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    River Walk B&B, Tamar Valley, Tasmania, Australia

    We always remember that most people have saved up and looked forward to their holidays for a long time. Yes, do the basics well, communication, cleanliness and quality towels and bed linen. Add little touches that don’t cost the earth like a couple of wrapped toffee and mints & individual biscuit and rice cracker packets. Often guests have had a long day and just love having something to nibble on before getting ready to go out for dinner, or whilst resting before cooking for themselves. Most importantly ‘listen', find out what they are looking for from their holiday and help them achieve it. Whether it is letting them know about the local area, or if they want total privacy versus a good chat, finding that out can make all the difference to a guests experience.. and therefore review.

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    Jadranka & Irena

    We have two properties, one which we started renting out 3 years ago, and the other one only last year.

    We learned by doing it. So, the property we have been renting for 3 years will take a while to improve review score - we got to 9.6 this year.

    But the one we started renting this year is our shining star. Our first guests arrived while new bathroom was still having plumbing problems (shower leaking). We were sorting out numerous reno issues in between guests arriving.

    The worse part was that during peak season we had to stay in our other property  (1.5 h drive away). Peak season for us means same day changovers (and some guests are there for 2 weeks). I was afraid if this will work at all, trying to juggle cleaners, guests leaving and arriving - all at the same day on changeover days.

    But - less than a year later we have a perfect 10.There are number of apartments in the same place very similar to ours, so our place is in no way unique. 

    I know  what I like to see when I am travelling - cleanliness is always my first priority, second is privacy. I do not travel to spend time with my hosts, so why would I expect our guests to be different?

    We provide information when needed, are there straight away if there is a problem, but nothing more that that.

    It is very simple - good location, well equipped apartment, comfortable bed and most importantly, perfectly clean. Someone wrote about having second pair of eyes to look over, so true,

    Well equipped modern kitchen is essential. Everything else can  be eclecting, but not kitchen. The fact people are booking with us means they want more homely feel and to be able to cook, otherwise they might stay in a hotel.


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    Is nobody tired of their constant unnecessary e-mails asking us for advise, assistance, etc., we pay them to do their job not for us to do their job..... for the past year and half we have been talking about booking.com collecting payment for us, the hosts, they said to be working on it, so far, 1.5 year later still at the same point, but the lodge or their marketing team appear to have a lot of free time on their hands, when that happens they send us e-mails asking our advise on this or that, just BS.... it's like the US politics, when some politicians does something very bad and everybody is talking about it, and trouble may be on their way, all of a sudden the media start with BREAKING news on a completely different issue to divert peoples attention..... at the end nothing gets done, here the same, keep asking questions and peoples advise that way they would not worry about not having any reservations or having NO SHOW

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    Give guests what you expect and even go that little bit more. Common Sense goes a long way.

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    Be available for your guests from the first contact. Be nice, helpful, welcoming. Behave like you'd like hosts would treat you as  a guest. Make sure your guests can relax, enjoy and not have to worry about anything. They need to feel they're welcome, they need to feel almost like friends visiting and not just guest who're paying for their stay. Pay attention to what your guests are interested in, LISTEN, don't assume. Guests are different and therefore have different things they need and like.

    Make sure you provide small additional things your guest might need (eg like toiletries, coffee, tea, sugar etc), provide extra towel, beach towel if applicable. Show that you made extra effort when decorating your apartment, guest will recognize it. All of that counts.

    I've read in one of the comments, money isn't everything and I cannot agree more. You need to love what you're doing and your guests will feel it.

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    Actually there is no real secret! Just be there, always for every guest. Treat everyone equal and as a member of your family. I believe this is what works in our properties.

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    There is no secret for guest reviews. What I suggest is try and make guests as they are friends of you and help them enjoy their vacation and their time spent in the villa, so they will remember their vacations at your villa as one of the best they have visited.

