Best High-End Kitchen Essentials for your Luxury Short-Term Rental

Open Air Homes has been managing luxury, short term rental properties in Southern California for over 10 years, with some of the most sought-after properties in the industry. We have helped homeowners over the past 10 years set up their home for success, and have received an average rating of 4.96 over the course of those 10 years of business.

We believe that as an industry, we have come a long way towards providing a quality experience for guests, but that there is always room for improvement. The hope with these posts is that we can all rise up together, so that when travelers choose accommodations, they are more likely to consider a home rental as opposed to a hotel. We have posts about the best bedding (currently the top result on Google when searching), best coffee, best shower-heads, and will continue over the coming months providing hosts with tips on things to consider when setting up their home to ensure positive reviews from guests.

Now, we turn to the kitchen!

The biggest mistake many homeowners make when setting up their Luxury Short Term Rental property is thinking they can get away with spending the lowest amount possible when furnishing their home.  We believe that guests who spend $500 or more per night on a home deserve to have high-end product choices, and we advise all of our homeowners to work closely with us to fill their homes with products that match the price point associated with their homes.  

In our next blog post, we will cover the best affordable Kitchen Accessories for your Short Term Rental, but for this blog post we will cover our favorite products in every category: from knives to pots and pans, to even items you may not think to include, like juicers and pressure cookers. 

Knives

We are going to start this comprehensive kitchen list with knives.   Why knives?  Because we believe that a low end knife set is the first way to show your guests that you didn’t fully think about their experience.  Preparing dinner with low end knives is a surefire way to upset any guest that enjoys cooking. 

We believe we have cracked the code on knives. Well, Victornoix actually cracked the code, and we are fans – we could not recommend Victornoix any more.  The 15 piece classic set will do the trick. We have sets that have been in our short term rental homes for excess of 8 years, and they are still as good as new.  Victornoix also makes a brown wood base, if your kitchen is darker.

I am sure there is a higher end set on the market, but for the price point, these are the best knives we have ever cooked with. Typically we would want to provide you with a second alternative option, but we trust Victorinox so much for our luxury homes, that we are only going to recommend this set. 

Pots and Pans: 

Please keep in mind that your short term rental property will be used by various types of people, all with different cultures, ways of living and cooking, and therefore the choice you make with Pots and Pans is an important decision.  Keep in mind that not everyone will know that you’re not supposed to use a metal spoon on a non-stick pan, which will deteriorate them overtime.    

We recommend that you choose a pots and pan set that is sturdy, will last a long time, and will also show a good faith effort to supply your guests with a quality cooking experience.  With this in mind, our top choice would be choosing cast iron.  

Our favorite cast iron set is the Le Creuset.  Cast Iron: Le Crueset.  These heavy duty pots will last a lifetime.  If your kitchen is fun and colorful, we love the Marseille blue set. The oyster set is also a favorite. 

If you do choose to go this route, you may also want to consider the beautiful Le Crueset Tea Kettle so that everything matches. 

If you are more traditional and want to go with a non stick set, we also love the Le Crueset non stick set. 

If you want to go Stainless Steel, another great option we have recommended to homeowners is the Calphalon set.  Calphalon also makes a more reasonably priced Non Stick set, that tends to last longer than others.  Please keep in mind that due to not being able to control how guests will use your pots and pans, you will likely have to replace them every 2 years if going non-stick. 

Cutlery: 

We manage a historic estate in Brentwood only available to a select number of repeat guests.  The homeowner of this home once complained to us that every time she travels in short term rentals, no matter the price point, it feels like she’s using the same cutlery that is used in your local Cheesecake Factory. 

Be kind to your guests, and focus on giving them a sturdy, heavy set of cutlery so that they can truly enjoy family and friend time around a dining table. 

With this in mind, we recommend this Mikasa Satin Loft set of 65 pieces. The Mikas a Harmony set is also more traditional if your aesthetic is more traditional. Henckels also makes a great 65 piece set. 

