Stay informed with the latest travel insights, analysis and expertise.
The latest Booking.com developments relevant to your business, while showcasing the great work you do.
Connect online with fellow Booking.com partners for the best tips and advice.
Whatever you business goals may be, our solutions can help you succeed on Booking.com
Find out how to get set up, and read about our services and features.
Wise Words | What's your secret to incredible guest reviews?
Being friendly and welcoming. All our guests that arrive in the afternoon are offered tea and home made cake, and we sit and talk to them about their stay, where they want to go etc. If necessary book a local pub for dinner for them, but certainly make recommendations.
Eggs are from our hens. I bake my own bread and make all the jams and marmalade. Sausages and bacon are from local farms, people really like to know where their food comes from. A good breakfast makes a good impression. Be ready to adapt to vegetarian, vegan and gluten free requirements.
In the rooms we provide bath sheet size towels as well as hand towels and face flannels. All toiletries provided are organic in large containers, and guests use what they need and leave the rest.
Our rooms are kitted out with smart TVs, WI-FI and USB charging points. All our bathrooms are fitted with modern remote controlled wireless power showers.
We try to give our guests everything they need, and provide toothbrushes and toothpaste and other essentials that they may have left behind.
Ultimately be yourselves, be genuine. People can tell if you're not. We find we get on well with 98% of the people that visit. However, you cannot please 100% of the people 100% of the time, but if you treat people well, how you would like to be treated yourselves, you can't go far wrong.
Lastly enjoy meeting other people. Everybody has something interesting to say, you just need to ask the right questions.
It is very simple. Be yourself, welcome the guests with open arms and show them how very pleased you are to have them stay in your guesthouse or apartment. Show them around a little bit before accompanying them to their room to break the ice and make them feel at home. Give them some tips about buses, your recommended restaurant, sites to visit, etc. Above all let them know that you are at their service at all times and that they can contact you on your mobile if they need help with anything.
We have a small boutique family business and strive to do the best and be the best at what we do. It is simple; we strongly believe in treating our guests exactly how we expect to be treated.Respect is paramount!
Loving what you do is a must in this industry and I love it even though there are not many free hours in your day! Being a host in your home and in the place you love is a wonderful honour. Great communication in the run up to arrival, clear directions, personally greeting guests, booking dinner tables, home baking, friendly conversation and treating people as you would expect to be treated yourself is imperative. A super comfortable bed, lots of lovely little extra touches, lighting the open fire and the food we provide are usually the things most commented on plus appreciation for our commitment to hosting.
Vivienne & Steve
The most important thing you can offer your guest is your time, this is the reason they have chosen to stay in a guesthouse rather than in a hotel. 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!
Surprise them with a turndown service, pull the blinds down, turn on the side lamps and leave a little chocolate on their locker! Kill them with kindness and any negative will turn into a positive...Happy Days!
Spotlessly clean! A range of good pillows, quality linen and towels. Good quality beds and comfortable couches. Be generous with your breakfast provisions and cater for special dietary needs.
From the first point of contact be friendly, hospitable and helpful but give guests the space to 'do their own thing' and make themselves at home. Be well prepared before your guests arrive - ensure everything is spotlessly clean, offer some extra touches - like a bottle of wine or some chocolate. Home baked vs bought is always appreciated. Make sure you let them know you are available if they have any questions but don't impose on them unnecessarily. Take an interest in them and their travels without being overly inquisitive. Be willing to share a little bit about yourself with them too. Books to read, a few dvds to watch, good quality hand soap/body lotion, fresh flowers all add a personal touch to their experience.
To tell you the truth there is no formula, there is no "way"!
Our guest comments come from the heart! When you are genuine, warm, caring, attentive and willing to go the extra mile the same will flow back to you.
Our comments come from our presence and our love of people. Everything else follows.
