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Wow Your Guests With These Six Best Practice Examples – Episode #051


As the hospitality, luxury resort, and glamping industries increase in competitiveness so does the need to stand out from the crowd. This episode highlights six real-world examples and best practices that wow the guest by enhancing their experience so you can be inspired to do the same.

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Step Up Your Game: Elevate Your Glamping Guest Experience with These 6 Impressive Real-World Examples

The vacation rental market is constantly evolving, and guests are now seeking unique, immersive experiences. With the right techniques and strategies, you can make the experience memorable and enjoyable for everyone. In this podcast episode, I’ll be sharing six real-world examples of how business owners and retreat hosts are boosting their guest experience and memorability so you can apply these techniques to your own glamping business, unique holiday rental or retreat, and take it to the next level. If you’re looking for inspiration and tips on how to impress your guests, tune in now!

This episode is brought to you by the Glamping Academy and the Start Up And Grow Club

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Sarah Riley: Hello and welcome to episode 51. Today I’m gonna be speaking to you about some very impressive ways I’ve seen glamping business owners and retreat hosts boosting their guest experience and memorability. I’m also gonna be sharing my perspective on how you can apply it to you. So what you need to think through and how you can apply all the different elements so that you can benefit with your own guest experience and memorability. So welcome to the episode. Glamping and unique holiday rentals are surging in popularity with the growing desire of customers to book holidays that deliver and experience. They are also the new business of choice for those wanting to improve their work-life balance. So how do you build a strong business like this that gives you the life you need and a great investment I’m Sarah Riley and I want to share what I’ve discovered after being immersed in this industry for over 20 years to inspire you to find out more about what’s going on. Welcome, this is the Business of Glamping and unique Holiday Rentals.

Sarah Riley: Hello and welcome to episode 51. I can’t believe we’re already at 51, but there you go. That’s the way time is flying right now. But I’m loving this all the feedback I’m getting. Thank you so much for everyone getting in touch and thanks also for the reviews. We love reviews. So nice to hear your thoughts around our content and everything else in between to do with the glamping industry and unique holiday rentals and how unique resorts and everything else are just exploding around the world. And it’s really great to hear your thoughts around it and how you want to get into this game, into this industry and your ideas, what you are thinking of introducing. But one of those things that you really have to think through is your guest experience. Now, why is this Well, one of the reasons, of course, is because it helps you to give the most amazing experience to your customer.

Sarah Riley: They will talk about it to other people, that then will become something that will help you market your actual business. And then everything moves on from there. So how can you enhance your guest experience and make it even more amazing so that people remember it, they talk about it, they promote your business, you receive lots of other guest bookings as a result and a business that is successful and thriving even if the market is highly competitive. Well, this is one of the things I’m gonna be sharing today. I particularly wanna share some examples that I’ve seen from businesses that I’ve visited and business owners I’ve been talking to over the past six months. There’s some amazing things going on and I think as always, we can definitely learn from what other people are doing. So one of the things you need to think about is how you can apply this to you.

Sarah Riley: So first of all, think about who your main guest is. Who are they What is their typical interest Where do they typically come from What’s their background and what do they want What is their dream holiday So for some people this might be totally relaxing, kicking back, not doing anything for other people it might be having some buzz on site, having something to do, some noise, some activities, some entertainment, that kind of thing. So you need to think about what your guest really wants and then develop something around that because at the end of the day, that’s what’s important. It’s not about what you want, it’s about what they want. And then thinking about what examples you’ve heard about and what you could do that’s different with the resources that you have. As always, it’s not copying, it’s about taking information, being inspired and applying it to your own situation, but then focusing on what resources do you actually have.

