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146 comments

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    Papadakism

    You shouldn't wait for complaints in order to discover what goes wrong. On the contrary, you have to foresee your guests' needs (no matter their age or the country they come from).

    Just try to be in your guest's place. Try to imagine how would you feel as a guest in your own property. And of course, you should be very strict with yourself.

    Try to avoid all those details that you didn't like when you were a guest in somebody else's place. Remember your negative thoughts about the host when the place was not clean enough or when the wi-fi was weak. Remember how you felt about the host when you discovered that the kitchen was practically empty (had just 2-3 plates and cups...) or when you felt cold because the heating was turned off for some extra economy. There are hundreds of dissapointing examples that you have already experienced as a guest, so, don't let this happen to you as a host. The idea is that you first must be 110% satisfied by your own place.

    Apparently, there are some basics that should be absolutely out of the question: Hospitality, cleanliness, facilities, maintenance, honest photos, accuracy, friendliness and discreetness. However, all those will not be enough if you can't take care of the "details". Your success is hiding there...

     

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    Gcs

    Quite simply just follow this thought -

    "First time every time"

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    G&C

    Having read through the previous 90+ comments, my thoughts are that there are a set of basics that have to be right:

    Personal communication from the first contact.  Don't use automated messages. We offer evening meals and always ask if there is anything guests can't or don't eat. Offer help with driving directions.

    Spotless presentation - including garden, exterior of property, public areas and the guest rooms

    Warm and genuine welcome with use of guest names, not forgetting to introduce yourself

    Help with luggage

    Offer of refreshments on arrival - join guests if appropriate - take their lead on this - some may prefer to make a cuppa in their room, kick off their shoes and collapse on the bed!

    Good beds, quality bedding and towels including bath sheets, a hairdryer, accessible sockets, full length mirror

    Offer help/advice ref restaurants, places to visit etc

    Provide a generous, fresh breakfast appropriate to your location - we're in France so offer wonderful croissants and freshly baked bread from our local boulangerie, along with fresh fruit, fruit juices, yogurts, butter and home made preserves with a selection of teas or freshly brewed coffee.

    "Extras" can be provided as appropriate to the business model taking into account margins, location, competition, the size of property, staff time available etc   

    Home made cake may be just the thing if you have sufficient guests arriving each day to eat the cake!  A fridge in rooms is a great idea if there is the space - perhaps a shared fridge on a landing if not. Home made preserves are a big hit with our guests and as I enjoy & have the time to make them this works for us. Friends provide us with honey from their hives. 

    As others have said, don't take to heart the review that marks you down on something you clearly have no control over, eg too rural, when you clearly state you are in the heart of the country side! 

     

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    Gwarllwyn B&B

    We were accredited a five star rating by the Welsh tourist board, but decided to market ourselves as four star and charge four star prices.  This has resulted in guests being thrilled with their accommodation and feeling we offer great value for money.  Most of our bookings are now repeats.   

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    Apartmentsstajeva

    #1

    I love my job! 

    My apartments are all my feelings!

    Every part of my house is made by love and how I would like to have it!

    I don't think that guest which choose apartments wants sleep in hotel rooms.

    My apartment decoration is different then others.

    I have 8 different coffee, 6 different tea, fruits, bottle of water and all spices for cooking, even extra virgin olive oil!

    I am waiting all my guests and helping them to feel like home.

     

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    Janiceatlay

    Our 'wise words' at Chapel Chester for exceptional reviews would be

    ' exceed your guests expectations in every way'

    ' cakes, teas etc always lovely welcoming touch'

    ' personalised messages if not meeting guests mentioned reason for their stay - ie happy 70th etc'

    ' guests love additional surprises, when its easter, mothers day, valentines, small surprise gifts on the door are always well recevied'

    'guests love cleanliness and we aim for spotless each time has a deep clean'

    ' helpfulness with check in times can be a little at your end but mean a lot to guests'

     

    Hope this is useful!

    Janice

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    Info

    We try to give to our guests the same treatment that we like to recieve when travelling. Simle, be kind, explain everything about your apartment in details. Stock your kitchen with basic things such as coffee, tea, cocoa, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, milk. Our fridge is stocked with wine, beer and juices. When some of the guests have a birthday we give them a small present. When they are by the pool we offer them a cocktail, some fruits, local cheese, coffee...

    We made a Welcome book about everything that can be seen in vicinity, about the restaurants, shopping...everything that guests may find helpful when on vacation far from home. Guests know that they can reach me by phone anytime. If they need a help to book something or they have a problem of some kind we are ready to help them.  Try to give them tips about what is interesting happening (events, festivals, exhibitions...)

