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4 easy ways to surprise and delight your hotel guests this Christmas

  Posted in Guest Experience  Last updated 23/05/2024

For travellers and hoteliers alike, Christmas can be the busiest time of year and it’s once again just around the corner. Depending on where you are in the world it’s either winter or summer, but regardless December is usually the most popular vacation period for most guests, and can also represent the final business trips of the year for others.

So with that in mind, do you know how to make a stay at your hotel this Christmas a memorable one for guests?

Given how excited and jovial they’re likely to be, your hotel experience will need to match their enthusiasm and find ways to delight them.

Here are some festive tips…

Tip #1

Your guests want to be surprised

Gifts are certainly a dominant part of the festive season and one of the best things about gifts is the surprise of getting something you didn’t expect. You can give guests this same satisfaction when they check-in to your hotel.

Surprises make people feel like they’ve gained extra value from their trip, a bonus they can feel happy about. It doesn’t require a large expenditure on your part either. Even something like free breakfast or a free massage on their first morning will be enough to put a smile on their face and let them know you appreciate them. If you want to think bigger, a room upgrade if you have a larger room standing empty will certainly help garner a positive review and build guest loyalty.

Surprises make people feel like they’ve gained extra value from their trip, a happy bonus

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Tip #2

Your guests want to be gifted personalised service

The holidays are about spending time with friends and family, the people who know you the best. It’s about having a good time with people you’re familiar with. Guests would love this feeling to be recreated at your hotel.

This means greeting your guests by name, tailoring your amenity and extra offerings to suit their preferences and demographic. You could even make use of a label maker and put names on complimentary gifts like chocolates or wine bottles. Personal touches not only represent a fun novelty for guests but also embed a memory that your hotel took the time to cater specifically for them, which is important when trying to boost return stays.

Tip #3

Your guests want festive spirit sprinkled throughout their stay

Every visitor at your hotel will likely have a different culture or tradition when it comes to the end of the year and you should certainly analyse your main market – but Christmas-themed features at your hotel wouldn’t go astray. Think about changing up your menu to incorporate Christmas regulars such as eggnog, turkey, cookies, or candy.

You can also extend this motif through the packages and deals you offer. When guests make a booking why not throw in a gift certificate for themselves or a family member, or a discount on ski passes and theme park entry? Holidays are about having fun, your hotel needs to make it easier for guests to do this.

Think about the design of your hotel too. Some decorations in the common areas and some smaller touches like personalised stockings in the rooms will help guests feel the positive energy that abounds during this time of year.

Lastly, you could send emails with things like advent calendars each day to increase their anticipation and excitement.

Tip #4

Your guests want to be active on social media

Social media presents the perfect opportunity to drive online traffic during the festive period. Guests are often on social media wanting to share their activities and discover what everyone else is up to. You can put yourself in front of travellers and guests by using these social media tactics:

  • Fun festive contests

There are plenty of ways you can create interest through holiday contests. For example, get guests to upload a picture of their ugliest holiday sweaters, or their best christmas cake creations etc.

  • Holiday photo galleries

Post pictures of all the activity happening at your hotel, including decorations, events, restaurants and the guests themselves. Ask people to tag each other as well.

  • Promote local events

Many guests will want to experience the unique end of year celebrations of their destination. Use your social media platforms and blog to promote and connect to local events. This will increase traffic to your site and hopefully entice more travellers to make a booking, especially if you’re located nearby to the aforementioned events.

At the end of the day people will know notice when you aren’t paying them attention. Give your holiday guests the feeling of being welcomed and cared for, and join in on the celebratory mood they’re likely to bring on their stay.


By Shine Colcol

Shine is the SEO and Content Manager of SiteMinder, the only software platform that unlocks the full revenue potential of hotels. With 5+ years of experience in content strategy, Shine has produced informational content across various industry topics, mostly about operations management and continuous improvement. She aims to share well-researched articles for hoteliers to discover how to optimize their time and increase room revenue.


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