay. By connecting guests with these experiences, you can help promote sustainable agriculture and support local businesses.

How to Partner with Local Farmers and Restaurants for a Unique Guest Experience

Reach out to local farmers and restaurants to discuss potential partnerships and collaboration opportunities. This could include offering special discounts or promotions for your guests, hosting farm-to-table dinners at your rental, or even arranging farm tours for interested visitors. By building relationships with local businesses, you can create unique experiences for your guests while supporting the local community and promoting sustainability.

Enhance your eco-minded wellness traveler’s experience by connecting them with local farm-to-table dining options. Partner with farmers and restaurants, promote sustainable agriculture, and support the local economy for a memorable and sustainable guest experience.

11. Eco-Tourism Activities

Wellness tourist rafting down river

Highlighting eco-friendly activities and adventures in the surrounding area can encourage guests to explore their surroundings sustainably. By providing excursion information on environmentally responsible experiences, you can enhance your guests’ stay and contribute to the promotion of responsible tourism. Support guests who travel to wellness destinations:

Highlight Eco-Friendly Activities and Attractions in the Surrounding Area

Research local eco-tourism activities and attractions such as yoga retreats, meditation classes, outdoor fitness workshops, hiking trails, wildlife sanctuaries, or conservation projects. Include this informationin your welcome guide or create a dedicated resource for guests to reference during their stay. Encourage guests to participate in these activities and explore the natural beauty of your destination in a responsible manner.

Encouraging Guests to Explore their Surroundings Sustainably

Provide resources and suggestions for guests to engage in sustainable exploration, such as using public transportation, renting scooters or bicycles, or walking when possible. Provide details on local hikes, fun yoga classes, and the nearest swim hole or hot springs. Additionally, share information on local businesses, organizations or ride sharing programs that prioritize eco-friendliness and sustainability, encouraging guests to support these establishments during their stay.

To promote eco-friendly tourism, highlight local green activities like yoga retreats, wildlife sanctuaries, and hiking trails. Encourage sustainable exploration by suggesting public transportation, biking, or walking, and recommend eco-conscious local businesses for guests to support.

FAQs About Wellness Tourism

What is a Wellness Traveler?

A wellness traveler is an individual who makes wellness the primary purpose of a trip.

What is Wellness Tourism?

Wellness tourism is a specific division of the global tourism industry that is defined by the common goal of marketing natural assets and/or activities primarily focused on serving the wellness-minded consumer and those who want to be.

What are the Key Purposes of Wellness Tourism?

The key purposes of wellness tourism include improving physical and mental health, connecting with others, learning something new, escaping daily life, improving overall well-being, and more.

What are the Benefits of Wellness Tourism?

The benefits of wellness tourism include improved physical and mental health, relaxation, stress reduction, learning new skills, connecting with others, and more.

What is the Mission of the Wellness Tourism Association?

The mission of the Wellness Tourism Association is to improve well-being and economic growth through travel, and their vision is to make wellness tourism accessible, fun, and rewarding for as many people as possible.

What is the Difference Between Wellness Travel and Wellness Vacation/Holiday?

Wellness travel allows the traveler to maintain, enhance, or kick-start a healthy lifestyle and support or increase one’s sense of well-being, while a wellness vacation/holiday is wellness travel powered by a wellness-focused intention.


Creating a holistic eco-friendly vacation rental is an excellent way to attract wellness travelers, support wellness tourism growth and promote sustainability. By incorporating sustainable materials and furnishings, improving energy efficiency, offering organic amenities, and implementing green cleaning practices, you can create a space that is both beautiful and environmentally responsible. Additionally, entering the wellness industry means prioritizing clean water and indoor air quality, recycling and waste management, nature-inspired design, sustainable landscaping, farm-to-table experiences, and eco-tourism activities will enhance the overall guest healthy lifestyle and wellness routines while contributing to a healthier planet.

By following this in-depth mindful hosting guide, you can create or property manage an eco-friendly vacation holiday home that will appeal to wellness travelers and wellness tourists, alike, so your guests return home feeling truly rejuvenated. 

For more information on how to make your vacation rental property mindful and sustainable, visit MindfulBnB.

— Chief Editor

Want to learn more? Check out:
How to Maximize Short Term Rental Income By Targeting the Wellness Traveler Niche >>
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