Sarah Riley: What does your land allow you to do What do your buildings allow you to do And everything in between. So definitely focus on your audience and what they want their your guest and also what do you have as resources and how can you make it happen. But the key is of course, that you have to take action. It won’t work if you procrastinate and sit on your ideas. I’m one of those people. I have loads of ideas. A lot of my ideas do actually just get dropped, but so many of them I try to action because I know if I don’t actually take action, what’s the point in having all of those ideas So think about what you wanna do, take action, make it happen. So my first example is from the wonderful glamping business Garden Village Bled. Now this business I visited a few months ago and I spoke with various people who were showing me around and it seemed that because the accommodation was under canvas, of course sound can travel, especially in this area, which was quiet, it was tranquil.

Sarah Riley: There wasn’t much background noise. It wasn’t a very windy place. So there wasn’t the wind kind of dull in the noise. So there was an issue with holiday makers, making noise in their own accommodation. And then of course that being heard by others. So how did they create a system where the noise was dulled a little bit with a bit of background noise, it a back background white noise is probably the, the best way to describe it. Well, one of the things they did was they used one of their natural resources on the land, which was wonderful flowing water, which they had from the spring and the river that was nearby. And they created these little channels down the side of the path that went through the site. These little channels had water flowing down them and each channel had little steps in it.

Sarah Riley: Those steps created that really lovely water sound, the kind of water sound that you get from, you know, your garden water feature that you have in your own backyard. But here, this trickle of water, the noise, the sound, it created this ambient and very relaxing background noise that helped to dulan the sharp noises going on from children, playing from families, talking from people being in their outdoor baths, you know, clinking champagne, champagne glasses and all that kind of good stuff that you do on holiday. It was a really ingenious way of being able to help the people onsite live together in close proximity under canvas where there’s very little insulation for the noise. They had a lot of other really amazing examples of best practice as well. One of the things they did, they had a fantastic kitchen garden. The kitchen garden had lots and lots of food that was grown by the, the gardener to be used in the restaurant that guests were able to sit in.

Sarah Riley: Now this is something that is fantastic because the guests can see the food from garden to plate and it really helped them to understand the whole process because they were allowed to go around the garden, see how things were grown, see how things were harvested, and then to see how things were cooked because the actual cooking area was open and guests were encouraged to take part and speak to the chefs and and ask them all kinds of questions around what they were cooking and what they were cooking with the communal seating as well was fantastic world swimming and also areas to store bikes because they knew their audience liked to cycle in the local area, but needed a place to store safely and securely their expensive bike that they had brought. These are all things that they tailored specifically to their guest so their guest would have the best experience possible.

Sarah Riley: I would have to say I loved all of it. It’s something I will definitely go be going back to see again. And Garden Village Blood is in Slovenia. So also in my travels I’ve been experiencing a lot of wellness services. So wellness and spa treatments and other treatments that the owners are designing around their guests are really interesting. From my perspective as a business consultant, I always look at how something is profitable and bringing something to the owner, making their business more robust. And wellness is well is quite interesting because with wellness there isn’t a huge profit margin. It’s not the strongest. But in terms of providing an amazing and memorable guest experience, it delivers in huge quantities and absolutely gets guests talking about it to their friends and keeping them coming back for more on a regular basis on a repeat basis. It’s that thing, isn’t it?

Sarah Riley: If we want to go and stay somewhere in accommodation, you may go, once you have that experience, great, you wanna try somewhere else the next time. But actually if you are staying somewhere and you are having certain treatments, maybe you are having your diet looked at, maybe you are having, your exercise regime and your fitness and all of that good stuff looked at, maybe after six months you might think, you know what, have such a great experience at this place where we had the accommodation and we also had these wellness and spa treatments. I feel I need to go back and, and have more energy and and be looked after and pampered again. So I’m gonna go back. So it encourages people to keep coming back for more time, time again. So it’s a fantastic way of getting your repeat bookings up. And as we know, repeat bookings are much cheaper to obtain than original bookings from the get-go.

