Tips for Improving Guest Experience Over the Holidays

picture of a house under snow

The holiday season is approaching, and welcoming guests over Christmas and New Year can be very profitable. Whether travellers are visiting family or just fancy a quiet Christmas break, the holidays are an extremely busy time of year for the travel and accommodation industry. If you’re spreading your wings and flying the nest for the holidays yourself, you have the opportunity to become a host and make money from your empty home.

The first step is to secure one or more bookings over the crucial holiday dates. Use Hostmaker’s professional profile management service, including photography, which should get the enquiries rolling in. Our algorithm can also suggest the best price for your property, compared to other similar properties over the holiday period. Once you’ve generated the Christmas and New Year bookings it’s time to make sure your guests have a memorable experience and leave a good review. They might even decide to stay in your nest again next year!

Here are some top tips for improving the guest experience over the holiday season and providing a warm welcome.


A memorable guest experience is a personalised guest experience. Make your visitors feel special by going the extra mile and understanding their needs. For example, if you know a family with young children are staying then you could include some creative activities in the welcome pack, and leave a list of recommended holiday events nearby which are family friendly. If your guests have told you they will be driving around visiting family, leave some maps and parking information for them to plan their trips. Little details can have a huge impact, and let guests know you’ve really tried to improve their stay.

Spread Holiday Cheer

It’s always a nice idea to make your holiday rental feel more homely with some Christmas decorations. Remember that everybody’s tastes are different, so we don’t recommend going overboard with festive décor, however a small tasteful Christmas tree in the corner or a garland on the fireplace can add Christmas warmth and cheer. If you have guests on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day then you could also leave a small gift under the tree for them to open.

Adjust the Welcome Pack

All good hosts have a helpful welcome pack for their guests, giving essential information about the property and the surrounding area. At Christmastime you can modify the welcome information slightly – in fact this should be done each season to update the details and add useful extras. For the holidays why not include a handwritten Christmas or Happy New Year card wishing your guests a wonderful stay? You could also provide an umbrella, hot chocolate, blankets and tasty seasonal treats. If you have a large group staying then board games are a nice touch.

The guest experience is critical for those good reviews you need to rank well on Airbnb. At this time of year it pays to go the extra mile for your guests. If you need a hand providing the best possible experience, Hostmaker can help to add a touch of Christmas magic!

How to: get 5* ratings on your Christmas Airbnb bookings

Hostmaker Christmas

Christmas is coming, and with it the traditions of glad tidings, Christmas trees and gift-giving – as well as the occasional family fued 😉 ! Our most-beloved Christmas memories often take place at home, which is why making your place homely, festive and comfortable this Winter is guaranteed to bring a smile to guests’ faces, and 5*s to your listing reviews. And if you’re not sure where to start, we’ve pulled together some simple, hassle-free tips for making guests feel at home during Christmas bookings below:

  1. Make it a family affair

Though traditions vary from family to family, but a Christmas tree is an almost unanimous staple. And while they’re by no means mandatory, adding one to your living space for Airbnb guests to enjoy is a great way to show incoming families that you care about their in-stay experience. It’s guaranteed to make any little ones feel welcome too, and stockings hung on the beds booked by younger guests is another thoughtful way to give guests an unbeatable festive stay.

  1. The gift of giving

Sharing your home with paying guests is rewarding in itself, but giving gifts has to take the medal for the best way to achieve inner-joy during the holidays. So why not double-up on glad tidings and give your paying guests a little something extra? Some inexpensive yet thoughtful ideas that are proven to go down a treat are crackers, mince pies and cards. Line these up where there’ll be spotted as soon as they’ve settled in and the 5* reviews (and warm, fuzzy feelings) are sure to make an appearance.

  1. Comfort and joy

Ensuring guests are comfy and cosy goes beyond making sure the boiler is serviced and the manual is easily accessible – though that definitely helps! A great way to ensure your home is the perfect place for families to snuggle up and enjoy the holiday season is to provide atmospheric extras such as candles, throws and blankets. A plentiful DVD supply will also keep smiles on faces, especially if there are some festive favourites in there too! In case you’re wondering, ours is Elf.

  1. Warming welcomes

If you’re able to greet your guest in person, mulled wine (or hot Ribena for the under-aged members of the party!) is a lovely way to set a guests’ first impressions soaring, while also putting them in the holiday mood. If not, we know a great Airbnb property management service that are happy to take care of it for you, provided you provide the essentials (hint: it’s us).

  1. Think festive

A great Airbnb listing should provide insightful local recommendations as well as neighbourhood tips. But a first-class listing goes the extra mile, and this includes updating local recommendations to include the city’s Winter attractions, like pop-up ice rinks, themed bars and Christmas markets (e.g. Winter Wonderland). Another great idea, and one that will certainly be appreciated by guests – and reflected in their reviews – is to offer specific area tips for those planning to venture out during the bank holidays. We’ve found the two most important to be: when the supermarkets are closed, and when the tube won’t be running. You can find the latter here

So there you have it, 5 easy, quick ways to ensure your Christmas bookings are special, and ones that guests feel are deserving of 5*s. And if you do try out any of our tips, we’d love to see them in action – you can tag us on Facebook or mention us on Twitter!