Running a Rental Business

80+ Themed Airbnb Ideas to Enhance Your Portfolio

Unique vacation rentals generate more than fun guest photos. They boost market interest and improve your pricing opportunities. Let’s explore how you can design and implement unique Airbnb themes to grow your business. Learn more about the pros and cons of hosting a themed Airbnb and get inspired with our curated list of over 80 memorable themes.

By The Turno Team

Last updated: November 09, 2023

What Does It Mean to Host a Themed Airbnb? 

A themed Airbnb offers you a unique edge in the competitive vacation rental market. By creating a distinct and memorable experience for guests, you set your property apart from other local rental options. Operating within a niche market can be a great way to expand your hosting business. 

In crowded markets, unique stays help you to create a strong brand identity. When guests use Airbnb or Vrbo, they encounter many choices that align with popular interior design styles, including:

  • Minimalistic 
  • Scandinavian 
  • Japandi 
  • Modern or Rustic Farmhouse 
  • Industrial 
  • Luxury 

Starting with the basics provides a good foundation, but it’s not enough to really set your property apart. The most successful Airbnbs with themes begin with basic interior design principles and elevate them to a higher level. To improve your Airbnb theme, start by applying the desired decor principles to suit your location and target audience and then layer additional interest. Below are examples: 

Beach Home 

shell and beach decor for a themed airbnb

Coastal, tropical, and nautical are three specific themes your Airbnb can have under the umbrella theme of a beach home. The decor principles of Minimalism influence these properties. The typical decor styling is simple and focused around a singular motif: palm trees, shells, and of course, the beach. 

When creating a beach-themed Airbnb, you have a few liberties. Your choice of inspiration for “beach” can come from anywhere in the world. Laguna Beach, Starfish Beach, Dune du Pyla, and others are good choices for developing color schemes and themes. Keep in mind that minimalistic color schemes focus on earth tones like beige, green, and blue – perfect for a beach-themed vacation rental! 

Incorporate on-property activities and amenities to spruce up your listing. For example, installing a saltwater pool and outdoor firepit for a beach home will make for enjoyable, memorable stays. Depending on your property location, you can also recommend local beach access points, hikes with water views, and local shopping attractions to your guests. 

Cozy Mountain Cabin

Knitted blanket on a bed in a cabin for a cozy airbnb theme

Scandinavian and/or Rustic Farmhouse can influence your decor style for a cozy mountain cabin. Both interior design types offer charm with a touch of creativity. 

Cozy mountain cabin decor incorporates a lot of natural materials and focuses on simplistic and fundamental elements to offer an elevated, luxurious appeal.

Scandinavian decor items are often rich with texture. Faux fur rugs or chunky-woven blankets make great accent accessories to any room. Layering allows you to build warmth through textiles, leaving you plenty of room to be creative. 

Rustic Farmhouse offers you more room to play with patterns and colors. Exposed beams and uncluttered walls create the illusion of openness and more space within your cozy cabin. 

Get creative with decor items by repurposing furnishings like dressers or armoires. You can also use natural objects such as tree branches, pinecones, or dried flowers and leaves to decorate your cozy mountain cabin.

Eco-Friendly Oasis 

Japandi inspired interior decor items for an eco friendly themed airbnb

An increase in conscientious Airbnb sustainability has increased the popularity of eco-friendly vacation rentals regardless of location. 

Japandi interior design is well-suited for an eco-friendly Airbnb property. This design style combines elements of Minimalism and Scandinavian decor with a strong emphasis on using nature-inspired motifs.

Natural, sustainable materials like bamboo and reclaimed wood form the foundation of Japandi decor. Neutral palettes and uncluttered spaces evoke tranquility, while potted plants and natural light promote a seamless indoor-outdoor connection. Handcrafted, timeless pieces emphasize craftsmanship over mass production, aligning with an eco-conscious lifestyle. This fusion creates a serene, sustainable haven that reflects both elegance and environmental mindfulness.

Cottagecore Dwelling 

rustic kitchen decor

Modern farmhouse interior design brings a fresh twist to the nostalgic charm of a cottagecore-themed vacation rental. This approach combines country living with modern touches, making a space that is both comfortable and fashionable.

The foundation of a cottagecore theme lies in its connection to nature and rustic simplicity. Modern farmhouse decor and design share these values, adding natural materials like reclaimed wood, stone, and metal. These elements provide authenticity and a sense of history, seamlessly integrating with the cottagecore aesthetic.

