If you’re looking for a vacation rental WordPress theme (and plugins) that can handle direct bookings, you have a few different options. In this post, we’re featuring the vacation rental themes and plugins from MotoPress and Homey, which we recommend for most clients who want to create a direct booking website on WordPress.
1. Booklium Theme & Hotel Booking Plugin by MotoPress
MotoPress is one of the most popular standalone options for vacation rental WordPress themes and plugins. You don’t need any other subscription (like Lodgify, etc.), and you can create a direct booking vacation rental website.
They have several theme options, but we recommend their newest theme Booklium. Combined with their Hotel Booking plugin, it has everything you need to create a beautiful, direct booking website on WordPress.
The MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin is originally designed for hotels (and thus has a few quirks, like how you create new properties vs. rooms), but the new Booklium theme itself is designed and geared towards vacation rentals.
As more and more vacation rental owners have started using MotoPress, they have begun to focus more on features and design that benefit vacation rental owners, rather than just hotels.
2. Homey – Booking and Rentals WordPress Theme
The Homey theme is another great option for creating a direct booking WordPress website for your rental property. It can take bookings and payments, sync with Airbnb and others via iCal, and has an advanced search feature including a map.
You can purchase the Homey theme on Envato Market.
How to Create a Vacation Rental Website with WordPress
Here are the basic steps to create your direct booking website with WordPress:
- Get WordPress hosting (We recommend Cloudways or SiteGround)
- Install WordPress (Cloudways instructions or SiteGround instructions)
- Purchase your theme and plugins of choice (MotoPress or Homey)
- Install a demo version of the theme (both of these options come with 1-click demo install), so you don’t have to start designing from scratch
- Add your properties and property details, and replace any demo content including text and images
- Set up payment processing (with PayPal and/or Stripe), and sync your website calendar with Airbnb, VRBO, Booking.com, etc. using iCal calendar sync
A List of Options for Taking Vacation Rental Bookings on WordPress
There aren’t a ton of solid options for WordPress plugins and themes designed specifically for direct booking vacation rental websites. But here’s our running list:
- MotoPress Hotel Booking – Designed for hotels originally, but they are adding more and more features and designs for vacation rentals.
- Homey – Built for all kinds of rental businesses, and has a great search feature with a built-in map.
- VikWP – Similar option to MotoPress Hotel Booking.
- Lodgify – WordPress Booking Plugin (Requires an active Lodgify account).
- OwnerRez – Requires active OwnerRez account. Uses widgets, not a plugin.
All of these plugins can connect with your VRBO or Airbnb booking calendars via the iCal calendar system. So your website can sync with your Airbnb and VRBO calendars.
Summary & Our Recommendations
If you’re looking for a standalone WordPress theme and plugin that can handle direct bookings, we recommend the Booklium theme from MotoPress. Used with the Hotel Booking Plugin (which you can purchase together with a Membership), you can set up a self-hosted, direct-booking WordPress site for your vacation rental. The MotoPress Hotel Booking plugin is primarily what we build our custom vacation rental websites around.
If you’re looking for an alternative, the Homey rental theme also looks like a very solid option. We haven’t had the chance to test it out ourselves yet, but we plan to, and we’ll update this post with our review.
If you have any questions about setting up a website for your vacation rental (WordPress or otherwise), contact us and we’d be happy to answer your questions!