The little things that matter.
President, August 2019
Having just returned from a wonderful holiday it is opportune to reflect on the things that made our stay in inns and hotels comfortable and at the risk of seeming negative – the things I wished were there.
Givens are cleanliness and comfort, but what I really appreciate in a room is the opportunity to make tea and coffee. In other words, a kettle or as we found in some accommodations, a microwave to heat water in cups or mugs. We did appreciate the Nespresso-type machines but being committed to sustainability I do struggle with the wastage from capsules but, hey, I guess the packaging around individual teabags and coffee sachets is also wasteful.
In America kettles are certainly not a given and we did miss being able to make a hot drink, not caffeine loaded, at the end of our day.
Some properties were adapted from a historical building and hence some of the rooms were small, but comfortable seating for two people is also welcome and of course as operators it does keep people off the beds in their outdoor attire and even shoes. Sometimes this is in a guest lounge or on the deck but just “chilling out” is not always comfortable in public spaces and in the temperatures we experienced, the outdoor seating was not always an option.
Comfortable beds are a personal choice and we did not experience any that were not, but I am coming home to invest in a firm pillow option for our guests. I did miss having my pillow that keeps my head on the top – not snuggled into the fill. However, in our own B&B rooms they are those lovely soft ones so an investment is to be made!
Thank you to all of the hosts who provide large spa towels that you can wrap yourself in completely. Is the investment so much more?
Large fluffy towels turn the ordinary into extraordinary and add such luxury for so little investment. This is my pet love.
It was hot and providing ice is something that the Americans do well. Many properties have ice makers and if not, iced water and even iced tea is available. We used many bottles of water kindly provided by the hosts but would equally have been happy with a carafe to avoid the plastic. Waking up to the news this morning that Glastonbury went plastic bottle free proves that it can be done and as long as the tap water is drinkable, there would not be any queues either!
As we strive to be more sustainable, we will continue with our carafes with the option of cold filtered water available in the guest fridge. In our home city we have had to adjust to chlorine in the water and as we previously had lovely, chemical-free artesian water for drinking we have made commercial water available but in a large receptacle from which bottles can be filled. Plans are to install a filter, if chlorine is going to be the long-term solution.
Being hosts ourselves we are not very forward in asking for things that are not obviously available.
In a lovely inn we had a small kitchen – microwave, bench and sink and fridge with mini bar but imagine our surprise when we discovered there was no kitchen equipment. Not even a mug to heat water. On check out, I did ask why. The reply: “We only provide it if we are asked. Perhaps we had better put a note in the kitchen”.
Of course they should, or in a compendium (or on an ipad or other device as is becoming popular) to explain what is available at the inn, their policies and the pool rules and all that other important information. Whilst compendiums are the rule rather than the exception in New Zealand, it is not until you do not have one that you realise how they do enhance your visit.
Our holiday was wonderful, with amazing experiences and many of those little things enriched it. Small investments for improved guest satisfaction.
President, August 2019