Just joined recently this year and today I knew about this forum, so, in first place, I would like to thanks to all contributors for your precious advice's, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!
And second I would like to contribute myself with a post that I hope it might be useful for the forum users.
I love to travel, so far I traveled to 11 countries in 4 continents and lived in 3 countries.
Since 2012 I work in South India as a Host, and on the alternative healing and esoteric area. I helped to launch Shiva Garden Homestay for 7 years and in January 2018 I started my own project in Shakti Homestay Varkala.
All the travels I made after 2012, as a tourist, it made me put myself on the travelers place when I am back to work on the guest house.
I make myself this questions:
How do travelers feel wen they arrive after a long journey?
What kind of welcoming would they like to receive on arrival?
What amenities they would like to have on their room?
You know, some details and little amenities cost really almost nothing and for the guest mean the world after a long tiring travel!
So, I leave here a list of the amenities I include on the room and how I welcome my guests. And remember, they are not just "guests" they are human beings who like to be treated in a more human personal way.
I give a warm welcome I accommodate them in their room, and propose a natural fruit juice or a hot drink.
AMENITIES ON THE ROOM
Candle and maches, because here in India the electricity goes off sometimes.
Incense because India is quite a spiritual area and many travelers are familiar with yoga, meditation, energy and so the incense helps to clear the energy of the space.
A GLASS bottle of mineral water with 2 glasses. yes, glass is other class :-) And ecologic.
A small basket with fruits and local sweets. really! this is so cheap, some bananas and local sweets, but is such a nice detail for hungry guests.
A electric water heater and tea bags. Normally guest houses don't offer this, however, when I traveled to Bangkok and I stayed in a luxury hotel, I found that so nice and why not to offer this detail? Does not take much investment from you and the guests can make their own tea or coffee, specially if their are early birds (like me) and at the time they wake up is everything closed.
In our place the two rooms have a shared kitchen in between and I provide all the essential equipment's to cook, as well as I leave what ingredients or other items that can be stored that other guests left for future guests to use, like spices, sun-cream, books, etc. When I traveled to Bali last year, I stayed in a place in Ubud that provide two kitchens for guests even though they have restaurant. On the kitchen they would have coffee, tea, all the essential things. As I travel with my two little daughters, this mean the world to me! And in this forum, who is a parent and travel with the kids, knows what I am talking about. If I came back I would stay there because, they were so generous even they are far from the center.
Bed sheets, pillow covers (of course), towels, soap, toilet paper, bin for trash, bucket for washing their clothes, electric insect repellent, I mean this is just essential! I have been in places where did not offer these little amenities and believe me, was not so nice, I had to go and ask and it seems like I was asking a big favor or they simply did not had.
It's really nice if you can provide these items, independently if you are running a budget time of accommodation or a big hotel. There are basic needs almost most travelers will be really happy to have and you know what? They come back to stay in your place again and they will definitely recommend, if you were a good host.
Also having a welcoming card on the room table with the hosts phone number and WI-fi password is helpful. In our days almost no one lives without wi-fi and Free Wi-Fi is a Must To Have!
If you have a garden, if possible provide some hammocks and/or hanging chairs for the guest to relax, as well as a library and /or books for exchange available to them. They really enjoy.
You can also provide some garden games if you have a big garden, like badminton, basket...This is also a big success.
GAMES AND INTERACTION BETWEEN GUESTS
If you have many rooms, it's a good idea to provide some table games and to have a restaurant, or bar / or chill out place with big common tables so guests can talk with each other, meet and exchange experiences. This can really be the Hot Spot! I guarantee you success in this spot. Here you can also place the books.
You can place nice landscapes and animals images and add to them inspiring quotes.
In the end, your place is a reflection of you, in some way, follow your intuition, use your imagination.
Thank you for reading, I hope this post was useful for you and I wish you all the best!