Thoughtful details guests love

Lizzie
Former Community Manager
Former Community Manager
London, United Kingdom

Thoughtful details guests love

Thoughtful details.jpg

 

Hello everyone,

 

One of the fun and unique aspects of Airbnb is that guests and hosts have a chance to meet each other while sharing their home. To make this stay even more memorable, some hosts like to prepare small, yet thoughtful extras.

 

There are some very inspiring conversations here in the Community Center, where many of you have shared the multitude of creative things you do to go above and beyond for your guests. Here are a few handy highlights:

 

 

 

It’s easy to think that extra touches have to be expensive, but it can be something simple which you can reuse time and again, such as a chalkboard with your guest’s name on it or even just thinking about those things your guest wouldn’t necessary pack, like here in the UK a handy umbrella can help to save the day! These little touches can really make your guest feel at home.

 

Does this sound familiar to you? Have you added anything to your home which you thought would make your guests feel more at home?

 

Looking forward to hear from you.

 

Thanks,

Lizzie


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23 Replies 23
Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Lizzie 

 

The extra touch that guests seem to appreciate the most (even though it costs next to nothing) is the welcome blackboard with their name on it. Almost everyone loves that.

 

I also put these in the rooms as standard:

 

- Carafe of fresh water + glass in the room

- Useful toiletry minis, including things like sewing kit, nail files, shower caps, shoe shine etc. (as well as the full sized body wash/shampoo/conditioner/hand soap in the bathrooms)

- A selection of magazines. When I still travelled (pre-Covid), I would pick up magazines in different languages, so I try to include magazine's in the guest's language if I have them

- Travel adaptors

- Plug in air fresheners, which they can use or not, whatever suits

- Some sort of little dish or tray for keys, small items of jewellery, loose change etc.

- A letter rack with guidebooks, maps, timetables, tourist brochures, discount vouchers and local takeaway menus

- Extra duvets and pillows should they be needed

 

Some rooms also have:

 

- Selection of books (travel and English classics are popular)

- Hot water bottle 

- Eye mask & ear plugs

- Laundry basket

 

 

Sharon104
Level 2
Buffalo, NY

Yes, I also have a small "Welcome" blackboard in my guest room, which I personalize with every guest's name.  They love it!  Such a simple, inexpensive way to make folks feel welcome.

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Sharon104 

 

It's such a basic thing, but I honestly can't think of any little touch that guests appreciate more. 

 

It's pretty simple really. They are arriving in a strange place, possibly staying with a stranger/strangers, and may assume that to you, they are just another body passing through. Seeing their name on that board makes them instantly feel welcomed, at home, like you see them as an individual, special and that you care about them, have thought about them before they arrived and gone out of your way to welcome them and make them feel at home and comfortable.

 

From my perspective, being someone who is really bad at remembering names, writing them on a blackboard helps me not forget the name of the guest who is arriving!

Lisa6841
Level 1
Holbrook, NY

I love the ideas I got from reading your post about what you leave for your guests and i started to do some of those things myself, however Ii feel a bit jaded after my last experience with a family that stayed for 4 nights. I left 2 guest baskets filled to the brim with travel sized toiletries such as pack of 3 loofas, body soap, lotion, toothpaste, razors, shaving creaam, etc 

and 2nd basket had few popcorn bags, chips, pringles, candies, 2 small travel wine bottles, etc and not only did they clear everything out of the baskets but they took one of the baskets as well leaving only one empty basket after check out. I was so upset and now wondering if I should bother to replenish or not 

 

Huma0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Lisa6841 

 

Sorry to hear about that. Unfortunately, some guests will help themselves to anything they see as 'free' and there is also the tendency not to see those things as 'extras', but rather something that is included in the price they paid and therefore is theirs to take. Not sure if you ever saw that episode of Friends where Ross is obsessed with taking everything he possibly can from the hotel suite?

 

My theory is that you should not offer up disposable/take away items that you are not happy for guests to take and it should be affordable for you within the rates you charge. Sure, it is annoying when guests help themselves to EVERYTHING, but most guests in my experience do not do this, so it balances out.

