Stereo typing a Bed and Breakfast

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Hillbilly's picture
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I was just thinking about something I had read on here a few weeks ago. I can't remember the exact percentage of people that have stayed in a Bed and Breakfast before. I do remember it being really low, like 14% or something like that. Most people stay in Hotels hands down. Why? What reasons have made people not want to stay in a Bed and Breakfast? What are the reasons people prefer Hotels? Just wanted to hear some of you thoughts on this. It will be interesting to view your comments. We all need to listen to what each of us have to say and see if we are an example of a Stero type Bed and Breakfast. There is a reason for the small percentage of the population that will stay at a Bed And Breakfast. Why?

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OnTheShore's picture
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Somehow my original post got into the wrong thread - it wasn't meant to go here. Don't know how to delete it entirely, so just edited it out. Don't really have anything to contribute to this particular thread. Sorry!

 

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I will almost always choose a hotel over a B&B for a one night stay.  I just don't feel like I can get the whole B&B "experience" with a one-night visit. 

If I'm driving and I'm not exactly sure where I'm going to end up - hotel. 

If I feel like I need a little special treatment (and I don't have to be traveling with my dh), I'll pick a B&B.  Unfortunately, there have been a couple of times (like JB) when I've been disappointed. 

Most of the time for special occasions, I'll pick a B&B/inn. 

If I plan a driving trip with designated stops, I'll try to find B&Bs.  I also usually seem to gravitate to 6 rooms and less.  I've been frustrated with this though sometimes with finding inns with online booking and/or good websites with plenty of pictures. 

ETA:  I just booked a 2-night weekend getaway in Charleston, SC through a Groupon I recently bought - $319 (resort fee and taxes are extra) - which includes a deluxe harbor view room, a bottle of wine, a full breakfast both mornings, and another surprise gift in the room.  So another reason that I sometimes book a hotel - really good packages. 

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Joey Camb's picture
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we do our own brand of chocolate and a bottle of something fizzy but non alcoholic and a card. I have a friend who makes the most amazing cards as I complained the ones in the shops tend to be too personal ie dear wife etc where as mine just say happy anniversary and that is enough.

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Bommelhoeve's picture
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One other reason why I think people choose a (chain) hotel over a B&B: you get familiarity and consistency, same reason people go to McD when in China...

You know it is not going to be great, but you also know it is probably going to be OK. If you just want to sleep, why would you do all the research to select a good B&B and risk having it wrong? As Joey pointed out, a bad experience ruins a trip. And the one who makes te reservation is to blame.....

Its crazy, we all like to be surprised and have unique experiences when we take a vacation, but at the same time we look at roompictures, reviews, star rating etc, just to make our experience more predictable.

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Arks's picture
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Great posts, JB and Madeleine. Very enjoyable, and I agree.

Also, sometimes when Madeleine speaks, I see Morticia's face. Mort wouldn't care for 25 hooligans and their obviously hung over chaperones either!

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Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

 

Also, sometimes when Madeleine speaks, I see Morticia's face. Mort wouldn't care for 25 hooligans and their obviously hung over chaperones either!

At times, I feel I am channeling Mort. Other times, sweet, lovable Maddie.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Great posts, JB and Madeleine. Very enjoyable, and I agree.

Also, sometimes when Madeleine speaks, I see Morticia's face. Mort wouldn't care for 25 hooligans and their obviously hung over chaperones either!

I especially liked the throwing orange peels part. Better than throwing oranges, I 'spose. Smiling

Maddie's comments brings me to a poll I wanted to add the other day about innkeepers, do we feel we are less social now than before we began this journey?

And I remind everyone of Dave Sherrvil who worked for DoD in Sydney. One day (in Oz you go to the pub at lunch, yeah, and drink and then go back to work and the alcohol content is higher in the Aussie beer).  One day it was a bday luncheon and Dave said "I'll give it a miss mate."  I said "Hey Dave I really want you to be there!" He then looked me in the eyes and said something to the effect of "His quid, his mates."

That always stayed with me, he worked hard for his $ and chose who he was with when he spent it, on his leisure time. So it is with innkeepers. We talk shop with our innmates, but when we get away we want to just do our thang and not have to be "on".  If we are going to a conference or something, sure, but on our own quid, we want to be anon and do whatever we want to.

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Madeleine's picture
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Not wanting to completely hijack here, but I feel I'm more sociable now than before. Imagine that, if you will!

Madeleine's picture
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I am not a morning person. I don't want to interact over breakfast. I want to eat and stare at the wall. Almost every place we have ever gone has had a community table. (Yes, we have separate tables that we will put together for a group.)