Love Renate & Roberto Noosa Valley Manor B&B Sunshine Coast, Queensland AUSTRALIA www.noosavalleymanor.com.au
I agree with all the comments above especially about creating a unique experience. We were not able to build the little "gingerbread house" cottage I wanted owing to budget constraints so I had to settle for a pr-fabricated colour bond cottage with few unique factors! BUT I have had such fun creating a lovely garden all around it and making the inside as quirky , different and comfortable as possible. This creates a lovely, cottagey, cosy feel which guests love.
I always provide home bread on arrival and have fresh flowers in the living area, bathroom and bedroom. They also appreciate the little extras like scissors and sticky tape and the kind of things you would find at home. We often get the comment "19 Blue is like a home away from home"
Provide the best experience possible as described in all the above comments. I never ask for a review, as I believe if the experience is good enough, guests will offer a genuine positive review. I have heard of travellers who felt harassed by constantly being asked for reviews. I prefer to have fewer reviews of genuine good quality than trying to get lots of reviews and putting pressure on guests who feel obliged to do a review if they have been asked.
Greatness can only be accomplished with Passion
Position! Africa! Travel! Love! Those 4 words...
1."We challenge you to find a lovelier backpackers' spot on Kenya's north coast!" - Lonely Planet. It took us 15 years to find this magical spot!
2. Africa - there's no continent on earth that's as addictive as Africa - it has magnetic powers.
3. It helps to have traveled extensively all over Africa and the world, it helps to understand people.
4. It's important to love what you do, to have the empathy to fulfill their needs. To be warm, welcoming, friendly.
Hello fellow owners and operators. How lovely to read about what you all do to make guests feel welcome! Feels like we all have alot in common loving people.
Upon booking we send our guests a map, a list of activities in the area to prebook like Great White Cage diving, Whale watching trips as well as a list of restaurants. They also receive a note thanking them for choosing us. I think the obvious is cleanliness, politeness and generally making them feel welcome upon arrival. However if your establishment is bed and breakfast only we do have specific booking in times. If they miss this we give guests a key code with instructions as to where there rooms is. We also leave instructions in the rooms about the local area, safe, wifi codes, cable chanel and emergency numbers.
We pop a chocolate daily on their pillow. Always use the best white 100 % cotton and use fabulous local but chic products in the bathrooms. Leave the classical music on in the bedrooms tv on arrival.
On departure we give them a memento beaded key ring representative on the name of our guest establishment which also provides a job for a local beader.
From Sunny Simon's Town. South Africa. Penguin Palace
Come as strangers, leave as friends. We are a family owned business. We try to involve all our guests to our customs and offer them the pure Greek Hospitality. As Telemachus came to our area thousands of years ago and was welcomed by our Wise King Nestor, he was first treated as a king and then they asked his name and whereabouts. The true meaning of hospitality. We are true to our guests, try to offer them more and more every day. People that come to our hotel want to experience the traditional life, food and insights of the area. Don't try to be rich overnight. I don't know if all that makes sense. It does in my head and think this is the real sustainability that hotels all over the world are looking for.
It is important to have a warm welcome according to the time of arrival of the guest, if morning or evening offer a cup of coffee / tea, if mid day offer a glass of chilled juice.
Good quality breakfast ingredients cooked well, breakfast is the last meal that guests will have with you and it should be delicious and plentiful, this leaves a lasting impression
Dedication to the hospitality, go out of your way to be helpful, offer to make a train ticket reservation, back waters trip reservation, Traditional program ticket reservations etc, almost no request is too difficult to manage. If it is an impossible request be as helpful as possible and share the reason why it is impossible. Guest will be happy, be flexible, be kind and generous. Generous in towels for guests, generous in food, in types of teas, generous with listening, in check in time, check out time. Always keep the rooms cleanliness and tidiness , if possible you have to do this yourself or check your staff that they don’t cut corners. If anything is damaged, fix it immediately so that the next guest don’t enter with anything.
