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Consistently good reviews

We have been open seven and a half years and maintain a very high rating, especially for our industry.

We do everything we can do to stand out, be exceptional, delight and surprise. This includes making and serving to all our guests free, unlimited home made pancakes every morning from 6.30 - 9.30am. Having made around 140,000 of these in the five and a half years, as you'd expect we're getting quite good at it  :)


This makes people's experience at our place memorable, and is something that gets talked about all the time. So, if there's a choice of where to go, free unlimited pancakes, and the fact they are home made, will usually swing the booking our way.
 
We looked at our space, inside and out, and thought about what would get us talked about while at the same time get used and appreciated. So, we took a section of our car park, grassed and fenced it in and build a small sided soccer pitch and volleyball court. Unique, different, memorable.

In our downstairs area we built a beautiful timber stage, lit it, added acoustic guitars, percussion instruments and a piano, and the space is free to use for all our guests. This creates a wonderful atmosphere in which people share, chat, play together, create, and has the added bonus of being next to our communal kitchen. Food, music, people.
Guests make friends, have great experiences, stay longer.

We created beautiful gardens, grassed areas, water features and maintain them. First impression is like walking into an oasis in the middle of town. People are not expecting it.

Free, unlimited, fast and reliable WiFi. Anyone who pays for WiFi in 2017 in accommodation knows they are being ripped off and it is just a money spinner.

Local maps are provided and time taken to mark these out for guests. We show them all the national parks, pints of interest, beauty spots, recommended restaurants etc. Our reception is open from 5.30am - 10pm and we have a night manager on duty. Guests feel safe, listened to and nothing is too much trouble.

Anyone looking to achieve high ratings, and it is something everyone should strive for because it simply creates more business and revenue, should find a 'hook' for their accommodation, something unique, unexpected, unusual and/or delightful.

Free ice cream with every check in in summer perhaps. A bar of chocolate maybe? Good hotels add bottles of wine as an incentive. Whatever it is, be creative and don't skimp.

We also look back at our own experiences in hotels, guest houses, backpackers, caravan parks and see what stands out as a memory from each one, if there is anything the accommodation did or didn't do that we can adapt.

Being naturally friendly, interested and interactive with all guests is a must, and recognising when someone just wants to be alone :)

Ensure the place is spotless and well maintained, and even with the smallest business bring other 'eyes' into the building to check the place over. It is so easy to miss even the most obvious things.

Surprise, delight, do the unexpected. Play with the business and the rest will come.

7 Replies

1
Pam Hallifax

Well that's a pretty damn good little gig you guys have going. Where are you? I have Faulty Towers - look for me only on the booking.com site

1 year ago
2
Robert Daniel

Hi Pam, we are in Albany, Western Australia. Beautiful part of the world :)

I'm going to search for you now!

1 year ago
1
Pam Hallifax

Oh yes indeed. I have thought about your pancakes. I used to make the most amazing rocky road for all our guests. For breakfast we had a home made whipped yogurt. I dont quite know when they dropped off the menu, lol.

1 year ago
1
Deb Fribbins

I love Bookings.com and have met the most amazing people from all sorts of places travelling for all sorts of reasons. Consistency is my biggest headache We basically do the same thing all the time. My reviews average is 8.6 I have several 10/10, which I do not think we are, but I then get a 2 which I find very disheartening.

I respond as quickly as I can when the notice comes in, with a personal message.

I ensure I meet everyone and talk to them about their stay Make sure they know where to go.

I have done taxiing for some of them where transport has been an issue especially if I get older clients.

Their breakfast is self-serve in the Kitchenette but they are given a choice of ingredient so they are all there for them on arrival.

The amenities are all listed on the web and there is always a little extra as a pleasant surprise on arrival

Free Wifi

Free videos over 400 titles.

I get very frustrated when they put a ranking of 2 and no comment I ring and or email and ask them what was wrong so I can fix it for others and get no response. If you don't know what their concern is you cannot fix it for future clients.

1 year ago
1
Pam Hallifax

I know exactly what you mean Deb. Dont be at all surprised if your 2 is in fact a competitor guest. I have had the odd 1 or 2 but only after a known issue with a guest. If yo8u suspect a bad review, let booking.com know immediately what the issue is with the guest and they may suggest you note them as a no show. Even if they have paid. This has worked for me but not always. Some guests are malicious and will persist until booking.com recognise their reservation and allow them to put up feedback.

I hear in your words, a certain overdoing, with you going over and above for your guests. You should not be their doormat. Warm and generous and assertive. My tip.
I have had the B&B for 11 years now and have been a travel agent and an English teacher for migrants. Alas, most of my guests are from Melbourne.
Open invitation: If you are over here at all, please let me know and you can come and stay with us for free. I love the barter system and will find a way to give and take with most people if I can.
1 year ago
1
Gwen Cunningham

I have been operating my small business in the country for nearly 5 years and have had a rating of 9.8 for the last two years running.

I try to be as welcoming as possible, with home-cooked small loaf of bread (perfect for one night) baked as close to guest's arrival time as possible. I have home made cookies and jam along with bacon, butter, our own chicken eggs, fresh milk, coffee and teas and cereals.

I always try to meet and welcome the guests soon after they arrive, always shake their hand (touch - so important!) and smile, assuring them I live further away on the property and am available to call on for any reason. (I have found that the less positive reviews have come from guests I could not meet due to their late arrival.)

For me, the important thing (apart from super cleanliness and the obvious things they expect like internet) is to be generous. For 2 people, I give 3 towels for a one night stay, 4 towels for a 2-night stay. Be generous in attitude towards them, showing them nothing is too much trouble. I've had a comment by a guest that I said 'there's plenty of wood for the fireplace'. That made them feel welcome and at home.

I also have nice things to use in the deep bath, and candles in the bathroom to give them a feeling of relaxation. Anything to make them feel their experience is special. You would be surprised how many comments I get about the bathroom!

People notice all the little things. They are willing to pay extra if they feel pampered. I charge far above my competitors, but people keep coming back. They stay for one night then return for 3 or 4 or 7 nights.

I'm always looking for improvements, and new ideas to treat my guests!

1 year ago