VRS031 – How to Give Your Vacation Rental Guests a Great Nights Sleep – with Alanna Schroeder

Have you checked out The Book of Awesome? Written by Canadian Neil Pasricha who The Toronto Star called “the guru of small joys”. This collection of 1000 little pleasures we all share will have you laughing and nodding on every page. #858 – The Other Side of the Pillow – is one of my favourites. He describes one of those tossy/turny kind of nights when nothing you can do can get you back to sleep -until you turn the pillow:

“The other side of the pillow, folks. Because it’s flat when you’re sagging,  fresh when you’re stale, and cold when you’re hot, baby. 


In the high heat of a summer, even with air conditioning, the cool side of the pillow can be really awesome, but only if it’s a good pillow with a crisp cover on it. And this just neatly segues into this week’s episode.

the_distinguished_guest_vacation_rental_bedsheets_alanna_schroederWe can’t control every aspect of our guests’ sleep experience when they stay at our vacation homes, but we can contribute a lot to making their slumber the best ever. Good beds; bedside lighting that makes it easy to read, yet not too bright to disturb a bed partner; the best linens and of course, cool pillowcases.

Alanna Schroeder is my go-to person for anything to do with bed linens, towels and amenities, and judging by the amount of discussions on forums related to the topic, it’s a hot one for many owners. On her site, The Distinguished Guest, Alanna sells a range of sheets, duvet covers, towels and amenity kits and has a great blog that covers topics related to linens, bedding as well as general rental issues. She also owns two vacation rental properties so definitely walks the talk!

tweetTake care selecting the bed sheets for your #vacationrental. @cottageguru @TDistinguishedG talk linens and things

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In this interview we talk about

  • Alanna’s properties in Tahoe and Kauai
  • Bringing the quality hotel look to the vacation rental bedroom
  • The importance of a great looking bed
  • The reason Alanna goes for white instead of coloured sheets and towels
  • Why you shouldn’t get caught up in thread count
  • How a 200 thread count sheet can be given a 600 thread count label
  • The differences between fabrics 100% cotton vs poly/cotton blends and Percale vs Sateen
  • Bathroom amenities and why they make guests happy
  • Bathrobes and reviews
  • Ringing the changes for repeat guests with a simple cushion swap


Website and other links mentioned in the episode:

How to use amenities at your VR – and the value of the rubber ducky

The Tale of Two Linen Closets – how being organised makes a difference

Do You Thread Count? – an overview of what to look for in bed linens

You can follow Alanna and The Distinguished Guest on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest


Enter our draw to win a set of sheets
from The Distinguished Guest

Leave a comment and tell us about your beds. What is your criteria for choosing bed linens? What works best? What doesn’t work as well? Let us know what your thoughts are on this subject.

Everyone who comments on this post will be entered into a draw to win a set of sheets

(either 100% cottage or a 60/40 polyester cotton blend). We’ll make the draw on July 15th so make sure you get your comment posted before then.


In addition Alanna is offering a discount code for anyone buying sheets from The Distinguished Guest for the month of July for North American buyers.

flag_icon_us – cottageblogger20

 flag_icon_canada– cottagebloggerCANADA


I really appreciated this podcast and learned a lot. I have been buying sheets from livingsocial and groupon, and just could not understand why these ‘expensive’ sheet sets were so thin! Thanks for the education, and I’m looking forward to trying your sheets. The question for me, is always how much to spend on supplies, and where is a good place to cut costs, but still offer quality.

Dean Curtis

I thought for sure that the higher the thread count the better the sheets. So I was nodding my head when I heard the podcast when Alanna saying that is not always the case. I found some 400 thread count sheets that were super cheap and now I know why! I can assure you that any future purchases for bed linens for our cottages will be from the Distinguished Guest. I can tell by listening to her speak that she takes pride in her sheets and wants her guests to have a comfortable nights stay and that is exactly how I want my guests to feel. Great guest and great podcast!


Amy Blomquist

When we first opened 2 years ago we had white sheets & towels. I do all the cleaning and found it impossible to keep everything looking white (We have a well with hard water plus the redwoods). I also don’t want to use a ton of bleach. I was so hesitant to switch to colored sheets & towels because I thought white was the rule. But then I realized there are no “rules.” I found jersey sheets in fun colors that don’t require ironing and have been very happy since. But I do admit white sheets photograph better and look more inviting. So now I’m thinking about white again! Great, thanks Alanna! 😉

Coconut Chuck

Great discussion about beds and sheets. We have not found the silent waterproof mattress pads. It is so important to routinely sort through and check linens to retire all the worn linens and keep the collection clean and crisp.

One Chic Retreat

I have all Alanna’s sheet sets and use them every day and love them! From her basic products to her more luxurious, I can’t say enough good things about them. Loved the podcast!

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