Creative guest book ideas
Long before the days of online review-sharing platforms, the humble guestbook was a way for travellers to share their stay experience with other guests.
Now, accommodations are having to think outside the box to encourage guests to record their thoughts. From prompting responses with thoughtful questions to creating a more interactive experience, hotels and homes alike are breathing new life into the traditional guestbook. Here, we discover the creative guestbook ideas Booking.com partners are using.
Bring the online offline
“We put a guestbook in [the rooms] and at the start copied in our first few reviews from Booking.com. Next to each of these we wrote ‘review on Booking.com, March 2019’ etc. No one wants to be the first to write a comment in a new book!” - Clover Taylor, Owner, The Annexe at Ivythorn Cottage
Let the guests get creative
“With our Stay Human Project … we envisioned these very different and creative takes on the guest book to foster emotional ties, build inspiration and tell us more about what motivates today’s hotel guest.
One of the ways that it differs from a traditional guestbook is that there are prompts and questions we added to encourage conversation and self-reflection. There are also creative ways to express yourself via colored pens, art supplies, etc. Some guests prefer a visual medium while others prefer the written word. We created a dedicated space in each room to bring our modern guestbook to life." - Kathleen Reidenbach, Chief Commercial Officer, Kimpton Group
Build a library of memories
“From the start of the Vliegtuighotel suite 10 years ago, guest books have been used and all of those guest books are also now on the plane. Almost everyone also writes something here, and for other guests it is also nice to read why they stay or what they like about the stay. We also use this to continuously improve the quality of guest experiences.” - Marjan Schrijver, Hostess, Vliegtuighotel
Embrace alternative formats
“I have a whiteboard with a welcome note and a drawing made by my granddaughter. Small kids leave me a drawing with a thank you note. You can have both a guestbook and board - the kids will love it.” - Maria Adamopoulou, Owner, The Adam’s Studio
Balance feedback with managed expectations
“I have a guest comment book in each room together with a laminated sheet explaining what we are about, things we cannot change and how we strive to offer the best hospitality. I usually ask the guest to fill in their comments and find once they have filled in the guestbook usually their [online] reviews are good, as they have already written positive comments and go away thinking positively.” - Chris Sherwell, Owner, Peace Cottage
- A hard copy guestbook can complement your online reviews, with the latter providing inspiration for the first written entries
- Creative formats and artistic ways to leave feedback can encourage entries
- Important information and room guides can be shared in the same book to manage expectations
- Keeping older guestsbooks on display is a clever way to showcase great experiences from over the years