I don’t know about you, but by the time I show up at a hotel, I can be pretty cranky. Exhausted from waking up far too early, spending hours on the plane or in the car, catching connections, finding my way around….I’m ready for a sanctuary from this chaos.
That moment I finally arrive and step foot on your property, I don’t just need a “hotel” – I need hospitality. A true welcome. We’ve been looking forward to your visit. The feeling of being expected and among friends.
Real friends – and great hosts – anticipate needs and state of mind.
This is completely dependent on where I’m traveling and what my expectations are.
Am I traveling overnight on business? Just get me to my room as quickly as possible, please. Make sure I’m aware of options for unwinding at the gym, with a swim in the pool, or with some yoga.
Am I staying a week on my vacation? Welcome me with a drink, whisk my bags to my room, and have the general manager give a tour around the property to make me feel like a VIP.
That’s exactly what happened when my wife & I recently visited Cayuga Collection‘s Harmony Hotel in Costa Rica. Andres, the general manager, met us at the entry and personally oversaw the whole check-in process. Explaining the history of the hotel, sharing which amenities he enjoys the most, and introducing us to staff throughout the property. (I firmly believe that just taking a few minutes to say hello and talk increases the odds of someone liking you 5,000%)
By being genuinely excited to see us, and taking time out of his busy day to do this tour, we felt like VIPs. Yes, the room and hotel amenities were incredible, but it’s the personal expression of hospitality that set the tone for the rest of the stay.
Andres understood that.
Your welcome – and check-in process – set the tone for the rest of the stay.
If you start out the stay with a very warm, welcoming, personal experience like Andres did, your guests will spend the rest of their stay looking for other things you do well. Beginning with the personal connection puts me on your side. It creates a mindset where I’ll start looking for other things you do well, and give you the benefit of the doubt if anything doesn’t go well. I like you, I like the hotel, and I’m going to find everything I can to confirm that.
A great welcome is like giving your guests a pair of rose-colored glasses to look through for the rest of their stay.
How do you make your guests feel like they are the long-anticipated arrivals that you are so happy to have? That they are truly welcome home?
Hostmanship is considerate giving: of yourself, your time, your energy and your personality. A willingness to share the best of yourself. – Jan Gunnarsson