    Not to mention that everything has to be spotlessly clean and looked after!

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    Freda

    I don't pretend to have all the answers why our guests give us a great review score. We are as always humbled by our success and are grateful for the good opinion of the people and families who stay with us, we work hard to deserve it. I believe there are many factors that create the magic that make people consistently review our property with a high score, most of those reasons are stated above, cleanliness, good interior design, spacious rooms, personal touch, a well positioned property for location, main attractions etc are all part of it, but I would say the key is that guests should walk away with a feeling that they got a little bit more than they paid for. The experience you offer should always exceed the expectations of your guests, not by much, just enough to make them feel that they are getting excellent value for their money. Whatever "extras" you wish to add, be it service, a jar of home cooked jam or just a well tended garden, it must leave your guest with the feeling that they were lucky to have found your place.

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    Clubhousegites

    Provide a warm welcome.

    Have good facilities - that all work!

    Cleanliness.

     

     

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    Ajdmlogan

    Communication is the key to success. Follow up bookings promptly with a welcoming message. When the guests arrive show them all of the facilities and recommend local things to do. Ensure the children are catered for with activities so the parents can relax. 

    Allan and Debbie

    Sandcastle Ruakaka Beach New Zealand

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    Alofttonga

    Our guests are being treated as part of a family or a friend that we haven't seen in a long time. We go the extra mile to make sure they're comfortable and feel safe and happy at the same time.

    For our late night arrivals we have little dish of fruits, water etc offer to them before they rest. We do light breakfast to start their days well. 

    For early arrivals one of the staff can take them around on a complimentary scenic tour of the eastern side of Tonga so they at least see a part of the island before head out to outer islands. 

    Going the extra miles and treating the guests as a friend or family is part of our little tradition. 

     

     

     

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    GardenMasterBedrooms

    Well I personally think the room size, furniture, AC, Heating, Mini-Bar in each room, along with many little things, such as Shampoo, Conditioner, Quality Hand Soap, Air-Fresheners in each room, in addition to the welcome tray, as we call it, comes with nestle coffee-yellow and green tea-Digestive Cookies, Drinking Water & Quality Towels. Give the guest(s) what makes them feel at home away from home, is our key to our success.

    The location is somewhat of impotence, we happen to be close to many world attractions such as grotto of Jetta, one of the worlds 7th wonders, and the sightseeing programs that are tailored to the guest who seeks such adventures vacation in Lebanon. 

    Most of our guests like to stay at the residence to enjoy the use of our BBQ area with a large gazebo/entertainment area with a karaoke-system-40" LED TV and a large outside kitchenette by the nicely landscaped garden, we have set up outside furniture in front of each rooms terrace for their privacy. 

    Success comes when you invest in your business, most importantly one must be people friendly, well if you like people and pleasant in your communications, they will definitely appreciate you and gives you thumbs up for their next vacation. (Give them a time to remember you with)

    Pastor George Afif Boujaoude

    Garden Master Bedroom Suites

    Adonis, Mount Lebanon, Near Jounieh Bay Area.

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    GardenMasterBedrooms
    • Well I personally think the room size, furniture, AC, Heating, Mini-Bar in each room, along with many little things, such as Shampoo, Conditioner, Quality Hand Soap, Air-Fresheners in each room, in addition to the welcome tray, as we call it, comes with nestle coffee-yellow and green tea-Digestive Cookies, Drinking Water & Quality Towels. Give the guest(s) what makes them feel at home away from home, is our key to our success.

      The location is somewhat of impotence, we happen to be close to many world attractions such as grotto of Jetta, one of the worlds 7th wonders, and the sightseeing programs that are tailored to the guest who seeks such adventures vacation in Lebanon. 

      Most of our guests like to stay at the residence to enjoy the use of our BBQ area with a large gazebo/entertainment area with a karaoke-system-40" LED TV and a large outside kitchenette by the nicely landscaped garden, we have set up outside furniture in front of each rooms terrace for their privacy. 

      Success comes when you invest in your business, most importantly one must be people friendly, well if you like people and pleasant in your communications, they will definitely appreciate you and gives you thumbs up for their next vacation. (Give them a time to remember you with)

      Pastor George Afif Boujaoude

      Garden Master Bedroom Suites

      Adonis, Mount Lebanon, Near Jounieh Bay Area.

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    Jenatt

    We think of what we want when we stay somewhere. Cleanliness, tea/coffee facilities, toiletries, comfortable beds, and a comfortable lounge. They are our basics to be 100% right. Add extras but don't eat into your profit too much. 