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    Making guests feel welcomed seems to be the most important thing. Our cottage is very clean and comfortable (a most excellent bed) and we provide good continental breakfast provisions (fresh milk, a choice of cereals and coffee/tea options, bread, home-made jams, fresh fruit and butter), they have privacy and the peaceful garden provides a great outlook and all these things are generally really appreciated, but the thing that people most comment on is that they felt welcomed. We always try to be there to meet and greet and to point guests in the right direction for great eating places and activity option and just to have a chat if they wish. We love to hear that people have had a great time in our little village and that they would love to come back : )

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    Michael Sciberras060

    As having this wonderful sea front apartment , this was a boost to our strong bookings. The place is well positioned in a prime tourist area close to all night life and tourist activities. Upon arrival every new guest would simply aim to go out in the terrace to see that spectacular  sea view with the historic salt pans just right in front of them.

    So good apartment , good location , good view. Also important to meet them properly not just give them the keys and that's it.   I give them basic information like the nearest mini market , restaurant , bus services , time of traffic jams and anything that they will question. I leave many brochures of historical places, ferry trips , Gozo (our sister island)  and other tourist adverts.

    Most important is to give them a very clean place. Remember they have paid for this and it is their right. As  standard we supply them with coffee,tea , sugar ,milk, bottled water, bread,butter, cheese and ham. Some people find travelling very tiring and  arriving at the apartment especially late at night  like to find these essentials .

    We always offer our help and knowledge of the area. Ask them if they need anything else and make sure that they are comfortable.  We do our best to help them out with what ever they need . 

    It is very important to us as Hosts to make sure that they leave happy and satisfied.

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    Utmost respect to our guests is paramount . Being friendly but not familiar . Going out of your way to be of help . Always have some snacks on arrival,snack ,  fruit , cereal etc arrival Making sure they have some info to the neighborhood

    I make sure i treat my guests as i'd like to be treated 


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    Hello fellow hospitali-tiers

    Great to read the thoughts from you all, and from all over the world, there are definitely some themes that create a great guest experience.  We have a 3.5 star motel, and deluxe apartments on the same site. The motel scored a fab 9 this year and the apartments were 10- so I guess we can't ask for more that! A few things resonate for me as tested and true for creating an exceptional customer service experience:

    1. Under promise and over deliver - our motel delivers at a 4 star level, but we are rated 3.5 star which suits me fine

    2. Treat the customer as you would like to be treated- genuine warmth and professional hospitality

    3. The little unexpected things always create a lasting impression- lollies on departure, home made jams, torch in the room etc

    4. Cleanliness- is definitely next to godliness when it come to our industry

    5. Consistency- very important that no matter when your guests return they can expect the same and maybe even better.

    6. Create a property with personality- Create a point of difference, but don't personalise too much- just because you love Egyptian furnishings, doesn't mean all your guest will (unless you're in Egypt)

    7. Innovate or perish- always be on the look out for the next trends in hospitality and work out how your product can continue to move with the times- avoid a death by doily experience suffered by many older style BnB that have never evolved and perished.

    People will forgive a lot, if you provide genuine, friendly service- my motel is not perfect it's a 60s style motel, so there are always things that need doing, but on the whole, people don't care because of the service we offer and the cleanliness of the rooms, and the little extra we think of.  You are never going to please everyone- so try not to take to heart the odd bad review- people are weird and wonderful and well, lets face it, that's why we are in the industry!

    Those are my pearls of wisdom for today! 



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    We give our guests more than they expect, we give them 110% service. Although our apartment is 3-star category, we provide 5-star service. Every new guest is welcomed by personal greeting,  welcome drink and something sweat and watermelon in summer time. We always tend to make check-in in person, to show them that our place is now their place. We always use high quality cosmetic products in full size containers, every room has mobile phone charger for various devices, our kitchen is fully equipped and we provide lot of toys for our smallest visitors. Also, for us guest experience starts with the first message confirming the reservation- we never use message template, always try to be helpful, cheerful and smile a lot.

    DeLux Apartments Zagreb



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    Floodc Flood

    We do not have customers we have friends and the best bit is , that, before our friends leave they pay us for staying with us.

    Ask yourself 'if I was a guest at a B&B what would I like? A warm welcome, tea and homemade cake on arrival, fresh flowers , fresh fruit and Belgian chocolates fresh milk in my room, nothing shabby, everything spotless etc. It is not rocket science.

