Today’s the day my private retreat participants arrive here to the world’s most wonderful boutique hotel here in The Cotswolds (I’ll show you later, when I don’t run the risk of some random Freddie Krueger on the Internet showing up and ruining EVERYTHING AKA sawing our hands off in the middle of the night—“you’ll never type again, filthy internet people!”)
However, I can tell you this: the rooms have soft wool blankets. A radio was turned to the most delightful little station, with piano oldies playing on low. A silver carafe of ice-cold water sat bedside, ready. A porcelain dish labeled “treats,” containing select bakery delights, beckons from the desk. And a sign, etched in slate, that said, “If you fancy some extra touches we are always on standby ready to run with a jug of fresh milk.”
This, of course, doesn’t even take into account all of the little delights one finds throughout the hotel, including a colorful, happy little selection of rubber wellies ready for any guest to wrangle onto their feet—for walking the meadows, of course. Nor the luxurious rain coats, waiting to be borrowed; and certainly not the map library containing each different walking route and a stack of rolled up maps under each one—tied with twine—for any guest to go on an adventure. Then you’ve got the board games, and the cozy fires, and the little nook and crannies found throughout, made special for dreaming out the window.
The staff only serves as icing on the cake, each person seemingly to genuinely want to help; to bother; to take good care of you, no matter what you need.
These are the details that good businesses and, dare I say it, even people are built on; not the glitz and the glamour, but the quiet “extra touches,” as they say—because these are the things that cause unexpected delight. And unexpected delight is one of the most overlooked order of any business—even just the business of being human and loving one another well.
Life, nor business, should just be one faceless transaction; not when you have the ability to make it so much more.
Delight is not a bonus, but the bones.