Do you manage or own an eco-friendly property? Would you like your accommodation service to be more environmentally friendly? Do chemical cleaning products really get up your nose?
As the accommodation industry moves towards an environmentally friendly approach, chemical-free cleaning products are becoming a popular alternative for smaller, boutique hotels, eco-friendly retreats, luxury holiday homes and Airbnbs.
What’s in your current cleaning products?
When was the last time you read the ingredients of your cleaning products? Many commercial cleaning products contain ingredients that harm the environment, and for some people they even trigger allergic reactions, not something you want your guests to experience when they come to stay at your property.
Is it hard to make cleaning products from scratch?
Fortunately, it’s easy to make your own cleaning products, and it really only takes a few simple ingredients.
Sure it’s a little more time intensive, but the environment, your guests and your bank account will thank you! Here are a few basic recipes that are safe, and still give you that professional finish.
½ cup white vinegar
2 tbsp baking soda
10 drops tea tree, lavender or lemon essential oil
½ cup baking soda
2 – 3 tbsp water
Approx ½ cup white vinegar
¼ – ½ cup baking soda
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup white vinegar
¼ cup isopropyl (rubbing alcohol)
1 tbsp corn starch
2 cups water
8 – 10 drops essential oil of choice
12 – 15 drops of pure essential oil of choice
½ cup white vinegar
½ cup water
Note: if you have a septic system please check with the manufacturer before using any of the above recipes
Don’t forget, you’ll need some good quality spray bottles to store your homemade cleaning products, and ensure you label them and keep them out of reach of children.
If you’d like a little help with this year’s spring-cleaning, here guest room deep clean checklist. is our hotel spring-cleaning checklist, please feel free to modify it to suit your needs.
Cleaning recipes via Keeper Of The Home
For a long time now environmental groups and the public have been putting immense pressure on businesses to ditch single-use plastic products in the place of more reusable, sustainable options.
The accommodation industry hasn’t escaped this scrutiny; some accommodation providers have been asked questions by guests around sustainability and assumed that dispensers are the only option. But is this correct? Which is the more sustainable and environmentally friendly option? And how will it affect your business?
We thought we’d delve a little deeper into this issue to gain a better understanding.
While at first glance bulk dispensers seem to be a fantastic, environmentally friendly solution, there are still some issues with this method that need to be cleared up.
The issue with hygiene comes up time and time again. Research carried out in the USA has highlighted that some bulk dispensers can be a potential hygiene risk, causing bacterial infections and even eye infections. This contamination occurs when the pump is manually topped up. If this procedure isn’t carried out in the correct manner, there is a potential risk of contamination which can lead to the spread of bacteria. The amount of time housekeeping staff spend on refilling dispensers, hygienically, must also be taken into consideration. The refilling of dispensers must be carried out in a way that doesn’t cause your staff harm or injury. Many of the bulk liquids used to refill dispensers are purchased in large, heavy 5L bottles.
Unrecyclable dispensers and bulk packaging:
While bulk dispensers may reduce the amount of smaller single-use plastics being disposed of, the dispensers themselves, and the packaging the refills come in may not be recyclable. If they break and have to be replaced, the pump unit could contain metal and plastic that may not be recyclable and will end up in landfill.
Luxury accommodation providers have reported that some guests believe bulk dispensers convey a cheaper, institutional, cost cutting image and do not signify luxury.
In a recent article for Skift, Sofitel vice president for luxury brand management Joao Rocco revealed they had polled guests about changing their amenities range:
“Of course, we think about being more environmentally-conscious,” Rocco said. “But when we ask if [bulk containers are] something that people are willing to accept, the answer is loud and clear. Seventy-two percent of the survey respondents said dispensers don’t convey luxury, while 87 percent get the impression that they are being used to reduce costs.”
While we believe that your accommodation service’s impact on the environment should be at the forefront, we know that guest expectations and demand will always have an influence.
