“The lobby sets the tone for the overall guest experience, whether it is tone color, décor or ambience. It is the first impression that guests pick up upon entering a property.”From an article in Global Traveler, April 2014 entitled, ‘Form, Function and Finesse’.
Over the years The B&B Team has heard comments from innkeepers saying that not very many of their guests use their common living room/parlors. Well…there may be a reason. Hotels have seen the same thing. Guests were not ‘hanging out’ in their lobbies. They were in the bars and lounges, but what if a guest wanted to just sit with friends or plug in their devices to ‘work ‘n play’, or have a casual business meeting without the bar buzz? Many of the large successful hotel chains have been transforming their lobbies into spaces to relax, connect, meet, think, a place guests can make their own.
“Setting the tone for an overall experience” is also important for bed and breakfasts/Inns. Maybe even more important! Many small lodging properties are in historic buildings. They have an advantage of a distinct sense of place. The aim is to emphasize the unique historical architectural details of the building, the entry and other common shared spaces. Create eye popping design while creating a comfortable and functional space. It has been done very successfully in many bed and breakfasts. If you have been thinking about transforming your common areas and make your bed and breakfast first impressions a WOW then read on.
A great example is the Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunk Maine. Current innkeepers took a Victorian era farmhouse and transformed the exterior and interior with a contemporary design that is truly eye popping. The results were spectacular. This Inn was not only transformed but re-branded. Now not everyone has the need to tackle a total Inn transformation. The Inn at English Meadows illustrates what can be done and the successful results. And their guests respond very positively. “It was lovely. The Inn is newly remodeled and tastefully appointed. The decor transfers seamlessly from the living room to the dining room and to the sleeping rooms.”
A more contemporary look may be trending but traditional is a style that is always in style. And it may be your preferred style. The Maury Place at Monument, a Richmond Virginia Bed and Breakfast has created comfortable traditional style seating areas in their common rooms. The colors, contemporary hints blend well here and make the architectural details of the room pop. “As soon as we stepped foot in the historic home, we understood why it had received an overwhelming amount of “excellent” reviews on Trip Advisor. The place is absolutely gorgeous, decorated in warm, masculine colors (chocolate, burgundy) with feminine touches of detail (crystal chandeliers, intricate ceiling medallions and crown molding).”
Beyond design there has to be function. Easy access to USB outlets is also a function guests are looking for in common rooms, not just their guest room. And good lighting everywhere, this should be your mantra! Creating multiple conversation areas is key if you have the space. This is both thoughtful and functional for guests.
Transform, re-brand, re-fresh or renew. Impress your guests with a bed and breakfast first impression. It counts.
Thanks for Listening,