Sabba Summer Suite guesthouse is a romantic notion. It is quite different from a "bed and breakfast", hostel, lodge, or hotel. Here are some differences:
Bed and breakfast: A room or rooms in someone's home that are let out for a night or two, with breakfast included. You are actually staying in someone's home. A personal and intimate experience. Usually a private bathroom. B and B's can have high prices in many places as they are considered a special experience. Great for people who really dislike the impersonal experience of a hotel.
There are many variations on these definitions, but the purpose of stating them is to make clear that they are different from a "guesthouse" in certain ways. These differences include:
A guesthouse has "guests". A more personal experience where the owner greets and checks in guests, helps them feel welcome, often provides travel advice and booking help, and sometimes even engages with guests socially, giving them a connection to the island or city where it is located.
A guesthouse usually offers more privacy than a bed and breakfast, but less than a hotel.
A guest house's central offering is an intimate, friendly, relaxed, easy-going, social place to stay. It does not usually have luxury services like a pool, such as hotels have, nor usually shared rooms, like a hostel. Bathrooms may be shared or private.
The owner most often lives in the guesthouse, or on the property somewhere.
Guests can be any age, but younger travelers don't like the prices being higher than hostels.
Guests are primarily international independent individual or couple travelers, not large groups, families in general, or large families specifically.
Guesthouses sometimes provide breakfasts, adding to the social and personal nature that many travelers enjoy.
Sabba Summer Suite Guest house’s Principles and Practices
Here are some key principles of Sabba Summer Suite guesthouse, and how these principles result in specific practices:
Principle #1: Guests feel welcome, safe, certain, comfortable, and relaxed in the best guesthouses
- The owner or a staff member speaks the local language and usually at least one other, such as English.
- Guests of all ages, sexes, and styles of being are welcomed and made to feel at home.
- Manager has good welcoming skills.
- Manager is friendly and hospitable.
- Manager is available during the day to greet, settle, and help travelers.
- Guests are primarily international independent individual or couple travelers, not large groups, families in general, or large families specifically. This is an important distinction to make as in many relationship oriented countries, families travel in large groups and would not stay at a guesthouse. Instead, they would book two or more rooms in a hotel, expecting to have a social experience among themselves. International independent travelers expect the opposite: The chance to meet and socialize with each other and with the owner and staff. Guesthouses that "get it" make sure that the social atmosphere and owner + staff leadership in socializing is provided.
- Staff are managed well, treated like family, and paid well. This results in the staff, and not just the owner, being friendly with guests.
- Staff have a clear and professional system for doing their jobs. They are clearly trained and empowered to feel part of the success of the guesthouse.
- The owner and staff are culturally adept and adaptable, meeting the needs of different traveler profiles.
- Manager and staff have good problem solving skills.
- Staff are able to take initiative in meeting guest needs and in managing guest expectations proactively and in response to issues that arise.
- Staff have uniforms, making clear they are staff.
- The guesthouse handles online booking queries promptly, professionally, and personally, creating a relationship with potential guests before they even arrive.
Principle #2: Rooms are intimate, safe, comfortable, and private
- A locking door that provides proper noise, light, and intrusion protection.
- Windows with natural light coming in. Thick, full curtains or blinds.
- Comfortable, newer mattresses.
- Mattress covers and full sized higher quality bed sheets. Both are newer and in excellent condition
- Generous blanket options, for people who need more warmth.
- At least 2 full sized, thick, newer pillows per double or larger sized bed.
- Decorated - the room has some character.
- Warm colored paint
- No fluorescent lighting in the room. The room is well lit with incandescent, halogen, or full spectrum LED bulbs.
- A side table with a reading lamp.
- Storage space such as a shelf, dresser, luggage stand and/or closet.
- Wood that adds to the feeling of warmth in the room.
- Very clean
- Recently painted
- Very well maintained. Everything works in the room.
- Simple but strong, solid furniture. Not clunky, tiny, or worn out.
- Double pane windows for quietness, if in a noisier and colder area. At least solid single pane windows in places where double pane are either not available or prohibitively expensive.
- Principle #3: Bathrooms are sanitary, nurturing, available, and certain.
- Very clean. If shared, cleaned 2 or more times a day.
- 24x7 hot water.
- Sufficient water pressure.
- A spacious shower stall
- Well lit with warm, bright, incandescent lighting.
- Instructions posted for anything unusual or potentially unclear about the bathroom facilities.
- Well stocked with toilet paper and hand towels.
- Bath towels provided for guests.
- Ventilated with an exhaust fan.
- No drain smells. Plumbed properly.
- If shared, a locking door that provides full privacy protection.
- Sufficient space to move around and change clothing when showering.
- Ceramic tiled throughout.
- Modern fixtures.
- Well maintained - paint, appliances and fixtures, tile grout, lighting.
- Decorated - with some character.
- A shelf for belongings. Hooks for clothes. Bars for towels. Soap shelf in the shower. Vanity or shelf for toiletries. Little details such as these are important!
Principle #4: Spacious, friendly, comfortable, welcoming, and social common area(s).
- Common area is separate from the bedroom area to protect from noise transference.
- Contained space (intimate) but open and bright.
- Quiet spaces and social spaces.
- Variety of seating options, including couch, hammock, armchair, and table & chairs available.
- Chairs have cushions.
- Lots of plants.
- Optimal: A rooftop terrace, patio, or lounge in a warm climate country. Even better: With a nice view.
- Decorated - character.
- Books and games.
- Guests feel free to be themselves - not being watched suspiciously by staff.
- Not a thoroughfare for staff.
- No fluorescent lighting. A mix of festive, functional incandescent, halogen, and full-spectrum LED lighting.
- Lit well at night.
- Lots of electrical outlets for computer and smartphone users.
- Good wifi service in common area(s).
Principle #5: Logistics are relaxed, trustworthy, professional, clear, certain, and feel safe.
- Good reservation system - online bookings, deposit taking, payment method options, clear and simple cancellation policies.
- Each room is bookable online individually and separately. This gives guests the feeling of certainty in what they will be getting upon arrival.
- Lots of recent photos of the rooms, bathrooms, and common area(s) on the guest house's web site.
- Comprehensive web site. Local and English languages at least. German, French, and other languages included even better.
- Group bookings options made clear, if offered.
- Clear check-in and check-out policies and practices.
- Extra services available and clearly signed and priced. Example: Travel bookings.
- Clear and friendly signage, information provision, and instructions throughout.
- A positive welcoming tone rather than a suspicious and punitive tone in all dealings.
Principle #6: Extra value and special character - the "wow!" factors
Practices: (not all required)
- Organized social events
- Free breakfasts that are both tasty and generously portion-sized.
- Towel service for rooms and local beach (if applicable)
- Internet computer with printer.
- Free filtered water access.
- Soft drinks, juices, and snacks for sale.
- Kitchen for guests to use.
- Wifi service throughout the guesthouse.
- "Above and beyond" service from the owner and staff.
- Boat or other rentals available at low cost to guests.
Guest House Source of Profits
- Mid-range pricing of room rates, relative to a specific geographic area.
- All ages, though >25 years old are more willing to pay for the quality.
- Private rooms primarily.
- Shared and private bathroom options.
- Social atmosphere where guests specifically want to meet other travelers.
- Location: Good access to the "centre" of things in a particular place.
- Standards of the facilities, cleanliness, and service are high
- Feeling of coziness important.
- Staff are mature, caring, friendly.