Valiyathayil Home Stay,
Fort Kochi - Kerala
We communicate with our guests at The Green Welly as soon as we get a booking via the extranet and then follow up a day or two before their arrival. We are always here to welcome guests to our farm and explain a little about the property and also ask about themselves to try and establish a connection, without being too over bearing or taking up too much of their time. We then encourage guests to settle in and to let us know immediately if there is anything that they require as we are always close by (but not in their space). Our breakfasts are home made with either home grown or locally sourced products including the breads, preserves, honey etc. We set a very eye catching table so as soon as guests enter the breakfast room they are saying “wow” before they’ve even tasted anything! Our guest reviews always come back to amazing breakfast and attention to detail and great hosts. We provide little extra touches around the place eg spare specs, boot polish, booklights, washable knitted slippers that go in with the laundry, cookies, colouring books/pencils for relaxation, just to name a few as well as toiletries etc. We genuinely appreciate our guests who choose to stay with us and only having the two rooms we can really personalise their experience which gives us a point of difference that our guests seem to enjoy. Being a b&b our decor is more homely I suppose and most guests seem to like our quirky sense of style. We post a lot of pics of our food and animals and promote ourselves as a cute little B&B which I think helps us to attract the type of clientele seeking this type of accommodation. Our reviews are usually a guest score of 10 or just under, if we get anything less we beat ourselves up about it, but then try to turn it into a positive. Eg “pillows too soft” we took that on board and got some firmer ones too. One lot of guests posted on TA that they didn’t enjoy our non traditional breakfast (99.9% do!) however that was the best thing ever, as we now put perfectly boiled eggs on the breakfast table (complete with egg cosy) and they are a huge hit and so easy for us as we keep chickens. Communication is important, listen to what your guests want. Sorry if this went on a bit. Thanks for the opportunity to share.
The Green Welly Bed and Breakfast
Always treat each guest with interest and excitement, as you did with the very first you welcomed years ago. Usually it takes guests a day or so to find their feet after (often) a lengthy trip, so make allowances for this.
In the end, the wishes and demands of the guest will probably eclipse those of your own, so yield to every reasonable demand.
If you have a dream guest who leaves the place as they found it, this is an absolute bonus - an appreciative comment is quite in order.
Golden rule: Treat your guests the way how you would like to be treated when being a guest.
Be happy and passionate doing this business and the results will show very soon.
To keep it short: we only have one moto and that is always treat guests the way you would like to be treated in person or over the phone and other forms of communication.
Respect for your own establishment is also very important as guests do notice the love and care that goes into creating a clean and tranquil environment during their stay.
Insure a warm, friendly welcome, as first impressions always count. The cottage / room must be spotless with fresh linen & towels. We welcome our guests with a vase of fresh flowers cut from the garden, homemade cookies and a welcoming jug of fresh farm milk for their Tea & Coffee in the fridge, along with a bag of ice! As we live in the cooler part of South Africa, when its cold, we light their fire for them so the cottage is nice and cozy for their arrival.
Myself and our staff are always on hand to greet and answer any questions they have and offer to book restaurants and activities for them in the surrounding area.
Have neat gardens and/ or flowering plant pots that are well cared for surrounding the area as this brings a natural warm element to their well being and are always admired.
The most important thing before anything else is this: You have to love people, be humble and love what you do. People can see right through a fake smile. After this comes all the rest like excellent beds and breakfast that is unforgettable. if you really love people and what you do, you will make sure that the rest is perfection. Good scenery and views definitely do help though.
Since we travel a lot as well, we have experienced many different hotel rooms and private rooms and it helped us a lot in creating our offer. We give to the guests everything we could wish for if we were guests: warm welcome, accommodation that looks exactly like on photos and offers everything what is described on booking.com and more... Guest satisfaction always comes first. I must say that after 2 years of doing host business, I'm still nervous upon guest arrival, never shure weather they like it or not...Maybe it's not so bad because it keeps us to improve constantly...
This is my Home and I like to have guests, Im very privileged to live where I do, I love my home and the area I live in and love to share it with others. Make them feel at home from home. I'm interested in them as travellers and like hear their story as well as share ours.
