Are you an independent traveler?

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Madeleine's picture
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Just thought I'd ask how YOU do when you travel? Do you need the hotel staff to lead you through everything? Do you call the front desk for every little thing or do you try to sort it yourself first? How do these guests we seem to get cope with the heat and A/C at a hotel when no one takes them to their room? How do they find the bathroom? Not every hotel room looks exactly the same, there are variations. How do these guests cope?

What is it about staying at a B&B that makes guests think they shouldn't think for themselves but should immediately try to get help?

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Madeleine's picture
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I'm not meaning asking the front desk for directions for how to get somewhere or asking, 'Hey, where's your favorite place to eat around here?' I mean asking where the closet is. (Hey, open the doors in your room! Novel idea!) LOOK around to see if the hotel staff provided you with the means to live for the next 12 hours.

When you travel are you self-sufficient or are you the person who calls the desk or pads down into the lobby to find out how to get Wheel of Fortune on the TV (I swear I got this one yesterday!)

Maybe these guests are just lonely and want someone to talk to. I bet hotel clerks get their fair share of guests who won't go to their rooms and leave them alone.

On the phone the other day I asked about dietary restrictions. Guy says if we had sugar free syrup or jelly that would be nice. (He said it very pleasantly, like it really would be nice if he could have that for his breakfast.) In the background I hear, 'And tell her Diet Coke, too.' THAT'S the sort of thing I mean. Do you expect a hotel to provide you with Diet Coke if you have diabetes??? Why would someone think I'm going to go out and do their personal snack shopping for them?

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 Maddie you mean like "But where is the bathroom?!!"  Uh open the door you see closed in your room VOILA!

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 Maddie you mean like "But where is the bathroom?!!"  Uh open the door you see closed in your room VOILA!

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 Maddie you mean like "But where is the bathroom?!!"  Uh open the door you see closed in your room VOILA!

gillumhouse's picture
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Yes, I am independent. I usually have researched the are before I go - had I known the day we were going to King Ludwig's castle I would have had the tickets in advance instead of having to wait in line for oever an hour so my brother would not look DUH!

Just had tonight's guests arrive. Since she told me her husband was off today, I routed them , once she said they like waterfalls, to a State Park wth fantastic waterfalls, gorgeous leaf-peeping, and a covered bridge. She was so excited when they arived! They loved the route and saw 3 seperate rainbows! They actually followed MY direction to get here when the GPS told them something different - she said MY way cut 10 minutes off the drive. I love these folks already!! Tomorrow more covered bridges and the winery and Sunday when they go home, I will take them to Arthurdale - the first New Deal settlement. I LOVE impressing guests with our routings - and they like not having to stumble around in an unknown area and missing the interesting things.

Arks's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

I LOVE impressing guests with our routings - and they like not having to stumble around in an unknown area and missing the interesting things.

Yes, I'm all for that sort of thing and I'll do a lot of that too. I want them to have a good time, and I know more than they ever will about our area, so I want to share that. But they have to wipe their own nose (I was going to say something a little different, but thought better of it. Swirt appreciates a forum with decorum).

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Arkansawyer wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

I LOVE impressing guests with our routings - and they like not having to stumble around in an unknown area and missing the interesting things.

Yes, I'm all for that sort of thing and I'll do a lot of that too. I want them to have a good time, and I know more than they ever will about our area, so I want to share that. But they have to wipe their own nose (I was going to say something a little different, but thought better of it. Swirt appreciates a forum with decorum).

Was thinking of you as at nearly 8pm "wing nut" rings our bell. I go out and he asks me "What time can you have breakfast for me, I have to tee off at..."  I told him what time breakfast was, it is in the confirmation and it is also on a chalk board tablet right on the table.  "Well I saw that but what time can you have it for ME, I have to leave early and it is an hour drive to the golf course?"  I told him the time we have breakfast tomorrow then asked "I hope your wife can join us."

He then proceeded to ask me how to get there.  Get where? How do I know where you are going?  He asked "The same way we came in?" What am I your wife, was I in the vehicle with you?

THIS is what this thread is about.  I DO NOT, hand-hold these guests, ever. But his wife sure does.  While he was fluttering around at check in time, she said to me "He really likes pancakes" I said, that's good to know.  (???)  MOMMA MOMMA!!!

So you were thought of, little did you know. Now others will say I am a bad innkeeper, I should meet all the guests needs, we are in the service industry! BAD BAD JB!

No tickie no showy...give us advance notice, perhaps, ring the bell at the end of a very long day, no.

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We have had a few guests where "puppetry of the partner" is occuring. You can hear the husband speaking, but you can clearly tell that the wife has her hand in there and is making the lips move, or vice versa.

