Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

The B&B Team
 

Posts Tagged ‘The B&B Team’

Recap of Top 10 Lodging Trends 2017

December 6th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Recap of Top 10 Lodging Trends 2017

As the year winds to a close I thought I would compile a recap of top 10 lodging trends 2017. Some of these come from blogs I have written this year and others from a quick Google search of hotel/lodging trend articles.

1. In-room technology. The two items that stood out were: High-definition flat screen TV and high-speed Wi-Fi. It is all about providing the best picture and the fastest band width. Instant gratification plus a shorter attention span are the drivers.

2. Varied dining options. In most of your Inns, it is breakfast. The trends are:

Grab & Go Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt Parfaits – For your early risers

  • Grab & Go for early risers and early departures.
  • Letting your guests know (on your website breakfast page and/or booking process) that their food allergies and/or preferences are gladly accommodated.  Stressing they MUST let them know in advance.
  • Lighter fare options at breakfast. See The B&B Team Pinterest board for some great lighter fare breakfast ideas.

3. Self-check-in options for after hours. Convenience and peace of mind for the many guests that are delayed for a variety of reasons. Or just want to mosey their way to you without a time schedule.

4. Communal areas that bring people together. Hotels have been remodeling their lobbies to become more people friendly. Your common rooms and dining rooms may need a revamping too. Sometimes it can be as simple as rearranging your furniture to create comfortable communal seating areas or creating comfortable reading or laptop working nooks with great lighting.

Example of dining/common room divided into communal areas. Used beyond breakfast! Jumping Rocks Photography

5. Don’t forget the millennials. The ‘millennial appetite’ is not just about food or a more contemporary design. In addition, they are more into a healthy lifestyle, self-growth, and digital technology. They may want to experience the same places (your Inn and location) their parents have but experience them in a different way. They are a bit more adventurous and willing to explore ‘outside the box.’

6. Paying attention to your guests’ experiences outside your Inn as well as inside your Inn. Get to know them before they arrive. In your confirmation email you can ask them targeted questions. Why are you travelling to… (name your town and state)? Are you celebrating a special date? Take your pick of questions but don’t make it an inquisition, you’ll lose them.

7. Bring in the locals. Hospitality has always been focused on the traveler, as it should. But what about the locals? There are business influencers in your community that can benefit you and your Inn. Events like Pop-up dinners, Inn tours, holiday open house, Chamber After Hours, and hosting local charity events.  These events welcome locals into your Inn which brings awareness to your Inn and you!

8. The new definition of luxury. Read my past blog on that subject.

9. Mobile friendly websites. Getting back to technology. Today 51.8% use mobile devices to book. In 2019, the estimate is 86.4%. ‘Nuff said.

10. Video. 4 times as many customers would rather watch a short video relating to a product or service than read about it. Create your own or find out if your town chamber or state tourism organization has a video you can use on your website.

Woods Hole Inn, Woods Hole Massachusetts has a great video.

I know that many of you out there have been paying attention to these recap of top 10 lodging trends 2017, but there are still the innkeepers out there who are lagging. For those laggards, in the long run (your future) it will affect your business negatively. It is December and the future is just around the corner. Time to make your list and check it twice in 2018.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Bed & Breakfast Bathroom Appeal

November 30th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

bathroom appeal

Bed & Breakfast Bathroom Appeal-Photo by Christian Giannelli

We have all heard about how important curb appeal is to properties. There is also the ongoing trend and need to create bathroom appeal. I would like to share some highlights from a recent article titled, Hotels upgrade bathrooms for more demanding guests’.

From the article, here is what the vice president of Marriott global design strategies had to say. “We’re spending more time focusing on bathrooms because so many of our customers have upgraded bathroom experiences in their own homes with fancy amenities, elaborate finishes and integrated technology.”

So true. Over the last number of years The B&B Team have seen innkeepers, (who are their own ‘design strategists’), replace jetted whirlpools with soaking tubs or used the space to install double showers with body sprays and other ‘bells and whistles’!

