Success in hospitality doesn’t come easy – it’s brewed with a lot of passion, commitment and hard work. Booking.com likes to celebrate this drive and dedication with its annual Guest Review Awards, given to properties with a score of 8 and above. To support with boosting your review score by the end of 2018 and bag an award, Click. has crowdsourced 25 of the best tips posted in Booking.com’s Partner Forum by top-scoring properties.
From homemade cookies to offering a free shuttle bus service for guests, there are many ways to create unforgettable guest experiences. With tried and tested advice straight from our highest-scoring partners - Guest Review Award 2017 winners - we share how you can achieve success across five key areas...
Setting guest expectations
- "[It is crucial to understand] the level of service you are willing to provide and clearly advertise what you are to attract the right customers." - Krissie's
- Under promise and over deliver. If you can offer great value for money, you are more likely to get repeat bookings by exceeding guests’ expectations.
- Be human. Being kind, caring and warm goes a long way.
- Always ensure your prices are in line with exactly what you are offering.
- Don’t forget the simple things, such as first impressions. From the look of the property to the smell of freshly brewed coffee or homemade bread - ensure guests don’t forget their first experience with you.
Food and drinks
- “It’s important to use good quality breakfast ingredients and cook them well. Breakfast is the last meal that guests will have with you, so it should be delicious, well-cooked and plentiful. This leaves a lasting impression.” - Homestay2000
- Be unique and find your niche. Do what your competitors are not doing. Whether it’s homemade cookies or leaving fresh coffee out for them, add nice little touches.
- Think about using local food so guests have an authentic experience. You should also be ready to think about dietary requirements such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options.
- Quality food will always be noticed, so always make an effort to provide the best you can.
- Give your guests sufficient portions so they feel they are getting value for money and are not left hungry.
Quality food will always be noticed, so always make an effort to provide the best you can
Delivering great service
- “Be kind, always, and show a genuine interest in your guest. Remember all the essentials you like to have in your room when you travel, and make sure these items are available to your guests too! Put your guests at the centre of all of your decisions!” - Newlands Lodge
- Depending on your location, think of practical things that will make your guests’ lives easier. If they like walking, offer a short shuttle service so they can easily get from A to B. Go that extra mile.
- Before anything else, make sure you have the basics of a great service pinned down first.
- Be respectful and show appreciation that they have chosen you above everyone else.
- Treat your guests as if you would your own family.
Comfort and cleanliness
- “Give 110%. There are some things that will always be subjective, such as location or comfort, for instance. But the rest – staff, cleanliness and so on – this should be something you excel at." - Secret Pyrenees
- Ensure your property is well maintained and everything works as it should. If something goes wrong you should be available to resolve it swiftly.
- Rooms should always be spotless and comfortable, with no clutter.
- There are never any excuses for not over-delivering in areas like cleanliness and quality of furnishings - never cut corners.
- Always make sure your cleaners do a great job. Ensure you have another pair of eyes look over things for you.
Hiring in hospitality
- “Hire the right people for the function. Never fill a position with just a warm body, regardless of how strapped you are for staff – you'll ultimately regret it.” - Cathy
- Nothing should ever be too much trouble, staff should always strive to go above and beyond.
- Ensure that you pay close attention to what your staff are doing and ensure that they pay attention to detail. If this isn't covered, guests will notice.
- Staff should always be on hand to offer local knowledge of things to do and places to eat.
- Check-in is crucial. A great welcome at reception may seem like a small thing, but it means a lot to guests.
Check out the Booking.com Partner Forum and share your knowledge.
What are the Guest Review Awards?
Every January, Booking.com celebrates the commitment and hard work of properties with a review score average of 8 and above, based on three or more online reviews on Booking.com.
When are the awards given out?
Booking.com assesses which properties are eligible for an award in November. Winners are then informed in early January.