One of my favorite guests was newlywed from a small town in Kentucky who stayed with us for four nights a few years back. Her father had made the reservation, and she and her new husband were clearly traveling on a budget. But money was the last thing she was worried about. She couldn't have been older than 23, and she had once of those radiant personalities that make you want to smile whenever she walks into a room.
When I was fluffing their room on the first morning of their stay, I noticed a set of a half-dozen or so sheets of computer paper stapled together with the words "My Honeymoon Journal" printed neatly on top page. At lunch I mentioned to Seely what a shame it was that she didn't have something a little more sturdy for such important memories.
Like any good customer relations specialist, my partner sprung into action. She headed down to the Dollar Store and bought a small diary with a bright flower print on the cover and left it on top of the homemade journal as an alternative.
The next morning at breakfast our new bride was ecstatic, and made sure everyone in the dining room knew how thoughtful their hosts were. She promised us everyone back home was going to get the whole story so they would know where to stay when they visited New England.
And she was as good as her word. She wrote a glowing review on trip advisor, bought souvenir mugs and in the following year we got two more reservations from that little town. Not a bad return for a 10-minute shopping trip and $1 purchase. Of course the smile on our newlywed's face would have been enough to make the effort worthwhile.