Lighting is another design feature that is important. Correct lighting for grooming surrounding the vanity/sink area adds to your bathroom appeal. Another informative article, ‘How to Pick the Best Bathroom Vanity Lighting for You’. 

From the article, “Grooming requires just the right amount of well-placed lighting. Too little and you won’t be able to see what you’re doing. Too much lighting, or poor placement can cause glare issues.”

Plus the technology of light fixtures and bulb choices is very sophisticated (confusing!) today.  One suggested rule is side lighting. Avoid lighting above the mirror which can produce shadows if not placed properly. The article from Lightology gives great advise on the height and suggested amount of light.  Worth a read. 

Another suggestion is dimmers. Not just for the vanity but all lighting in the bathroom. Your electrician can suggest the type of dimmers for the fixtures you are installing or already have. As we tell folks in our seminar for aspiring innkeepers, “Nothing takes the edge off of romance like multiple 100 watts of light.” It IS all about the experience, soft lighting and soft music, you got it.  

Here are a few examples:

bathroom appeal

Bathroom Appeal-Eden Vale Inn, Placerville CA. Jumping Rocks Photography

Note the rain shower head, soft side lighting (dimmable) for the vanity and shower light. The colors are also warm and inviting.

Example of a relaxing ‘slipper tub’ that replaced a ‘retired’ and noisy jetted tub.

Bahtroom appeal

Maine Stay Inn, Kennebunkport ME-Cottage Bathroom Makeover

Example of a luxury cottage that had a kitchenette and small bathroom. Voila…same space with double sink vanity with large luxury shower. Notice the pocket door, a real space saver.

I think you get the picture, literally. Notice there are no toilets in these photos? We know there is a toilet somewhere. Now if you have an automated bidet with heated seat, now that may require a photo!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opportunity Knocks!-Bed & Breakfasts for Sale 5 Rooms or Less

October 5th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

bed & breakfasts for sale 5 rooms or less

Opportunity Knocks! Bed & Breakfasts for sale 5 Rooms or Less. Finger Lakes B&B

Yes…Bed & Breakfasts for sale 5 rooms or less. In addition, financially viable bed and breakfasts!

Lets’ get started.

In the Finger Lakes of New York there is a 5- guest room, including cabins, Bed & Breakfast for sale. It is a beauty, located between Seneca and Keuka Lakes, in the geographic heart of the Finger Lakes region, where tourism flourishes. The inn is listed as financially viable, rare for the number of guest room offerings. There are 2 cabins on the 6 acres and it has real expansion capability for more.

For owner/innkeepers:

The owner’s annex provides 1350 ± square feet of living space including a full kitchen, dining area, large living room, master bedroom, adjoining study and 1 ½ bathrooms. Large living room windows maximize views across the valley. An attached three bay garage provides plenty of storage and workshop space. WOW!

Interested? Arrange a visit to this fine Finger Lakes B&B Gem for sale soon!

bed & breafasts for sale 5 rooms or less

Barcelona Lakeside Bed & Breakfast for Sale

Another ‘Small Inn, Big Success’ inn for sale in the Empire State, on the south shore of Lake Erie in Chautauqua County. Barcelona Lakeside Bed and Breakfast is a 4-guest room inn.

The inn is rated #1 out of 35 area B&Bs on TripAdvisor™. Barcelona Lakeside B&B is close to Chautauqua County’s and is the only area B&B with sweeping views of Lake Erie. Another real beauty! The house is a restored historic farmhouse surrounded by gardens and neighboring vineyards. These are just some of the reasons for the inn’s great success.

New owners can “turn the key” to this fine B&B and build on its solid foundation of profitability.

New River Gorge B&B

Morris Harvey House Bed & Breakfast

Lets’ move along to West Virginia to the historic 5 guest room Morris Harvey House in Fayetteville. Located in the middle of the New River Gorge recreational area. An incredible natural park encompassing over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, rich in cultural and natural history.

This New River Gorge bed and breakfast for sale boasts a solid track record of success with occupancies averaging around 50%, a remarkable achievement for any inn in a small-town setting, which is testament to the strength of the draw that the Gorge is.

