At Good Retreats, we are fortunate to meet many inspiring people offering wonderful tours, retreats and camps all over the world.

With their determination, creativity, honesty and love of detail, they create concepts that win over not just us but also hundreds of guests every year. Its their passion to provide guests with an unforgettable experience is reflected in their choice of concepts, locations and fare as well as in countless positive reviews. Check our their top 5 magic ingredients for success.

1) Create one-of-a-kind experiences

Committing to satisfying the needs of your guests means leaving your ego behind and developing a deep understanding of your guests’ needs. Successful retreat owners are not primarily business geniuses with perfect marketing skills; they are above all empathic and thoughtful hosts who can sense what a guest might need at that very moment. Whether it’s a personal welcome upon arrival, a special tea for that itchy throat, an ice pack to help heal a bruise or fresh flowers from the garden on a guest’s birthday, it’s the little gestures that make a retreat memorable.

Passion check:

  • Do you have a unique feature that differentiates your offer from other providers?
  • Do you understand my guests’ individual needs and expectations?
  • Have you matched your activities to these needs?
  • Do you treat all your guests with the same dedication?
  • When do you or your team find it difficult to meet your guests’ individual needs?

2) Place special value on quality

Successful retreat hosts set and meet high standards of quality for all phases of interaction with their guests. Guest-friendly clear communication on their websites, choices geared to target groups as well as well thought out design of accommodations, activities and fare all contribute to meeting these high standards. Attention to detail in conjunction with quality are what make an experience special for your guests. This, in turn, leads to many positive reviews.

"Meet high standards of quality for all phases of interaction"

Quality check:

  • How do guests rate the quality you offer?
  • Has there been any critical feedback in the last few months that you have not been able to focus my attention on due to lack of time?
  • In which areas pertaining to quality do you need to catch up on?

3) Communicate quickly and well

Quick and efficient communications is the most important tool of successful retreat hosts. Whenever a guest gets in touch with you, it is of utmost importance that you respond immediately and with accuracy. The faster and more professional your response, the faster you can build a relationship based on trust with your guests and/or potential guests. Good relationships are much more likely to lead to bookings and guest satisfaction. Our experience shows that professional providers respond to queries within 24 hours. Make it your goal to have a quick response time and you will soon see results.

Communication check:

  • Have you streamlined my work flow so that I can respond to queries within 24 hours?
  • Are your responses to queries professional, ie free of formatting and spelling mistakes?
  • Is your website updated?

"professional providers respond to queries within 24 hours"

4) Stay committed

Successful hosts understand that guests have been dreaming of a special holiday for months. They have usually spent a lot of time and money to make their dream come true, so any unforeseen changes can be very upsetting. Professional providers need to ensure that fair standards and provisions are in place for both parties: If you have to cancel the retreat for unforeseeable reasons and guests would incur high cancellation fees, you should pay for their travel costs.  Professional providers take cancellations very seriously as they are aware of the negative emotions they cause which, in turn, often lead to negative reviews.

Communicate the minimum number of participants:

If your retreat requires a minimum number of participants, it is especially important to be transparent in your communications. Inform the guest upon confirmation of booking when you will be able to send them a final confirmation. This should be at least 4 weeks before the beginning of the retreat. It is otherwise difficult for the guest to find an alternative and to organise their travels. We are happy to assist you if you do not feel confident in this matter.

Have a Plan B:

Global warming can be an unpredictable factor particularly for sports holidays, as so many activities are held outdoors and the retreats often require a minimum number of participants. Communicate clearly that these retreats depend on the weather and other factors. We also recommend to have a plan B ready for any short term weather changes.

"Successful hosts understand that guests have been dreaming of a special holiday for months."

Commitment Check:

  • Have you taken on sufficient responsibility for any change of plans for the guests?
  • Have you put in place fair standards and provisions in case of cancellation?
  • Have you communicated the minimum participant requirements clearly?
  • Do you have a plan B for short term changes in weather?

5) Be honest in word and deed

Successful providers know that honesty lies in not only in words but in deeds as well. This is true for both the honest description of an offer and honesty towards employees and partners. Hosts with a strong sense of honesty and justice inspire trust and, hence, stronger relationships. This trust forms the basis of future relationships with returning guests, loyal employees and strong partners.

Honesty Check:

  • Do you really offer what I promise in my marketing activities?
  • Am you completely honest with all my employees, guests and partners?
  • Do you trust my employees, guests and partners?

"trust forms the basis of future relationships"

HOW WELL ARE YOU POSITIONED FOR 2017?

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