What better way to learn about becoming a successful Airbnb host than to hear from happy travellers? We asked frequent Airbnb users about some of the most memorable moments they’ve shared with hosts – and they range from arriving to a personalised welcome note written in chalk on the driveway, to being given a free cooking class.
We are sharing their uplifting stories in the hope they might inspire you to become an Airbnb host that guests write home about.
A guided tour
What happens when a host goes well and truly above and beyond their requirements? Bino wanted to see some of Seychelles while he was in transit and asked his host for advice about car hire. His host emailed back to let Bino know that he’d taken care of the request:
“Little did I know that it was actually the host himself who was driving me. Within a day, I got a good glimpse of Mahe, the main island of Seychelles. The best thing of all? He didn’t take my money for driving me around the island. For comparison, to hire a car with driver in Seychelles for 7 to 8 hours costs around US$150!” – Bino, travel blogger from I Wander
Food, glorious food
They say that the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach and that’s definitely the case for these three travellers who each have stories to tell about hosts making sure their bellies were full before they departed.
“We stayed in Bristol in an Airbnb close to Leigh Woods. Upon arrival, our host provided us with local ingredients and handwritten recipes to craft our own local dinner and breakfast. She also offered to help us cook if we wanted. She was simply brilliant” – Cory, travel writer from You Could Travel
“A recent Airbnb stay in Bangkok went from “good” to “wow” when our hosts took us out for dinner at a local streetside restaurant. They taught us about their favorite local dishes, how to order them and other things to keep in mind when eating out in Thailand. We offered to pick up the bill as a way of saying thank you – but our hosts insisted it was on them.” – Etty, Bangkok travel blogger on rice/potato
“Our most impressive hosting experience has been in Beijing. We rented a traditional 4BR Hutong for a multigenerational trip to China’s capital. We wanted to take a class how to make dumplings so I asked the owner of the Airbnb, Chyi if she had any recommendations. She didn’t know of any place but instead offered for her parents and uncle to teach us. It was a truly multi-cultural experience and showed that you can have fun together without speaking the same language. When it was time to eat the owner’s mother showed up with even more home cooked food and treated us to one of the best dinners we had in China.” – Ranjana, Founder of family-focused travel website Nugget
“We have stayed 200 nights in Airbnbs in the past year. The best experience came recently in Sydney over Easter. The hosts left a fully stocked pantry, chocolate Easter eggs for our children, and a bottle of wine for the adults. All this and fresh eggs, milk, bread, and orange juice for our first breakfast were in the fridge” – Nicole, avid Airbnb traveller from Family with Latitude.
The little things
It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture to make a lasting impression on guests. Something as simple as writing a personalized welcome note can make all the difference according to seasoned travellers Becca and Dan.
“We stayed in San Antonio in a ‘tiny house’ that was located in the backyard of a main house. Our hostess had written in chalk in the driveway, “Welcome, Becca & Dan!” and in the tiny house itself, she had written “Welcome Becca & Dan” again on a chalkboard and had set out snacks to get us through the weekend, breakfast foods like oatmeal, coffee and mugs, and extra toiletries in the bathroom like tiny toothbrushes and soaps. We felt so special and it was such warm hospitality.” – Becca and Dan, photographers and bloggers from half half travel
Many travellers choose Airbnb because they want to share authentic experiences with locals. When hosts open their homes to guests and treat them to genuine hospitality, it creates memorable moments. That was what happened when Chris travelled to a tiny village in Italy.
“We’ve had many wonderful experiences, but perhaps the most memorable was staying with Fabio and Sylvia in a Fornoli, a village high in the hills near the Cinque Terre two years ago. From the moment we arrived, they made us feel like family. Soon we were stopping by their upstairs apartment for a quick espresso in the morning and locals-only recommendations for the best places to eat, park, and what to see…Sylvia surprised me with a homemade gluten-free (!) birthday cake on our last day.” – Chris, an avid Airbnb user and blogger from Explore Now or Never
Why it matters
What does all this amount to? Happy travellers not only write great reviews about the Airbnbs they stay in, but many will often use social media to mention their memorable moments – whether it’s an Instagram photo of their surprise gluten free birthday cake or a blog post about their sweet host. They’ll tell other travellers. They’ll share stories with family and friends. And all this helps to increase bookings – as well as the quality of travellers who walk through your door.
For more ideas on ways to impress guests, check out our: What Airbnb hosts can learn from luxury hotels post. GuestReady has a team of passionate people who love helping hosts create lasting impressions for guests and gain great reviews. Can we help you? (We are also available in Edinburgh!)