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Yes, i know the feeling i have had this on a couple of occasions, even though the prices/costs are clearly visible on my website, booking.com and other search engines ai advertise on, you will get people who chance their arm now and again. I simply point this out to them and give them the options and if agreeable i collect payment up front. If this leads to a bad review or low score(which I've had on account of this), i shrug it off accept their are people like this in the world and focus on the great guests who do come to me through Booking.com.
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.
Dear all as usual some fabulous posts on this forum, i too am delighted to end the previous year on 9.8 for the second year in a row, this will be my 5th year hosting, and i am thoroughly looking forward to another busy year meeting some wonderful people again,and developing my ideas to make guest stays even better.
Have a great year to all!
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.
Im Scottish living in France and hosting people from various countries around the world, when i first arrived in France i had very little French at all, and it was indeed a baptism of fire to learn some basic vocabulary very quickly as for some reason i thought all my guests would be from the UK...what was i thinking?. Anyway i learned to practice pre written pieces especially all my do's and donts, and places of interest etc etc. I also cook for guests and nothing is more global than the language of food, and it is amazing what you can pick up, also i have found guests are keen to learn wee bits of your language, i speak Doric Scots and so many fun times have been had. I also use a brilliant app called Deepl that translates languages more accurately than google translate...as my french guests have been very quick to point out!.
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.
Firstly always remember customer is king, they are there reason you are working in hospitality, and that word again 'hospitality", should be your mantra. At my gites in the beautiful Deux Sevres, France, I'm constantly trying to innovate and develop ways in which to bring to my clients a warm and personal touch. Sometimes its the small things, a freshly baked bread,home made confiture, fresh milk, if you have chickens leave some fresh eggs, or get some good quality local ones, coffee, teas, sugar and handy pantry items are a bonus too, as are some nice quality toiletries. Im fortunate to have a large vegetable garden and it gives me immense pleasure in sharing my home grown produce or making up veg boxes that guests are happy to pay for. Bedding and towels should be good quality and clean, and it goes with out saying the accommodation should be clean,welcoming and warm.
Provide good tourist information and share with your clients you experiences locally, perhaps over a glass of wine and some nibbles.
At the end of guests stays, don't rush them and politely ask them to fill out a questionnaire asking for suggestions on how you can improve or what could be better.
There are so many things you can do to make your guests feel like they are home from home, I'm not sharing all my tips..youll just have to visit to see for yourselves.
Lastly don't stint on the loo roll...theres nothing worse than looking cheap!
All the very best to my fellow Booking.com'ers...