Hotel, motel, inn, bed &breakfast, guest house, any place that sells the promise of a good night’s rest… The hospitality trade is a booming industry. According to Wikipedia The hospitality industry is a multibillion-dollar industry that depends on the availability of leisure time and disposable income..

Although it basically boils down to taking your money, in exchange for a clean room, freshly made bed and the chance to sleep undisturbed, the “hospitality” part of it is the key for success in this industry.

Hospitality refers to the relationship between a guest and a host, wherein the host receives the guest with goodwill, including the reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers. Louis, chevalier de Jaucourt describes hospitality in the Encyclopédie as the virtue of a great soul that cares for the whole universe through the ties of humanity.” (Wikipedia)

Last night a man checked in here at River Lodge Vredendal – at 22h45. His secretary made the booking earlier the afternoon, saying that he’s just left Cape Town (normally a 3 hour drive), but with the weight of a huge trailer, “which may slow him down a bit”. And although the office normally closes at 20h00, I welcomed this man with as much love and enthusiasm as I could muster at that ungodly hour – because he was an extremely tired guy, looking for a place to sleep.

His smile this morning over a scrumptious breakfast made it all worthwhile.

The Holy Bible teaches us:  “Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”  Hebr 13:2

And even the Quran teaches: “Entertaining a guest is important – it signifies the respect and concern of a host towards his guest and towards God.  Hospitality in Islam is a triangle that links God, the guest and the host.”

On your journeys, always look for the guest house with “heart” in their service. Or come to River Lodge Vredendal and experience it firsthand!

Photo: Warm early morning smiles from the crew of the popular TV show, The Wedding Bashers.

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