How a hospitality expert and former Creative Director with an eye for details transformed a 1970s beach bungalow into a space for guests to shine.
When guests enter the Beach Lodge, they immediately gain a sense of who Tiffany Caliva-Talledo is. Her thoughtfulness and love of design is felt through her choices in decor, the colors, the textures, and every personalized touch. As a former Creative Director, she’s always had an eye for details. Now, she’s started her own consulting business to help other hosts create memorable experiences. Her Hollywood Beach, California home has been featured in major design publications. Here, she shares with us her secrets to Airbnb success.
The Beach Lodge is Born
Before we fixed up The Beach Lodge, it was this ugly putrid green home. People called it the “Drug Den” and used to run by it when they passed! Neighbors thought we were crazy to buy it, but I saw something special in it—and I had this thought that if we could restore it, people would come. I saw the beauty in it and I wanted others to see it too. I’ve poured so much love into it—and I think guests come back for that very reason. Here are a few of my favorite hospitality tips to make your guest’s experience extra special.
Tiffany’s Tips to Go the Extra (S)mile
Creating unforgettable experiences always starts with setting the right tone. When designing a space, I tell my clients to start with a feeling rather than a theme. What do you want your guests to feel when they step into your home—comfort, joy, serenity? For the Beach Lodge, rather than go with a literal seaside theme, I thought holistically about the colors, textures, and details I wanted to bring in and how they could create a heightened sense of relaxation and belonging: patterns that pop against airy neutrals, textures that evoke the sand, and plenty of plants to bring the outdoors in.
Also, decorating doesn’t have to be expensive! Flea markets and thrift stores are filled with inexpensive treasures and one-of-a-kind pieces that feel like they have a story attached to them. You just have to do a little hunting. I’ve especially been drawn to objects that represent my Filipino and Asian heritage. And you can’t always get that authentic, lived-in feel from a big box retailer. The items you choose for your space should say something, and together they’ll help tell the larger story of your home.
Another piece of advice I share with my clients is to give yourself permission to play. Change up the decor. Try new things. Make refreshes each season. It’s the best way to discover what works for what you are trying to achieve and what doesn’t. Think of your space as a person with its own complexities and character. Like you, it should be shifting, changing, and evolving to be the best version of itself for the moment.
Additionally, I love to play with space and visual interest in unexpected ways. One tip that I recommend is to create mini-escapes around your home—little getaway areas where guests can get lost in a book. I might add some blankets, pillows, and a painting to a corner so that it invites people to just melt away. Think of how you can create these little nurturing nooks throughout.
Where possible, help personalize your guests’ stay with extra special touches. For example, if someone mentions that they’re celebrating a birthday when they book a stay at the Beach Lodge, I’ll leave desserts or cupcakes from my favorite local bakeries. If they’re vegan, I’ll create a restaurant list in the city and nearby areas. If it’s a family with kids, I’ll switch out the pillows and linens and replace them with more durable ones. These thoughtful touches really stand out to guests. You’ll see them reflected in your reviews and repeat bookings.
I recommend giving guests a momento or a keepsake when they arrive as a simple gesture that feels special and welcoming, like gift cards to businesses nearby or postcards from local artists. To take that idea even further, I also allow guests to shop the items I stock at The Beach Lodge directly, including the eco-conscious robes, linens, and vintage items I’ve collected. I also created an online store so anyone can shop it. I love the thought that guests can purchase an item they encounter and bring it home with them—to extend their experience and take back something special.f I’ve also been featuring women-owned and local brands, which are important to me. I don’t take any profits. It’s all about connecting people to these brands. It’s so much more than just a getaway to me. I want people to be inspired from within and to leave with a new way of living—however big or small.
We named our home The Beach Lodge because, to us, a lodge is a cozy space for people to gather, be with their friends and family, and feel like they belong. I really wanted to create a destination for my guests—to elevate it beyond just a place to sleep—so I stock it with board games, yoga mats, crafts, art materials, a BBQ grill, beach towels, bikes, books to get lost in, and a record player. Travel is about expanding your horizons and these activities can help people create memories and new ways of being. Consider the possibilities of your own space and what amenities can help enhance their overall experience.
Remember that it’s all about the details, details, details! Through these thoughtful touches, guests will truly feel the care that you’ve poured into your space—and they’ll continue coming back.
Check out the full #howtohost series here.
Great tips. We come from a community with a large Amish community. We always leave a small jar of homemade Amish jam for our guests as well as a bottle of Michigan wine. We love to hear the reaction from our new friends.
That sounds wonderful! You may even be able to work with local businesses to provide these items to you at a discounted price in exchange for the promotion you’re providing.
Thanks for sharing!
Hello, thanku so much for your reply. Your tips are very helpful. Also, l like your style, you don't need too much to make guests feel home like their own.
Thank you again Marilin! Totally agree with you. It’s the thought behind your offerings and not the quantity or cost of it that will impress your guests.
We are new hosts, joined a few weeks ago and want to thank you for posting this article it's very informative and your place looks amazing, so much attention to detail and imagination, creating such a unique space and experience for your guests.
Thank you so much! I think it’s the attention to detail that guests appreciate the most. And this doesn’t have to cost very much. It is a business after all, and you need to feel like you’re making a good profit for all your efforts. Good luck hosting!
I was in the hospital recently quite unwell and the darn cell phone left behind! In the few days I was there i failed to respond to 2 request so my response time dove from 100 percent to low 70s ..... Sadly, Lost my super host status after several years of being on a roll!
I think what had maintained my Super HOST status was a friendly spotless ECLECTIC friendly apartment ,welcoming snacks, A totally organic stay from linens to,cleaning products &pantry and lastly everyone comments how much they loved the organic local bars off soap I give individual small bars with their shampoo & towels and a giant one as their takehome! I look forward to recapturing my Super host status in the near future.
Hope you’re doing much better now. I would have hoped that Airbnb would have made an exception due to the circumstances, but I have no doubt you’ll regain Super Host status in no time!
Margin-sapping frivolities IMO. Maybe a hobby rather than a serious stand alone business? Still its great exposure for the consultancy. ABnB haven't really got their head around stand alone rentals that attract customers who want great value, privacy (sans host) or any particular personalisation.
I take this short-term rental very seriously, which is why I put so much thought and care into it. These are just some ideas to get people thinking, but it’s ultimately up to the host how much effort he/she wants to put into personalizing and expanding these ideas. I love that Airbnb is trying to get the ball rolling by providing tips like this.
I always give little gifts to my guest. A small bottle of our own Olive oil and a small pot with sea salt from our Mediterranean sea . Its so nice to see your guest happy. For me as well its very important that they feel homely and very comfortable in our Villa Gelaso
What a beautiful gesture — That would definitely make me feel welcome! I do think that it also benefits hosts in the joy they feel from thankful guests. A win-win situation.
I share more tips/thoughts on my Instagram feed, TheBeachLodge. Come say “Hi!”
I agree, the personal touch goes a long way when pleasing guests. I acknowlege birthdays with something special, relevant to the individual guest. I also surprise them with little treats and excursions. Making the accommodation more personal to an individual guest/s is also important. Well done Tiffany! Your talent and efforts are very commendable.
Thanks for sharing Lorraine. Even the tiniest thoughtfulness helps. You definitely go the extra mile. Love it!
I share more on my Instagram feed, TheBeachLodge. Check it out or just say hi. 🙂
Very nice tips, Tiffany! Not those generic ones, but really lovely and working solutions. They work for me too.
I am especially proud of you for remembering your Filipino and Asian heritage. Check out my listins. How do you find them?