The City of Palm Springs has a long and rich history of vacation rental hospitality. While online travel sites such as Airbnb, VRBO and others have helped popularize the concept of vacation rentals (also known as short-term rentals) in recent years, Palm Springs has always had a significant percentage of homes that are second homes, vacation homes or homes that are only seasonally occupied. And many of these have always been offered as vacation accommodations.
Whether you're new to vacation rental travel or an experienced VR guest, here are some helpful resources, tips and information about the current vacation rental travel environment in Palm Springs.
As of October 2017 there are about 2000 licensed vacation rentals in Palm Springs ranging from budget accommodations to lavish, luxury estates. With so many vacation rentals available, finding the right one can be a challenge... But at least you get to browse some amazing properties!
(And of course, we hope that you'll consider staying with us here at Elrod Villa!)
About half of vacation rentals in Palm Springs are independently owned and managed and the other half are represented by property management companies. Some homes have their own dedicated websites for information and booking (more on this in a minute) and some will be found among the collections presented by the various property management companies' websites.
Note that, while you can find, communicate with, and book vacation rentals via those sites (or their handy mobile apps), many vacation rentals will also have their own websites and offer direct booking for their guests. This is usually the lowest-cost way to book your vacation rental stay as you won't be charged booking fees which Airbnb and VRBO tack on to the cost of your stay! Additionally, many owner/managers offer lower direct booking rates than they offer on these online travel agency type sites. It's just like the situation with hotels.
How can you tell if a home may have its own website or other way to book directly? Usually, such homes will have a unique, "branded" name—like ours does ("Elrod Villa"). If you see a property that you like that has a unique, descriptive name it's worth taking a moment to Google that name, which will usually expose the property's direct booking website and/or the manager's direct contact info!
If you'd like to browse and search the websites of the various Palm Springs vacation rental property management companies, those can be found using this Google Maps search.
When inquiring with a vacation rental, it's very helpful to provide a little bit of information about the reason for your visit, the total number of guests in your group and some information about yourself as an introduction.
Whether you choose to book direct or via a listing site, there's usually another step you'll have to go through to complete your reservation. In Palm Springs, vacation rentals are required by the city to execute a separate, signed rental agreement. This agreement will usually require your contact information, the names and ages of all guests and may also ask for information about the vehicles you are bringing.
Today, most such agreements will be sent to you via email for electronic signature. But this will be done after the host has accepted your booking—they usually cannot see your full contact information on Airbnb or VRBO until your reservation is "booked" on those sites.
And don't be surprised if the owner/manager asks you for a copy of your government-issued ID as City of Palm Springs vacation rental regulations require this as well. There are a couple of other regulations that it's helpful to be aware of while looking for and booking your Palm Springs vacation rental:
By the way, more information on the City of Palm Springs vacation rental ordinance can be found on the Palm Springs Vacation Rental Compliance Department's web page at www.psvacationrentalcompliance.com.
Vacation rental hosts know that, upon arrival, most guests are ready to unpack, relax and unwind! But there's one small item of business that, while it might seem a little silly, your Palm Springs hosts are required to attend to:
City of Palm Springs vacation rental regulations now require that guests have an in-person meeting with the vacation rental manager within 24 hours of checking-in. Often, this is handled as part of a "hosted check-in" process. The property manager will greet you at the property and give you an orientation. (You might instead be asked to meet at the vacation rental manager's office.)
As part of that orientation, the city requires that the host explain the basic rules of vacation rentals in Palm Springs to you. This information is contained in the City's "Good Neighbor Brochure for Vacation Rentals."
You and all adult guests in your party are also required to sign a "Statement of Rules and Regulations" acknowledging that you have been informed of, and received, the information in the Good Neighbor Brochure.
The contents of the Good Neighbor Brochure are really very simple. It reminds guests that, when staying in a vacation rental home, they become part of the neighborhood and that being a considerate, peaceful and quiet neighbor is appreciated.
As they've become increasingly popular as the lodging-of-choice for many Palm Springs visitors, vacation rentals in Palm Springs have also become somewhat controversial. Some residents of Palm Springs have had real issues with noise, unruly behavior, and parking congestion in their neighborhoods, caused by inconsiderate vacation rental guests. And some of these residents believe that banning vacation rentals is the right solution.
Of course, such guests are the exception, rather than the rule and the vast majority of vacation rental visitors cause no excessive commotion at all! But this perception has lead, in part, to the increasingly strict vacation rental rules adopted by the city. By being a good neighbor, you can help us preserve the tradition of vacation rental hospitality in Palm Springs.
The brochure reminds guests about occupancy limits, vehicle parking limits and that trash must not be stored within public view. It also reminds them that: