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.
Thank you, Helen! This is the 2nd home I’ve been lucky enough to bring back to life. Very rewarding. They have so much unique qualities about them — why we fall madly in love with them!
I share tips/thoughts on my Instagram feed, TheBeachLodge. Drop in and say “Hi!”
Fabulous ideas! Over the last year I've tried to personalize my space and you have inspired me to make more tweaks. I have gotten a lot of items from sharing groups and thrift shops. Half price estate sale days have produced some treasures too.
I love the take home idea of seed packets. I am definitely using that idea. Thank you!
So glad to hear that my tips were useful! I don’t know about you, but I get very giddy about my finds. I share more tips & thoughts on my Instagram feed, @TheBeachLodge. Follow along and say “hi!”
I loved how she explained the use of thrift stores and flea markets for decorating. I often by artwork from students at our local college.
Also the special touches. I buy cards in bulk and always leave one for any special occasion. If any of the homes I Co-Host for several Homes and all are near the beach. When we have families at Easter I always leave sand buckets with a few beach toys and fruit snacks in them as Easter baskets.
So glad you found some useful tips. And Buying artwork from local colleges is a fantastic idea! I’m always amazed at the beautiful pieces you can get from their gallery showings. Sounds like you have a great handle at hosting.