Comfort Food - Ordinary Hosts Offer Extraordinary Gems

Tue, June 15, 2021 2:54 PM | Jill Palamountain (Administrator)

Submitted by Alan Colley, Host2Host Past President & Contributing Editor

Our society loves glamour. It seems that everything we read aims to glorify the dramatic and extraordinary. I admit it makes great copy. We are always reading about the most popular destinations, the number one places we must add to our already overfilled bucket lists. I get it. Our own place has been featured in many media outlets. But like fame in any arena, it’s fleeting, and actually to my mind, misses the point. 

When I think about what it means to be a host, though perhaps not popular and glamorous, it’s really about whether we enable our guests to feel genuinely welcome. In our harried and often existentially worried and anxious society, finding a place that offers rest, welcome and comfort is a real gift.

While the media pours its attention on the extraordinary locations to book a stay, let’s hit the pause button for a minute and focus on what we might describe as the “ordinary”, the bread and butter locations where “ordinary” hosts are offering the extraordinary gem of a warm, comfortable welcome.

These hosts may be tucked into quiet neighborhoods rich with comfortable yet unheralded jewels. These hosts and their places offer a sense of home and belonging. No fanfare. Just the kind of “comfort food” to soothe your mind, heart and body.

People who provide welcome to guests do so because they love it. Yes, it provides income, but doing so also enriches them in many other ways, too. Potential new friends. Shared experiences. Introducing the specialness of their own neighborhoods. And, yes, even the genuine hospitality that “coming home” can give. 

Take a moment to reflect on just how these “ordinary places” and the quiet hosts who open them are truly extraordinary. You are the vital backbone of the short-term rental segment of our travel industry. 

Host2Host members, if this speaks to your hosting style, share your listing to this blog post via a comment.


  • Fri, June 18, 2021 9:38 AM | Andy McNulty
    Well said Alan, many of the places in my top 10 don't align to the typical top 10's that you reference. Invariably they're defined by shared family experiences rather than exotic scenes and far flung places. So I say a big YES to celebrating the truly extraordinary "ordinary" places. Thanks for writing something that genuinely struck a chord!
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    • Fri, June 18, 2021 4:00 PM | Alan Colley
      Wow, thanks Andy! I appreciate your appreciation! Don't you think that everyone benefits when we recognize how important "ordinary" hosts are?
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  • Tue, June 22, 2021 8:39 AM | Maureen Salahshoor
    People who book short-term rentals seek unique experiences in addition to location and accomodations. Sometimes its just tranquility like lush gardens and cozy furnishings. If you're on Facebook follow Gardens by Jeffrey Bale.
    His stone mosaic work has taken him around the globe to do installations. You can experience his art first hand as he rents out his Portland area home where mosaic "persian carpets" and miandering paths lead you to Zen.
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