By Diana Bernardo
Bienvenue! Willkommen! Bienvenido! Welcome!
No matter what language you say it in, a warm welcome can set the right tone for your hotel guests’ stay. Writing the perfect hotel welcome letter can make an impact on the guest experience before they even arrive at your property.
So much of the hospitality business has become digital, especially since the onset of the pandemic. Hotel guests have become accustomed to a mostly (or completely) contactless stay experience: booking online, digital check-in, unlocking guest room doors with an app, self-check-out, and emailed receipts. They may never even see a guest service agent at your front desk as many hotels no longer even have a front desk!
As hoteliers, you want to make sure your guests know that hospitality with a human touch is still alive and well in this modern day and age. This is not to say that the welcome letter can’t take advantage of modern technology (we’re looking at you, QR code!). The objective is to provide guests with a warm welcome and wishes for a pleasant stay so that they ultimately walk away with a memorable experience and a desire to return.
What is a welcome letter for hotel guests?
The welcome letter is a personal letter sent from the hotel to a guest upon their arrival at the property. It can be sent from the hotel team, the property’s founder or owner, or a selected team member like a concierge leader. The letter can be emailed automatically once a guest checks in or even printed and left inside the guest room.
It serves as a welcome note to let your dear guest know what to expect during their stay, provide any useful tips to make the stay more comfortable, assure the guests that the hotel management team is there for them, and may even include any special hotel offers of interest. It’s your “first impression” of who you are and the type of property you run.
Benefits of a welcome letter
The welcome letter can serve as the first “friendly face” your guests may encounter, and it can emotionally connect them to the property, kicking off what will hopefully be a memorable experience that can lead to a return visit.
Dictionary.com defines hospitality as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” The first benefit of having a hotel welcome letter is giving your guests that friendly and generous reception. The welcome letter can also help you:
- Make guests aware of any special events in the area
- Direct them to your restaurant, activities, or add-on/upsell experiences
- Share your own recommendations as a local expert
- Invite them to engage with your social media accounts
What do you write in a welcome letter?
Let’s start with what you don’t write – there’s no need to go over policies, procedures, and the terms & conditions they’ve agreed to when they booked the reservation. You can save that information for the confirmation email. You can find email templates and samples for a booking confirmation, pre-arrival and post-stay messages, and re-engagement email here.
You want to make sure that you keep your note short and sweet, and convey a feeling that makes them glad they chose you. Keep the tone upbeat and friendly, and give them reassurance that they chose the right place to make their memories.
So, what to say?
Start off with thanking your guest for choosing your property. Give them something to look forward to, and build excitement for your hotel and what it has to offer during their stay. Tell them about the local area. You can even give small tips and details to answer any pending questions they may have, for example how to work the air conditioning, a reminder of the wifi password, an invitation to check out the goods in the minibar, where the safe is located so they can safely store any valuables or even the swimming pool hours of operation.
Guest welcome letter format
The modern version of the guest welcome letter can be fun, funky, cool, inspiring… you name it! Based on your property’s branding, you can tailor the letter to make it fit your personality. Although you can customize your letter to your area and property’s style, you should always include the basics:
- A warm welcome. If you’re sending a virtual letter via email and you can pull the guest name from your PMS, even better! That way your letter is more personalized.
- Any local information the guest needs to know – fun facts or personal recommendations also work well here.
- A way for the guest to contact you or your team if they should need something.
- Your social media accounts – this is a great chance to invite guests to engage with your brand and share content that can entice other travelers to book a stay with you too.
Make it personal.
An informal tone with personal recommendations can make your welcome letter feel like it’s coming from a friend. Make your guests excited about what your property and the local area have to offer. That place you take your friends and family when they come to visit? Yeah, tell them about that. Ask your staff for their recommendations and pepper them in as well as a way to introduce the people who help make their stay possible. Your housekeeper’s favorite coffee spot, your front desk agent’s favorite place to play mini-golf…they can all make the guest feel like they are part of the family.
Welcome letter samples
Here are two welcome letter samples, and an example of how to playfully introduce a QR code welcome:
We know you had a lot of choices when coming to [Town/City Name] and are thrilled you chose [Hotel Name]. We hope that you came with a sense of adventure and will leave with amazing memories of your time in the town/city we locals call “The Sweetest Place on Earth.”
Fun Fact: The corner cupcake shop, Lovecakes, won last season’s “Cupcake Wars.”
No trip to [Town/City Name] is complete without a visit to [Local Attraction]. The West End lot is the best spot to park – make sure you get there before 10 am to beat the crowds. Beach chairs, sunscreen, and towels are available in our gift shop. When you come back from your day at the beach, our restaurant [Restaurant Name] has a nightly dinner special – tables go fast, so secure your reservation by texting us at [Insert Phone number].
If you’re craving ice cream, make sure to visit Scoops just down the block – their hand-churned homemade butter brickle is my personal favorite and won awards for best ice cream in the state fair. Our Activities Director, Dave, recommends the Sunrise Special at [Hotel Restaurant Name] for breakfast – you may even see him helping prepare the fresh-squeezed orange juice before the pool opens at 10 am.
Scan the QR code below for more recommendations on our Local Guide page. You’ll find a calendar of events and the weather report so you can make the most out of your stay. Our team is on deck 24/7 so if you need anything text us at [Insert Phone Number].
Enjoy your time at [Hotel Name]! If you share your fun on social media, be sure to tag us at #hashtag on Instagram [@handle] or Facebook [@name] to receive a free beverage of choice during your next stay with us.
General Manager & Team
Welcome to Cottage Cove!
When my grandfather Karl built these cottages, his greatest wish was to build memories for generations to come. We want you to enjoy your home away from home and are delighted you are here.
What we love most about the cove is how peaceful it is. We hope that the peace and serenity we are known for helps you to truly unplug and recharge. We invite you to take the 1-mile stroll around the lake (where you may see our mascots, Lucy & Wyatt – yes, they are the ducks in our logo). There are picnic tables along the trail and if you’d like to pack a lunch we can provide one for you for just $5 each!
If you find yourself in need of assistance, dial “0” and our innkeeper will be happy to help.
Plug back in just long enough to show us your selfie in front of our famous dahlia garden (over 10 varieties!) with #hashtag on Instagram [@handle] or Facebook [@name] to be entered to win an e-gift card to the Lobster Pound on your last night!
Cheers to a great stay,
General Manager & Team
Hello and welcome to Our Rental!
Hey you – yes you, the one with the smartphone – kindly open your phone’s camera app and point lense at this funny-looking square so you can access our local guide. Have a great time, and if you need anything we’re just a text away at [Insert Phone Number].
(Insert QR code to your welcome page or virtual guidebook)
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