Make them feel comfortable - go out of your way to make their stay perfect. Weather that be arranging restaurant reservations or recommending places to visit and thing to do in the area. Make them feel comfortable in your home. And then they will respect you and your home.
Promote local produce (locally made toiletries) Home made produce (Jam, Marmalade, Olive oil, cakes)
I like to make my guests feel at home from the moment they arrive. And I will take them to a bus stop - hop-on-hop-off for example - if they require.
I like to serve a hearty breakfast and bring it to the room where they can enjoy it at leisure.
My motto - always give as much as you can - and remember what your regular people like. Always go the extra mile.
I think I am a friendly person by nature and I welcome people as if they were my friends.
From the time guests book we keep regular communication without nagging them and on arrival we have a great team that is always there to welcome our guests to a spotless clean new, very spacious house with a beautiful finish with an Australian touch in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Everything in the house is new and kept clean, linen,utensils, towels,modern furniture to bathrooms is all in tip top condition. We always show our guests around and make them feel at home. Whenever any of our guests recommends an improvement, we take it on board and have scored 10s in almost everything. Our charges are very reasonable giving value for money.We always try to make our place the best Self catering facility there can be.
We run a Self Catering Cottage in the Country. We have found that Attention to detail is one of the most important things you can focus on. We try to add all the little touches that genuinely make it feel like a Home from Home eg lovely ground coffee and all the utensils we could not do without in our own home. We also make our own range of toiletries for the bathrooms. We provide little extras like a lovely bowl of fruit on arrival and a jar of assorted snacks, fresh milk, tea coffee etc so they always have something available until they have time to shop. When a guest books, when we acknowledge their booking by return mail, we always offer to do any shopping they may require for arrival and although they don't always take you up on the offer, it always seems greatly appreciated.
We occasionally stay at the Cottage ourselves to make sure that everything is working as it should and there are no noisy water pipes, rattling windows etc that may irritate the guests. It also gives us the opportunity to see that everything the guest may require is there. We also add things to ensure that returning guests see a change or addition.
We also feel strongly that you need to respect your guests and treat everyone the same and as though they are the most important guests you have had. We feel that respecting their privacy is also paramount to making them feel comfortable and at home. We try to be as flexible as possible with guest special requests and requests for early/late check ins etc.
Lastly, Cleanliness is absolutely paramount. We do all cleaning ourselves and take no chances at all. However if you have more rooms and are not able to do that, would always check to ensure that things are they way you expect them to be.
Hi EveryoneThanks for sharing. Its great to have this opportunity to share our common experiences.
We basically offer the same exceptional service that all of you provide and having nothing new or revealing to add, my primary contribution is thank you all for your tips and encouragment.
I agree in part to one of the comments in regard not over doing it but our natural instinct is to go that extra to spoil our guests, isnt it. Thats why we are all here. Its a juggling act for sure because as unique as each of us are therefore are our personal preferences so its tuning in to the individual guest as they arrive and getting a feel for their style which for me is so critical. We are a 1 room only B&B and we greet each guest on arrival and get the opportunity to absorb their mood, purpose and manner.
And talking of personal preferences ......
Im not a sweet tooth so when I stay somewhere I get so disappointed that there is only ever sweet food /chocolate treats! Wheres the cheese and biscuits? Thats where we all talk about treating guests how we wish to be treated, so to cater with a variety of extras is important to us.
It of course all needs to be balanced with economics because we cant offer 52 types of pillows and if we as providers dont make enough to be profitable then our special places will eventually not be there as those exceptional, warm and personal accommodation choices for guests.
For me a most important attribute is sincerity. Ive learned from our experiences that its not necessarily or exclusively the bending over backwards which of course we all happily do, but having a natural, genuine and easy going delivery of our service of excellence.