What should you do if you choose to use single-use packaged guest amenities? How can you reduce the impact you have on the environment?
Work with a company that has a strong environmental conscience.
Why is this?
The problem with ‘compostable’ plastic packaging is that it needs to be commercially composted; it can’t just be composted in an ordinary backyard compost bin. It requires a specialised environment, of which there are very limited facilities in Australia.
Therefore, unfortunately, these items often end up in landfill and can take 1000s of years to be broken down due to the lack of oxygen and heat.
Also, the compostable plastic looks very similar to recyclable plastic, therefore many people make the mistake of throwing it into the recycling, which then causes problems during the recycling process.
HealthPak’s recyclable packaging is designed to be recycled in a residential recyclable bin, and can be recycled time and time again.
As a consumer it’s important to dispose of items properly, after all, there isn’t much point in purchasing recyclable plastic packaging if you are dumping it in your normal waste bin, to be eventually thrown into landfill. Ensure you know the packaging your guest amenities come in, and dispose of it appropriately.
The Goodie Bag
The Goodie Bag is a brand new initiative from HealthPak, and we love it!
It’s a recyclable paper bag that your guest can use to collect their leftover guest amenities and take home. They can use their leftovers, then recycle the packaging and the goodie bag in their recycling bin. This is a win for your guests and the environment.
If you’d like to chat further about our range of guest amenities and how they are packaged, please call us on 1300 557 415 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re lucky in Australia; we’re blessed with great weather pretty much all year round. The cooler mornings and nights are coupled with awesome, sunshine-filled days that have us questioning whether it’s even winter at all…
However, as it gets cooler, you still want to give your guests the complete experience, which means ensuring they enjoy the outdoors as much as they enjoy the indoors. But how do you create a warm space outside on those chilly nights?
An easy option is to supply a pile of fluffy blankets, slippers and hot chocolate at your property during the cooler months, or if you’re a little more serious, installing a heater for your guests to cosy up to when the temperatures drop.
Right now there are some incredible outdoor heating options on the market that will keep your guests warm and toasty, but also won’t impede on your property’s ambience or conflict with your décor. Here are a few of our favourites:
Fire pits/wood heaters
If you own a luxury holiday home or Airbnb, and have the space, fire pits are totally trending right now. There is nothing quite like sitting around an open fire on a cold and frosty night, and with so many stylish fire pit setups on the market, you can’t go wrong.
We love the Moresque Moroccan Fire Pit and the Brushed Copper Cast Iron Fire Pit from Barbeques Galore, or the simple Chapala Small Flamma Chimenea or Black Sapri Fire Pit from Bunnings. These are just a couple of our favourites, but there are literally HUNDREDS of different sizes and styles available.
IMPORTANT!!! If you have a fire pit or fireplace always have plenty of wood and kindling on-hand. That way your guests can keep their fire burning throughout the night without the risk of running out of fuel.
Pros: atmosphere/toasting marshmallows
Cons: can’t be moved/smoke smell
One of the biggest selling points of gas heaters is that they are portable; they can be moved around your space as needed. That’s why gas heaters are so popular in restaurants. They come in all sorts of sizes, from tabletop heaters, to the larger patio heaters like the Heatstrip black 4-tile LPG Outdoor Heater.
They can also be mounted from above like the Heat-Flo 3-tile LPG Outdoor Heater, which also comes with a wall-mounting bracket. Gas patio heaters are probably the most popular choice.
Cons: ongoing gas costs
Electric heatstrips are another option for outdoor heating. They are available in all different wattages, and sizes. These heaters work well in both small and large spaces, and are pretty understated, so they fit in with most décor. They are also quite energy efficient, and give you targeted heat, perfect to keep your guests cosy on those colder nights. Take a look at the Classic Heatstrips from Bunnings, which are available in a couple of different sizes.
Pros: affordable/targeted heat
Cons: ongoing energy costs
No matter what type of heater you decide to buy, it’s a fabulous way to add value to your property and help your guests to continue to enjoy the outdoors during the winter months.