Sarah Riley: And so it means that your booking, the money you get for your booking is more profitable cuz there’s less costs involved in acquiring that guest. So this is where you need to think about what can you do with the resources you have with what you do. Maybe you’ve got local people that could provide things for you on your behalf. You don’t need to do this all yourself, but this will help you add another level to the experience your guests are getting and it will make them want to come back for more time and time again. So another example I have seen, actually, I’ve seen this example in many, many places, particularly in America, but definitely it’s here in the UK as well and across parts of Europe. And this example is providing an Instagrammable experience or an Instagrammable wall or a view or something that the guest is able to see as the perfect opportunity for them to do selfies with their loved ones and to share that on social media.

Sarah Riley: But also in doing this, the host, the owner, has in a very clearly defined and very cool way included their hashtag, the hashtag they use all the time to promote their business and to encourage their guests to promote their business. This means that people go to this Instagramable area, they take selfies, they mess about with their friends, they have a wonderful time, and then they share it on social media using the hashtag that’s really close by in a very obvious place. And then that means that they are helping to promote the accommodation for the host. This is a fantastic way of promoting your business on social media in a place where people are increasingly starting to look for their holidays, using hashtags, using certain things that allows them to see experiences that others have had and others have shared on social media. So if you are not doing this, this is a really achievable thing, then look at your resources, look at your land, look at your buildings, look at everything you do and everything you offer.

Sarah Riley: And think about number one, what would be the natural place people will gravitate to to be able to do this kind of self-branding this, these selfies, and to share it on social media. And then two, think about what hashtag you want to have as your promotional tool on social media that people can share. And make sure you have a very cool sign somewhere in that area so that people can a, either photograph it or use it on social media. And this is something that will really help to bring you new inquiries and potentially new bookings in the future with very little work involved. Okay, so my next example is around encouraging people to have a certain experience with other people on your site together. So I see this done time and time again in really cool ways. And actually I’ve shared some of this on my Instagram account, so you might want to go and have a look at that.

Sarah Riley: So to find out where that is, you just go to Instagram and you put in the at sign and then inspired underscore camping. So that’s the at sign inspired underscore camping. Go and have a look at that and you will see all kinds of examples that I’ve shared from the places that I’ve visited. And one of those things is about a communal area building. A communal area that encourages people to come together to chat, to share stories, share information, make new friends, and to have a really amazing time either around a fire that they are able to build themselves, to do stargazing, to share all kinds of tips and information around stargazing. And some sites even provide the equipment that allow people to see the moon and certain stars and planets at certain times of the year. But it’s particularly awe inspiring when there’s some kind of stargazing events.

Sarah Riley: So it could be some, a massive shooting stars that are happening, which often happen in August. Now these events are easily searchable using Google. So providing that information to your guests if they are staying during that time is perfect because it means that they know firstly they have an activity to do. But secondly, it’s going to be a really memorable experience. This is about building memories, this is about having experiences. So I would definitely say if you have the resources to think about building a communal area that suits you and suits the services that you are going to be providing. So that would be slightly different if you are a business that will be doing retreats. So retreats need to have a little bit more of a communal area that is maybe covered is warmer. So they can do all kinds of gatherings at all times of the year no matter what the weather.

Sarah Riley: Whereas others may be just have a summer, very seasonal business. And it’s about providing a communal area where people can enjoy all of those out outdoor, outdoor activities with people they meet on site. So my next example is from an amazing place on Brack Island and this place is called a Maison Glamping Resort. Now this is another level of glamping resort. They have the most amazing safari tents and some of those safari tents have their own swimming pool. This is a place of absolute luxury and people can book their tents, they have their pool and they can actually ask and order room service. So at first the owner wanted to provide this extra luxurious service so people could sit by the pool, they could still order their champagne or whatever beverage, they wanted from the pool without having to move anywhere. They don’t have to go to a central reception or anything like that, they can do it from their tent.

