We all want that warm feeling, that slight gasp of incredulity at exactly how /well/ we’re being treated. In my opinion, it’s that giddy feeling when you look around a spacious room and think ‘all mine’, when the waitress slips on white gloves before handing you your plate, and when the check-out girl helped you through you Wi-Fi difficulties with a smile. It’s that comforting feeling of being home, with all the comforts of home, without actually
Now, I’d like to take a moment and differentiate ‘hospitality’ from ‘pampering’ – we aren’t talking about scurrying staff, bobbing up and down and saying ‘Yes, ma’am. No, ma’am. Whatever you say, ma’am.’ This isn’t being served with the slavish devotion by which the ‘hospitality’ of a colonial plantation might be characterized. This is being made to feel at home even when you’re halfway across the world.
I may have a skewed perspective, or I may have the most accurate perspective of all. You see, my home is, in fact, the family business, and the family business is hospitality. So during the trip to Scotland, when we were made welcome in several places, I had several out-of-body experiences of realization. Oh, this is what our customers feel like when we show them hospitality. Woah.
The first dose I had of this on our trip to Scotland was at a little country house-hotel called Knockderry near Helensburgh on the edge of Loch Long.
This and featured image from the Knockderry website
The place has been in business for decades and is known for having great food and service – and a relaxing atmosphere out in the country. I can attest to all of the above. They welcomed us into dry, warm, and well-appointed rooms, giving us free upgrades because they just happened to have the extra space. We were served excellent, seasonal food, and given advice on everything from local whisky selection to directions for our fishing trip on Loch Lomond.
I guess the advice of this post is this: sure, you could find an affordable hotel, maybe you’ll hit the jackpot of B&B’s and it won’t be weird, but if you want the most out of your vacation – find a place that prioritizes hospitality above all. The sheets might not be silk, and the food might not be three-star Michelin-rated restaurant quality, but you will feel like it is – because people who run and staff places like Knockderry are people who care. They’re the ones who will make you feel like you never left the comfort of your home while you are off adventuring in the great wide world.