Can you believe the winter school holidays are already approaching?
It’s time to get out the winter woollies and hot chocolate, and get your hotel, motel, luxury home or Airbnb ready for families to have some fun!
So how do you make your accommodation service holiday ready?
Treat the kids
If you know you have a family coming to stay over the holidays, why not go that extra mile and leave a welcome gift, a selection of treats and snacks that will leave the whole family satisfied!
Make it cosy
The winter chill has already hit most of Australia, so get prepared and make sure your guests have all the creature comforts during the colder days and nights.
We have a range of blankets in stock, a game-changer over the cooler nights. They are anti-pill, luxurious and perfect for snuggling up on the couch or in front of the fire.
Fun and games
If it’s cooler outside your guests will probably want to spend more time indoors, so you need to make sure there are plenty of things to do. Of course Wifi is important, and online movie streaming services like Netflix or Stan will keep the whole family entertained throughout those chilly nights.
Don’t forget board games and books, which are also good when it’s too cold to play and explore outside.
A local directory
There’s no doubt your guests will want to get out and about during their stay, especially if they have kids! To ensure they have plenty to do, have a directory of local attractions on hand. This could include a list of all the local restaurants and cafes, attractions or weekend markets. If your accommodation is pet friendly, why not include a list of places that welcome furry friends.
These are just a few ways to prepare for the upcoming school holidays, but we’re sure you can come up with more ideas that will wow your guests over the winter break and make this holiday one they will remember!
For any questions about stocking up for the school holidays, call us for a chat on 1300 557 415, or email email@example.com
Well it’s that time of year again, and as usual, it seems to have come around extremely quickly.
EOFY is approaching, and as tax time gets closer, most businesses are scrambling to maximise their deductions and claim as much as possible before June 30.
How are you going to maximise your deductions this year?
Here are a few ways to make the most out of your tax-time spending:
Property repairs/upgrade furniture
Perhaps it’s time to replace those tired old sheet sets? Or fix that ottoman in the corner that needs to be re-covered? Do you need to upgrade your signage? Take a look around your property and see if there’s anything that looks worn, broken or in need of replacement.
Generally hotel linen should last 5 – 8 years, so if it has been longer than that, it might be time to replace your sheets, commercial towels or blankets. Check for stains that can’t be removed, frayed edges and just general wear and tear, which all indicate it might be time for some new linen!
Do you have magazines in your foyer, on your coffee table or inside your holiday accommodation? A magazine subscription can be a good tax deduction, and will also keep your guests entertained during their stay.
When was the last time you re-decorated? Is the interior of your hotel/motel room, holiday house or Airbnb looking a little old? Does your artwork need to be upgraded? Check out our range of artwork before EOFY.
Re-order guest amenities
Now is a great time to do a stock take and replenish your guest amenities. It’s not long until the June/July school holidays begin, so make sure you have enough hotel supplies to get you through this busy time and put your orders in now.
Staff training/team building
Do you employ staff? Why not spend a few extra dollars and organise a team building activity, employee get-together or some training for your staff.
In most cases advertising and marketing is a tax deduction, so if you’ve been considering placing a newspaper/magazine ad, or spending money on advertising, you still have time to do this before EOFY.
It’s important to remember, before you make any purchases you need to understand your business structure, speak with your accountant and be clear on exactly what you can and can’t claim at EOFY.
The days are getting shorter and the mornings colder, and the chilly weather is definitely creeping in. As the season changes it’s time to dress your beds for the cooler nights, layering them with cosy blankets and fluffy doonas to keep your guests warm and toasty during their stay.
But how do you care for your winter bedding and ensure it’s hygienic and clean for every guest? How is it different caring for blankets than ordinary sheets?
We’ve done some research and talked to people in the know to give you some tips.
