10 Commandments of Hosting Guests Over the Holidays
Robin D. Carson, General Manager, Kingsmill
1. Create a festive, cozy atmosphere. Bring the holiday spirit to guests from the inside out with lights and traditional décor throughout the property, such as a welcoming gingerbread village in the lobby and a large fire pit for complimentary s’mores.
2. The price is right. Holiday travel can be expensive, especially for larger families. Be sure to offer packages with valuable add-ons and memorable experiences, like holiday meals and festively-decorated suites.
3. Accommodations are key. Provide families with plenty of room for holiday bonding and fun, and room to decorate, just like home. Offer a pre-decorated parlor to create a warm, inviting living space. One-, two- or even three-bedroom suites are ideal for larger groups looking for more space.
4. Keep guests busy with holiday-themed activities. Have monitored kid’s activities such as gingerbread decorating sessions and holiday games, so parents have a chance to do some last-minute shopping.
5. Serve up tasty culinary experiences. Offer wine tastings, cooking demonstrations, and hot cider during check-in times. The smell of the season will make guests feel right at home.
6. Make sure to create an environment free of holiday stress. Guests are not only feeling the stress of the season, but traveling away from home. Service details such as early check-in, late check-out, last minute on-property shopping amenities and free shuttle service help ease the pressure of a busy holiday season.
7. Offer unique activities to help make new traditions. If your property is located in a history-rich area, hold a local ghost walk highlighting tales of residents from the past entwined with local holiday traditions.
8. Package activities to create a memorable visit. If your area has special events, such as Grand Illumination at Colonial Williamsburg or Christmas Town at Busch Gardens, include tickets and transportation at reduced rates so guests can get the full holiday experience at your location.
9. Encourage guests to pamper themselves. If you have a spa, offer seasonal holiday treatments, such as a Chocolate Massage, or Cranberry Pomegranate Facial, to help guests get into the spirit and relax simultaneously.
10. Don’t forget Santa. Offer Breakfast with Santa, so kids don’t feel like they’re going to be missed by St. Nick just because they’re away from home on Christmas morning.
This holiday season, rates at the 425-room Kingsmill Resort start at $265 a night which includes breakfast. Go to www.kingsmill.com to book or call (757) 253-1703.