Congratulations to you all and again thank you for sharing
Bella and Andy
Spotless, comfortable, well equipped rooms, friendly welcome and interest in the guests, Being available if they need you but not intrusive. Under promise and over deliver
Enjoy being a host it is infectious
Behave with your guests like they are the first and only one in your apartment! Doesn't mater if they stay for 3 days or 3 week. They don't know who are You and what kind of person are You. Give them a reason to come back next year and affirmation of their choise. The owner behaviour is very important. Behave like you would like if you where in their shoes - that is the most important thing. Be natural, relaxed, available 24 hour, allways in a good mood because they are on vacation, and they want to enjoy every moment in their holiday.
In small word treat them like your frends - it not everything about the money
Prepare a welcome gift (homemade drinks + welcome letter).
Be 100% sure that the apartmant is clean, in every corner !!
Give them as much info of your city and souranding activites as they want.
The secret to receiving great reviews is to treat guests the same way as you would like to be treated and offer great value for money.
Always greet guests as they get out of vehicle with umbrella if its raining, introduce ourselves, and make them feel at home by offering them a tea or coffee with either homemade cake or biscuits on arrival.
Nothing is ever too much trouble and try to accommodate their every need.
All the necessary items IE hairdryer, toiletries, tissues, tea/coffee facilities, bottled water are all in their room.
We make restaurant reservations when asked and advise on nice restaurants in our area.
The best feedback we get is that we take the time to remember our guests names & use them whenever we meet. We also take the time to chat to them & remember that conversation so we can bring it up at the next meeting - it's about being personable & making it personal. We aim to surprise & delight our guests at every opportunity, listening to them always gives hints as to how we can achieve that.
The rest has been mentioned before:-
We - and how we look after our guests - are our point of difference.
Running a holiday property or properties is hard work but it is also very rewarding and can be more so the longer you do it.
First of all love what you do and make your guests feel really welcome. Reply to queries and questions quickly and complete bookings as quickly as you can. I like to give as much information about the property, our spa, the local area, where guests can eat out, great places to visit, great shops to buy locally produced food etc. when a booking is made, so that they have this information to hand and can plan their stay. Once guests are staying you can then expand on anything further if they ask. Passing on your local knowledge really makes such a difference to someone's stay.
We live on site and so personally greet our new guests and show them around. We are also on hand if they wish to know anything further or need anything during their stay. We have met some lovely people who have come to stay and many are now returning. Take an interest in their lives, it's amazing how interesting this can be.
Make the property feel welcoming, turn on lights and make sure it is warm and cosy. Make something delicious as a welcome snack and offer a hot drink; many guests will have travelled to get to you. Keep the property immaculately clean and tidy and, if you have the room, add books and magazines to browse through. Offer lovely toiletries and add little extra such as throws. Make it feel like a home.
Be prepared for anything, both the unexpected and the annoying. Things do go wrong on occasions, which cannot be foreseen, but it is how you deal with them that is important. It's not just the washing machine going wrong or a blocked drain, we have had to rescue guests who have got themselves completely lost or arranging for a flat tyre or car that refuses to start to be seen to.
It's also important to remember that guests expectations differ hugely and some you will hardly know are there and others will need much more looking after; it's just how it is.
We genuinely love welcoming guests to our home (Llarrinda Bed & Breakfast) and feel privileged to be able to share our beautiful corner of Australia with them. Everything we do, we do with passion and to the very highest standard possible. Before guests are even out of their car, we greet them by name and in their own language, which they really appreciate. As we walk to the front door we establish a rapport by talking about their journey and what they plan to do while here. By the time they come into the house they already feel at home. Their rooms always have fresh flowers from our garden, homemade goodies and a little carafe of port for them to enjoy.Breakfast is home-grown, homemade and organic - no foil packs or long life milk in sight, which they comment on a lot.
We provide a full array of locally made, environmentally friendly toiletries and provide little extras such as sunscreen, a razor, toothbrush, etc., plus bathrobes and slippers. It all adds to our costs, but as our guests say, it's those little things that make all the difference.
We often sit around the fire and share an enjoyable glass of wine with our guests, but one of the highlights is the amount of wildlife they can see by just sitting on our deck. A passing parade of colourful parrots come to our feeders, and if guests still haven't seen a wombat by the night before they are ready to leave, we will take them out on our 'wombat safari' to see how many we can spot within 30 minutes of our house. We are always happy to go the extra mile to make guests feel totally at home and truly valued, and we've been rewarded by achieving 10 out of 10 guest reviews for the two years we have been with Booking.com.