Neutral, earthy color palettes along with whites, creams, and muted tones dominate, creating a serene backdrop reminiscent of tranquil country life. Textiles are equally important. Soft, natural fabrics like linen, cotton, and wool ensure comfort and coziness. These accents also help to enhance the feeling of spaciousness.

The heart of a cottagecore vacation rental often lies in the kitchen. Modern farmhouse design celebrates the kitchen as the hub of the home, emphasizing functionality with aesthetic appeal. Open shelving, farmhouse sinks, and vintage-inspired appliances align perfectly with cottagecore Airbnb styles. 

Yoga and Meditation Retreat

spa bathtub with a japanese inspired garden behind it

A yoga and meditation retreat, infused with luxurious decor and amenities, offers guests a haven of rejuvenation and serenity. Plush fabrics and high-end furnishings foster a sense of indulgence and relaxation. Lavish bedding, silky linens, and premium mattresses elevate elegance and comfort. 

Soft, neutral, calming colors create a peaceful atmosphere, promoting inner peace and mindfulness. Subtle textures like velvets, silks, and cashmere further enhance the sensory experience, inviting guests to relax and unwind.

Incorporate spa-inspired elements, like a steam room, hot tub, or a rainfall shower to give your guests a spa escape. High-end fixtures, ambient lighting, and serene artwork contribute to the refined atmosphere, enhancing the overall wellness experience. Luxury decor and design can elevate your vacation rental and make your yoga and meditation retreat a once-in-a-lifetime experience. 

Pros and Cons to Themed Airbnb Stays 

Interested in hosting a themed vacation rental? The following are some advantages and disadvantages hosts might encounter when operating a themed Airbnb:  

Pros 

There are plenty of intriguing aspects that make themed vacation rentals a captivating choice for your property investment. By integrating thoughtful design and amenities, themed Airbnbs offer significant potential benefits, including: 

  • Increased bookings and higher occupancy rates
  • Enhanced guest satisfaction and positive reviews
  • Potential for higher nightly rates and increased revenue
  • Establishment of a distinct brand that reflects your creativity and personal style
  • More tailored and effective marketing efforts that attract right-fit guests 

Cons

While themed Airbnbs offer guests memorable and distinct experiences, they can come with their own set of challenges. From maintenance and upkeep of themed elements to the risk of theme saturation in popular areas, it’s important to weigh these potential drawbacks: 

  • Costly upfront investment and higher recurring upkeep expenses 
  • Seasonal demand fluctuations may impact year-round bookings 
  • Guests’ preferences for specific themes can vary and change over time

Choosing the Right Theme for Your Property

Choosing the perfect theme for your Airbnb requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Each step of this process is important, ultimately shaping the success and profitability of your venture. When selecting a theme for your Airbnb, consider the following key aspects:

  • Target Audience Alignment: Tailor your theme to match the preferences of your target demographic. Research trends and gather feedback for resonance.
  • Market Research: Analyze demand for themed rentals in your chosen location. Assess existing themed rentals for consistency in popularity.
  • Market Demand and Occupancy Rates: The success of your themed rental hinges on its ongoing appeal within the given market. Higher demand and occupancy rates can offset initial investment costs.
  • Location and Surroundings: Ensure your location complements the chosen theme and offers related experiences. Nearby attractions should align with your themed Airbnb.
  • Oversaturation Risks: Evaluate the current prevalence of similarly themed vacation rentals. Identify unique elements or experiences to differentiate your listing from existing competition.
  • Financial Considerations: Estimate initial investment for theme implementation as well as ongoing costs for maintenance and updates. Evaluating various ROI factors will help you make informed decisions.

If you’re considering hosting a themed Airbnb, you’re in great company! With good upfront planning, you can successfully implement your themed vacation rental’s unique stay and create a profitable property that offers guests amazing experiences and lifelong memories. 

Top Unique Airbnb Theme Ideas 

Embracing creativity in themed vacation rentals opens a world of possibilities. The era of predictable themes like Barbie, Harry Potter, Treehouse, and Decades has passed. Offer potential guests a chance to stay in a vacation rental that has imaginative concepts. It’s about breaking free from the mundane and providing guests a truly distinctive experience. 

Themes can range from cultural experiences to unique hobbies, each one allowing you to weave a narrative that captivates your guests. Here are ten unique theme ideas for your Airbnb to get your creativity flowing: 

  • Anime
  • A Night at the Opera 
  • Extraterrestrial 
  • Enchanted Forest
  • Sports Car Racing 
  • Steampunk 
  • Time Travel 
  • Evil Scientist’s Laboratory 
  • Musical Theater (Wicked, Hamilton, Chicago, etc.)
  • Video Game (Final Fantasy, League of Legends, Valorant, etc.) 