 

Annoying though that your guests took one of the baskets too. You would think they would know not to do that but, then again, I had a guest who thew out all the maps/tourist and take away leaflets before she checked out. I guess it never occurred to her that I would have to trawl all over London for some time to collect all of those again and that I didn't do that for every individual booking. She thought they were just put there for her...

 

You have to decide how much to offer based on what you charge and your market/clientele. The more upmarket, the more you need to offer. If you offer too many freebies to budget travellers, they are likely to take as much as they can!

 

Also, I find that more is more because only a small minority actually take stuff, but the majority appreciate that it is on offer and there are those guests who are delighted by it. However, don't offer what is not appreciated. I tried one Christmas with cards, little gifts and treats for all my guests. Most did not appreciate it at all and many didn't even bother to open the cards or whatever, let alone say thanks. Another example is the fruit bowls I used to leave. Nine times out of ten, the fruit ended up in the bin, so I don't bother with that anymore.

Diane1182
Level 2
Philadelphia, PA

Hi Everyone,

What kind of toiletries do owners  provide? Do you use refillable bottles or small travel size containers? 

Thank You!

 

Mark116
Level 10
Jersey City, NJ

@Diane1182  We use extra large sizes to discourage guests from taking them.  We use Trader Joe's shampoo/conditioner and have had good luck in the past finding Crabtree & Evelyn and The Body Shop lotion and body wash at Marshalls, although since the pandemic finding these brand there has become more difficult.  I would never use the small travel size just because its too much plastic waste to deal with.  When the shampoo/conditioner get about 2/3 to 1/2 full we top them off & wipe down so they are full or almost full for every set of guests. 

Pete69
Level 10
Los Angeles, CA

Iron the part of the sheet that folds over the bed, as well as the pillowcases. It just creates a perception of added cleanliness.

 

Make sure there are no cellar spiders in the corners of the ceiling, etc.

 

Extra lights and lamps.

 

Box of Kleenex in the bathroom. They're expensive, but, after they check out I just keep the box for myself, then stick a new box in for the next guest. I do the same with a new unwrapped bar of Ivory soap (really cheap when you buy a pack of 12). Some guests are creeped out by used bars of soap, so that's why I put a new one in there.  Only about one out of 4 guests actually use the soap because I also provide Softsoap body wash and Softsoap for handwashing.

Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

Oh @Pete69 

If you are going to iron the sheets the cheat way is to fold them prior to ironing them as soon as the are taken off the line, they look much better that way, or as some in here have previously mentioned, they iron them on the bed itself.

Personally I love nice fresh ironed sheets and pillow cases.

 

Do you catch the wee Spiders with your hands and place them out in the Garden?

Insects are here with us for a very good reason, including to catch Flies..

Kevin1322
Level 10
null

@Lizzie… as someone who acknowledged a drinking problem some years ago, but who has spent a decade attempting to deal with it, I wouldn't like to be pushed right off the wagon with a bottle of unexpected free scotch.

Or maybe I would 😉  5 Stars all the way.

Mrs Kev was a chef, so is always messing about with biscuits/cookies etc, invariably this leads to freebie snacks and impromptu evening meals when guests (mostly hikers) arrive late. 

I think the sincerest  appreciation we have had from guests was for discreetly proving female sanitary hygene products, and an antibacterial hand-wash in the loo.

I think it is all about little incremental bits, where you under promise and over deliver.

 

 

 

Helen427
Level 10
Auckland, New Zealand

hello @Lizzie @Cathie19 @Ale113 @Rich-and-Yan0 @Emily487 @Matthew296 @Rachel0 @Susan1028 @J-Renato0 

 

The most thoughtful detail, perhaps I should use part of my personality, that I use is a welcoming smile and where appropriate a hug to welcome Guests, and been friendly to ensure guests have an enjoyable stay

 

All the best

Central To All Home & Location

Auckland , New Zealand

 

 

Emily487
Level 10
KCMO, MO

Beyond food and drink:

 

-q-tips

-sunscreen 

-umbrella / cheap rain ponchos

-package of baby wipes if they have a little one

-large flannel sleeping/pee pad for baby 

-if guests stay for 3+ nights and they have several kids, I offer to do a of their laundry for them at my house

Ale113
Level 10
Barcelona, Spain

One of the main issues is to concret what is a "detail":

 

Details:

- Smile at guests

- A piece of chocolate/sweet

- Borrow umbrellas

- Glasses for guests at the room

...

