Hi all, I am wondering what you all recommend for your vacation rental kitchens. Do you have any gadgets or kitchen tools that guests love or have commented upon? Are there tools you DON'T recommend? I appreciate any feedback you can give me. Thank you!

Comments

Pravin ajaazPravin ajaaz
16 days ago

Here is a kitchen checklist I found useful: http://vrupgrade.com/kitchen/

dannydanny
6 months ago

How about an Amazon Alexa for your kitchen!

Guests can use it to:

  • Keep a grocery / shopping list
  • Convert units
  • Set timers
  • Make coffee
  • Control kitchen appliances
  • Get new recipe ideas
  • Ask for calorie counts
  • Pair wines with food
  • Cocktail recipes
  • Listen to news or music
TClaireTClaire
6 months ago

I'm curious... Doesn't Siri on an iPhone and (not sure) on the other smartphone platform(s) pretty much do the same thing?

dannydanny
6 months ago

Yes true. The difference is that Amazon Echo is always listening & has more presence - which is kind of scary but makes a big difference - it feels like someone is there actually helping you.

Mercedes BrennanMercedes Brennan
6 months ago

Is that really going to work for a vacation rental? I mean, I would love one, but not sure if guests would know how to use it.

DannyDanny
6 months ago

No, maybe not but I'm sure it would be unique experience. Perhaps with a small cheat sheet of useful phrases to get started?

I have a Kitchen Essentials Checklist that I am happy to send you. I would post it but I am new to this forum and not sure how to do that but if you send me your info I am happy to email it to you. Or if you know of a way I can post it let me know.

Mercedes BrennanMercedes Brennan
6 months ago

Hi Alanna, thanks! I'm new to the forum too and so I can't advise you. Is it on your website? Best!

Hi Mercedes. Yes, the checklist is on the website but it requires signing up for my newsletter to get but I am more than happy to post here. @danny can I attach a document?

Mercedes BrennanMercedes Brennan
6 months ago

Hi Alanna, I just signed up on your website. Thanks! Can't believe I've never done that before!

TClaireTClaire
6 months ago

On this topic, I've posted a fairly comprehensive list, on our websites, of what our VR kitchen is stocked with, here: http://www.casaencanta.com/amenities.html

And here: http://www.casitaencanta.com/casita-amenities.html

SueSue
7 months ago

A great starting point when considering just what is necessary to equip a holiday home kitchen perfectly is you must ask yourself …

“Could I cook a Christmas dinner, a Thanksgiving spread or an Easter lunch with the kitchen equipment I have? Is there sufficient tableware, cutlery, pots & pans, knives or serving dishes & serving spoons, etc. in my holiday home kitchen”?

Essentials

Must all be new & not cast offs from your own home:

  • Fridge and sufficient freezer space is important so that visitors can cater for their full week's stay.
  • A "new" dishwasher (always kept spotlessly clean)
  • Microwave & a good toaster
  • The very IMPORTANT coffee machine or coffee maker (at the very least a glass jug style "Caffetiere" together with a starter packet of fresh coffee. If it's a Nespresso machine; provide 5-10 capsules starter pack and mention in the arrival blurb to bring their own if they are Nespresso drinkers ~ alternatively, what ever coffee machine you have even if it's an Italian stove top espresso-maker, you must provide a starter pack of the coffee accessories necessary to make coffee!)
  • Electric kettle or a traditional kettle on the stove
  • Ample selection of NEW pots & pans (always keep an eye on the condition of these as they need replacing regularly - especially the frying pan!)
  • Ample selection of sharp knives including a great vegetable knife, carving knife and a good bread knife)
  • Quality tableware at the very least in duplicate but triplicate is a bonus so the guest isn’t forever washing up their plates & bowls in-between meals!
  • Cutlery in duplicate or triplicate even!
  • Good selection of chopping boards (wood & plastic)
  • Measuring jugs, weighing scales, mixing bowls
  • A vegetable peeler, garlic press, a whisk, metal spoons, wooden spoons, rubber spatulas
  • Measuring cups & measuring spoons
  • Serving and preparation bowls
  • Glass drinking glasses & also plastic children's tableware also
  • Tea pot to brew tea & a coffee pot if you have no machine or Caffitiere jug & plunger as mentioned.
  • Coffee cups and CHINA teacups (not just mugs ~ I personally hate straight-sided heavy pottery mugs unless they are the fine bone chine variety for my tea!)
  • Practically sized wine glasses (all matching is lots of spares kept by as these are easily broken)
  • Wine bottle openers & tin can opener (always check that these are present after every guest as the bottle opener always has a tendency of going missing!)
  • Baking sheets & metal pizza tray
  • Colander/sieve x2

Other kitchen essentials

  • A kitchen hand towel, x2 cotton tea-towels & x1 kitchen towel roll/paper at the very least
  • Dishwasher tablets/detergent (perhaps a box or at the very least 5-10 tablets & a bottle of washing-up liquid)
  • Good quality washing up scourers/sponges & a J-cloth for surfaces, bacterial kitchen surface spay for guests to use under the sink
  • Plastic cling-film wrap, aluminium foil, plastic bags & rubbish bags with clear waste management instructions
  • Spices & condiments (salt, pepper, sugar - even olive oil and balsamic vinegar) - again these items always need closely monitoring to keep topped up & fresh. With the these items it is always okay to mention to guests how appreciative you’d be for them to replenish diminishing supplies! Although this may mean that the quality of the supplies may suffer slightly
  • Always keep cleaning products and extra light bulbs on hand as well as a vacuum cleaner, broom, dust pan & brush, a mop (but not the old-fashioned horrible thick string ones! You need a modern integrated mop that holds cleaning fluid in the handle, so it is always to hand for the guest. A mop that has cleanable Velcro pads that you can pop in the washing machine

Enticing kitchen gadgets other than a coffee machine!

