If you’re running a gite, you want a competitive edge. I recommend two ways to stay ahead of the competition: cover the bases and tailor your guests’ experiences.
Cover these Bases
- Hygiene. Making your gite spotless – not just clean – counts as enhancing your guests’ experience.
- Wifi – even in a rural gite, even if you look out of the window and see cows, you should seriously consider offering wifi. Increasingly, travellers like to remain connected.
Having wifi also encourages your guests to share photos of themselves having a great time in your gite.
- Have enough stuff for as many people are coming – this goes for cutlery and beds. You want to make your guests feel as though you anticipated them and their needs.
- Good quality bed linen and towels – Don’t make the mistake of using cheaper materials because they will be used and washed often. If it’s touching your guests’ skin, you want it to feel great.
- Luxury kitchen and bath/shower products – Create a sense of generosity, abundance, luxury, and comfort by being liberal with good quality skincare products in your gite. With products that look and often smell great, full of natural ingredients that are great for skin, you can both create atmosphere and look after your guests.
- A cot and a high chair – Parents love it when you anticipate the needs of their children.
- Dishwasher and washing machine – some consider this an essential; others a luxury. Either way, your guests will be happy.
Now Tailor the Experience
You want your guests to feel special. You can achieve this with a little customisation.
- Your USP is key – Don’t be afraid to have a theme that’s close to your heart. You don’t need to be gimmicky, but having your gite based on a single idea or value can pull everything together. This can make a stay more meaningful.
- Games and DVDs – Even better than having a good selection of games and movies available for your guests is making sure to highlight games and DVDs that your current guests may actually like.
- Local information – Make sure you highlight local places of interest to your guests, such as restaurants, shops, nature walks, and monuments. Personal recommendations are welcome. Remember that what interests a family with young kids may not appeal to a retired couple.
- Offer a welcome pack – If first impressions are important, offering a welcome pack is great for setting the tone. Including consumables, such as handmade soap and other useful bathroom items is a good idea, but go the extra mile. Think handmade, natural, and perfectly packaged, every time.
A welcome pack isn’t only a great way to say thank you for visiting, it also makes people feel valued and less like helping themselves to your soap and towels for compensation. Gestures like these go a long way. An alternative might be flowers, wine or champagne, and/or a card. Everyone washes, so offering soap that is kind to even sensitive skin is a good idea for the cornerstone of your welcome pack.
As a gite owner, your job is to give people what they need to help them feel special and have a happy, rewarding time. Love what you do and your guests will be happy. Provide luxury and convenience for your guests and your guest book and/or online reviews will demonstrate the benefits.