Breakfast time is breakfast time. Do what Northwest Airlines used to do for breakfast, a Quaker Chewy Granola Bar... the 25c solution.

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gillumhouse's picture
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THIS is what this thread is about.  I DO NOT, hand-hold these guests, ever. But his wife sure does.  While he was fluttering around at check in time, she said to me "He really likes pancakes" I said, that's good to know.  (???)  MOMMA MOMMA!!!

So you were thought of, little did you know. Now others will say I am a bad innkeeper, I should meet all the guests needs, we are in the service industry! BAD BAD JB!

No tickie no showy...give us advance notice, perhaps, ring the bell at the end of a very long day, no.

You are an excellent innkeeper. I would have been tempted to say - wish i had known. We had pancakes this morning. Tomorrow we are having.......

Wisth 6 rooms you have to do what you have to do. And you DO look after your guest's needs, but no one can meet the needs of the needy.

Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

 and I know more than they ever will about our area, so I want to share that.

You will be amazed and astonished to find out how little you know compared with some of the pompous guests who wander through. Seriously, don't be surprised when someone who blew in yesterday tries to correct your mistaken notions about anything and everything. It's an eye opener.

Arks's picture
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I've said before (and been punished for it) that B&B owners create a lot of work for themselves by making their guests accustomed to being catered to for every little thing. You're already giving them an exceptionally nice place to stay and amenities they'd never hope for at the same price at a hotel, then you add in all kinds of unpaid extras far beyond any hotel's concierge service. You're over-worked and under-appreciated.

In response to the question, I'm a man and you know how men are. Asking for directions or calling the "front desk" is an absolute last resort for me, and if I needed, say, a flashlight, I'd drive to the store and buy one rather than asking the innkeeper for it. That's why the guesthouse I'm currently putting in will be for more self-sufficient people like me, more a vacation rental than a B&B, offering ONLY online reservations, self-checkin with a code to get you in the front door, a voucher for breakfast at the restaurant across the street, etc. Let them haggle about glutens with the restaurant staff. I'll give them contact info in case they really need it, but I'll let them know they're mostly on their own and should solve basic problems themselves, like they do at home.

Next year I'll be working on my more B&B-type place, but it will still be for for the more self-sufficient sort, and I'll be sure to make that clear (to those who will read). We'll see how it goes.

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Oh no you are 100% correct. I am with you Arkie, I get mad at the innkeepers even here on this forum who bend over backwards and then they expect that everywhere they go!  They give away the farm (I try not to but I do too at times.)

We invest so much of ourselves in this business that it is hard not to, however. It is a reflection on us if the guests are fat and happy.

A lady said yesterday "You know you could have just served that first course and it would have been enough"  Let me guess, you don't eat breakfast... I replied "Cindy we are a bed and BREAKFAST we need to serve an excellent breakfast, it is part of what we do and who we are!"  I can't help it if you never eat breakfast (bad bad lady)

But, getting back to your self sustained comment...where is that LAUGHING HARD little icon?   Yesterday the man is standing RIGHT NEXT TO THE COFFEE POT.  Coffee pot, creamer, coffee cups, you get the idea. COFFEE AREA.  "Are you making coffee yet?" I told him you are already overdo, it is right next to you!  And yes, at check-in I stopped there and said "THIS IS THE COFFEE AREA"  Smiling  People don't listen, people don't think. People pour scalding boiling water from the kettle they just boiled into a thin plastic cup.  Yep, right here.

Mistake #1 - thinking that everyone else thinks the same as us.  They shorely don't.

Madeleine's picture
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OK, A, let me fill you in...it is ALWAYS the man who is ringing the bell asking us 'how do I...?' Never the woman. Maybe she sends him? But he is always the one holding the laptop wanting to know how to log on. He is always the one not knowing how to use the coffee machine (DIRECTIONS ON THE COUNTER, in front of the machine! Of course, guys don't read directions, so answered my own question right there.)

And THAT'S the issue. The guy guests NEVER read the provided materials.

It's fine, I'm throwing it all on the bed on Sunday when all these guests leave. If they still ask, well, there's nothing I can do about stupid.

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05/30/2008

I think the reason that B&B owners might get asked more questions is because innkeepers are more approachable. 

I usually don't ask for anything when I travel whether it's to a hotel or B&B, if I have the essentials provided to me. 

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I don't know but when they roll in back to back 6 rooms worth and one nighters day after day it makes one weary innkeeper!

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I don't know but when they roll in back to back 6 rooms worth and one nighters day after day it makes one weary innkeeper!

Amen to that. What a week this has been.

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