Whether you manage a hotel/motel, resort, Airbnb or private holiday rental, your guests will love the warmth that cosy blankets bring. To ensure your blankets last more than one season, it’s important to keep them clean and soft, and care for them appropriately.
Blankets should be cleaned as often as needed between guests, and simply smelling them should give you a good indication if the blanket needs to be laundered. It should smell fresh and clean, and have no marks. While all blankets are different, and most come with care instructions, here are a few extra tips for caring for fleece blankets.
Always treat the stains before washing. We don’t recommend using harsh chemicals on your blankets, especially fleece, as it will affect its longevity. A small amount of dishwashing liquid should do the trick, and be enough to take away any stains.
- Give the blanket a shake to remove any dust or loose dirt
- Always wash similar colours together
- Use a gentle cycle on a warm or cool wash
- Never use bleach or fabric softener (this will damage the fleece)
- Only use a small amount of washing powder/liquid, as using too much will stay in the fabric.
Never wring out your blankets, and never iron your blankets! Fleece blankets can be tumble-dried, but never on a high heat, this will damage the fabric.
Tip: fold straight after drying to keep the blankets soft and fluffy!
Once winter is over and your blankets are no longer needed, store them in a dry linen closet free from any smells. If you want them to smell extra nice next winter, pop a little dryer sheet inside the folds.
If you’re taking the winter quilts and doonas out of storage then it’s important to be prepared and know exactly how to care for them over winter.
Quilts need to be washed approximately every 6 months or so. Most are machine washable, but depending on the size of your machine, you may have to get them professionally cleaned.
If you’re cleaning them yourself you need to remember that there are 3 main types of doonas/quilts. Wool, feather or down and microfibre/polyester, and each one requires different care when washing.
Here’s a breakdown:
POLYESTER AND MICROFIBRE
These are probably the most popular type of quilts used, especially in the hotel industry. Follow the care instructions, but, in most cases, don’t be scared to put them through a warm cycle in your washing machine. Some polyester and microfibre quilts can even be dried in a clothes dryer on the cool setting, or dried in the sun, which makes them nice and fluffy!
Woollen quilts HATE hot temperatures and there’s a big chance they’ll shrink in water that is too hot, so keep the temperature below 30 degrees. Woollen quilts are best dried in the shade.
Feather and down quilts can be harder to look after, and the care instructions might instruct you to have them professionally cleaned.
If you do it yourself, only ever use a delicate cycle, or if you’re a small Airbnb, in a bathtub with soap flakes, then dry it in the sunshine.
No matter what, before washing always read the care instructions on the label of your blanket or quilt, this will ensure your winter bedding sees out more than one season.
If you’re due for some new winter bedding, take a look at our range of blankets, call us for a chat on 1300 557 415, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Easter is one of the most popular times for families to get away and spend time together. The weather is still warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, and parents and children are more than overdue for a break after the craziness of the first term of school.
As an accommodation provider you can make this time even more special, and easier for parents, with the addition of a few added extras or hotel supplies.
To help you think outside the box, here are a few things you can offer this Easter to make your premises more family-friendly.
An Easter themed welcome gift
A special Easter themed welcome gift is a lovely surprise for your guests when they arrive. This could include wine, crackers, cheese, snacks and of course plenty of chocolate Easter eggs!
Easter fun for the kids
If you know you have young children staying over the Easter break here are a few fun things you can do especially for them:
- Have a prearranged Easter hunt ready to go.
- Put together ingredients for some delicious Easter bunny cookies that the family can make together during their stay.
- Head to the art and craft shop and leave supplies for Easter egg painting.
- Leave a note from the Easter bunny reminding the kids that he will still visit even though they aren’t at home on Easter Sunday.
A child friendly turndown service
This idea is adorable! As adults we love a great turndown service, so why not modify it to cater for children over the school holidays. Milk and cookies, an Easter egg or even a simple Easter themed storybook on their pillow will make their day.
