Question of the Week: What makes you proud?

The first time you got a review that scored a 10… seeing the family that return each year because they wouldn’t want to go on holiday anywhere else… finding a thank you note from a guest after they’ve left – working in hospitality gives us so many moments that fill us with pride.

But what’s your stand-out proudest moment?

Tell us yours in the comments below and see if you share the same moment with anyone else!

Aaltje B.


My guest that left lately travels the whole world on a frequent base.

She left a note saying our unit was one of the best places she's visited, because of the views, (location) the interior, and the special cake I made. (diet).

It's the total package that made her enjoy it. And I'm pretty stoked!

I absolutely love what I am doing, love my guests - they are not another number - and love to cater to all their individual wishes. (diets - allergy free environment - walking on the farm undisturbed 160 HA farm with native birds and bush next door!) quiet: no busy traffic apart from a tractor now and then - clear sky with millions of stars to watch at night- high-quality beds handmade in NZ, and most organic linen sheets or organic cotton, lately added hand woven bedspread from pure organic linen. It all adds. My guests deserve the best stay. We invested in it big time but definitely get the rewards.

The fact that I only have one unit with space for two suits me and allows me to put the dots on the i and still have time for my hobbies like sewing, photography, gardening, cooking and music. (flutist by trade)

It's a privilege to live in the Catlins that is only recently on the map, and now being discovered by thousands of curious tourists from all over the world. We are close to Nugget Point and great walks throughout the area.

Now the world comes to us, which is amazing.

My prices are not high at all. I was one of the first to start, and now see many others following us with huge competition all around us. But nothing beats quality and people choose us for it. Our rating is 9.6 at the moment.

So book for next summer and your stay is a guaranteed success. And IF the weather plays up, we have wood galore to make that fireplace in the unit roar for you and keep you toasty warm.


Aaltje B.

Jemima Baha

When guests appreciate the beauty of Palais Amani I am proud, when they leave saying they have had a chance to unwind I am proud too, but when guests leave and on parting say how overwhelmed they have been at the happiness of the team I am the proudest of all. We pride ourselves in ensuring our team has a serene and secure working environment, without our team our business can function. All of us spend more time at work than at home so to make the working environment a positive one is one of our main objectives as business owners. When guests recognise this I am proud of what we are doing here in our little corner of paradise!

Aaltje B.

Hi Jemima,

That sounds so wonderful. It looks like you and your team have a great trust and pleasure in working together. Long may you continue to keep up this great work!

Wished I could look around the corner, making me curious to see what it is like.

I hope you get lots of great guests.



Aaltje B.

New Zealand

Benita Cyster

Proud moments are yes Ilaria

  • rebuilding our home i grew up in , into our bed and breakfast as is today
  • getting stunning reviews for sure
  • seeing a guest leave much happier then when they entered your place,
  • exceeding an uptight guests expectation ( you know the guests that were born unhappy and expect others to create their happiness he he he )
  • after cooking the perfect meal for guests -
  • receiving an award - we are affiliated with Tsogo Sun as part of assisting small black businesses in South Africa and in 2016 came 6th out of 131 small accommodations in South Africa winning a 3 minute video that showcased on their inhouse marketing channel in all bedrooms in all their 90 hotels for 60 days worldwide - that was an amazing feeling- the video is on you tube under Lumley's Place
  • food demonstrations for guests - their smiles are priceless
  • Guests experience tranquil surrounds and super friendly people in our village of Pniel, a historically mission station and freed slaves village

this is but a few - we do experience many proud moments

a lovely question. thanks

Benita Cyster

I can only imagine your broad smile, from one ear to the other Aaltje when your guest regarded your unit as the best ever.... well deserved and rightfully be stoked do enjoy that .Your full package is thus working wonders for you. Do you mind sharing the bake you made for her, Not the recipe , as it seems you also take fantastic pictures live in a stunning part of the world and also assist with tips and tricks. wow your description of your land and the surrounds sounds relaxed, tranquil and special. yes it seams you serves perfection on a plate , haven't thought of organic linen as such - good one to ponder about - thank you God bless

Aaltje B.