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    Blagoje Supic

    I have something like a small school blackboard. Prior guest arrival I write something as "welcome to my city" on guest language (google translate works just fine). I also draw the symbol of the city or the country where they come from. For example, if guests arrive from Paris I draw the Eiffel Tower, if guests are from New Zealand kiwi bird draw:). My guests are really surprised and impressed with the attention. Try it and see. Guests will leave you a better review!

    Some of my other tips for great guest reviews.


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    Wait for your guests with a smile, treat them with respect even though sometimes not everything is as written in the policy. The apartment should be sparkly clean, as you would like it to be if you were a guest. So always put yourself in a position on the other side, what would you like, how do you like to be treated, and on top of it do some individual specialties that will make their stay even better.

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    We are always ready and available to give tips and hints about places to visit , where to eat and activities to do. We put the personal contact in first place as well as the cleaning and to fullfil every need of our guests. 

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    Gillian Davenport-Lang

    Our accommodation is a little surprise to our guests when the arrive they have everything that they need, home made cookies and fresh milk, fruit from our orchard when in season. A book on things to see and do we point them in the right direction for all the special spots.

    Cleanliness has always been one of our top priority, good quality towels and linen are a must, fluffy dressing gowns for relaxing after they get out of their own private spa bath in winter to sit in front of the fire in their room.

    Guests only meet another couple at breakfast or if they book dinner in our private dining room where we provide a complimentary bottle of local wine and they have al a carte dining. We do ask guests in advance what they would like for dinner so we can source the freshest produce as we are a far drive to the supermarkets. We do also ask guests their choice for breakfast as we have an extensive menu, with home mad preserves, jams etc and the choice of 3 mains.

    We have been doing B/B for the last 28 years and still not tiring. When we get a review that is not up to our standard it is as one guest said that they cannot handle the luxury that we offer.

    Gillian Innkeepers House

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    Daan Henning


    "Making guests feel welcomed seems to be the most important thing. Our cottage is very clean and comfortable (a most excellent bed) and we provide good continental breakfast provisions (fresh milk, a choice of cereals and coffee/tea options, bread, home-made jams, fresh fruit and butter), they have privacy and the peaceful garden provides a great outlook and all these things are generally really appreciated, but the thing that people most comment on is that they felt welcomed. We always try to be there to meet and greet and to point guests in the right direction for great eating places and activity option and just to have a chat if they wish. We love to hear that people have had a great time in our little village and that they would love to come back : )"

    Well said.....and I agree totally with all the posts.

    However, I do believe some guests not always completely honest with their reviews. I have had low score guest reviews, yet the same guest return a few times. Asking the guest why such a low review score the reply was: "I was not in a good mood that day..." 

    So be it, I know my place is not perfect, we only started out 2 years ago and building on it.

    My believe in a good guest review is all basics like clean rooms, comfy and clean linen, quality breakfast is not negotiable. What I have found to be the most important factor of a happy guest is the way a guest is received and welcomed upon arrival. be honest friendly and genuine. Remember, most of the time guests have traveled a long way, are tired, sometimes grumpy and irritated, but a warm welcome and good hospitality all change that quickly. First impressions last. Make the effort to meet guests as they drive in your property. Offer to help with luggage, be friendly and above all read the mood of your guests. Offer a welcoming cup of coffee or tea.(In our South African hot climate many guests prefer an ice-cold beer) Explain all amenities to guests and make them fell welcome and comfortable.

    We still have a lot to learn and we wont ever give up in trying to improve. For me the most important factor is to be friendly and helpful.

    A lovely evening to you all



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    Under promise , over deliver


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    Mrs Suzy McPhail

    I believe that guests should feel the warmth of a welcome from the moment they step foot on your property.We are always there to greet them into our home.I like to show them all the areas they are welcome to be in and as yet have never had to inform them of restricted areas as they have all been so respectful.Making them feel at home straight away in a relaxed and friendly way and letting them decide when they want privacy and when they would like to be interactive with us is so important.Make every group feel like they are special.There is always fresh baking for them and plenty of seated areas for them to relax in.Be flexible and thoughtful of their individual requirements at all times.Talk about their journey and provide them with your ideas of the best places to visit.Be a good listener so you can foresee what some of their requirements may be.Before they leave I often print off favourite destinations and how to get there.We also provide bottled water for them to take on the trip.If you love having people in your environment and sharing experiences with others from all around the world it enriches us all and helps make the world a better place.