Games and toys
If you have a luxury holiday house or Airbnb it’s always a good idea to stock up on board games, puzzles and colouring-in activities that will keep the little ones busy while parents get some much needed R and R. For the outdoors, don’t forget bikes, garden games and swimming pool toys (for those with pools).
If you’re a larger establishment why not involve the staff and create themed activities for children to attend over the holidays. These can be tailored to your environment and location, and could include things such as cooking classes in the kitchen, an Easter egg hunt, or visits to the chicken pen if you have a farm onsite. This is a great way to keep the kids occupied while their parents relax during their stay.
Family fun off-site
It’s always great to have information handy about local attractions or family activities. Compile a list of your favourite attractions, local parks or child-friendly restaurants and have it in a folder for your guests to access.
Take this one step further by partnering with local businesses to offer special deals for families during their stay. This could include discount vouchers for local attractions, discounts on SUP hire or surf lessons, or just advertising local business promotions.
Early restaurant opening hours
Do you have an onsite restaurant? All parents know the benefits of an early dinner… early bedtime! So if your restaurant doesn’t normally open until 6pm, open the doors earlier during the school holidays to cater for parents with small children.
Sleep-ins for parents
Remember, it’s not all about the kids! The Woolley Grange Hotel in the UK offers a baby breakfast club and we love this idea! The childcare staff visit the room at 8am to pick up the little ones so parents can have a sleep in. Good for the kids and the parents!
In the room rate they also include a couple of hours a day of complimentary baby-sitting, a special treat for tired mums and dads.
If you don’t have the capacity to offer babysitting services, always leave a list of babysitter recommendations and contact details so the parents can book themselves.
In room luxuries
It may sound funny, but having an in-room sanitizer for bottles, or a couple of packets of baby wipes will count as luxuries for many parents on holiday, especially if they’ve forgotten their own. When travelling with young children there are so many things to remember, so parents often forget something.
A kid’s step in the bathroom, block out blinds, tubes of sunscreen, potties, toys for the bath, a night light or a children’s dining set can all make the world of difference to parents with small children.
If we can help you with any of your Easter hotel supplies call us on 1300 557 415 or email email@example.com
If you’re yet to be introduced to the Wahi Spa range of hotel supplies we think it’s time you got up close and personal with this beautiful collection of bathroom products.
This fun and colourful range is one of our favourites, and we are in love with both the colour and fragrance of each product. Infused with exotic botanical extracts, Wahi Spa guest amenities actually smell like a tropical paradise, perfect for guests taking a holiday or weekend getaway!
Infused with an advanced formulation of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydrating properties, the Wahi Spa range is a beautiful combination of pure organic coconut oil and revitalising lemongrass. And we all know the amazing qualities of coconut oil!
The range is extensive, with a 20-gram pleat wrapped soap, made with a sustainable 100% vegetable base, and the indulgent body wash with super moisturising qualities of coconut oil and lemongrass for that extra zing!
The Wahi Spa shampoo and conditioner is full of nature’s super food, coconut oil, with super hydrating properties for that divine shine! It’s enough to revitalise the most travel weary hair, and OH, it smells good enough to eat!
And how could we forget the body balm!
This super-indulgent moisturiser is thick and luxurious, taking advantage of the Pacific’s most effective skin hydrating agents, pure coconut oil. It’s a holiday in a tube!
The Wahi Spa collection includes all your standard bathroom amenities such as sanitary bags, shower caps and vanity kits, and the different coloured products make it easy for housekeeping to see at a quick glance which items need replacing, that’s if the guests don’t take them home first!
As you can tell we get very excited talking about this range of bathroom amenities, it’s one of our favourites! And because we love it so much we are giving you 5% off the entire range all March!
If you’d like to try it, or learn more about the products, call National Hotel Supplies on 1300 557 415.
We hear it all the time. Bookings are flowing through from all the online travel agencies (OTAs), but smaller hotels, motels, resorts and holiday houses are struggling to increase their direct bookings. With OTAs expecting a commission from every booking, it’s no surprise you want to get people clicking on your website and booking directly instead!