Hi hi Benita !

Thank you for your reply.

Yes, love to sleep in between linen sheets. In colder climates, it warms you up and in warmer climates, it cools you down (by absorbing sweat) It is a very natural material. At the moment it is very hip here in NZ. But also expensive. And not everything is a good quality, since stonewashed too intensely. So careful with buying.

I will have a peek where exactly I order from. But it is from Etsy - online. I used to buy ready-made earlier, but now homemade is so much cheaper. The person I buy from sends out samples. There is a huge variety- thicknesses/colours to choose from.

Very thin sheets are nice for those that have hot climates all the time, but I usually go for medium thickness.

And it still dries quickly. Which is a big bonus especially when it rains. When hanging out it dries nicely and no ironing needed.

And then the cake: dairy-free egg-free gluten-free almost grain free. Just little of rice gluten-free flour with ground almond, ground pumpkin-seeds and ground sunflower -seeds. And coconut oil instead of butter.

honey / dates make it sweet. Almond milk instead of normal milk. And organic chocolate (ground cocao nibs )

I make a plate full , keep something for myself ( freezer) and for my son and his family living in the next village.

It tastes yummy and you would be forgiven thinking it is from a luxury bakery.

Ok, finished with boasting, haha.

By the way, I had a look at your lodge, at Pniel. (you tube)

I really didn't know there was another Pniel ! It looks very inviting and everything is well presented.

If I lived closer by, I would come and have a peek! But will tell my friends in NZ who are South Africans.

And you are openly sharing the Word which is amazing. (Do it when you can :)

I love Him too Ain't He Wonderful !

I also have a bible in the bedroom and I can see people read it. Holiday is the time for reflection, standing still, searching.

Nature helps with finding peace too.

Created for that purpose.

Wishing you and your team a wonderful and safe season, with great guests.

Many blessings,

Aaltje B.


Pride flows down me when a guest requests to know about the activities sorrounding our hotel before a complete show up.

Brendan Kerchoff

well said, and I have just the same.

Guests from overseas only books with me each time they fly down. In fact they also let me arrange all the destinations while they are here.

And having this honor, leaves me feeling extremely privileged

M Adamopoulou

Problematic guests are very few but when they depart with a big smile thanking for the hospitality and for making their vacation unforgettable makes me feel very proud....

Loving is sharing....

Benita Cyster

Thanks Aaltje for the view of our humble first generation tourism business. yes I love sharing the Word - God has created a beautiful world for all of us. I am very interested now - where is the other Pniel - kindly share please -

Benita Cyster

Yeah Maria I agree with you some guests are just plain difficult - but we love them to bits, kill them with service excellence , let them offload onto our shoulders while we serve them to oversleeping for breakfast - and still serve them and they depart with a smile almost overlapping their heads, - well some you cannot please at all - Karma takes care of them.

Benita Cyster

Brendan what an honor that a guest allow you to guide them like that - wonderful idea to pass onto a guest even before they arrive - food for thought.

Kibokoafrica that is just splendid that they trust you to be well informed about your surroundings and that is really key that we are on top of whatever is happening around us.

M Adamopoulou

It’s our duty to have excellent service. Guests are on holidays and must have best experiences if we want them or their friends to come back.


When guests leave a 10 review, not only based on the stunning house, views, peace and quiet in the African bush on a 500-hectare game farm, but on the friendliness of my hubby and myself - then I'm 100% proud. 90% of our guests are easy to please, but when the sad 10% are rested and spoiled, that really makes me happy.


We are all about cleanliness, so to get 10 out of 10 each time, we are very happy with that as we are very OCD, so if we don’t get a 10 for that then we know they are not very nice people and will gripe at anything lol

Mashi Niwarthana

Actually it is the best best thing giving a good service and we are the members who represnting our countries.

M Adamopoulou

Mashi well said!!!
In a way we do represent our countries. Serving and pleasing our guests is part of hosting.