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Putting yourself on the 'shoes" of your Guests


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.


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.


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!





5 Replies

Thuild - Your …

Dear Sonia,

Very nice insight into what you're doing.

I would have just a few comments to add, from my perspective:

1. Tea kettle and tea bags - they are nice, out of 190 reservations we only had 1 British couple ask for it. For us it would be a bad deal as many people take whatever they can, so if you leave tea bags, 3 out of 10 guests will take them all, which might not be cost effective in the long run as we offer a luxury stay and I would need to provide the same luxury tea :)

Coffee is king here, and the most messy thing to have in a room as people will spill it, therefore I avoid having the kettle because they will try to make coffee with it (which is not recommended).

2. We offer them our laundry room if they want to use it, therefore we don't have to put small and crappy amenities in the rooms, they can use the professional ones and it works great for everyone.

3. Garden hammocks, great idea, I just need my trees to grow taller for that though, quite a new place what I have and the trees are still small :) maybe in 5 -8 years it would be feasible.

Nice tips all over. If you happen to have a website, post it so people can see it.

You can have a look at mine.

Warm regards,

Zsolt -

1 year ago
Sonia Indigo

Hi Zsolt, thank you for your comment and insights.

I understand and respect your point of view, and also can see the difference of our realities. You run a luxury business in Romania, I run a medium - budget accommodation in India, where I am only renting 2 rooms and 4 dormitories and receive travelers (sometimes in a budget) from all over the world. So giving some comments to what you wrote:

1. Tea kettle and tea bags - I have a kitchen shared between the two rooms, so I actually don't put this on the rooms, I put it on the kitchen. However, if I would not have the shared kitchen, I would definitely arrange it for guest on the rooms and for each Check In I would put a pair or two of teas/coffee/sugars. You know, as a traveler, I take mine with me because it's really handy, specially if you have children, believe me, the parents will thanks for that, you can use it for so many things. A mini fridge is also reaaally nice, and again if you have child's, twice nicer. And this is not a question of budget or not, it's some essentials that believe me, really make a difference! I am dealing with guests in tourism since the last 7 years, in a budget/medium type of accommodation (Shiva Garden Homestay, in Varkala), and I've been attentive to the guests requests, and this is a "must have". Obviously many guesthouses choose not to give, and again, what I share here is my own perspective according with 7 years experience as a Host and 23 years as a traveler. Just that. The title of this post is "Putting yourself on the "shoes"of your Guests", and that's exactly whats is about this article. You gave your comments about this specific topic over the perspective of the Host, not the traveler/guest.

2. We offer them our laundry room - That is nice, and I also offer mine, but some guests and specially ladies like to wash their own things, specially underwear, and can just have the buckets available on your laundry room, if you don't want to put plastics on the guests bathroom, I perfectly understand, because it just don't mach with your rooms decoration, but at least you can have some buckets available on the laundry room.

3. Garden hammocks, great idea - Ok, you don't have yet trees, and it will take years for them to grow, but you can put 2 round pillars of cement on the ground with a metal arrow to hang the hammocks and paint them in a creative way, to melt with the nature around. When the weather is good, your guests will reeeaaly enjoy and completely relax.

I do not have yet a website for the guest house, I just moved here in January and I've been too busy with other priorities, what I do have so far is this link on my website: Shakti Home.

And our Facebook Page: Shakti Homestay Varkala

I will eventually post the article on my future blog, that is under construction.

I did had a look on your website yesterday, and i have to say, the website as well as the rooms decoration and areas in general is of a fine taste. It's all really beautiful, congratulations for your work and your mother's. It's excellent. It never crossed my mind to go to Romania, but seeing these rooms could be just a nice retreat place. So, go forward, you are doing excellent!

Best wishes,


1 year ago

Hi Sonia!

Greetings! Your comments are just amazing. Some pretty good advice and rich experience from around the world. I will apply some of these to my facility- I am certain guests love attitude of concern and natural creativity. Thanks for your post and keep the standards. Thumbs up!

Bro. Martin

1 year ago
Laura, Communi…

Sonia, thank you for sharing these tips! Your warmth and creativity comes through so prominently in your writing. Wishing you a wonderful 2019.

8 months ago
Graham Fisher

In the UK tea and coffee making facilities are expected in all rooms - we offer a choice of a dozen different teas/herbal drinks in every room plus coffee, if you do not have these in each room then the British will expect this to come as a "room service" particularly early in the morning when they wake up - since I am busy prepping breakfast then, trays in rooms are far better.

Yes, occasionally the teas go missing with the guest, but this is not too common, most recognise that if everyone did this then the service would be withdrawn fairly quickly.

8 months ago