Well, here we are, at the end of March already, and ‘The Season’ is almost upon us. It will, of course, start at Easter and carry on until the early autumn and beyond. Looking at local news reports, Portugal is going to be very busy this year with visitors, so we’re going to need to be prepared.
Whether hotels, boutique lodgings, private villas, Airbnb or our own home, we all want our guests to feel welcome when staying. Fortunately, this can be easily accomplished by creating a fresh and cosy space to emulate that chic hotel experience, especially in the bedroom.
When it comes to guest room readiness, here are a few, super simple tips to create the most “come-back-again” experience.
Besides the obvious step of providing comfortable hotel-quality bedding and making sure the guest bathroom is stocked with loo paper, shampoo and soap, here are a few simple tips to make your guests feel comfortable and special.
Tip 1: Ensure you have enough sheets, pillows, throws and protectors. Carry out an inventory now and top up if you need to. Make sure the linen is newly-laundered and has that ‘fresh scent’ aroma and soft feel. It may have been stored for three months during the off-season and will no doubt need airing. Don’t forget the lowest temperature to remove germs and bacteria in fabrics is 60º, so check your labels to see how yours fare.
The same goes for your towels. Check that you have a good supply and, if they’ve lost some of their natural moisture and softness, you can refresh them with white wine vinegar in the wash – as a last resort, use the smallest amount of fabric softener to make them fluffy again.
Display the towels in your own way for maximum decor. It can be as simple as a beautiful pile of fresh-smelling, fluffy towels at the end of the bed, to a decorative ladder in the bedroom or en-suite. And for that extra luxury touch, provide beautiful towelling bathrobes made in Portugal.
When replacing items, keep it Portuguese! Surprisingly perhaps, Portugal is the biggest textile manufacturer in Europe with a great selection of goods. Buying Portuguese helps the local economy and gets you kudos for the ecological and sustainable side.
Keeping the focus on your bedding and towels will give your guests that ‘hotel experience’, where sleep comes instantly, and your guests awake peaceful and refreshed for the next day of their holiday.
Tip 2: Just before your guests arrive, turn on a lamp, even if it’s daytime. It will give the room a welcoming glow and they will know that you are ready for them and have put some thought into their visit. Don’t forget to check that the bulbs are still working.
Tip 3: Provide somewhere for guests to place their jewellery or keys. A small wooden or ceramic bowl is both practical and decorative. Also be sure to include some reading material, just in case there is some downtime and they didn’t bring something with them to read. Portugal attracts guests from all countries and hence languages, so pictorial books are ideal, perhaps with the history and beautiful vistas of Portugal – information for our guests to extend their knowledge and experience of Portugal.
Easy Tip 4: Flowers in any space always make it feel warm and welcoming, so don’t forget those pretty blooms before your guests arrive. I know from my own experience, when I first started to visit the Algarve and stayed in Salema, the property manager or the owner would always put some fresh, locally-picked flowers on display. I found that touch so welcoming.
Tip 5: This final tip is one that I consider to be quite underrated. Include a personalised welcome note! This can be guest specific. If your guests are coming to surf or golf or are having a family holiday, a brief note recognising their interests is always well received. Leave other relevant information under your note. Let them know where to find the welcome pack and – yes! – the bottle of Portuguese wine and locally pressed orange juice.
Good luck with your coming season. You know where we are if you need to re-stock Portuguese style!
By Karen Love
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Lagos: (+351) 282 697 791
Lagoa: (+351) 282 071 674