This home was our very first Airbnb experience. Ten minutes before we checked in to this serene suite, we were downright anxious. In the flurry of preparing for our travels, this moment had always seemed too distant to warrant concern. But as we drove into Saskatoon, Canada (which, if you’ve glanced at the map is a far cry from Olathe, Kansas) all the doubts we had entertained about Airbnb resurfaced. Everything from cleanliness to safety to internet speeds crossed our minds. The moment Heather emerged from her front door to greet us, our worries vanished. Her warm personality, the beautiful suite, the sprawling park next door: everything we saw put as at ease and our emotions transitioned to excitement. This was going to be an awesome ten days.
The parents of three youngsters, Heather is an archaeologist and Richard is in real estate. As Richard explained it, their family loved traveling as Airbnb guests so much, they thought they’d give hosting a try. In our opinion, they’re naturals. Their genuine interest in their guests and the abundance of thought they’ve sunk into their space set them apart as Airbnb hosts.
The suite is nestled in the home’s walkout basement and a large window on the far wall fills the space with natural light. Other than the bathroom tucked in the back, the suite is one, large spacious room with seafoam green walls, stark white accents, and deep charcoal floor. A few pieces of strategically placed art compliment the modern decor. Of everything there is to highlight about this suite, here are the things that stood out the most.
USE OF SPACE
Heather and Richard have somehow managed to take this single room and create distinct areas for sleeping, relaxing, cooking, and eating while simultaneously maintaining an open floor plan and airy atmosphere. They’ve optimized their space for flexibility. The Murphy bed can fold up during the day to create a larger living room and the rolling cart in the kitchen can slide into place when extra counter space is needed.
Perhaps the quality we loved most about this space was how intentionally it has been outfitted. Every item in the suite had a clear purpose, whether it was in a kitchen drawer or on an armoire shelf. We had absolutely everything we needed but never had to wade through superfluous clutter. This streamlined approach makes a smaller space like this one feel so much bigger than it is.
There’s a beautiful stone path that hugs the side of the house before opening up to the patio where the suite’s doors are located. This private entrance made such a difference during our stay. We came and went without feeling like we were disrupting the family’s routine, which is quite a feat when the Airbnb is located in the same house as the hosts.
Personal Touches We Loved
Here are a few items discovered in the suite and truly appreciated. If any of these items catch your eye too, support bnbNomad with our affiliate links below.
We were completely obsessed with the dual-direction cordless blinds that covered the suite’s window. It wasn’t anchored to the top or the bottom of the window frame, which meant we could adjust the light perfectly, whether we were on a conference call or watching Netflix.
The slim dishwasher was such a luxury. Discreetly placed between two kitchen cabinets, this dishwasher was about half the size of full unit. Given the small sink in the kitchenette, the dishwasher helped us keep the suite feeling clean with minimal effort.
Broom and Dust Pan
This was perhaps the item we were most grateful to find in the suite: a broom and dustpan. In a small space like this, the accumulation of dog hair can be rather impressive. With the broom right there, we’d sweep up every day or two, which made our stay much more pleasant and helped us leave the suite nice and tidy when we checked out.
In a single-room space like this, the armoire provided the perfect way for us to unpack for our ten-day stay while completely hiding any visual clutter created by our belongings. This armoire was especially nice because it included shelves for toiletry bags, drawers for small items like socks, and a place for hanging up items too.
Clever Tricks for Hosts
Heather and Richard had many clever hosting tricks up their sleeves. If you’re an Airbnb host, take a look at these simple strategies to make your guests feel super welcome.
1) Organize Your Photos
Looking back, we realized one of the key reasons we were drawn to Richard and Heather’s suite as our very first Airbnb stay was the way their listing pictures were organized. Their images progress through the space the same way a guest would first walk through it, which helped us feel like we truly understood the space we were booking. Often, listing photos can feel disjointed, and guests don’t fully understand the space until they are physically in it—not so with this suite.
2) Designate a Parking Space
If you offer onsite parking, a clearly defined and easily accessible Airbnb spot can help a guest feel welcome and confident the moment they pull up to your place. Heather and Richard included this information early on. Before we had left Kansas, we knew exactly where we’d park when we got to Saskatoon.
3) Send a Follow-Up Text
Good communication can make or break a guest’s experience. A quick follow-up text is a great way to get off on the right foot. The day after we’d arrived, Heather reached out to ask how our stay was going so far. This little opening gives guests the opportunity ask for anything they might need and also demonstrates your eagerness to make their stay as comfortable as possible.
4) Add a Plant or Two
We loved that Heather and Richard had a few plants in the suite. Pick something low-maintenance and you’ll immediately brighten up your space. For folks like us who work remotely from Airbnbs all day, little touches like this make a big difference.
5) Help Your Guests Help You Clean
Last, but not least, leave your cleaning supplies somewhere easy for guests to access. It helps create self-sufficient guests that can clean up after a spill, tidy up throughout their stay, and help maintain the cleanliness of your space.
Book Your Stay
Heather and Richard have created such a flexible space, their suite would make a great home away from home for many folks. We would especially recommend this location for these travelers.
If you’ve never stayed in an Airbnb and happen to be in Saskatoon, this is the place to start: fantastic hosts, calming space, a beautiful neighborhood in an incredible city.
The suite is also spitting distance to the airport. If you’re just in town overnight, a cab ride here will be cheap and you’l find great takeout pizza and a market with all the basics in walking distance.
With a maze of walking paths just beyond the door, this is probably one of Odin’s favorite places to date, and the easy-to-clean floors made us happy too.