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Posts from the ‘Suite Stuff’ Category

Could 2019 Really Be More Awesome?

Funny-New-Year-Status-20172018 was an amazing year!

Despite a rough beginning (health stuff; I won’t bore you), the year ended on a high note for Greg and me.

In 2017 we vacationed in west Michigan and fell in love with the lake and the beach and the people and …well… Michigan! Within hours we knew we wanted to retire to the Mitten State. Our conversations quickly turned from dreaming to calculating how and when we could actually make the move.

A perfect-for-us house in Holland Michigan came on the market in March ’18. We closed in June, waved goodbye to Minnesota in August, and started settling into our new forever home in beautiful Waukazoo Woods.

Thing is, the house has more space than we need. It’s perfect when we have friends or family visiting, but most of those folks have jobs and houses and other commitments that keep them from staying here as much as we’d all like.

Enter Airbnb. We turned a separate wing on the upper floor of our house into a guest suite. Visitors have two bedrooms, their own TV room and an ensuite bath all to themselves. Privacy for us and for them when needed, and interaction with really interesting people when desired. Win-win!

Airbnb has been such a positive influence on our lives.

Remember our house is new to us, but it isn’t a new house. We updated and decorated the guest suite first with friends’ and family’s comfort in mind, but our Airbnb guests’ use of the space continually inspires us to raise the bar.

Our Airbnb guests have been so amazing that when Greg and I talk about making changes, like what to plant in our flower gardens or how to use our outdoor space, we think of them as much as we think of ourselves, our family and our friends!

We’re retired and we could easily stay home and watch TV, but Airbnb covertly pushes us out of the house and into new experiences. How can we direct our guests to local attractions if we haven’t experienced them? Or recommend restaurants if we haven’t dined in them? Or suggest bike trails if we haven’t taken our bikes for a ride? Best. Retirement. Ever.

We’re on track to become Airbnb Super Hosts within the next few days. Our Airbnb journey thus far has been positively amazing.

Could 2019 really be more awesome?

Send Yourself a Postcard

Travel is made up of many individual moments. It could be a breathtaking sunset or a chance encounter with an interesting local or a meal that is out of this world.

At the end of a trip, those individual moments can be lost among the many memories that make up a grand vacation.

I love taking pictures, collecting souvenirs and receiving postcards.  This trifecta combines for me the perfect way to remember favorite moments from every trip.

On the first day of each trip, we stop at a touristy spot or the local visitors bureau and buy postcards for the area. Each evening I jot down the best moments of the day on one of the postcards. The following morning I pop it in the mail.

Homecoming is even more fun when it’s followed by days of postcard deliveries reminding us of this or that part of each day of our travels. Combined with photos we took along the way, they tell the stories of our trips.

Postcards take up very little space when traveling and very little space to archive. Collecting them has become a favorite tradition, because of the pictures on the front and especially because of the messages on the back.

As Airbnb hosts, we provide each of our guests a postage-paid postcard to remember their stay with us and their visit to Holland Michigan.

Maybe this will be the start of a favorite tradition for them as well!

Essential Amenities are Subjective

2018 12-24 Cathy and Randy

Airbnb expects its hosts to provide essential amenities. Per Airbnb FAQs, this includes “toilet paper, soap, linens/sheets, and at least one towel and pillow per booked guest”.

How and how many of the above is generally up to your hosts’ discretion. At Suite Retreat Holland, above and beyond is our hosting mantra. Of course TP is provided for our guests. So are paper towels and facial tissues.

We also provide a soap trifecta; liquid hand soap, liquid shower gel, and an individually wrapped bar of glycerin soap. And lest we forget to mention, shampoo and conditioner are essentials that await every guest.

Linens in our guest suite include flat and fitted sheets, quilted coverlets, down-alternative duvets, and allergy-free pillow protectors and pillow cases. One pillow per booked guest? Eau contraire! Four pillows on each of our queen size beds. Beds are neatly made up and waiting for our guests’ arrival.

One towel per guest? No no no! We consider it essential to include two bath towels each plus a hand towel and washcloth. Staying extra days? You’ll find extra towels and washcloths in the suite.

Thank you Cathy for noticing our attention to detail and our desire to meet our guests’ needs. It was our pleasure to be your hosts and we look forward to having you stay with us again!

Enjoy a Suite Retreat in Holland and tour Michigan like a local. Book your stay today at

With each guest, a new lesson

Having guests who arrive from different walks of life makes being a good host more challenging.

Read more