The key to being a heavenly host
I’ve recently had the pleasure of taking a proper holiday.
You know the sort. The holiday where you stay at nice hotels and activities such as housekeeping are done while you’re out seeing the sights.
Where the biggest decision to make is whether it’s a good idea to have a chocolate croissant for breakfast again or what is the earliest time you can get away with having pre-dinner drinks.
And it’s got me thinking about the true nature of that much misunderstood quality in hosting guests — hospitality.
While some might be swayed by marble foyers, uniformed bellboys and well-stocked mini bars, for me a hotel doesn’t need to exude five-star luxury to get my vote.
Whether my bed for the night is in a three-, four- or five-star hotel, my favourite places to stay tend to have the same thing in common — they make you feel welcome.
It’s as simple as offering a smile as they (hopefully) take your bags and applauding (in my case dismal) attempts to speak a foreign language.
Even something like putting a smiley face in your morning coffee art is enough to make you feel more at home.
A friendly concierge that takes pleasure in giving directions or recommending somewhere for dinner is a bonus too, especially for people new to the city.
It’s worth keeping in mind when hosting guests at home.
Making a guest feel truly welcome means putting ourselves out and anticipating what might cause confusion or even anxiety to a visitor.
And while everyone likes a little luxury, offering a chair at the dinner table to share what you have with guests is always preferable to the cold formality that sometimes passes for service. A smile costs nothing, after all.