Travel & Outdoors

Why These Local Businesses are Offering Their Own Short-Term Rentals

From a coffee shop's new boutique hotel to an Airbnb above a vintage store, these spaces are a win-win for business owners and visitors alike.

Summer travel is in full swing, and we’ve spotted a fun, related trend: local restaurants and small businesses promoting their own short-term rentals. 

Along with providing another source of revenue for owners, these properties serve multiple purposes. From conversations we’ve had with a handful of Baltimore-area businesses, the goals range from simply extending their brand’s mission of hospitality to working in tandem with on-site private events. A common objective we clocked: the desire to positively spotlight the area and immerse visitors in an authentic, neighborhood-driven travel experience. 

Curious to learn more about these properties and maybe even recommend a new spot next time a friend asks where they should stay during their visit? We’ve rounded up a few rentals:

Guilford Hall Brewery
Airbnb listing: Central & Trendy Baltimore Townhome: Pets OK!

This Station North brewery—known for its European brew style, full kitchen, and robust calendar of community events (everything from drag brunches to goat yoga)—is home to an expansive second-floor event space. Private events like weddings are often booked here, and the Guilford team wanted to capitalize on the influx of visitors, so they now promote two nearby rentals on Airbnb. “We don’t currently have bridal suites,” says Jared Fischer, Guilford’s general manager. “[With these Airbnbs], we’re still able to cater to brides and grooms and their parties.” 

Guilford merch can be found throughout the rentals, which are located one block from the brewery “but in different directions—so the bride and groom will never cross paths,” Fischer quipped. He added that the rentals are also a way to take advantage of Guilford’s draw when it comes to brewery tours and its proximity to Baltimore Penn Station. “We’re just trying to capitalize on this tourism,” he says. “On Sundays, we’re packed with people with luggage just coming in to eat brunch before they go to the train station. For us, it makes a lot of sense.”

Good Neighbor

For Hampden community cafe and home goods shop Good Neighbor, dedicating its second and third floors to create a mini hotel dubbed, Guesthouse, was a natural extension of its mission to showcase thoughtful products and spark conversations around design, art, and creativity. Co-owner Shawn Chopra designed each of the seven rooms, where he’s infused his love for modern design, while also including nods to his own heritage and travels throughout the years. 

The interior design at Guesthouse really is the star, as many of the most impressive details were executed by Baltimore craftspeople including Luke Works and Currency Studio. Standouts include the reception desk made out of Maryland pavers with a design inspired by Egyptian pyramids, as well as a custom-made sink reminiscent of Indian step-wells. “We wanted to show that Baltimore is a design city, and that this project is very much homegrown and built by neighbors,” says brand director Justin Timothy Temple. Adds Chopra, “We want to inspire creativity, and we hope people bring that back with them.” Guesthouse opens August 15, and reservations can be made on the Good Neighbor website.

JoRetro Vintage Market
Airbnb listings: Mid Century 2 Bedroom at JoRetro with a King Bed, Mod Downtown One Bedroom at JoRetro, Retro Downtown One Bedroom at JoRetro

In the small town of Havre de Grace, JoRetro Vintage Market owner Jolene Forrester says visitors from Pennsylvania and the Washington, D.C. area are prevalent, but thoughtful accommodations for them aren’t. That’s partly why, in 2021, she began renting out three apartments (soon to be four) above her vintage shop on Airbnb. 

As an extension of the shop’s signature vintage kitchenware collection, each rental’s design is themed around a certain Pyrex pattern. “It just seemed like a good fit,” Forrester says of promoting the Airbnbs through the shop. “We’re a destination store for a lot of collectors of Pyrex, so it’s nice to be able to give them a place to stay near our very walkable downtown.” Much of the vintage Pyrex used in the rentals’ kitchens can also be found available for purchase in the shop. Additionally, all units feature record players, vinyl, and a mix of new and authentic midcentury modern furniture. 

So, why does Forrester think more business owners are hopping on the trend of repurposing excess property? “It’s a good fit if you have a space above your shop or adjacent to your shop, where maybe you don’t want a long-term renter but you’d like to take advantage of welcoming people to your town,” she says. “We get a lot of tourists in Havre de Grace, and I think it’s nice that we can help promote other shops and businesses.”

The Snowball Stand
Airbnb listing: Rancho de la Playa

Those needing a snowball fix on the Eastern Shore can look to The Snowball Stand in Berlin, an ideal stop (or stay) for travelers heading to the Maryland and Delaware beaches. This summer, the stand’s owner Danielle Pohland began promoting a “tiny home” on Airbnb near her farm just outside Berlin in Whaleyville. Within its humble square footage, guests can enjoy a cowboy pool, porch, charming design details, and views of the farm’s animals, which include cows, donkeys, horses, goats, and chickens. To top it off, renters receive a gift card to The Snowball Stand, where they can round out their Maryland experience with a classic Skylite or egg custard with marshmallow.