For the owner/innkeepers:

A detached adjacent owner’s cottage with 2 bedrooms and full bath, kitchen, and living/dining room, affording space to relax and get away from the business while being immediately convenient.

These three bed & breakfasts for sale 5 rooms or less gives new innkeeper/owners the opportunity to own and operate a viable business in beautiful viable tourist driven areas.

Thanks for Listening and letting The B&B Team share with you these three Bed & Breakfasts for sale 5 rooms or less.

Opportunity knocks 3 times!

Janet Wolf

Rabbit Hole of Social Media

September 14th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Rabbit Hole of Social Media

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will take you there”. Lewis Carroll

This is a quote we often use in The B&B Team’s ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ seminars for aspiring innkeepers.

We suggest our seminar attendees need to focus on where they want to live. It helps them focus on where to start looking for inns for sale. You have to know where you are going.

This line of thinking can also relate to how small business owners/innkeepers should approach managing their social media.

  • Focus on the what, meaning which social media platforms will be most effective for your inn.
  • Focus on the when, how much time you should plan on spending on each platform.
rabbit hole of social media

Focus

I found a good blog on social media tips for small businesses. ’21 Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Businesses.’ Interesting that the author used many Lewis Carroll quotes to illustrate the sometimes overwhelming tasks associated with social media. This article is chock full of good information, worth a read and a save for future reference.

“The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.” Chapter 1- Alice in Wonderland

Do you sometimes feel like you are falling down the rabbit hole of social media? To avoid the tunnel it takes a game plan. I will take some key points from the 21 that the author lists. Points I believe relate to our small business niche. Points I hope will help you focus.

Facebook, blogging and email newsletters will most likely be your first platforms to attack. If you are in love with the image driven platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, go for it. They can be very powerful image tools. No platform is a requirement.

1. “Concentrate on your target audience and your goals from social media. In a world of choosing social platforms to concentrate on for small businesses, less is often always more.”

2.  “Take on what you can handle-and nothing more.” i.e. Scheduling, making a posting plan. I know an innkeeper who planned his social media on his weekly calendar. Facebook Monday…Newsletter Wednesday…Bogging Thursday. And most important, be consistent.

3. “What sort of content is your audience looking for?” Start with your location, location, location and all the offerings your area provides. This shows and tells the special experience your guests will be having. Your goal is to educate and entertain. Keep your readers engaged. Suggest NOT to bombard them with your ‘discounted, buy one get one free’ specials. Yawn and delete. ( You can always sneak your offers in AFTER you have engaged them with your great content).

4.  “Use high quality, crisp visuals. Recent research shows images increase social media engagement. Twitter updates with images in them receive 150% more retweets than those without and Facebook posts with images in them receive 2.3 times more engagement than those without.”  Show them the money shots.

5.  “Be patient! A lot of small business owners don’t know about all of a platform’s capabilities, or get frustrated when they don’t see a high engagement rate or grand following right away.” Frustration can lead to inertia. Don’t let that happen. Keep posting regularly, focus on the what and the when. And by all means…

“Remember what the Dormouse said…feed your head.” (with knowledge that is!). White Rabbit lyrics. Jefferson Airplane. Couldn’t resist that quote, it just popped in my head!

rabbit hole of social media

The rabbit hole of social media is not something you want to fall into. Hope this helps you focus as well as inspire you to find your old childhood copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Fun reading in between posting.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Virginia is for Lovers –All of them!

July 24th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

 

Virginia is for lovers

Virginia is for Lovers-All of Them!

This tourism and travel slogan may be one of the most recognized and successful advertising slogans ever. I didn’t realize that it has been around since 1969. Back then, the firm of Martin and Woltz Inc.  proposed slogans like, “Virginia is for History Lovers.” Also beach lovers and mountain lovers. The thought was these slogans were too limiting and came up with the all-inclusive lovers of all things Virginia.

Fast forward to 2017… all-inclusive means so much more today.

“Our LOVE story is bigger, better, and more inclusive than ever before.”

