Warm Welcomes Make Happy Guests

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I’ve stayed in many vacation rentals over the years from a beachfront cottage in a Cornish village to a Sedona estate; a Maui condo to a Costa Rica villa. Each one has been a unique experience – some traditional and rustic; others trendy and modern – however, what stood the best out from the rest was the quality of the welcome. This doesn’t mean a physical meeting with an owner or a caretaker although that has happened on occasion; it was more the first impression created on our arrival by the sight, sound, smell, and yes – even taste that greeted us.

Tasty Treats

After a long journey, often with a stop on the way for shopping, we usually arrive hungry and tired. The last time we went to UK and walked into our small and perfectly presented Peak District cottage it was a delight to open the fridge and find a large bowl of fresh local strawberries, a pot of cream and a plate of home-baked cup cakes. In Maui there was a tray of fresh pineapple, mango and melon, while the Ontario log cabin we visited in the depths of winter enveloped us with the aroma of a pot of soup in a slow cooker.  The thoughtfulness of these owners delivers a first impression that lasts for a long time after the tasty treats are gone.

Left In the Dark

Not all our experiences have been great. Arriving at a vacation home after dark, struggling to find the light switch and then spending another ten minutes locating the key that was on a hook under a dark, spider infested deck, was not pleasant. Follow that by walking into a musty and damp feeling cabin and hearing a scuffling sound as the resident mice made way for us. We were totally spooked by the place. When we finally got the lights, water and heat on and inspected the place, it really wasn’t bad, but the feeling of having arrived on the set of a horror movie didn’t leave us for quite a while.

Soft Lights and Music

Contrast that with a brightly lit porch, an unlocked door and a walk- in to the sound of classical music and warmth from the flickering flame of a wood stove or fireplace. The effort that went into creating the ambience of this arrival wasn’t huge, since it only needed a ten minute visit from a caretaker prior to our arrival to set it up, but the impact was impressive. Add to that a personally addressed note from the owners and we felt, welcomed and expected which was a very pleasant start to the vacation.

Providing a well presented vacation rental may be enough to please and appeal to guests, but going that extra mile to really welcome them can create raving fans who will write five star reviews and tell all their friends about it. Isn’t that what we all want?

What would make a perfect welcome for you? How do you welcome your guests?

Posted in Bayer's Blog, Tips for property owners

4 Responses to Warm Welcomes Make Happy Guests

  1. Hi Ms. Bayer, I like the idea of the soft music, didn’t think of that! Soft lights if arriving at night and a tasty treat are great welcome thoughts that we try to offer as well!
    I have also put together lists that are placed in plastic sleeves, which are to remain in the properties, which I feel would be an added bit of thoughtfulness, such as: Family, Couples, Parents and Friends Testimonials, Large Group Testimonials and Sports Entusiast Testimonials! In addition, there are Dog Park etc. and Equine Website lists! We also Board Horses as well as have Vacation Rental Properties! The most helpful lists I feel are the: Theme Park, Outdoor Adventures and Activity Information List and the Restaurant and Catering List, along with Local Menues I’ve collected for the guests.
    I’ve also included, Places of Necessity List, such as Groceries, Gas Stations, Drug Stores etc. and a Religious Institution List!
    I feel providing State and Attraction Maps is also important! Thanks for the tips! Warm Regards, Lauraine Newmark

  2. paul hegele says:

    Great idears, however I can not ask my Cleaners to do this for me, since Iam 100 miles away. I usully call my guests after they have arrived the next day to answer any question or provide help with anything else.

  3. gerry goldman says:

    well thought out. problem i have is i’m not there during off season and have no one to do the spcial things.

  4. WEBBWELLS says:

    Beautiful blog.post. Good and Fun retreat for a very lucky family!

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