The Local Way to Stay
At The B&B Team® we believe that bed & breakfast inns can and should represent the Local Way to Stay, which should be the best choice when you travel.
We also realize that not every inn is perfect. We work with lots of inns around the country and, obviously, stay in countless B&B’s in our travels. We love inns. And we want ALL inns to be the best stay you’ve ever had. To that end, we’ve put together some Criteria for Best Practices which, in our professional opinion, are practices that all inns which want to be the best and represent a true local way to stay should aspire to.
As a traveler, we think you should expect the good inns to reflect a lot of these criteria. We are not arbiters of taste, which is very personal. We are, however, advocates for a quality stay. We believe that thoughtful rooms, great hospitality, and a WOW factor are what make a B&B or Country Inn a true local way to stay in the best fashion of hospitality!
Your style preferences are yours…, wallpaper or not, paint colors, decor, all are important, but it is the overall quality of the stay that matters. Find an inn that reflects your taste and style, and experiment some. Step out on a limb! And we think you have the right to expect and demand quality, which you’ll find in thousands of wonderful B&B’s across the country.
But if once in a while you stay at a B&B that doesn’t live up to your expectations, we say, “Don’t stay at that inn again.” But please, don’t give up on B&B’s any more than you’d stop eating out because you had a bad meal in a restaurant. Every inn is unique. Just like you!
Here is what we believe comprises an ideal Local Way to Stay! We hope you do, too.
- Signage well lit, legible and in good condition.
- Exterior building free of obvious deferred maintenance.
- Parking and exterior illuminated at night.
- Common areas
- Furniture, carpet, flooring kept in good condition, clean and free of obvious wear and stains.
- Provide well lit areas (75 to 100 watts or energy-saving equivalent) for reading, activities.
- Provide the proper height for bedside lamps. General rule is 28 in. high for lamps and 30 in. high table.
- But it also depends on your mattress’ height. So, just think about that when selecting bedside tables and lamps.
- Provide 24 hour self-service coffee and tea.
- Guest refrigerator available for use 24 hours.
- Complementary WiFi throughout entire property and available in all rooms.
- Printer available 24 hours for guest use.
- Provide up to date material on area/maps/activities/menus.
- Provide books, magazines games…kept in good condition.
- Furniture, carpet, flooring in good condition, clean and free of obvious wear and stains.
- Provide well lit areas (75 to 100 watts or equivalent) for bedside and seating areas. Lamps, light fixtures on dimmers to enhance guest experience. Two lights per bed and one for every seating area.
- Provide horizontal surfaces for guest use free of clutter.
- Provide functional work surface, desks, lap desks…preferably in all rooms or have designated business friendly rooms.
- Provide electrical outlets/charging devices in convenient areas for guest’s electronic devices.
- Provide information booklet with property’s procedures, policies and emergency contacts.
- Bedding in good condition and free of obvious wear and stains.
- Use of triple sheeting.
- Mattress in good condition. Replace every 5 to 7 years.
- Use of mattress protector for pest and moisture prevention and protection.
- Use of box spring cover or skirting.
- Provide four pillows, non allergenic, preferably 2 soft and two firm.
- Guest Room Amenity Basics
- Complementary WiFi has become a necessity. Provide strong and fast bandwidth.
- Iron and ironing board.
- Adequate hangers, minimum of 6, preferably wooden.
- One luggage rack, preferably two.
- Night light
- Guest Room extras for enhanced guest experience.
- Wine glasses and opener.
- Note pad, coasters and pen.
- ‘Filtered’/decantered/bottled (?) water.
- Laundry bag.
- TV/DVD. Direct TV
- Alarm clock or clock radio
- Pillow menu.
- Fresh flowers.
- Fixtures, tile, floors in good condition clean and free of obvious wear, stains and deferred maintenance.
- Vanity, mirrors, tub and shower areas well lit. Use of dimmers as appropriate.
- Provide adequate horizontal surfaces for guest use, free of clutter.
- Provide horizontal surface in shower/tub area for guest use.
- Provide hooks for robes/hanging toiletry kits.
- Towels in good condition. Minimum of four bath towels. Replace at first sign of wear and fraying.
- Hand towel conveniently placed by sinks.
- Provide make-up removal cloth (in dark color?).
- Bathroom Amenity Basics
- Quality soaps (one bath, one face) as either individual or in bulk container.
- Shampoo, conditioner and lotion, as either individual or in bulk container.
- Hair dryer.
- Bathroom glasses.
- Provide emergency amenities, i.e. disposable razors, tooth brush and tooth paste.
- Bathroom extras for enhanced guest experience.
- Soaking tub, whirlpool with bath amenities.
- Luxury shower accessorized with luxury shower head(s) and/or body sprays, steam.
- Illuminated make-up/shaving mirror.
- Towel warmer.
- Heated floors.
- Mouth wash, Q-tips, cotton swabs, sewing kit, shower caps, dental kits.
- CLEAN CLEAN CLEAN
- Flexibility for breakfast times/menus and check-in/check-out procedures as appropriate.
- Consistent and efficient housekeeping procedures including check lists, innkeeper or equivalent staff daily room checks, cleaning materials inventory and deep cleaning schedule.
- Consistent and efficient laundry procedures.
- Use of online booking showing current availability.
- Timely response to reservation requests, email and telephone inquiries.
- Bookkeeping/Accounting procedures are current and monitored regularly by owner innkeepers if not done in house.
- Financial records kept current and available. Use of industry standards and standard chart of accounts.
- Property Management System monitored regularly.
- Memberships in national (AIHP), (PAII), state and local Innkeeping associations.
- Staffing adequate for size of property with consistent training.
Safety and Regulatory
- GFI outlets in bathrooms.
- Smoke detectors operable in all rooms.
- CO detectors operable to local codes.
- Flashlights available in all rooms.
- Adequate use of exterior and interior door locks and deadbolts.
- After hours entrance procedure.
- Back- up generator desired but not required.
- First aid kit.
- Fire extinguishers.
- Fire exits mapped and well marked.
- Safety instructions for equipment and facilities used by guests.
- Up to date website. Upgrades and/or new site preferably implemented every 3 to 5 years.
- Use of professional images/photography.
- Photographs of your breakfasts and other culinary offerings.
- SEO/SEM kept up to date.
- Use of social media links. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter used frequently.
- Use of packages and specials, kept current with implementation of new packages on regular basis.
- Use of email for newsletters, target marketing.
- Keep current with marketing trends. Education through webinars, conferences.
- Use of online directories, minimum of three.
- Use of Google alerts, monitoring review sites. Prompt management response to reviews.
- Use of print material, rack cards, post cards (free!), online media kit.
- Meetings, events managed professionally with contracts and consistent procedures.
- Spa services.
- Gift shop.
Optional extra complementary equipment provided to enhance guest experience
- Bicycles/helmets. Provide bike racks and/or safe area to store guest bikes.
- Beach chairs/towels.
- Canoes/row boats/kayaks/life vests.
- Any offerings related to your area or property that increase/enhance the guest experience.