The official tourism website of the Commonwealth of Virginia started a new marketing program“specifically aimed at drawing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender — aka LGBT — tourists to visit the state.”

Caroline Logan, Director of Communications for Virginia Tourism Corp., stated The goal is to present Virginia as a safe and inclusive place for LGBT travelers and their families.”

Is this an advertising promotion to bring more business to the state? Of course.

There are millions of dollars spent each year by LGBT travelers, which is a very specific segment of the tourism market, so being able to benefit from that segment is important,” said Kevin Clay, who served on the advisory commission and is a principal with Big Spoon Agency, a hospitality consulting firm in Richmond.

Is this also a strong welcoming message to the LGBT community of travelers? You bet.

Hospitality has many acronyms. One of them is openness, another kindness, another generosity. I was pleased to see many bed and breakfasts on the self-designated listings of Virginia business owners and hosts as LGBT-friendly.

The B&B Team loves Virginia. In fact the company was founded by Peter Scherman in Virginia in 1993. He and his wife Peggy love living in historic Scottsville, Virginia.

Just like the LOVE story of Virginia, The B&B Team is now bigger and better. There are now 10 of us on the team. I can speak for all of us in that we believe wholeheartedly in the all-inclusive marketing message Virginia Tourism Corp. is promoting. Kudos to Virginia Tourism Corp. for their openness and all inclusive campaign.  Lovers come in all shapes and forms and varieties of humankind…………..and to quote one of my favorite passages from Harper Lee’s book, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch’s daughter Scout observed that “I think there’s just one kind of folks. Folks.”

If becoming an innkeeper is a dream and hospitality is in your DNA, we can help. As we state on our Seminars page, “We don’t sell the dream, we help you live it.” We invite you to start your search for bed and breakfasts for sale in Virginia right here.

The B&B Team also loves the other 49 states and would love to help your search….wherever.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Mobile Bookings are Growing Fast-Are you getting your share?

June 22nd, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Mibile bookings

Mobile Bookings are Growing

“…according to eMarketer’s latest forecast on digital and mobile travel. This year, digital travel sales in the US will reach $189.62 billion, 40.0% of which will come from mobile devices.”

Now not all of those billions are room rentals. This includes airlines, cruises, all travel related bookings, including AirBnB.

More stats for those who love this stuff:

“US mobile travel sales will total $75.85 billion in 2017, up 16.7% over last year. On the flip side, desktop and laptop travel sales will decline 1.6% this year to $113.77 billion.”

What does this mean for our industry? If your website is not responsive, you run the risk of being deemed irrelevant. Ouch!

“Google holds nearly 70% of search market share, so when Google talks, we listen. Google states that responsive web design (RWD) is its recommended mobile configuration and an industry best practice. Google prefers RWD because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site. It also makes managing your site and SEO easier, as you have one site to maintain and market.” InsideOut Solutions.

Responsive website design has been a ‘must do’ upgrade for a while. Nothing new but…with the newest stats like the 16.7% increase in mobile bookings, the importance of a good responsive site just keeps growing.

“It’s important to have a responsive website, one that can adapt to screens of any resolution, for several reasons. The most obvious reason is that it allows guests who found your inn on their mobile device or tablet to easily navigate your website. If they can navigate your site, they will stay on your website longer. They will learn more about your accommodations and will be more likely to make a reservation.” Q4Launch

The most important point I want to make in this post going forward is: GO WITH WEBMASTERS WHO KNOW THE LODGING INDUSTRY. I know I just shouted at you, no apology, because this is important!

“Keep in mind, “Local” webmasters who are not well-versed in the Lodging industry simply do not have the knowledge to build a Website and include all the necessary parts required to make it into a successful online presence.” Acorn Internet Services, Inc.

“We take a holistic approach to bed and breakfast marketing, but a key tool for success is a professionally designed website that converts “lookers into bookers.” White Stone Marketing

The folks I have quoted here know their stuff. They have all been working with and for our industry for quite a while (except for Q4, the newbies… but good!)  They are all knowledgeable, dedicated and passionate about our industry as are we at The B&B Team.