    We do  meet and greets in most cases but are flexible depending on the guests arrival time and their needs. Respond promptly to queries. If notified of a an issue deal with it promptly. Provide information for the guest on where to find shops, chemist, doctor, dentist etc, suggested day trips, restaurant recommendations, instructions for using the equipment in the apartment. For long stay guests we regularly touch base with them.

    Above all we aim to make our guest feel comfortable and relaxed. Repeat guests are the proof of doing things right. 

    Jenatt Apartments Salamanca, Battery Point, Tasmania, Australia

     

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    Kayze1

    I just be myself. Friendly but not in their face all the time.In fact i've learnt to read people pretty well and usually can tell if they want to be left to themselves.

    Keeping the place as spotliss as possible and be as professional as I can. My place is small and run by me alone, so I make sure I'm up and dressed early so as not to be caught in my nightdress.

    I love meeting people from all countries and cultures so I think that shows.

    I'm always happy to pick my guests up from the bus or the airport if they need a lift, or to be dropped somewhere. I offer to do their laundry as it mounts up when your travelling

    I really enjoy what I do and I have a wonderful wee place with fantastic views over our lovely sunny Nelson NZ. Its very private with a hot tub right outside. 

    The only thing I get the odd negative comment about is my narrow steep drive which can be difficult for people backing down when they are not used to driving on the left. But I always offer to back it down for them which is sometimes accepted. :) And its par for the course when you live on a hill. 

    Hillside Cottage Nelson New Zealand

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    Kevinresort/Thailand

    i have a 9.7 review score its nearly impossible to get this score in my location .my property, built by myself in a half circle is unique in thailand! although I am located in a remote area we are surrounded by a beautiful natural rubber tree plantation. I can speak 3 languages fluently so I take care of all my customers needs personally, in my motel you are not just a number. myself and my wife take care off all we have no employes we clean our rooms our self ,make the breakfast, this is a personal expression. if guest leave something behind nothing get lost ,my rooms are soundproof ,build with double walls so customers will not here  any noise from the other rooms  so customers get there rest what they need .my  room rates are very low for the quality and room space you get .we are here 24/ 7 for our customers any needs any time ,no problem .this is what customers like on my motel and all this is what it makes it different.
    all the best ebby .
    kevinresort/thailand 

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    Astelia Lodge

    The big things matter when they arrive, a warm welcome, showing the room (without explaining every little thing about it) and the fabulous view if you're lucky enough to have one, Briefly explaining your services and providing an opportunity to ask for things you may not have thought of. It's the little things that they remember when they leave though, a small inexpensive gift on the breakfast side plate, phoning ahead to confirm an onward booking, simply wishing them well when they leave. We write to guests too, both before their arrival and 7 days afterwards to thank them for choosing to stay with us and to provide them with an opportunity to feed back, either good or bad. It gives us time to facilitate their requirements, booking restaurants, shows, food preferences and so on. At our level guests are not extremely demanding but they do appreciate the gesture and it builds rapport before they even arrive. Anticipation is a key factor too. Our guests often compliment us in that we 'seem to have thought of everything', which is gratifying. Finally, work out what kind of people your guests are (usually takes 30 seconds on arrival!) and if they don't want to be sociable leave them in peace! 

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    Judge & Jury

    I agree with what others have posted... but attention to detail is a big one.  Plus the nicer things in life.  Guests love the coffee machine, range of teas, hot chocolate etc.  Fruit, milk and bread.  Logfire burning for them so the house is warm on arrival.  Super comfortable beds, lovely linen and thick towels as well as shampoo, conditioner and soap.  Always meeting my guests on arrival and being flexible with check in and check out times (as much as I possibly can of course!)

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    Tatianabruno

    The client is King! I cannot highlight enough the importance of treating them well. This starts from the very first contact we as hosts have with them as guests by email to their welcome upon arrival and then again upon departure. I always provide a basket of fruit with a personalised note for each guest and may even add fresh bread, biscuits, chocolates etc depending upon their arrival time. I ensure that I am personally present to meet them and answer any of the questions they may have regarding the property itself or their new surroundings. They need to feel "at home" and be comfortable enough to ask for help when needed. The personal touch is what makes the difference. 

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    amanda coxon

    I've read through a lot of the comments above and I feel there is one major thing that us as hosts should do.  Treat and provide for our guests exactly how you would like to be treated when travelling

    I would expect the following:

    A clean space, clean linen and everything must be in working order:  lights, fans, air cons etc

    A breakfast relevant to you and your business. 

