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Coming home

Before our author goes into her well-deserved winter break, she writes about a very special type of guest in the sixth part of her series “A landlady’s life”.

Today, I’m going into rhapsodies. I am writing about a special species: regular guests. Guests who come back to the same place again and again, who are already looking forward to the next stay when they leave, or – this has already happened  – who book their next stay while they are still on holiday and for whom our holiday flats are like a second home.

I read sentences like “We’d like to come back to our flat”. Our flat! Fortunately, in the digital world, the information as to which is “our flat” can be retrieved quickly and there is no need for any enquiry. The booking process is a piece of cake and everyone is looking forward to seeing each other again soon. Too bad when “our flat” is already occupied. Thankfully, many regular guests then take a creative approach. The adventurous ones simply book another flat and the flexible ones spontaneously change their holiday dates. Do regular guests actually know how happy they make us as landlords? Is there a nicer compliment?

Having been a landlady for many years, I know my guests and practically plan for them. This has gone so far that I once informed guests about another request for their flat during their usual holiday period. I actually felt slightly encroaching when I was drafting the e-mail. What if the guests had simply had enough and decided on staying somewhere else? Or if they maybe can’t or don’t want to go on holiday this year? The reply came promptly and was heart-warming. They thanked me profusely for thinking of them and were very sorry that they hadn’t already made a booking.

Regular guests are – even if this may sound slightly pathetic – a bit like family: they notice every little change, praise the latest renovations, sometimes remember birthdays and occasionally even bring something from their homeland. But they also enjoy their customary right. “Home again at last,” the guests greet me joyfully at the door – and rebut my somewhat astonished expression when I look into the flat with a “Well, we always do this way”. The sofa and table were turned 90 degrees and a few cushions I had never seen before adorned the flat.

Sometimes regulars also disappear. They come for years and then no more. I can predict the time – at least for families. The children have fledged and the holiday destinations have changed. At that point we go our separate ways. Recently, however, and this is really touching, something completely new has happened: I get requests that begin with “I am the daughter/son of … and I always stayed at your place with my parents when I was a child …”. Yes, we are hosting the second generation. People who took their first holiday steps with us and who now arrive with friends. They too are coming home again.


Published: October 2022

Coverphoto: Tyler Nix / Unsplash

2 Comments

Rainer Schreeb sagt:
Schon während dem lesen dieses wunderbaren Beitrags, denke ich spontan an unsere tolle Gastgeberin Jaqueline im Finistére. Alles was die Autorin schreibt kommt uns sehr, sehr bekannt vor. Was wünscht man sich als Stammgast mehr, als solch eine Perle als Vermietern. Und wie es sich als Stammgast gehört, buchen wir ''unser'' Ferienhaus immer bei Abreise, und freuen uns heute schon auf den nächsten Sommer am Atlantik.
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Herman Koppe sagt:
What a great article and how recognisable! It’s indeed the best compliment you can get when guests return year after year. We are not in business long enough to host the “children of”, but I can imagine the pride and warm feelings when that happens.
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