You want your share of the $75.85 billion US travel sales in 2017. If you are not responsive your share will be miniscule. You want those lookers to become bookers but…if they can’t even look on a mobile device. Ouch!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Urban Bed & Breakfasts for Sale-Interested?

June 13th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Urban Bed & Breakfast for sale

Urban Bed & Breakfasts for Sale-Philadelphia’s Cornerstone Inn

Did you know The B&B Team conducts around 30 ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ Seminars annually? Many aspirers sign up to learn the “ins and outs” of starting a bed breakfast. In addition we also learn from them, something very important. Where do they want to live? Location WILL affect your business and lifestyle.

We ask…

Is it in the country with some acreage?

Is it on the shore, beach or lake?

In a quiet country village?

Or…an urban setting?

Urban Bed & Breakfasts. Large cities or smaller metropolitan cites. Let’s take a look at some advantages.

  • Can have higher occupancy rates. Why?
    • Oodles of corporations that bring their travelers to town.
    • Typically enjoy mid-week business travelers.
    • Usually have colleges and universities…always magnets for parents, future student families, reunions and corporate guests working at the school.
    • Colleges and universities build repeat guests for 4 years with each entering class.
    • Less year-round occupancy volatility. Typically weather does not affect urban travel.
  • Average Daily Rates (ADR) can typically be higher in a city. Why?
    • Higher occupancy rates allow for effective revenue management practices.

Thank you Marilyn and Scott Bushnell, members of The B&B Team for their insights, cited above. As innkeepers (in their former life!) their Inn was located in a vibrant urban location.

“We realized that the value of multiple types of travelers would provide better occupancy, stronger income, and lower our risks in the marketplace. And, we had the personal conveniences of access to all that in town inns have to offer (dining, shopping, culture).”

Another feature is that they are often located in beautiful renovated in-town historic manses, homes where prominent families lived before suburban sprawl. In addition, it is not all cement and asphalt; there are often secret gardens and patios, even swimming pools.

Here are a few examples of successful urban Bed and Breakfasts The B&B Team is currently offering for sale.

Urban Bed & Breakfast

Cornerstone Inn-Urban Bed & Breakfast for Sale

  • Cornerstone Bed & Breakfast, Philadelphia PA. Walk to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, fine dining and events. Yes…it’s urban!
    • Located in University City adjacent to both the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel.
    • Occupancy exceeds 70% (national average for B&Bs of this size is about 41%.
    • ADR is over $190 (national average for B&Bs of this size is about $160).

The Cornerstone Inn is a beautiful 1865 Victorian ‘painted lady’ set on a quiet Philadelphia street among towering trees and other historic buildings. Highlights of the Inn include original architectural carpentry, original wood flooring and 7 glorious stained glass windows.

urban Bed & breakfast

Urban Bed & Breakfast in the Lehigh Valley

  • A Lehigh Valley Pennsylvania Inn. 18 guest room Georgian Mansion Inn located in an historic neighborhood in Eastern PA.
    • Near a world renowned liberal arts college. Includes all the advantages an urban property can offer.
    • Occupancy and ADR plus complete financials are available to qualified buyers with a signed NDA.

An elegant Georgian mansion originally built in 1895. In 1986 the building was fully restored to its former glory and has welcomed guests ever since. Over the years it has evolved into what is now the stately eighteen-room Lehigh Valley urban Bed & Breakfast.

Take a look at The B&B Team’s additional Urban Bed & Breakfasts for sale offerings.

Downtown Pittsburgh Bed and Breakfast.

  • Historic Mansion with 9 guest rooms in the middle of this dynamic city. A few blocks from Heinz Field, PNC Park, and Andy Warhol Museum. Urban neighborhood at it’s best.
urban bed & breakfast

Downtown Pittsburgh Urban Bed & Breakfast for Sale

 

Annapolis Maryland Bed and Breakfast

  • Amid dozens of diverse area attractions that bring visitors to town such as the Naval Academy, St. John’s College, city Dock with its showcase Harbor, the State Capital and surrounding businesses, plus boutique shopping, pubs and eclectic dining offerings that are ALL within a short walking distance. In the historic district of Annapolis.
urban Bed & Breakfat

Annapolis Maryland Urban Bed & Breakfast for sale

Still interested? Follow the links and give us a call. We can help.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Blackmail! What You Can Do Before It Happens?