    We run a bed and breakfast (22 years this year) and are located in the world heritage tropical rainforests of Far north Queensland and provide our guests with home made goodies created from produce from our property, honey from our bees, fresh fruit from the garden - mangos, passionfruit, bananas, papaya etc, eggs from our hens.  We make jams and preserves that they won't  get at home like mango, rosella and passionfruit.  We bake something fresh every day, provide a selection of cereals and make our own yoghurt as well.  Absolutely no portion control products except for butter and sugar for us - for weather and wildlife reasons we've had to use pc for these products.  Portion control screams chain motel.

    A host that has the time to help with recommending and organising things to do in the area. 

    As a host we are the locals, we have the knowledge which enables us to provide our guests with the best holiday possible.  We live in area of great natural beauty and world significance and want to share all it's wonders with our guests.

     

     

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    Chicandfreak Como

    I've traveled around the world before becoming a Host. Being able to think as a guest is the boost you need!

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    Khyberstern

    From The Wolds in Lincolnshire 

     

    I agree with all of the above .I treat my guests as I would like to be treated

    Nearly all my guests have an intresteing interesting history which I enjoy listening to.

    Anne Stern

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    Margaretcpalmer

    Situated at the edge of the Okavango Delta we realize that our guests have travelled long distances to get to this remote spot in Africa. So by offering a sense of place in décor, catering, reading material and conversational interaction everyone learns something new about each other.

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    Info

    Treat your guests like family. Be friendly, welcoming, and helpful. Keep a clean house and serve a delicious breakfast. No question is too trivial, no request impossible. Try your hardest, and your guests will notice and appreciate the effort.

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    Mopelola Lawal

    It's important to be welcoming to guests, ask them if they need anything, give information about your apartment, where to eat, transport links around, what's in the area. Linen must be clean, beds well made, apartment must be clean and make sure the space is free from clutter. Pay attention to what the guests need. Remember, they're paying for a service! provide it.

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    Lymetreehouse

    I believe that a good impression starts from before their stay. I send a personalised email a couple of days after the guest has booked confirming their dates and giving them details of our nearest pub, local taxi numbers and asking if they have any special dietary requirements. I will also book taxis for them especially if they are an overseas guest. We try to be as flexible as possible and often allow an early check-in for weddings (which can mean a very tight turn around!). We have good local knowledge and can also email a longer list of local pubs and restaurants as well as help guests when they are staying with suggested walks, days out etc . There is also a comprehensive welcome pack in each room full of leaflets and we will loan our guests maps etc. We also offer guests fresh milk in a flask each evening when they return as it is so much nicer than UHT milk! Finally, we treat each guest individually and chat to some at length and others who don't appear to want that we respect their privacy. A number of our guests return on a regular basis, one couple we have even been out for a meal with! The key is being flexible in all aspects of hospitality.

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    Marlene Robottom

    We find that guests really appreciate a warm welcome as soon as they walk through the door and the little extras that are provided.  It doesn't have to cost a lot - individual chocolates, home-made biscuits and bottled water in their room, plus good quality toiletries. A cup of tea/coffee when guests arrive is always appreciated as is the unexpected afternoon tea. Guests really want a clean room - eye to detail is so important.  And of course, the breakfast menu, quality of food and how it is presented will leave a lasting impression. We take the view that we want our guests to have the same quality of experience that we would expect if we were staying in a bed & breakfast. 

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    Maree Mcdonnell

    I generally just love meeting people and I want them to have the best experience possible when they stay with me.  I always keep in mind what I would want if I was them and ensure all of those things are meet.  I totally agree with a lot of the other comments such as being generous and kind.  Obviously the room has to be spot less, great amenities, lots of local knowledge on things to do, privacy when they want it but be available if needed.  It's a real pleasure to please people and exceed their expectations.

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    Marion

    Spotlessly clean is number 1.  Spring clean after every stay, behind couch, fridge, microwave.  Check kitchen drawers to ensure no food crumbs have fallen in.   No 1 Priority is cleaniness.

    Good Linen is No 2.  Top quality linen and towels.  The guests need to feel the bed sheets are fresh and crisp.  I wash all the guests linen and towels in 60 degrees. I use white linen and towels but provide a dark markup remover cloth.

    Presentation on arrival:  Small flowers/Lavendar on the towels. Warm Greeting

    If Shared space such as our property respect their privacy.  Check if they need anything,  welcome them back from a day out but don't over do it don't make them feel they are being watched.

    I always acknowledge the booking when received with a simple message that we are lookinng forward to welcoming them to the property.

     

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    Happyadventure18

    Be true and manifest humane touch. We provide small complimentaries and ensure we respond to query real time.

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