KAMAS, Utah (ABC4) – When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Airbnb hosts received updated cleaning protocols, but Pepper Martin, who had already been cleaning up to the new standards, didn’t have to change her routine at all.
“It was nice to kind of have Airbnb validate that, like okay, we already were cleaning all of this stuff and resetting all of it, so we were already doing COVID-19 cleaning beforehand,” she says.
Utah native Pepper Martin has recently achieved a coveted spot in the world of Airbnb (a platform that allows people to rent out their private space for travelers to stay). Not only is she a Superhost, but was recently named the most hospitable Airbnb host in Utah.
And Airbnb set the bar pretty high. In order to to identify its most hospitable hosts, the company only considered those who only earned five star ratings in the areas of cleanliness, check-in, and communication. They also had to have a minimum of 100 reviews. If more than one host met these criteria, the tiebreaker went to the host with the most reviews.
Picture this: a quaint, private cabin in the woods nestled by a clear, tree-lined river. Mountains rise in the distance. Lounge chairs surrounding a standing fireplace sit beside the river.
If you pay attention, you may see the family of deer that frequents the area. Bald eagles, hawks, and even the occasional moose offer a glimpse of the area’s wildlife.
The Private Riverfront Cabin is located in Kamas, houses up to two guests at a time, and costs $189 a night.
And though it’s just a 25 minute drive to Park City and about an hour’s drive to Salt Lake City, you would never know it, Martin tells ABC4.com.
“Because it’s so private and out in the mountains and you’re on the river, you feel like you’re somewhere else completely, like you drove several hours or took a plane somewhere,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like you just took a quick drive.”
According to Martin, the cottage was built in the 90’s and has a quaint, cottage-like feel. Located on the property where she grew up, she decided to purchase it and the two existing cabins in 2016.
“It’s the guest house that I turned into the Airbnb, and I just kind of wanted to do that to share because it’s such a beautiful property and right on the river. So, just to be able to share that with other people since I can’t make it up there all the time to hang out,” she explains. “I just wanted to redo where I grew up so that people could enjoy it.”
And the property even has ties to singer, actor, and comedian Dean Martin, who vacationed there. (Pepper is the esteemed singer’s granddaughter.)
But what really sets this Airbnb apart is in the details.
“We really focus on our amenities that we put up there, so we want people to just be able to show up. We do have that happen sometimes where people are like, oh, we’re driving through and we want to stop for the night. And super last minute bookings like that – we love to be able to accept those,” Martin explains.
And that is good news for visitors who have not come prepared. The cabin includes just about everything they might pack anyway. Body wash, shampoo, cooking utensils, plates, bowls, olive oil, salt and pepper, and a washer and dryer – just to name a few.
“So you don’t need to bring a whole bunch of stuff. And I think that’s really nice- not having to worry about your packing when you come,” she says.
Martin says the amenities and her thorough cleaning process are two things that make an exceptionally good host.
“It’s just me that does the cleaning, so I’m very, very thorough and have a really big, long checklist that I go through every single time,” she states. “Just being very clean, double checking everything. You never know what a guest has used or touched.”
Blackout blinds round out the cabin’s tranquil atmosphere, making it perfect for sleeping in on a sunny morning, taking an afternoon snooze, or turning in early for the night. The cabin also comes outfitted with a TV hooked up to WIFI so you can catch your favorite Netflix shows.
But what clearly sets Martin apart as Utah’s most hospitable Airbnb host is her willingness to make specific accommodations for guests that make their stay memorable. And again, this comes down to the details.
During the summer she offers beer and wine tasting to visitors who are interested. This comes with an additional charge. Guests are invited down to the main yard for this and are left to enjoy the drinks and appetizers.
The river that runs through the property and is part of the upper Provo River, has every kind of of trout you could think of and is open for fishing, Martin says. The cost of fishing is included with the price of the stay.
“However, if you’re not an experienced fisherman, we have some really awesome fly fisher guides that work out of a couple different fly shops and like fly clubs, and so we can hook all of our guests up with them,” she says. “We can get the all the poles and all the gear, get that rented. It’s definitely a hotspot for fly fishing.”
If someone is coming to stay at the cabin for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary, she is happy to personalize the experience.
“We can work with you with anything you want to do. If you’re coming out for your anniversary and you’d like a couples massage, we can get the massage people to come out and set up the beds, anything like that. Because we have the property and the space to do it, we can do a lot of really cool fun, stuff like that.”
Visit Airbnb.com for information on Martin’s Private Riverfront Cabin.