The Western Cape is a booming tourist and commercial industry; the beauty of the area and the weak Rand make it the perfect destination, not only for tourists but also for large scale Hollywood film shoots (after all Charlize Theron, Claire Danes, Rebel Wilson, Sean Penn and Penelope Cruz have all recently been spotted in Cape Town this month because of shoots.)
Capetonians know how to live a life of luxury and leisure, resulting in the city sporting world class restaurants and guesthouses which further attract the likes of Hollywood directors and moneyed tourists. There are a few other important ingredients to running a top class guest house than just location, however, and they are more practical than one might think.
Offer luxurious surroundings
This involves getting the mattress, decor, and of course menu right. This is because these aspects will have a direct impact on your guests’ basic needs and how rested and well satisfied they feel after an evening meal, night cap and night’s rest.
Mattress advice: When buying beds for your guest house, you’ll be able to make your choice from various mattress technologies including memory foam mattresses, different spring mattresses and latex mattresses, with each technology having its own merits. Memory foam, for example, was inspired by NASA seating technology to offer excellent support but the mattress can make for a warmer night’s sleep if it doesn’t come with cooling technology. Latex, therefore would be a good alternative and is also an extremely durable mattress which works for frequent use, and also limits the accumulation of dust mites. For more tips, read the Bed King mattresses advice page.
Decor advice: Headboards and sleigh beds both offer quick and easy ways to give a guest house room an instant facelift, while choosing quality, high graded cotton bedding will also make for a good first impression and a comfortable night’s sleep. Try to bring authentic elements into the decor, such as paintings by local artists, or splash out on one exceptional centrepiece such as an eco-friendly designer fireplace that will serve as a good place to wait for taxis and a talking point to encourage engagement with the staff and guests.
Menu advice: if you can’t afford to employ a cordon bleu chef, then simpler is always better. That does not mean you should disregard standard cooking advice - never overcook meat and starches, never undercook vegetables and pour your efforts into making excellent sauces and desserts. The latter finish off the meal, creating a lasting impression and you don’t want that impression to be “bland.”
Offer exceptional service
According to Tourism Grading South Africa, a host or representative must be available 24/7 and servicing of rooms must take place 7 days a week including changing the bed linen and towels. Aside from the practical details, friendly service is what will keep your guests coming back year-after-year so do your best to ensure you do a bit extra, for example by giving advice on local restaurants or entertainment venues.