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I always enjoy relaxed laid back people who dont have overtly high expectations,are easy to talk to and have an interest in visiting the lovely part of France i live in.
A warm welcome, a big smile upon them entering your premises works wonders, and i always have a basket of local produce ready for them...oh and a bottle of wine!. You can get a sense usually straight away from guests if they are "chatters" or just want to get in, get on with their holiday and have little interaction, so its always important to get that first few minutes in your meeting right.
Hello there, i run several holiday cottages in France and i do allow full use of the log burners, i supply the first batch of firewood and fire starters, when i do my walk through i always tell the guests how it works and where to safely put any ashes. I personally feel if you are opening your holiday homes to hosting a certain amount of trust in these matters are required, also in the off season it lends a cosy atmosphere to your space. I provide a fire guard also just incase there are children staying too. I have oil filled radiators in the bedrooms and hallways that add a background warmth, i would suggest ones that are programmable and have a lock feature as i have found in the past guests ramping the temperature way up and then opening doors etc. Also in my welcome pack i mention i don't charge for fuel or electricity separately unlike a lot of holiday cottage owners and to please be respectful. Again it comes down to trust and i do understand you always get guests who like to get as much out of their stay for as little as possible.
Hello there, yes this has happened to me also a few times despite the fact i have an arrival time and departure time, that i have to stick to,especially in Summer. Im fortunate enough to have a summer kitchen where i can allow guests to rest after a long journey and i always offer a wee nibble and a glass of something chilled, guests usually are aware that they have arrived early and are usually quite relaxed about it.
Happy hosting and all the best.