The Art of Hospitality

Monday, May 7, 2018

There are few things that match the comfort of your own bed! So when travelling- there can be some trepidation surrounding your accommodations that is- unless you have friends that are truly gifted in the art of hospitality!

Years ago, one of my very best friends and I found ourselves up in the wee hours discussing the little details that make staying with friends more entertaining. For example, do you ‘leave a light on’ like Tom Bodette? How about water in the room and should you leave a little tag or donation jar like many of the larger hotel chains do (think of the revenue!)? Treats in the room is really stepping up your game, but before you invest in that sensor filled refrigerator at your home- you may want to consider how many visitors you will actually have and complete a cost/benefit analysis! Our favorite and the topic that really caused the most laughter (and a warning to shut up from her hubby) is whether you should flush in the middle of the night. I said YES- nothing like being reminded that your dear friends are present and accounted for. My friend was second guessing her invite!!

But seriously- the topic of hospitality is one that I LOVE- why? When someone does it right, your travel experience is sweetened and lifelong memories are made! Much like my WONDERFUL evening spent laughing and planning our own home/hotel experience with my bestie- we will never forget!

Let’s compare my recent experience to even your BEST hotel stay and you’ll soon be looking for your own ‘hospitality minded’ FRIENDS in the many places you might leave the comfort of your own bed for!

My flight was delayed so I offered to take an Uber to my friend’s home- nothing doing! My FUBER (Friend’s Uber) arrived and I was greeted like a long lost friend (smile, hug, joy- you get the picture!). My luggage found its way to the back of the car and when I got into the FRONT seat- I was greeted by a great view and a fresh bottle of water. I knew it was going to be a great trip! When I arrived at their home, my bags were brought in and I was offered a late night snack ( I had several things to choose from and it did not escape me that MOST hotel concessions would have been closed for the evening) and we spent some time catching up on the comfy couch. Before we decided to retire for the evening I was given the ‘TOUR’. As we walked into my sleeping quarters I was moved by the many little creature comforts my friend had arranged (I’m pretty sure it was JUST for me ☺). The room was inviting and well lit. On one bed table, there was an aromatherapy device that was delivering a wonderful mint odor to the room; I was shown how to adjust the color in case the one she had chosen was not my favorite. I was also given the option to change the flavor (GET OUT!!) as she had several options in the drawer for my enjoyment. She then turned the knob on what turned out to be a sound machine. Since I am from Washington, she selected the raindrops and I felt instantly at home! On the other bedside table there was a USB charging device and a reading light. Before we left the bedroom (for the bathroom tour) she turned down my blankets and explained that the 2 pillows on the top were softer and the 2 pillows on the bottom were more firm so could pick whichever I preferred (Just WOW). As we entered the bathroom I noticed a personal touch- a small gift I had given her a couple of years ago and so I might have a missed a few of the amenities! There was a comfort sheet in the tub complete with a head pillow in case I wanted to take a hot bath. 3 different kinds of bath salts were available (and labeled) for my use and there were various different types of bath gels (I tried them ALL!!). I was invited to ‘make myself at home’ which I took to mean I could open all of the cupboards (THAT is another blog!!). The rest of the trip was AMAZING- how could it be anything less with that type of beginning and while we did not have the formal, to flush or not to flush conversation- I felt very special and treasured

Why did these seemingly small acts of kindness touch me so? We live in a QUICK society where we have encounters with our friends and families that are often rushed through like we are checking them off of some TODO list- not intentionally but isn’t that the challenge? We need to be; I need to be more intentional about the way I treat those I love and care for- roll out the red carpet- sprinkle a little pixie dust and make sure they KNOW, FEEL and EXPERIENCE the fact that they are so important to me!

Both of the friends that are responsible for this story made me feel like I was their very best friend & treasured friend and that just feels MIRACULOUS. I’ve decide to STEP UP MY GAME in the hospitality department (although I am still considering installing the pay per item refrigerator) so the next time I receive a guest in my home they are in for a memorable and very caring experience!

Cheri Perry 5/7/2018

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