At Arrived, we are committed to developing the best, wildest, and most unique vacation rentals on the market. In pursuit of that goal, we introduced the Arrived BYO Challenge, a fund to nurture exceptional vacation rental ideas and help bring our community’s creations to life.
In the first month of the competition, we had 196 entries that ran the gamut in terms of themes, markets, styles, and scope of the projects. To select a winner, our panel of judges used the following criteria to choose a single entry from that long list of worthy applicants.
Is your idea original & unique?
Is it possible to build this at a reasonable cost?
Will travelers want to stay there?
But before we share the winner, let’s revisit some of the most creative entries:
1) Spooky Salem Sabbatical by Desiree T.
“This “haunted” house would be decked out with witches, ghosts, and all kinds of spooky Halloween-themed decorations. There would be two tulip trees planted out front. Salem is known for tulip trees! There would also be a wall divider that is actually a clear fish tank that looks like a wall. There would be a very small area in the back for a grill and some chairs since it still can be warm outside during the fall in New England.”
2) One Small Brick Drive by Daniel P.
“The theme would consist of LEGO, and the house would be an experience for the whole family. Take a 4-bedroom house and turn it into a Lego vacation home, including built-in Lego features. Some features would be built out of LEGO bricks. The room themes would be based on various LEGO themes (ex: City, medieval, Space, and even pirates). One room would be the brick room with wall-to-wall Lego bases and bins full of LEGO to build anything you can imagine.”
3) Station by Steven F.
“This home would be architecturally designed to optimize ambient acoustics. Walls, floors, and ceilings, where possible, would be constructed of tonewoods like spruce, alder, maple, mahogany, and swamp ash. Accents would be in more exotic woods like koa, ebony, and cedar. Even cups and plates could be provided made of teak. Large surface areas could be mounted so as to resonate more freely, and a high-end stereo system would be built into the walls or ceilings in every room. The back porch would be set up as a stage and would face out onto a vast unpopulated area so loud music would not be intrusive. This open area could be very scenic, overlooking the ocean, forest, desert, plains, or mountains (not lakes, as loud music would travel across the water and intrude on residents there). The home could utilize a musical accent piece or two, such as an impressive eight-foot brass gong or a built-in vibraphone. It would also feature a ramp for easy transport of musical equipment in and out of the property by arriving and departing tenants.”
4) The Cosmos by Jason H.
“A property modeled after a Discovery spaceship located near Kennedy Space Center, where you can watch rocket launches from the front windshield and open the top bay door to watch the stars. Wear moon boots and spend the night in a 4-bedroom house with a full kitchen and open the bay doors to soak in a high-lift jacuzzi under the stars. Complete with NASA flight uniforms and a moon rover to drive over the Mars-like terrain on the property to the Mars house with space ice cream bar and space food.”
5) The Secret House by Leonardo B.
“How would you feel entering a big house just to find it empty? Yep, nothing, but as you turn, a light and a sign on the floor appear, giving you a clue on how to find the bathroom. Welcome to The Secret House, a concept of a typical house that is anything but typical. You will have to find the keys, hidden walls, and LED signs. It’s the fun of an escape room, with the goal of being able to sleep that night in a comfy bed.”
Before we announce the winner, do you think you have what it takes to create the next great vacation rental?
Submit your ideas in the short intake form below (feel free to submit as many proposals as you like!). Winners will not only have their vacation rental idea brought to life but will also receive $5,000 in equity in the property and naming rights for the vacation rental.
Terms and Conditions
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE DOES NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. Open to legal residents of the 50 United States and D.C. who are 18 years of age or older as of date of entry. Subject to full Official Rules, available at arrivedhomes.com. Sponsor: Arrived Homes.
And the winner is…
The Lodge by Danielle P.
Danielle’s concept hit the perfect balance between creativity, feasibility, and desirability with her summer camp meets cabin retreat concept. Her detailed vision will surely make for an incredible vacation rental. Plans to bring this vision to life and fund the concept on Arrived are already underway, so stay tuned for the official launch!
“The Lodge would have a summer camp cabin feel with modern elements. I want this rental to act as the ultimate stay-cation for large groups looking to enjoy quality time together. I also want it to blur the lines between the outdoors and indoors so that guests can feel fully immersed in their environment and enjoy what the rental has to offer in any season. Situated on a lake (if not possible, then a large pool in the backyard) and filled with thoughtful nods to the cabin feel, renters will not be short of ways to experience all the rental has to offer.
Stylistically, this home would look like a traditional log cabin with kitschy-yet-nostalgic decor. This way, it can feel like a summer camp for kids and adults alike yet also transition seamlessly into a winter cabin for the more skiing-heavy months. Upon arriving at the property, I envision a large, flat driveway leading to a 2-3 car garage. The driveway would have lines drawn for pickleball as well as a built-in basketball hoop—an homage to outdoor summer camp games. The property would have hedges surrounding the outdoor spaces to provide privacy and sound barriers. Just inside the home from the garage would be a mud room with hooks and storage for guests’ luggage, skis, jackets, towels, etc., alongside a washer and dryer.
There would be French doors at the main entrance with a large wooden sign above that says “The Lodge.”The main floor would be a relatively open layout. Must haves include a large kitchen island, bench seating in the dining area with views of the water, large couches with a gas fireplace for cozy winters, and a large surface for playing board/card games in the living area. In addition to a powder room near the entrance, one bedroom and one bathroom would be located opposite the garage. The majority of the wall facing the back of the property on the main floor would be collapsible windows that can be pulled open, extending the living area to the outdoors.
Just beyond the threshold between the house and the back patio would be a covered outdoor kitchen (with a pizza oven) and dining/lounge area equipped with gas heaters and a fireplace to roast s’mores, tell stories, and cozy around. The patio would wrap around the corner of the house to utilize the side of the property as well. There would also be a hot tub for use in the winter, an outdoor shower and drying area for wet ski clothes or summer towels, and a shed/storage room with lawn games, pool/water toys (kayaks if on the lake!), etc.
The backyard would then open up to a grassy area leading to the lake and/or a pool with ledges for seating. Just past the front entrance would be a staircase leading to the second floor. The center of this floor would act as a den/movie room/play area with more large windows and access to a patio (the deck covering the outdoor kitchen mentioned above). One side would have two bedrooms with a full bath in between. One or both of these rooms would have bunk beds, another nod to the summer camp vibe. The other side of the upper level would contain a master bedroom and bath with private patio/deck access.”