In my last article, I wrote about how to welcome guests in a hotel, so I believe it’s also important to discuss how to welcome guests who rent vacation homes.

How to welcome guests if you are vacation homeowner

Although there are some differences in welcoming guests in hotels versus vacation homes or apartments, the most crucial element is the same: creating a positive first impression.

Make a good first impression 

As a hotelier, I always stress the importance of creating a positive first impression. It’s the most crucial aspect of hospitality, regardless of the specific segment you’re in. I’ll continue to emphasize this in my writing, as I believe it’s essential for success.

In fact, the first impression is not only important in the hotel business but also in every other segment where guests are welcomed. This is particularly true for those who rent vacation homes and apartments.

So, how does the first impression impact guests?

first impression

I’d like to share an experience with you that happened not long ago, which is the first time I’m writing about my personal experience as a guest.

In my ten years of experience in hospitality, I’ve primarily been on the side of welcoming guests rather than being a guest somewhere myself. However, over the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to stay in several different accommodations and have had various experiences.

On my last trip, my family and I had an unpleasant welcome at the villa where we spent the weekend. This experience inspired me to write this article.

The owner of the villa was unkind to us because we were about half an hour late, even though we had called her to inform her of our delay and provided an explanation. To be honest, I prefer not to be late anywhere. However, the accommodation we had chosen was in another city, and we experienced some difficulties getting there, and that was the reason that we were late for about 30 minutes. 

She was so rude on the phone, and told me that she had more important things to do than wait for us for hours in the villa, even though she had only been waiting for half an hour from the agreed meeting time!

With this type of welcome, no one is going to write a positive review. Although the villa was beautiful and comfortable, my weekend was ruined, and I did not enjoy my stay.

The owner did text me after our stay to apologize for her behavior and told me that she had guests at the villa from the same city as us, and they were very unpleasant guests. Therefore, she made an assumption that we were all the same type of people from our city. That is simply ridiculous.

Please do not do that, ever. It is very unprofessional, if you decide to run hospitality business, you need to be prepared to deal with different types of people. And never make assumption on people.

The 10/4 Welcoming Guest Rule 

“The 10-4 rule” can also be applied when welcoming guests to your vacation villa. In this case, you can also offer the guest a handshake as a welcoming gesture.

So, how does the 10-4 rule work?

When your guest is approximately ten feet away from you, you can make eye contact and have a smile on your face. As they get closer, at about four feet away, you can say, “hello.”

This rule is a crucial part of creating a positive first impression, so I highly recommend using it when welcoming guests.

Do not let the guests wait

Never allow yourself to be late when meeting guests. If you want to leave a great first impression, you should aim to be at the meeting point 10 to 15 minutes before the guests’ scheduled arrival time. If you are meeting the guests at the property, you should arrive at least half an hour before their scheduled arrival time. During this time, you can check if everything is in order in the house or apartment while you wait for the guests to arrive.

Don't let the guest wait

Guests arrival

After politely greeting your guests and engaging in some small talk about their travels, it’s time to show them the inside of the property. Take this opportunity to inform them about any house rules you may have. I recommend having all of your rules and regulations printed in a booklet that you can show to the guests upon arrival, and politely ask them to review it.

During the tour, be sure to show your guests all of the rooms and amenities your property has to offer.


Always have a welcome basket prepared for your guests. If you are renting a luxury property, consider including some luxury amenities and gifts.

A welcome drink, such as a glass of champagne or a cocktail, is always a nice touch. Including some high-quality chocolates in the basket can also surprise and delight your guests.

Be sure to offer high-quality bathroom supplies, such as soaps, lotions, and shampoos.

If your property has a private pool or Jacuzzi, consider preparing some pleasant surprises around the water, such as glasses of champagne, quality wine, or candles. Remember, it’s the little things that can make guests feel welcomed and appreciated.

Luxury amenities

Listen to the guests carefully 

Listening to guests is also one of the essential things when you are welcoming them. If you don’t listen to what the guests have to tell you on arrival, that can cost you a lot. Maybe they will have some questions? You need to listen to them carefully.

It is also part of the first impression. If you are in a rush and all you want to do is accommodate the guests and leave, then you will leave an impression on them that they are not so welcomed in your property.

If you have other things to do, then you should employ someone to do the welcoming of the guests instead of you.

Before you leave the property 

Before you go, ask the guests if they have any questions for you (if they didn’t ask while you were showing the property). Even if they did ask you something, ask them again before you leave.

Always let your guests know that you are available to help them if they have any concerns about the area or the property. Give them your phone number, so they can contact you if there are any problems.

The most important thing is to genuinely wish them a lovely stay at your property. Say it from the heart, not just with words. Guests can easily tell if you don’t mean it.


Last advice when you are welcome guests

If you use these simple techniques when welcoming guests to your property, you can be sure to receive excellent reviews. The more positive reviews you receive, the more guests you will attract to your accommodation.

While we all have bad days, it’s important to maintain a friendly demeanor in the hospitality business. If you choose to work in this industry, you must have a passion for the job. Otherwise, you will not succeed.

If you are new to this business, you may find welcoming guests to be a challenge. However, if you love what you do, nothing will be difficult. You will need to learn how to be patient and, most importantly, be kind to your guests.


Categories: Hospitality


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