If you’ve been finding it difficult to increase your direct bookings here are our tips:
Offer incentives to book direct
There’s no doubt about it, OTAs offer great deals. So how do you compete with this? Incentives. Offer your guests incentives to book direct, things like upgrades, room service, late checkouts, vouchers or extra in-house guest amenities or gifts. These add-ons will give your guests the incentive to book direct, while not taking too much profit from your pocket.
Always advertise the best rate
It makes sense. If the prices on your website are much higher than all the OTAs it’s inevitable that guests will book elsewhere. The rate on your website should always be the best rate available. Give your guests the confidence that they are getting the best deal so they don’t have to go searching elsewhere.
Check that your pricing is realistic for what you offer, and is in line with other accommodation services in the area. Even if you don’t have direct competition, it’s good to ensure your pricing is competitive in the market.
Use website pop-ups
Yes we know they can be annoying, but a pop-up could be just the thing to secure that direct booking. Pop-ups reminding your customers that your website offers the best rates guaranteed, or something alike, just might get their attention.
Update your website
It’s super important to keep your website constantly updated, not only the rates and room information, but with new content that will help your SEO ranking and get your listing closer to the top on the Google search. Things like blogs, or news pages can help with this, or go one step further and hire a marketing company that specialises in SEO rankings to help!
Be social media savvy
Facebook, Tripadvisor and Instagram are all valuable social media platforms you can leverage to drive traffic to your website. Why not try a paid advertisement on Instagram or Facebook with an incentive to book direct!
Valentine’s Day, it’s all about flowers, chocolates, romantic getaways and of course LOVE, and if you own or manage a hotel/motel, Airbnb, resort or holiday accommodation, there’s no doubt you’ll have some lovebirds staying with you around the 14th February.
So how do you go the extra mile and indulge your loved-up guests this Valentine’s Day? Here are our tips.
Roses are red, Violets are blue, flowers are beautiful, and they improve the view! Fresh flowers will give your room an instant pick-me-up and raise the romance level in any space. Luckily flowers are relatively inexpensive, especially if you can collaborate, or strike up a deal with a local florist or flower wholesaler.
Bath time indulgence
There’s nothing more indulgent than taking a long, hot bath, and if you have a bath at your property, it’s easy to take this experience to the next level for your guests. Our beautiful Soak Society Sleep Wellness Soaks will give your guests that extra bit of luxury, relaxation and detoxification. It combines 100% natural, vegan ingredients including lavender and chamomile to calm the mind and help your guests drift off to sleep with ease.
Whether you can offer these services onsite, or you need to bring someone in to do it, couples love massages or spa treatments that can be enjoyed from the comfort of their own room. Put together a list of local therapists who will be available during their stay.
Do you offer a babysitting service? As a special incentive for Valentine’s Day try offering a free babysitting service for families with children, so mum and dad can escape together for a couple of hours to celebrate alone.
Chocolates and champagne
Imagine the surprise on your guests’ faces when they walk into the room to find a nice bottle of bubbly and a box of chocolates, or packet of Tim Tams! If you really want to impress your guests and ramp up the romance, why not put together a little Valentines hamper for them to enjoy as a couple.
On Valentine’s Day we all love to treat ourselves to a romantic dinner at a local restaurant, so we love the idea of leaving your guests a directory of the most popular restaurants in the area, with phone numbers, so they can book in advance. If you have an onsite restaurant or café, why not leave them a voucher to encourage them to dine onsite during their stay.
Valentine’s Day packages
Now is the perfect time to collaborate with local suppliers and businesses and put together a romantic Valentine’s Day package for your guests. Team up with local restaurants, spas, or boutiques to entice your guest to indulge in something extra special. A dinner package, teamed up with a couples massage or spa treatment, or a cheese platter and wine deal will top off their romantic getaway and give them something to remember.