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Tips to delight your hospitality guests – and get you those 5-star reviews

05 October 2022
Tips to delight your hospitality guests – and get you those 5-star reviews -  october hoy

As the owner of a guest house or bed and breakfast, you will already be well aware of the minimum standards that your guests expect from you during their stay.

There are certain things that are non-negotiable and, if you wish to be successful in this industry, you need to get those things right, one hundred percent of the time.

Wi-Fi tops the list these days, together with cleanliness, a really good bed, soft towels and safe parking.

However, it is the over-and-above, the unexpected things that you provide that will differentiate your guest house from other similar establishments and make your visitors feel special.

When people were asked what made them feel particularly welcome when they stayed in a B & B or guesthouse, the answers were revealing.

It is the small personal touches that make the biggest impact on guests, and few of these require much in terms of financial outlay.

A little extra effort and some imagination are all it takes to make a great and lasting impression.

Here are a few simple suggestions that will make your guests feel special and ensure that they remember their stay with you.

  • A personalized note. Welcome your guests by name, with a personalized note. If there is a special reason for their visit, like a birthday or anniversary, include congratulations in the note and perhaps a small bottle of chilled champagne. Instead of a note, you could use a small, attractively framed chalkboard and write a welcome message on that.
  • Fresh flowers. And, no, we're not talking an expensive florist’s bouquet. Just a few blooms or sprigs of lavender from your own garden, in a pretty vase. Succulents in small pots, placed in sunny spots also make a space look warm and welcoming.
  • If the town or region you live in is known for a certain speciality product, for example pecan nuts, honey, or a craft brew, you have the perfect opportunity to market this to your guests by leaving them some samples to enjoy.
  • If you are a baker, you are guaranteed to make your guests feel welcome, by leaving a few homemade rusks or biscuits at the coffee station or a slice or two of freshly baked cake in the fridge. Guests often arrive tired and hungry, and they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
  • Books and brochures about the surrounding area. Your guests may be looking for ideas of what to do during their stay and these will save them a trip to the information office. Make sure the brochures are clean and up-to-date and carry current information about opening hours and entrance fees.
  • A book or file containing practical information about your establishment and the local area. This should include emergency phone numbers and, most importantly, your own contact details. It is important for guests to know that you are available at any time to give them advice or information. Very rarely do guests call at odd hours, but they appreciate knowing that they can.
  • Subscribe to a few travel/lifestyle magazines and perhaps a local newspaper. Guests seem to really appreciate having some reading material to browse through. If you are a reader and have your own library, leave a selection of popular books on a small bookshelf for guests who may not have prepared for rainy days.
  • Along with the basic toiletries that everyone offers these days, include sunscreen, insect repellent and citronella candles for outdoors.
  • Be friendly, attentive and respectful to your guests. Be there for them, greet them personally when you see them. Ask about their day and whether they have any questions or concerns.

It seems that creating a memorable experience for your guests is not necessarily about having a super luxurious space or providing the most up-market amenities. It is the small, thoughtful touches that guests appreciate most and, with just a little extra effort, these are easy to provide.

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