SPEAKING WITH SIMONE- TOP HOST OF CHALET DE TRANQUILLITE, KURRAJONG
1. Simone, tell us a little about yourself.
Attention to detail has always been an extremely high priority for me. You are either born with it or you’re not, I loved the idea of studying Haute Couture dressmaking in Paris, unfortunately in the 70’s I dared to dream from an early age and still thoroughly enjoy flicking through books to this day.
Venturing into couture sewing making high society ball gowns, garments for Prime Ministers’ wives, stunning, glamorous garments for the high end cat walks to garments for men, I was always passionate about presenting every sample or completed garment to the highest standards possible and attention to detail was paramount and you had to be dam good at what you did.
My husband and I would flip houses, and the creative juices would flow, I would regularly ask,” Can you see what I’m describing to you? Can you see it? Can you visualize the end result?”. He would just answer, ” No! No! Not a hope in hell, just do what you like to do, I’m sure it’ll be great.”
2. Did you ever imagine living as a host of Chalet de Tranquillite? How and why did you enter into this business?
I never imagined for a moment short term holiday rental would be so popular until I discovered that my tenants were subleasing the Chalet to other people! They would sublease my house for the weekend, then live the other 5 days rent free and as they wished. I was always informed that friends would be staying but the tenants never stayed with these friends. I used to mow the lawns and do the gardens for these tenants complementary and kept on seeing all these people from all walks of life and states staying and…I smelt a rat! By the way, Subleasing a rented premises is illegal.
I did a little research to discover our property was being advertised on the internet for overnight accommodation. Long story short I encouraged the tenant to continue subleasing to see if it was a viable proposition before they were moved on to meet other people elsewhere, Chalet de Tranquillite was born as a result!
3. What’s a typical day like for you at Chalet de Tranquillite?
A typical day involves washing and ironing linen, spring cleaning, gardening and pool maintenance along with changing décor and homewares to suit the season or tablescaping for incoming guests, everything must and is immaculate.
4. Can you describe your ideal guest?
An ideal guest are guests that are honest, appreciate class and style and appreciate the effort you go to preparing for every stay.
5. Keeping names out of it, describe your worst guest experience.
A nightmare guest for me are guests like the ones we had from another accommodation provider (a massive one) who treated my property like a trash can!
6. What attracted you to join Travellarks?
We joined Travellarks because the concept is very different as they don’t list just anyone and they’re much more host friendly. No service fees, no penalties for wanting to cancel miscrients at the last minute if you suspect an unauthorised party or event and you and the host are in full control of who stays.
7. What is the best thing about being a Member of the Travellarks Collection?
The best thing about being a member of the Travellarks collection is, you know you provide exceptional stays and experiences for guests and Travellarks acknowledges and promotes your listing accordingly.
8. What would you describe as your KEY principles to running your business?
Our key Principles in business have always been pretty simple really. The “can do method” works for us. Practice gratitude Daily (it’s empowering).
Good enough is NOT good enough, take action every day. Accept that difficulties and challenges that will and do happen.
There is no such thing as failure, only feedback. Concentrating on giving value first and profits second.
Always be honest and maintain integrity. Pass it forward when and where you can.
9. Describe a day where you went above and beyond for your guests?
A day where we went above and beyond for our guests was when a lovely young couple wanted to hold their intimate wedding at the Chalet.. They were bringing everything disposable as they didn’t want to damage anything. It was going to be the most important day of their lives, their parents were stuck abroad due to the global pandemic. so we decided to provide them with a memorable experience at no charge. They were so grateful it was breathtaking. We provide everything you need to have a memorable wedding experience, they provide eatables.
10. Got any top hospitality tips Simone?
Prepare well in advance of guests arriving, be efficient, welcoming, flexible and communicate effectively.
11. Is Travellarks encouraging of your skills?
Travellarks are very encouraging, you only have to mention an idea and boom they want to promote the idea, act on your idea and encourage you to follow through.
12. Generally, what do you think your guests really love about Chalet de Tranquillite? Or, another way, how do you do things differently at Chalet that brings repeat business?
Guests love the location, the tranquility, the view, the amenities, style and comfort and our flexibility to accommodate their special requirements.
13. Can you let us in on any entrepreneurial secrets that you’ve learnt along the way?
THE most important entrepreneurial secret I’ve learnt over the years is to never deviate from the program and realise you are the competition and not the competitor!
14. What ideas or projects are you working on for your guests in the near future?
The next 12 – 18 months are very exciting for our guests with more accessibility for guests to other options for their stays.. A secret stairway for guests with spectacular views, tea rooms, more outdoor facilities.
15. How could Travellarks help you with this?
Travellarks could experience these new initiatives first hand, suggest and promote accordingly through a blog or the like.
16. How important do you believe to be plugged into your local community for the benefit of your guests?
It’s extremely important to be familiar with your local area. Every guest brings money to spend, if you can assist them through local knowledge they will stay and spend local.
17. Would you recommend being a host on Travellarks? Definitely recommend Travellarks to people wishing to take on the challenge of hosting, you won’t be disappointed, cut the red tape to freedom to choose who stays and no service fees and the ladies at Travellarks are a pair of larks, they are enthusiastic, engaging and friendly.
18. What benefit do you think your guests on Travellarks experience?
Guests on Travellarks experience exceptional experiences and stay throughout the collection on offer.
Thank you so much for your time Simone……you’re a character with such a passion for hosting!
To book Simone’s Chalet de Tranquillite in Kurrajong, check out-
Therese and Kris,