May 1st, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Blackmail!

Blackmail! In today’s world of social media.

Just say the word, blackmail, and it brings to mind evil images and dark thoughts.

The definition of blackmail: ‘…the action, treated as a criminal offense, of demanding money from a person in return for not revealing compromising or injurious information about that person.’

For innkeepers today, it isn’t the demand for money. Blackmail in today’s world of social media and transparency means a threat of a bad review! Yes, evildoers with the opportunity of damaging  your good reputation.

Rick and I were invited to TripAdvisor’s headquarters recently to meet with multiple groups of TripAdvisor employees in different departments. We were pleased that The B&B Team had the opportunity to represent the interests of B&Bs at these meetings.

Among many subjects discussed relating to issues B&Bs have with TripAdvisor, the issue of blackmail came up.  A few years ago TripAdvisor added a way for business owners to report blackmail threats. In our canvasing of innkeepers only one innkeeper brought up this topic. I thought I would share this information for those of you who may not be aware of this tool.

As a business representative, how can I report that a guest threatened me with a bad review?  “Here are some best practices for submitting reports of potential blackmail to TripAdvisor before the review is submitted.”

The key word here is before. Being proactive is important. If you get a threat, report it immediately. Save the paper trail of emails and voicemails. As much detailed information you can report, the better.

What if a fraudulent review is posted and you were not aware of any threats? This can and has happened and unfortunately can be a bit more difficult to prove. It must violate TripAdvisor’s review guidelines.

As an owner or manager, how do I report a review that violates your guidelines?

As innkeepers, working through the process of reporting blackmail or fraudulent reviews can be frustrating and time consuming. But at least there is a process with guidelines provided by TripAdvisor. And if the results end with a removal of the review, definitely worth it!

Tip: Posting a management response to a fraudulent review is also very important. Respond as soon as possible!

As an owner or manager, how do I respond to a review on my listing?

Even if you have not had a threat of blackmail or received a fraudulent review, it is a good idea to read through these guidelines. Have the knowledge before, and you have the opportunity to head the evildoers off at the pass!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Service with a Smile ;>}

April 4th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

the customer is always right

Service with a Smile

As innkeepers we always provide service with a smile, right? In The B&B Team’s Aspiring Innkeepers Seminars we spend a good deal of time discussing service. We ask our attendees questions like…

Is the customer always right?

After some discussion, our response is NO, the customer is not always right. Thankfully that rude and offensive guest does not rear its ugly head often at bed and breakfasts. But when that occasional guest appears, it is memorable as well as challenging.

When a guest insults you or a member of your staff, makes unreasonable demands and complaints and all with the use of offensive language. Is this person always right? Of course not.

The fact is that some guests are just plain wrong and your business is better without them.

Today innkeepers can flag guests in their property management systems, making sure you or your staff doesn’t make the mistake of booking them in the future.

But how do you handle those guests during their stay? And how do you ‘encourage’ them to remove themselves? Service with a smile?

  • Firmly explain that you do not tolerate certain kinds of behavior at your Inn.
  • Suggest that if they are so unhappy with their stay they can leave and will not be charged.

OK, you may not be smiling during this conversation but you will be calm, collected and professional. As innkeepers, Rick and I only had to ’explain and suggest’ twice. Once to loud and intoxicated couples traveling (or should I say partying?) together. And once to a guest who made a very offensive and discriminatory statement in front of us and other guests. They both took our ‘suggestion’ and departed.