I live by my moto "May all who come as guests leave as friends" Cleanliness and good equipment is a plus and my staff knows how important it is to make sure everything is in order.
All guests are met in person upon arrival (irrespective of time) and we are always there for departure.
There is always a basket with fruit, homemade cookies, tea, coffee, milk and cereal for the guests. We supply the guests with bathroom amenities (soap, shower gel, shower cap etc.) We leave menus from the local restaurants in the apartment for the guests to choose from if they wish to eat out.
Communication with the guests is very important, they are most welcome to interact with us if they choose to do so. As our apartments are bigger than other apartments in our area, guests love the space.
Greet the guests with their first names, Show them to their rooms and the facilities like lots of choice on the complementary tea tray, biscuits, bottled water etc. A fridge is good. Ask if they have any allergies regarding breakfast. Good quality beds and linen. Comfy rooms with sensible size TV. Plenty of local knowledge and a container of brochures and vouchers in each room with the free wi-fi codes. Be genuinly friendly not with a false voice. Make sure evrything is very clean.
We ensure that the guests feel welcome, and that the room is prepared to a high standard.
Breakfast is a major feature of our guests' experience, everything is freshly prepared and there are 3 courses, so the guests leave satisfied, and do not need to eat until the afternoon. Presentation is very important and has to be very exact and correct.
We make the beds and change the towels every day, as well as cleaning the room.
In the evening, if the guests are out when it gets dark, we switch on the lights in the room as well as close the blinds and curtains.
I also give many of the guests a short history of Amsterdam, so it puts their experiences walking in the city into context, as well as pointing them in directions they perhaps had not known about.
All in all it is about the guests having a good experience, which makes it a pleasure for us to be hosts!
Be flexible beyond what is expected of you!
Make yourself available at all times (even if it's a 3:30am whatsapp text to tell you that your guest has locked herself out of the flat!).
Small things matter. If you know that the young child of a guest of yours has her birthday, buy them a small present. It's the thought that counts.
Treat your guests as if you are hosting them in your house, not your business property.
And be patient! You will find a 5% of guests that you will never be able to satisfy their needs/standards. That's fine. You can't satisfy everyone. Life goes on!
Constant improvement. Give 110%. Listen to our guests, ask questions about their lives, goals, family, sports or anything that interests them. Use their names when talking with them.
You shouldn't wait for complaints in order to discover what goes wrong. On the contrary, you have to foresee your guests' needs (no matter their age or the country they come from).
Just try to be in your guest's place. Try to imagine how would you feel as a guest in your own property. And of course, you should be very strict with yourself.
Try to avoid all those details that you didn't like when you were a guest in somebody else's place. Remember your negative thoughts about the host when the place was not clean enough or when the wi-fi was weak. Remember how you felt about the host when you discovered that the kitchen was practically empty (had just 2-3 plates and cups...) or when you felt cold because the heating was turned off for some extra economy. There are hundreds of dissapointing examples that you have already experienced as a guest, so, don't let this happen to you as a host. The idea is that you first must be 110% satisfied by your own place.
Apparently, there are some basics that should be absolutely out of the question: Hospitality, cleanliness, facilities, maintenance, honest photos, accuracy, friendliness and discreetness. However, all those will not be enough if you can't take care of the "details". Your success is hiding there...
Quite simply just follow this thought -
"First time every time"
Having read through the previous 90+ comments, my thoughts are that there are a set of basics that have to be right:
Personal communication from the first contact. Don't use automated messages. We offer evening meals and always ask if there is anything guests can't or don't eat. Offer help with driving directions.
Spotless presentation - including garden, exterior of property, public areas and the guest rooms
Warm and genuine welcome with use of guest names, not forgetting to introduce yourself
Help with luggage
Offer of refreshments on arrival - join guests if appropriate - take their lead on this - some may prefer to make a cuppa in their room, kick off their shoes and collapse on the bed!