  • An ice-cream maker
  • A bread making machine
  • Plus Will's great suggestion of a popcorn maker and don't forget to leave some corn

Kitchen space

  • Ample cupboards for guests to store away their cereal boxes, tins of food, soft drinks bottles, etc. must be provided as well as as must preparation work surface as possible
  • Breakfast bars, casual or formal seating areas encourage socialising during food preparation and where space allows, would be recommended
  • For young children, a high chair is also a must
  • Good ventilation & extraction
  • Always make sure your Extractor bulbs are working and not blown! (a real bug-bear of mine!)
  • Keeping the extractor mesh grills clean & free from grease!
  • Keep the tops of kitchen cupboards clean, cutlery drawers spotless (not a bread crumb in sight) and line up your wine & drinking glasses in the cupboards like soldiers! Plus line everything else up wherever possible
  • Empty the toaster tray after every guest and clean the kitchen bin thoroughly (again something that is sadly missed - very often the inside of the bin lid!)
  • Design & arrange everything to make your guests life as easy and obvious as possible

Welcome extras

  • A bottle of wine (red or wine but pop the white in the fridge for drinking straight away!)
  • A large bottle of mineral water still &/or sparkling
  • A selection of teas (herbal, decaff, etc.) & coffee (depending on the machine) but always provide instant coffee too
  • White & brown sugar sticks & artificial sweetener sachets
  • Fresh milk is better than long life pots but it's always good to email ahead of time and ask if any of the group are lactose intolerant and require any of the alternative milks on the market (such as: soya, oat, rice, coconut, almond, cashew milks, etc,)
  • A loaf of fresh bread & a block of cheese or perhaps a bag of freshly made scones or a cake) ~ whatever is applicable and best presented from your corner of the world!
  • A range of cookbooks for meat, fish & vegetarian & vegan diets in the kitchen
  • Leave a favourite recipe card of a tasty local dish you love to cook for your family; invite the guests to make it and post on social media enjoying the local bowl of ......

Kitchen cleaning

  • My absolute NO. 1 product that I would never ever be without in my cleaning armoury is: Dettol's mould & mildew spray 750ml. All caffeine stained sink plug surrounds and bowls, around the base of the kitchen taps are brought back to shiny NEW in a couple of sprays. Just spray on and leave for 5 mins & then rinse off. May need a couple of goes if your areas are particularly stained. Also brilliant for all mould & mildew that builds up in the showers or bathrooms.
  • Shine up any chrome taps in your kitchen by following up with wiping dry with kitchen towel roll after cleaning in the usual way with kitchen surface cleaner. This really buffs up the chrome and leaves it gleaming.

Conclusion

Guests really shouldn't have to check for all these things mentioned above - it should all be standard. Why would anyone book a holiday home that wasn't "home from home" in as many ways as possible; unless of course your guest is purposely booking your amazing hideaway cabin/yurt/barn somewhere where they truly want to get away from it all! But none the less good cooking equipment relevant to the holiday home surroundings, is a must no matter where!

If you think you might have forgotten something? Stay in your place a few days, cook breakfast lunch & dinner with some modest baking in-between, and you’ll soon find out!

WillWill
7 months ago

Hi Sue,

Great ideas; some real key items there, and I know a lot of hosts/owners miss these out! With rising standards it's really important to stand out and provide the best! Great ideas for some extra touches.

On that note, why not add something like a popcorn maker and some popcorn? Especially over the colder winter, this could be a fun thing to provide for cozy movie nights on a cold winters eve!

TClaireTClaire
6 months ago

Hi Will, I just ran with this yesterday and added an air popper and a large container of Orville Redenbacher's kernels, along with the sprinkle-on cheese made for popcorn. I'll be curious to see if the guests staying there for the Holidays use it. Thanks for the idea!! Claire

WillWill
6 months ago

Hi Claire, Ideal, and cheese is a new one on me for popcorn so I'll be trying that out! Let me know how it goes down with your guests! WK

TClaireTClaire
6 months ago

Yep, news to me, too! The grocery store had it on the shelf next to the popcorn kernels. Comes in all kinds of flavors :-)

https://www.amazon.com/Kernel-Seasons-Seasoning-Complete-Different/dp/B00IJ6651U/ref=sr_1_4_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1481488682&sr=8-4&keywords=cheese+for+popcorn

Mercedes BrennanMercedes Brennan
6 months ago

Great idea!

Mercedes BrennanMercedes Brennan
6 months ago

Sue, thank you so much for this! You really went out of your way to get into details. You have been a huge help!

TClaireTClaire
6 months ago

Definitely a good-quality knife sharpener, prominently located.

Mercedes BrennanMercedes Brennan
6 months ago

Great idea! And you think putting it out so guests see it is a good idea?

TClaireTClaire
6 months ago

Hi Mercedes! What I meant to say was "easy to find". I have mine in the flatware drawer right next to the flatware tray, so you can see it as soon as you open the drawer,

Mercedes BrennanMercedes Brennan
6 months ago

Hi Claire, what kind of knife sharpener do you suggest? Manual or electric?

TClaireTClaire
6 months ago

Hi Mercedes, This is the one I bought for our VRs (it's also the one I use at home):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B011IAOS3K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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