Sarah Riley: But the owners soon realized that this was having a massive impact on their staff resources because they were having to send staff to and from the tents to make these deliveries. That was costing time. There were spillages, maybe there were breakages, and it was just something that wasn’t really working as well as it should. So they thought about how they could benefit the guest in terms of providing a better service, but also benefit themselves in terms of reducing the staff time, reducing the cost and everything else in between. So they worked with a company and came up with an ingenious service where it involved drones. Now obviously you are flying over the top of tents where people are sunbathing and everything else. So these drones could not be operated using cameras because that obviously had all kinds of implications around privacy and everything else. And it would definitely have unnerved the guess if they felt there were cameras on these drones.

Sarah Riley: But instead they work with a company to develop a GPS system. The GPS system allowed them to have a landing pad at each tent, at each resort location so that if for example, one of the guests in a certain, safari tent ordered some wine and two glasses that the drone would take off and land directly where it was meant to land in the landing pad area on the deck of this glamping accommodation, the most amazingly luxurious thing. Also an amazing guest experience, something that the guest would be photographing and talking about and sharing on social media. Actually very little cost and more of a saving for the host because the host wanted to provide a certain level of luxurious service. And by doing it in this way, they were cutting down their costs. So it is actually better for them and it was really helping to promote them in their business.

Sarah Riley: So this is something that is really fantastic when the hosts can identify those areas, which helps to provide a better experience for the guest, but also at a price for them within their service that they are able to cope with. But also it’s bringing down the costs that’s important too. So if that’s something that you can do, looking at the services you want to provide for the guests that you have and what’s important for you within the resources that you have, that is definitely something worth thinking about. So these are all ex experiences and services worth thinking about. My final example and something that I have shared again on my Instagram page is just stunning. It’s about wild swimming and in a wild swimming pool, which is on site. So again, go to my Instagram, which is at inspired underscore camping. Have a look at this, a wild swimming pool.

Sarah Riley: One that I have never seen any, anything quite so amazing. It, it’s so stunning. It looks beautiful. It’s got its own shingle beach, it’s got reeds, it’s got all kinds of, there’s bit of wildlife that’s found their way there because it’s natural water coming from a stream that’s nearby and it just flows through this wild swimming pool and out the other side. And not only do the guests absolutely love it, the kids adore it. There’s all kinds of memories being made. There’s things being shared on social media and myself included, I shared on social media about this world swimming pool because it’s so stunning, it looks so good. And I know these things can be quite expensive to set up, but they can be something that really help you as a business to stand out head and shoulders above your competitors because you are providing such a unique experience.

Sarah Riley: So where, depending on what your resources are, depending on what your budget is, think about these examples that I’ve given today. Think about what you could take from this as inspiration and apply to your own business. You may be a small hobby business on a farm, you know, are there things that you can do around the animals you have or the farm experience you could give Or maybe you are in a quiet hamlet in the country and you run only maybe four units. What is it that you have in terms of views What is it you have in terms of experiences on site or in the local area that you can incorporate into your guest experience to make it really memorable So as I said, when you are thinking about how to apply it to you, first you think who your main guest is and what do they want and what could you do that’s different, particularly different from your competitors with the resources that you have that you could encourage them to take part in that will help them build memories and really give them an experience worth talking about.

Sarah Riley: But the final thing is of course, make sure you do it. Take action. Don’t procrastinate on your ideas. Make sure you focus on doing something and doing something strong so that you can really attract those wonderful guests, give them the best experience possible and benefit hugely as a host, as a business owner, that your business will become stronger and stronger and beat the competition, which of course is always growing and will always be there. But you don’t need to worry about scarcity. There’s guests there for everyone. But of course you are gonna attract the most guests if you have the best experience that you are offering them. So I hope these examples have been useful for you and that you’ve taken something from it. I’d love you to add in the review on the podcast platform that you are listening to this podcast. Add what you took from this and what you would ideally want to put on your site. What is the one thing that really stood out to you and what maybe have you seen on other sites that really made you go, wow, this is amazing. I really want to do something like this. Share it with us. We’d love to hear from you and I’d love to see you back here again. So join me soon on the podcast. Got some great content coming up and I’m really looking forward to connecting with you more. Bye-bye.

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