 

Extra services:

- Breakfast

- Provice basic food/drinks

- Ticket reservation or plannifiying routes

- Drive to the airporte

- Cleaning during the stay

Etc....

 

Some of my guest review me that the breakfast is a nice " detail"... No, sorry, it's not a detail. It is a service included.

 

Not mixing "details" and "services" is needed for avoid abuse of hosts.

 

A.

 

Jessie230
Level 2
Florida, United States

@Ale113 @I’m just starting so I’m nervous of this. How can I be a super host without just giving a bunch of free time and free services? 😅

Cathie19
Level 10
Darwin, Australia

@Lizzie , I usually put in extras for everyone. That’s just how it is.... but I do price a bit higher allowing for this. We are generous with food and drinks left in the kitchen supplies either dry or refrigerated.  But depending on The length of stay and the group’s cohort, I might tailor some extras to your needs...

 

Eg: we had two international guests who wanted to use bicycles, but as they can be expensive to hire, Garry lent them two of his, with purchased full accessories and helmets. They couldn’t use his!  He even rode with them one day to show them a specific route.

 

As for other times, it might be taking that load of dry washing off the line and folding it, DVDs or kids books that are age appropriate etc, some almond milk instead of cows, some rosehip teabags-that is their favourite, previously mentioned in a message.  

 

Rich-and-Yan0
Level 10
Hong Kong

Because our place is billed as a "luxury" listing, we do quite a bit to make our guests feel welcome. We ask beforehand if the guests have any allergies, and if the adults drink tea, coffee and alcohol. So far, it has been "no" every time to question 1, and "yes" to questions 2 and 3.

 

We then leave coffee pods for the coffee machine and fresh coffee for the French press; a variety of tea bags; a bottle of Vinho Verde (Portuguese wine) for short stays, two bottles for longer stays; 1-2 bottles of spring water; a few small bottles of beer (depending on the number of guests and length of stay); juice boxes if they have kids; some toiletries (hand cream, mouthwash, toothbrushes and small tubes of toothpaste) in gift bags on the table; and small bags of biscuits/cookies and crisps/chips. 

 

So far, our guests have appreciated this a lot. Every single guest has immediately written to thank us for this after they have arrived. 

 

We know it is an expense, but as I said, we charge more than a lot of our neighbours specifically because we want our guests to feel pampered. And based on the responses, they  do seem to be feeling that way--and that makes us happy.

 

Our hosting experience has taught us a few things that we may want to change down the road. But so far, this isn't one of them. 

Rachel0
Level 10
London, United Kingdom

@Lizzie Power adaptor, shaver/toothbrush adaptor, a carafe  of water with a glass and a small bowl of chocolates (Cadbury's Roses).  I always take the chocolates with the hazelnut in them out of the mix and  eat them myself, just in case of allergies!

Ale113
Level 10
Barcelona, Spain

Hello 🙂

 

I leave soap and body lotion in small pots (like travelling size) in the guest room with the towel. 

I also leave soap and body lotion at the toilet's sink for common use.

 

This way guests are happy and I can say "if you need to some more ask me, but don't take shampoo or soap from the shower since maybe it's from another guest" 😛 (as many people steal shampoo, body lotions, creams, perfum...)

 

I also have two small umbrellas that I offer when it rains.

 

A.

Susan1028
Level 10
Oregon, US

Please feel free to read my listing and guest reviews.  I do a lot, and my guests have been very appreciative: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/26127554

 

I will treasure my guest books and returning guests forever.

 

 

Rich-and-Yan0
Level 10
Hong Kong

I just did. Well done. You have the same philosophy as us, and though we are still new to this, we look forward to the day where we can be at the level you are.

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