Have you ever stayed at a B&B? If not, why not? Let me know your reasons!
Bed & Breakfasts are a growing (and changing) segment of the overall lodging marketplace. We offer a unique and interesting alternative to your run-of-the-mill Hilton or Ramada Inn or Travelodge. Over the course of this BLOG series I'll explore some of those differences, also differences between B&Bs (we come in all shapes and sizes), and ways in which the 'industry' is changing to address the needs of today's traveling public. So let's begin!
Question: "Both Bed & Breakfast hotels as well as several motel chains offer free breakfast. Then how are these two types of lodging different?"
Answer: It's not the Breakfast that makes the difference - even tho there's no comparison between a freshly hand-made three-course gourmet breakfast using local ingredients and served at it's perfect temperature and a self-serve pile of scrambled eggs that started in a box and have been sitting on a hotplate for a few hours.
So why stay at a B&B?
People stay at B&Bs for all sorts of reasons but mostly because we are unique. Each Inn, GuestHouse, Lodge, Castle, Estate and Residence is 'one-of-a-kind'. We are unique on every level, behind every door and down every corridor - here's are a few of the things that make each of us stand out.
Location: Remote get-a-way places, quiet side-street addresses, homes that are off the freeeway but close to the action, mountain or lake-side retreats, farmhouses and penthouses, even houseboats are numbered among the B&B community.
Ambiance: Contemporary, Old Victorian, Country, Sea-side, Mansion, Mountain Cabin or Tree House - we're all different.
Amenities: Fireplaces, Hot Tubs, Feather Beds, Antique Furnishings, Large screen TV's, Balconies, Internet Access and on and on...
Service: Owner (or resident Innkeeper) operated guarantees personal service beyond expectations. From the greeting at the door, to advise on places to eat or things to do, to a well-stocked butler's pantry, to personal knowledge of the surrounding area, to no-hassle Check-In and Check-Out our first and foremost concern is to be of service to our guests. After all you'll be sharing our home, it's the least we can do.
Opportunities: Many B&B's offer Cooking Lessons, Mystery Dinners, Romantic Get-a-Way packages, Theatre tickets, Limo service, Pottery or Knitting or Quilting Classes, Live Music, Hiking from the front door. All B&B's offer respect for our guest's needs for privacy and none-of-the-above.
Price: Factor in; Full plated breakfasts, evening wine/beer receptions or warm cookies in your room, personal service, pillow mints, 24x7 coffee service, unique surroundings and concierge services; it all adds up to Value for Dollar!
Hospitality: For all the differences HOSPITALITY stands out as the one most-common hallmark of a Bed & Breakfast. Hospitality like you will find no where else. Hospitality designed to make you feel at home. Hospitality that is non-intrusive but always evident. Where do you find that at your neighborhood Motel?
Check back in every now and then and I'll elaborate on these and more. Drop me a note, let me know your experience, good or bad, as conscientious Innkeepers we learn from our guests every day, what we're doing right, what we can improve on and, just as often, what we haven't ever thought of.