Good beds, quality bedding and towels including bath sheets, a hairdryer, accessible sockets, full length mirror
Offer help/advice ref restaurants, places to visit etc
Provide a generous, fresh breakfast appropriate to your location - we're in France so offer wonderful croissants and freshly baked bread from our local boulangerie, along with fresh fruit, fruit juices, yogurts, butter and home made preserves with a selection of teas or freshly brewed coffee.
"Extras" can be provided as appropriate to the business model taking into account margins, location, competition, the size of property, staff time available etc
Home made cake may be just the thing if you have sufficient guests arriving each day to eat the cake! A fridge in rooms is a great idea if there is the space - perhaps a shared fridge on a landing if not. Home made preserves are a big hit with our guests and as I enjoy & have the time to make them this works for us. Friends provide us with honey from their hives.
As others have said, don't take to heart the review that marks you down on something you clearly have no control over, eg too rural, when you clearly state you are in the heart of the country side!
We were accredited a five star rating by the Welsh tourist board, but decided to market ourselves as four star and charge four star prices. This has resulted in guests being thrilled with their accommodation and feeling we offer great value for money. Most of our bookings are now repeats.
I love my job!
My apartments are all my feelings!
Every part of my house is made by love and how I would like to have it!
I don't think that guest which choose apartments wants sleep in hotel rooms.
My apartment decoration is different then others.
I have 8 different coffee, 6 different tea, fruits, bottle of water and all spices for cooking, even extra virgin olive oil!
I am waiting all my guests and helping them to feel like home.
Our 'wise words' at Chapel Chester for exceptional reviews would be
' exceed your guests expectations in every way'
' cakes, teas etc always lovely welcoming touch'
' personalised messages if not meeting guests mentioned reason for their stay - ie happy 70th etc'
' guests love additional surprises, when its easter, mothers day, valentines, small surprise gifts on the door are always well recevied'
'guests love cleanliness and we aim for spotless each time has a deep clean'
' helpfulness with check in times can be a little at your end but mean a lot to guests'
Hope this is useful!
We try to give to our guests the same treatment that we like to recieve when travelling. Simle, be kind, explain everything about your apartment in details. Stock your kitchen with basic things such as coffee, tea, cocoa, salt, pepper, oil, vinegar, milk. Our fridge is stocked with wine, beer and juices. When some of the guests have a birthday we give them a small present. When they are by the pool we offer them a cocktail, some fruits, local cheese, coffee...
We made a Welcome book about everything that can be seen in vicinity, about the restaurants, shopping...everything that guests may find helpful when on vacation far from home. Guests know that they can reach me by phone anytime. If they need a help to book something or they have a problem of some kind we are ready to help them. Try to give them tips about what is interesting happening (events, festivals, exhibitions...)
Not to mention that everything has to be spotlessly clean and looked after!
I don't pretend to have all the answers why our guests give us a great review score. We are as always humbled by our success and are grateful for the good opinion of the people and families who stay with us, we work hard to deserve it. I believe there are many factors that create the magic that make people consistently review our property with a high score, most of those reasons are stated above, cleanliness, good interior design, spacious rooms, personal touch, a well positioned property for location, main attractions etc are all part of it, but I would say the key is that guests should walk away with a feeling that they got a little bit more than they paid for. The experience you offer should always exceed the expectations of your guests, not by much, just enough to make them feel that they are getting excellent value for their money. Whatever "extras" you wish to add, be it service, a jar of home cooked jam or just a well tended garden, it must leave your guest with the feeling that they were lucky to have found your place.
Provide a warm welcome.
Have good facilities - that all work!
Communication is the key to success. Follow up bookings promptly with a welcoming message. When the guests arrive show them all of the facilities and recommend local things to do. Ensure the children are catered for with activities so the parents can relax.
Allan and Debbie
Sandcastle Ruakaka Beach New Zealand