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    Phill A

    There's so much you can do to create a great guest experience.

    First and foremost is the way in which you brought guests to your establishment, usually a website or via social media. Don't overrate your property or provide photographs that make your establishment look much better than what it is. Take good photos and display your property in the best light possible but don't exaggerate. This way, guests are not disappointed from the get go. 

    Before guests arrive, send them some information. Our property is hidden amongst hills and valleys and can be difficult to find. 2 days prior to travel, our management system automatically sends directions and a few interesting stops along the way. By the time they arrive they feel welcome and important. 

    If possible, provide guests with a walk through, not just a room key. We take our guests to their room and along the way, advise them of places they might want to see, restaurants / cafes or just a nice drive. Point out where to find hotel facilities then mention if they need anything at all, they can call or visit reception - whatever creates a welcoming guest experience, find it.

    During their stay, be interactive where possible, but don't sit and chat or be overly friendly for too long. We find some people just like to chill-out. 

    Of course, nothing is going to work unless your rooms are cleaned to a very high standard. You can be certain that if there's 1 hair strand on the bathroom sink, incoming guests will find it irrespective of how clean the rest of the room is. This can make a difference between a 7/10 and a 10/10 guest experience. Strive for 10/10 in whatever review category can.  

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    Philip Gallon

    Cleanliness, cleanliness and cleanliness.........Well equipped but not cluttered. A degree of flexibility and availability to respond to queries or issues.


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    Most of our reviews relate to Yellow Wood being a home away from home. The telephone number of every guest that checks in at Yellow Wood is stored, when they call again, it is a personalized greeting.

    Upon booking, we send them a location marker, advise them of weather conditions and aske if this visit is linked to a special occasion like an anniversary. We then add some flowers to mark this special event. Upon arrival they will find a good bottle of wine and chocolates, wood in the fireplace and firelighters.

    If this is a home away from home, our guests are treated like family. We love our dogs, as our guests drive up the winding path path to our home, there are signs that ask them to drive slowly because Jack Russel Children live here. Pet lovers just love this and their pets are welcome.


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    Provide excellent service from the start.. You must be friendly, courteous, eager to help make your guests very welcome and comfortable. Listen to their needs. Be sure your staff does the same.  We offer complimentary coffee/tea, store bought cookies, ect. We cannot bake or cook here, our kitchen is private and not of commercial use. I actually am not sure if I could bake cookies or goodies and just give them for the holidays or special occasions like a guests anniversary or birthday because our kitchen is not equipped for license. Very clean 

    Cleanliness is the utmost importance. Beds to be made like hospital/Military corners with clean linens, blankets, ect. Clean towels daily. Clean the sink, in our case its a vanity with sink. Clean the shower/tub so it shines from wall to floors of the shower/tub.. should take a just a few minutes. Check under the beds, dresser draws... No guest wants to find anything under the beds or in dresser draws. Check and clean refrigerator and Microwave.  NO HAIR on anything !!!! Dust everything. Be sure to check for spider/dust webs daily. The rooms must be spotless ! 

    What I do here, after our housekeeper is done with the room(s) I go in behind them (its a good way to be sure nothing was overlooked) sometimes something may have been forgotten so its a good thing so you know everything is to your standards before your guests arrive. This way, if a guest says something is dirty or found something you know yourself that's not possible. 

    Keep your prices inline with high and low seasons & holidays. 

    Just remember your guests come first, if it wasn't for them you wouldn't be in business. Do everything you can to make your guests as happy as possible, yes I know you cannot please everyone although you try very hard. 

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    michael beeston

    K2U..great answer response, I have been reading all the comments in detail and one word !!!..WOW...the amount of people in the Forum that genuinely care for the guests is amazing...Cleanliness/respect/communication.All of them make for a great review and if not its a standard we all try to achieve.........I was very very impressed with all the comments.Fabulous.....Michael.


    and learnt a lot as well..I only wish I could cook as well as a lot of you do (haha) Fresh home cooked bread...wonderful. Thank you all for the ideas and thoughts, very interesting.

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    Thank you Michael and yes I think we all learn a lot. Ah the smell of fresh home baked bread, theres nothing like it !! 

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