We recently had a conversation with Siobhan Kelly, innkeeper with partner Katja of the Towne Motel in Camden Maine.  She told us a great story. Her mother owned the High Tide in Camden on the coast of Maine in the 80’s. Siobhan helped her Mom at the inn during the summers while in grad school. She remembers the method her Mom used when dealing with unhappy guests at check-in. She would simply take an eraser (remember those?) and erase the reservation in the ledger right in front of them. …

“Mom would try to work with them–offer a different room if she could, for example–but if they couldn’t be pleased, the eraser came out, Mom handed back their deposit, and said she’s sure they’d be happy elsewhere.  Backtracking at this point was in vain: they weren’t staying there!”

service with a smile

Smiling innkeeper, Siobhan Kelly

Read more in detail about the legality of Guest Removal in an article from US Legal.

As I mentioned before, the rude and offensive guest appears rarely. Good innkeepers have a caring attitude, are flexible and have a genuine commitment to the guest. Offering genuine service with a smile means your guests are smiling too. And in 99.9% of the time, they do.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Are You a Luxury Bed & Breakfast Inn?

March 28th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Are You a Luxury Bed & Breakfast?

Are you a luxury bed & breakfast inn? Luxury means different things to different people. If you brand your inn as a Luxury Bed & Breakfast Inn… one size and look does not fit all today.

A whirlpool tub, a fireplace, champagne and those oh, so predictable chocolate covered strawberries. Guests may be saying: “Is that all there is”?

Going beyond the expected and predictable is what we are talking about here.

If you are going to charge luxury prices, then you need to offer something that no one else can offer. In my research, I found many articles and blogs on this subject. What I discovered was once again it is not about the ‘things’ but about the experience. This does not mean the luxury amenities, updated décor, latest technology and yes, an outstanding breakfast are not important. Guests still want (and expect) this. But…

“It’s clear that experience is winning out over the material when it comes to the kind of luxury that consumers prefer.”

To really have a competitive edge, hospitality providers need to facilitate branded experiences that extend beyond the walls of the room or property.” 10 Hotel Trends that Will Shape Guest Experience in 2017 Deanna Ting, Skift. Jan. 30, 2017

Your luxury Bed & Breakfast Inn charges luxury prices. As a result that WOW factor needs to include something no one else offers. Experiential travel, ‘live like a local’, curated experiences…call it what you will. It is what hospitality and travel writers are talking about today. There must be a reason.

Some examples:

  • Street food & beverage tours. Rick and I were in Brooklyn with our son and daughter-in=law and took a whiskey tasting and distillery tour followed by a walk to a bakery that only bakes and sells key lime pie! Their frozen chocolate-covered key lime pie on a stick! Unique…you bet.

Van Brunt Stillhouse, Red Hook Brooklyn, NY

  • Exclusive behind the scene museum tours. The Inn at Cooperstown has been offering one of the best behind the scenes tours of The Baseball Hall of Fame for many years. The innkeepers created the package, partnering with the museum and they ‘own it’. Exclusive and packed full of experiences…you bet.
Are you a luxury bed & breakfast

Ultimate Baseball Hall of Fame Package Experience

Now you may think trekking the streets of Red Hook, Brooklyn and paring whiskey with key lime pie is not luxurious.  But it sure was memorable. Remember, one size does not fit all.

A behind the scene tour of your favorite baseball team’s artifacts in places the public is not privy too, priceless. Possibly a memory of a lifetime to serious baseball fans!

Coming up with an experience that is unique to your property’s location may not be as difficult as you think. What is your community’s story? It may be historical or a new emerging business trend. Do a bit of research and think ‘out of the box’.

From the Skift article.  “This isn’t to say people don’t want opulence or extravagance anymore. For some travelers, that’s still an integral part of what defines luxury. We’re not saying luxury is transforming into something more Spartan, or more minimalistic, either. Instead lean luxury is about the new luxury, about offering travelers a more authentic, genuine luxury experience unfettered by specific brand or quality standards like thread counts.”

I think a branded luxury Bed & Breakfast Inn has the opportunity to provide this better than the large hotel brands, way better.

Looking for a luxury bed & breakfast for sale? Become a part of the ‘lean luxury’ trend.

Lead photo. Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn, Hermann, Missouri. ‘Where the Missouri and Memories Meet.’

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

»