To mix it up, we have also used the Black Kenton set from Crate and Barrel. If the theme of your kitchen is black and white, you may want to consider this set or another Matte Black set.  Remember, people are on vacation, and are more open to trying new things and it’s your opportunity to delight them with a set they’ve never considered for their own home. 

Bowls and Plates:

We are obsessed with the Mud Australia line of bowls, plates, mugs and accessories.  These organic shapes of ceramic might not match your desired aesthetic, but if they do, we highly recommend them. Especially the coffee cups. 

A more traditional option we recommend to our homeowners is the 18th Street Collection from Crate and Barrel. There are many options at Crate And Barrel that we like, also including the Paige, Craft, or Wren

If you want to make it easy on yourself and only shop from Amazon, we recommend the Stone Lain set in Snow White or in White

Pro Tip: If your kitchen has storage space, we recommend you double up on this purchase.  Bowls and plates accidentally break and brands change their style over time. 

Coffee Cups: 

Coffee for a number of people is the most sacred time of the morning.  Holding a high end coffee mug for some reason just makes the coffee taste better. 

We have an entire post on setting up your coffee station (link to it), but our top choice for mugs would be the Mud Australia or the Threshold Target 14 oz. The Cast Reactive Mug from CB2 is also a great option. 

If you want to stick to Amazon, we highly recommend purchasing the ArmorArc in matte black or white. 

Pro Tip #1: Stay away from glass coffee cups.  The heat transfer to your hands will make it a worse experience. 

Pro tip #2: Purchase a larger coffee mug.  You don’t want your guests filling a tiny cup and spilling around the house, and a larger cup tends to do the trick to limit the number of spills. 

Pro tip #3: Have a matching set.  A mis-matched set gives guests the impression that your home is not the high end experience they were hoping for. This goes for coffee mugs, but also glass sets, and everything else. 

Coffee Machine:

We have an entire post dedicated to Coffee, but our top two choices would be the Nespresso Vertuo machine with the milk frother. 

A second option if you want to steer clear of wasteful pods (and operationally having to replenish), we recommend a standard drip machine from Cruisinart 14 cup with a reusable mesh filter. 

Pro tip: Steer clear of Keurig.  While this is a popular machine, the coffee is not superb.  We recommend a standard drip machine over this machine. 

Wine and Cocktail Glass Sets: 

I am reminded of growing up with my chic grandmother who had her nightly cocktail out of a beautiful, heavy cocktail glass.  

The Riedel set, is hands down our favorite.  Riedel makes a heavy cup, and it’s just a joy to hold and use.  These cups, for us, are a throwback to an older generation, and your guests will be impressed. 

For wine glasses, we also love the set from Riedel for red, white and champagne.  You may want to buy an additional set if you have space, as they will break on occasion.   

Pro tip: If your home is starting to feel a bit worn, we think adding nice touches like high end Riedel glassware is a small, simple sign for guests that you care about quality.  

Plastic Wine Glasses: 

If your home has a pool, we highly recommend also getting some plastic cups for poolside enjoyment.  It will save you the hassle of having to fish glass out of the pool and are a great way to drink a glass of wine outside.  

Bravario is our top choice, but there are many dishwasher-safe options.

Pro tip: Buy a set that is dishwasher safe. Your guests will toss these in the dishwasher, and if you go too low end, they will not last. 

In Conclusion: 

We hope this has been a helpful guide to setting up your kitchen in your high-end short-term rental.  We highly suggest finding some items you want to go higher end on, and mixing in some more affordable options.  Ikea, for example, makes some decent wine glasses and glassware, which can easily be mixed in with some higher end choices. After all, this is a business, and our goal with these posts is to provide you with the information necessary to make the best decision for you and your rental property. 

Feel free to reach out via the chat button on the far right with product recommendations or any other posts you’d like us to cover in this series!

Coming next, we will post about the best kitchen accessories for your short-term rental as well as the best kitchen items for your more affordable rental.  

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