Dual ensuite. Yes or No?

We are located in a popular tropical beach location in Queensland, Australia. We have two bedrooms in our house which we have been renting out via AirBnB for the past 6 months.

We have had 40 visits in that time and our room rate has been around $40 to $50 a night. All of our guests except two have been in the 20 to 35 age group.

The two bedrooms share a common wall and have windows onto a back garden. We only have one bathroom in our house and we have been thinking of building a single ensuite outside the guest rooms that can be shared by those guests from each of the two bedrooms.

Here is the plan

How do you think that this will be received by guests assuming that we can solve the dual access issue so that guests from Room 1 don’t turn up when Room 2 is using the bathroom?

Would guests be prepared to pay more per room night for this more convenient (but shared) bathroom experience? If so, how much more?

Our guest profile to date would suggest that people over 35 are less inclined to book with us because they don’t have their own bathroom. But I guess this doesn’t really solve that problem.

Every market is different so I don’t know what result you’ll get. It seems you would get more bookings because more bathrooms is always better. But you will still have the older folks who want a bathroom to themselves.
You’ve probably thought of all these ideas
A listing where people pay more to have the bathroom to themselves.
Two listings sharing this bathroom as you envision.
Making the single bathroom available to either party so if the attached ensuite is occupied there are still options.
Putting sinks in the bedrooms and the attachment only has toilet and shower. Maybe even with the toilet in it’s own water closet.

What I can tell you without a doubt is that when I added an ensuite bathroom and separate entrance to my listing I tripled my bookings. I gained no pricing power at first but I’m slowly inching up the price to where I think it should be for what I offer. Adding a bathroom will pay for itself, sooner or later. Also keep in mind what will work best for the re-sale of the home or if you had to stop doing Airbnb.


I’m not an expert in your market, but I think if you are going to go through this level of remodel you would want to turn the 2 bedrooms into a self-contained unit. I think there is a ceiling to what people will pay for “shared” accommodations. If you can add a separate entrance so they don’t have to go through your house at all, self check in, ect…and you can advertise as private unit.

The current plan is still a shared space and still a shared bathroom. I would not expect it to pay off.


Are you talking about a Jack and Jill bathroom - in-between two rooms and accessible from both rooms? I used one in a villa in Italy. It was a nightmare. You need a lock on both doors of course. The person in the neighbouring room kept on forgetting to unlock my side when they had finished. I then had to knock on their room and get them to unlock it so I could use the bathroom. The converse could also happen of course with people walking in on each other. Also they left make up on the hand towels etc… I think because it feels like an ensuite people feel too at home for a shared situation.
I would just have a normal shared bathroom if there’s no space for 2 ensuites. What about an ensuite toilet and basin each and a shared shower in the hall or vice versa?

An second bathroom will always pay for itself, the only question is the timeline. One can’t only consider Airbnb.

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Go big or go home, add on TWO bathrooms and give each place their own entrance from outside.

I am building a guest house on the property where my full house rental is, then I am developing the lot next door…



Yes we are. I think we have worked out a way to solve the dual use aspect as far as access is concerned.

This is a REALLY good point and could be one of the show stoppers for this idea.

I am curious to know how you have solved the access problems with a Jack and Jill bathroom.

I put the challenge to a forum and got many responses. This is probably a workable one for us.

“Have a single lock mechanism that locks both doors – two way latch. Think garage door lock where both sliding arms swing out when the knob is turned. If you have it at a decent height, it should also be kid friendly.”

For security it would still require guests in each room to lock the bathroom door from their side.


OK. That probably relies on both doors being perfectly shut before the locks are operated. I wonder if mechanisms might get stuck. I have enough problems getting guests to use light/fan switches/front door locks, so am of little faith.
Might there also be a noise issue for the other bedroom, particularly with couples lol?

We would fit doors like the Vogue Acoustic range

We already have good sound insulation because of the core filled masonry block walls between the rooms.

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I wouldn’t make it ‘kid friendly’, have it at adult height. Parents need to supervise locks and bathrooms with small children.

it seems like a good idea, I can’t think of it as ensuite, as that suggests it would not be shared, even adding ‘dual’ to the description.

Would you only be renting it as a a two room unit, so that you’d get parents and kids, or two friendly couples on a joint trip? That would be an easier sell, as they’d possibly be more prepared to share a bathroom.
I agree with @RiverRock, go that extra mile and build 2 en suites…even if they are a bit cramped, it might have more appeal, and could open up more options of rentals.
It may even be a better idea in the long run if ever you sell, extra en suites sound great.

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Ideally, each room would have it’s own bathroom, so as RR said, put in two bathrooms if you can. If that’s not doable, you could have one of the rooms have the new bathroom private just for them and charge more while the other room shares the old bathroom with you. Also, you could list the two rooms as one unit.


It’s called a Jack and Jill bathroom. I agree it’s much better suited to parties who want to rent both bedrooms. I am assuming there is no room for 2 bathrooms otherwise surely that would be the plan. Yep the second bedroom could share the existing bathroom, but hosts are probably keen to have their own space!

Another idea, how about a basin in each bedroom (with useful drawers underneath and dressing table space on top, I picture a little countertop basin). This takes all the time consuming activities like teeth, make up and hair out of the shared bathroom. It could also be useful for making tea.

Almost original idea and a good one. We have lots of space in the bedrooms and the floors are tiled. We will consider this. Also, we have now decided to create two separate ensuites. They will each be 2 sq metres in size.


Good, obviously tight but possible. So in the ensuite you could just have a wallgate style hand washer perhaps to save on space.

What?! I said it first! LOL.

Actually I’ve been in several places with the concept. One was NYC hotel with shared bathroom but a sink in the guest room. Another is an old converted motel in a small Texas town where there is a cold water only sink and the toilets and showers are down the walkway. I love a hotel with the sink separated from the toilet and shower area. Not uncommon in nice US hotels at all

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I assume currently they are sharing your bathroom? Maybe start with one of them having an ensuite (build the bathroom in the plans but keep the other door locked or leave the other wall blocked off for now) and the other room keeping the shared bathroom with yourself. See if the ensuite bathroom, priced $10-20 higher gets more bookings from older travelers. I guess you’d have to advertise them separately. Then after a few months decide if it was worth it to build another ensuite for the other bedroom as well or give them joint access to the new bathroom, so at least you get your own bathroom back. I assume you also wish to regain sole use of your own bathroom asap so that would factor in the cost/benefit.

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