The secret behind Tings’ success

As you may be aware yesterday TripAdvisor awarded us with a Certificate of Excellence – for the second time in the two years Tings has been open 🙂

Frankly speaking: TripAdvisor doesn’t mean everything to us. 

We know what we want and work accordingly: We have an opinion about how things look, the food we serve, the way we serve it, the music we play  etc.

That means that we can’t and wont please everybody.

Fortunately most of the travelers that stay with us share/appreciate our values and beliefs. But sometimes we have guests that shouldn’t stay with us – guests that wold feel better in Thamel, at Radisson or somewhere else. And a few times we have had to ask a guest to move out.

These guests give very bad reviews – but we don’t care. That is the price we pay to have our attitude.

But we do read the reviews – and we read all of them. And we discuss them and use the feedback we get. All your reviews are very valuable to us.

And this brings me back to what this posting really is about.

As you may be aware we (Annette and myself) spent a lot of time in Yangon where we want to start up Tings.

Last time we were there – 2 weeks ago – a friend asked us why Tings is so successful.

We told him about our background from the business world and about our way of working with people. That we focus on attitude, personality and energy in the persons we hire instead of exams, certificates, family background, religion, sex etc. And that we believe in giving trust and love, and that our staff like responsibility and know how to handle it.

We also told him that Tings is about making a difference in the society that surrounds us. It’s about training and educating the young boys and girls that work with us and prepare them for a better position/job when they leave us. It’s not (only) about schools. Sometimes understanding different cultures, self respect, attitude, self confidence and other values means more that exams and papers. Along with knowledge about food, travelers and lot of practicality of course 🙂

Tings is a small project/business that can be run by the staff.

So everybody at Tings know that it’s not Thomas and Annette who runs the place. We’re not there physically. 

The place is run by Dorjee, Bijay, Jit, Rajkumar, Bal, Mithun, Aman, Githa, Shamilla, Sagar & Bajaj – after the guidelines and values Annette and I have set up and adjusted (and adjust!) along the way with input from guests and of course our staff 🙂

And our values are simple and basic: Work hard, treat people nicely, respect different cultures, smile, laugh and say NO if guests ask for something we don’t have, don’t do etc. AND explain why!

That’s what they do – and they are VERY good at doing so!

And how do we know?

From TripAdvisor of course.

Yesterday when we got the certificate I used the occasion to go through the latest reviews which I hadn’t read for a while.

You – dear gust – rarely write about Annette and myself any more which pleases us because it shows than one of missions is accomplished: Tings is a project that is run without our presence.

Occasionally you write about our food, our location, our garden etc. And – surprisingly to us – several guest praise our coffee (Nescafe Classic)

BUT you all mention and praise one thing. Our staff!

If you don’t believe me, have a look at the quotes below from your latest reviews.

We’re proud and Happy. They are the secret behind Tings’ success.

Have a good day


/Thomas (Annette dreams hallo)


Reviewed 21 May 2013

The staff is incredibly nice, always helpful with a smile on their face.

Reviewed 13 May 2013

In addition to that , the couple (Thomas and Annette) have trained their staff so well, that one feels like “staying at home”

Reviewed 7 May 2013

The best thing about this place is the service, everybody is so happy and friendly and go the extra mile to make your stay very special.

Reviewed 2 May 2013

Staff were excellent and welcomed us so warmly and made us feel at home immediately.

Reviewed 30 April 2013

The staff and owners were very friendly and helpful, nothing was too much trouble.

Reviewed 23 April 2013

The owners have done a wonderful job of training the local guys who run the guesthouse with real personality and attention to detail.

Reviewed 15 April 2013


Reviewed 30 March 2013

Staff go above and beyond and are happy! They also have great personalities.

Reviewed 26 March 2013

the staff is very nice and try very hard to please you

Reviewed 25 March 2013

Staff really helpful.

Reviewed 3 March 2013

All of the staff here are fantastic – it was quite cold during our stay and they were always willing to drag the propane tank heaters upstairs for me in the evenings.


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