The Art of Hospitality

By Emma Jacobs, Westville B&B, Durban

We believe so much in Hospitality, that we have taken our theme of Art and turned our Hospitality into an Art! Art is central to our Westville B&B rooms’ decor. Each room is named after an artist, and prints of their works are displayed on that room’s wall. Every night our guests go to bed with Monet, Renoir, Vettriano, Wachtmeister and Rivera, just to name a few!

So, what separates Westville B&B as Hospitality specialists? What is our secret? Why do we win so many awards? Well it’s simple. It boils down to the difference between the concepts of Customer Service versus Hospitality.

To be a successful business, you need to focus on the product or service the guest has come to you for (a clean room, a tasty breakfast), but also on how you treat them in the process (welcoming them with a smile, using their name).

Customer Service focuses on serving them, giving them what they need or want, assisting them, giving them advice. Hospitality is how you receive them, how they are entertained, made to feel welcome, and that they are welcome back. Hospitality is Customer Service’s “packaging”.

Hospitality starts from the minute your guest arrives, from the welcome, to the farewell as you wave them off in the driveway. To be told “thank you for having me”, when in fact they have paid you to be there, is an indication that you went out of your way to make them feel special.

Nothing replaces the kick of your guest saying “thank you for your hospitality”! This cannot be faked. Sincerity is key. True Hospitality specialists genuinely enjoy their guests and genuinely feel a connection with their guests, and this shows in your revenue and reviews.

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