We’re staying at a simple hotel in North Sulawesi.
The setting is idyllic.
Our hosts are unfailingly pleasant and helpful.
Good food is served three times a day, at regular times… plus or minus an hour.
Our room is cleaned… intermittently, and our bin emptied when we take it to reception ourselves.
We have lights, running water, and even air conditioning… until the power goes off around 7 a.m. each day, after which there’s intermittent generator power until the evening. There’s no coffeemaking or showering unless the power’s on.
All of these things are fine, and part of the fun – but for the first few days the uncertainty was inconvenient and uncomfortable.
Problems like this can be made to disappear with little effort, at no cost, and without changing anything. All it takes is communication and a bit of consistency:
- “We serve breakfast at 7 a.m. daily. Lunch will be served between 12 and 1 p.m., depending on what time the dive boat gets back.”
- “We will clean your room once every three days. If you need your bin emptied between times, please leave it at reception and collect it empty later in the day.”
- “Because we’re on a small island, the power supply is unreliable after 7 a.m. A thermos of hot water will be available for making coffee, and we will run the generator during the heat of the day, from 11.30 a.m. to 3 p.m. for air conditioning. Mains power usually comes back on around 5 p.m.”
These could be shared with guests before booking, and again on arrival, so everyone knows what’s going on. No more questions to staff, no more confused or disgruntled guests.
Communicate clearly. Create the right expectations. Fulfill them. Everybody wins.