The key to hosting a successful themed Airbnb is to find a balance between novelty and elegance. Avoid clichés and overused tropes, and instead, focus on crafting an immersive experience that feels authentic. It’s about tapping into the curiosities of your target audience and surprising them with a stay that exceeds their expectations.

Looking for more ideas for your Airbnb theme? Download our list of over 80 vacation rental themes

Designing and Implementing Your Chosen Theme

To bring your chosen vacation rental theme to life, start by curating decor, furnishings, and amenities that align with your concept. Each element should reflect the theme, from color schemes to materials and styles. For instance, a coastal theme could feature nautical colors, beach-inspired decor, and driftwood furnishings – all evoking a seaside ambiance.

Remember, small details make significant impacts in carrying out your theme. Integrate subtle touches that enhance the overall experience. This might involve placing seashell ornaments on a coastal-themed mantle or providing vintage luggage tags for a travel-inspired retreat. These thoughtful details infuse character and charm, leaving a lasting impression on your guests.

Maintaining cohesiveness and consistency is important when designing and implementing your Airbnb theme. The theme should flow seamlessly throughout the home, creating a harmonious environment. Ensure that elements like wall art, textiles, and even lighting fixtures each contribute to your overall narrative.

How to Take Your Airbnb Portfolio to the Next Level 

Elevating your Airbnb portfolio involves optimizing your listings and improving guest experiences to maximize potential. Effective business strategies set you apart in a saturated market, enhance your themed Airbnb, and boost your portfolio’s profitability.  

Marketing Your Themed Airbnb

When it comes to marketing a themed Airbnb, creativity and consistency are key. Crafting a compelling narrative around your theme captivates potential guests and sets your listing apart. 

Leverage social media, engage with relevant communities, and consider partnerships with local businesses to amplify your property’s unique appeal. Remember, a well-executed marketing strategy can significantly boost your themed Airbnb’s visibility and bookings.

Managing Expectations and Providing a Memorable Experience

Ensuring guest satisfaction is critical in building a successful themed vacation rental. 

Communicate clearly about what guests can expect from your themed property and strive to exceed those expectations. Personal touches, attention to detail, and a genuine hospitality approach all leave a great lasting impression. By focusing on creating memorable experiences, you’ll not only garner positive reviews but also build a loyal guest base.

Collecting Feedback and Making Adjustments

Feedback is a valuable resource for refining all of your Airbnb offerings, themed or not. Encourage guests to share their thoughts and experiences, and take their feedback seriously. Regularly analyze your reviews and look for recurring patterns or suggestions for improvement. Implementing necessary adjustments based on this feedback can lead to higher guest satisfaction and ultimately, increased bookings.

When to Know Your Airbnb Theme Has Gone Too Far 

While a themed Airbnb can be a unique selling point, it’s important to strike a balance. If your theme starts to overshadow basic amenities or compromise comfort, it may be time to reassess. 

Also, take into account what guests say about the theme. If they often give negative feedback or comment on the themed elements being “too much,” it means changes might be necessary. Remember, your vacation rental theme should enhance guest experience, not detract from it.

How to Make Sure Your Themed Airbnb is Ready for Every New Guest? 

Ensure that every detail you worked so hard to create is perfectly restaged precisely how you want it during turnovers. 

Implement a detailed and comprehensive turnover cleaning checklist for your themed Airbnb. Your checklist should cover essential tasks like replenishing amenities, restocking themed decor, and thoroughly cleaning the property. Hire a professional Airbnb cleaner to regularly inspect and maintain any unique features or props associated with your theme to ensure they remain in top condition. 

Lastly, provide a detailed guide or manual for your guests that highlights the special aspects of your themed Airbnb, encouraging them to fully enjoy the immersive experience you’ve so thoughtfully crafted.

The Turno Team Avatar
The Turno Team , The Turno Team researches and publishes articles designed to provide short-term rental Hosts, Property Managers, and Airbnb Cleaners with insightful, useful resources. Articles written by the Turno Team cover a wide range of STR interests, from the latest industry data and best practices to real-world, practical advice on running efficient, revenue-generating vacation rental businesses in an ever-changing market. Here at Turno, we’re always looking for original ideas and hot new topics. Have something you’re curious to learn more about? Interested in authoring a guest blog? Drop us a line at [email protected].