Back in March, we started our Moment Makers series, which tells the stories of partners going above and beyond for their guests. You may have seen our first two episodes from Austin, Texas and Rome, Italy.
We wanted to open it up to all our partners, so we launched our Moment Makers contest, asking “What do you do to go above and beyond for your guests?”
We got a flood of responses from people who take hospitality to a whole new level! After reviewing all the stories (and booking some vacations!), we chose one winner who stands out from the rest. Congratulations to Hope Stawski from Magens Hideaway in the Virgin Islands! Here’s what Hope had to say about how she greets her guests:
“Upon arrival to Magens Hideaway, each guest has a beverage and small snack waiting for them. With drink in hand, they are given the grand tour of the villa. As they take in the gorgeous view of the British Virgin Islands from the Great Patio, they hear a splash from the pool below them, and as they turn all their attention to the pool, our MERMAID dives in from the large rock next to the pool! From there, the guests have the opportunity to interact with the mermaid, and if they choose, to don one of the mermaid tails and swim. It's a fantastic way to start the vacation and is a complete surprise.”
A story like that is tough to beat, but the competition was pretty fierce! Here are some other ways owners are going above and beyond for their guests:
Master the art of the arrival by providing refreshments or special amenities. One contestant goes all out: “I also have a complimentary bottle of champagne for the group as well as fresh flowers in each bedroom, and robes, slippers, ear plugs, and eye masks on every bed along with the towels.” And some of our partners go for the personal touch: “I love to bake so I have hearty muffins, cookies, or some baked goods for them.” As one partner put it, “It’s the little things that make a huge impact!” We couldn’t agree more.
Provide outstanding service. Many of the contestants explained how they solve problems and make life easier for their guests: “One of my guests wanted to ship his skis but was not able to get them directly to the condo as they don't accept packages. I had him ship to my house in Salt Lake City and I had them waiting for him at the condo in Park City when he arrived. He was very grateful.” And as we all know, not everything goes perfectly 100% of the time, so it’s important to handle it well, like this partner: “When guests are disappointed by the accommodations or if there has been a maintenance issue, I've found a gift card to a local restaurant helps to minimize the disruption.”
Don’t just provide a building - provide an experience. We heard from a lot of partners who are making sure their guests have an amazing time: “I want my teepee rental guests to have a one-of-a-kind experience! To make sure they have the most enjoyable getaway, it's all about the details! A deluxe hammock for two, books about our state, bird watching binoculars, a stocked picnic backpack, walking/hiking sticks, basket for wild berry picking & trail maps, gold panning kits, metal detectors, horseback riding & off-road vehicles to explore the Ouachita National Forest & have the greatest mountain adventure getaway!” The trick is to make your property a part of the surrounding environment, like this person: “We have wet suits for the cold coastal waters but sport enthusiasts also enjoy them. There is fishing, clamming and crabbing equipment which guests love. I have added kites and sun umbrellas plus portable chairs to carry to the beach. A croquet set is available in the backyard.”
One thing became clear as we read all these amazing stories: our partners don’t get into the vacation rental business only for financial reasons - they do it because they love to provide amazing hospitality, because caring for their guests really matters to them. We love hearing these stories, and we’ll keep telling them! Look for our upcoming episodes from Australia and Nashville, or maybe even from your town!
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