I would rather sleep in than have to talk to someone or, worse still, listen to someone for an hour. OK, so what's the difference between that and a hotel dining room with 25 soccer players running around throwing orange peels at each other and burning waffles? I do not feel the need to be polite to the 25 hooligans and their obviously hung over chaperones. I do think I should be polite to the know-it-all sitting next to me at a B&B. If only so I don't embarrass DH.

I don't like to be surprised at breakfast. As much as I love chocolate (and my friends all know this is a deep and abiding love), I do not want to be served a molten bowl of chocolate covered whatever for breakfast. I don't like not having a choice because I am inherently picky. And, wherever we go, I always end up being served exactly what I told the innkeeper I couldn't eat. Or, if asked, exactly the opposite of what I asked for. (No, we do not offer a choice. But we will give you toast and cereal if you don't want what's on the menu. And we won't make faces at you and act like it's the end of the world.)

B&B's are not always located near where I want to be. Sometimes I just want to sleep and hit the road. I don't want to feel like I'm holding someone up if I decide to stop and look at something along the way. (We have a late check-in policy and no qualms about telling you how to let yourself in the house.)

We have had several very unfortunate experiences that also could have happened at a hotel. I think I am more comfortable telling an employee that something wasn't right than dealing with the owner who gives me a pouty face and a 15 minute explanation of why it happened and no recourse. Or, worse still, an owner who says, 'No one else had that problem.' There is just no dealing with that sort of person. Other than to never go back there, which is how we handle it.

And, yet, we have met some very nice innkeepers along the way.

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Here are the reasons I personally pick a hotel:

  1. Cancellation policies. Hotels (if booked in advance) usually allow up to the day of to cancel with no penalty.
  2. No firm plans on the road and unsure how far we will go tonight so pick a hotel.
  3. Swimming pool
  4. 2 beds in a room for cheap travel overnight accomodation
  5. Not wanting to talk shop or be "on" just wanting to be anon

Why did I pick a B&B? (I say DID as I want to answer pRE -owning a B&B)

  1. Not for a family getaway, for a special getaway for my spouse and I. A time to relax, to explore, to be.
  2. Quiet environment compared to hotels.
  3. I loved the decor, the books, the atmosphere
  4. Especially being at a waterfront B&B, there is no comparison to any hotel in the world.
  5. Smaller properties, when we traveled overseas we always picked 6 rooms or less lodging, always had super service, personal attention (ie excellent breakfasts) and beautiful rooms. I think Frommer got me hooked on the 6 rooms or less theory.
  6. History. We always chose neat B&B's in the heart of a historic area and also where we could walk to ferries, restaurants etc.
  7. Some instances I booked a B&B for a special romance/dinner package, I think we have done this a dozen or more times. Thinking back, this always appealed to us, just to be at the inn and not have to head out.

Worst B&B Experiences

  1. A loaf of bread out of the freezer, still frozen, and some mandarine oranges. Coffee pot that has run through and run out. No innkeeper around. This was it, make do.
  2. An inn where the owners sat down to breakfast with us (the only two there) who had a very very rough year and this was our only getaway, ever.  On top of that, they said a blessing without inquiring if we would be okay with that, they stated something to the fact "In our home we say the blessing" and then did.  They then went on in this innkeeper rigamorale speaking like we had asked them all these questions. Speaking of "Virginia" like we were from Mars, we also lived in VA, not sure what they had written down.  They also had grandkids in the room below ours and they had cartoons blaring all night long.  They did offer a room upgrade at check in, FOR A FEE. The coffee stunk, it was some flavored coffee that gave us a gut ache. (FYI This is no longer an inn, they sold it as a house and moved)
  3. Another time at a fabulous place we sat at a big round table and some lady from Texas hassled the "hired" innkeeper who was there to cook and serve, she kept asking her questions from table to kitchen and there were 5 other people sitting there trying to enjoy our meal. It was communal at its worst! The rooms were $250 a night and we bought both ours and our friends for a special ocassion, I was ticked.
  4. Lastly, we had always gone to B&B's for our anniversary, we are now in our 23rd year of marriage. Never (except going to an innmates from this forum) has the inn or hosts ever acknowledged the special ocassion. No name on the board, no little note on the bed, or chocolate with our names, nothing.  This is something I find the opposite to most here. Most B&B's I know do recognize special ocassions, and in fact typically ask if it is one!

 

Arks's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Never (except going to an innmates from this forum) has the inn or hosts ever acknowledged the special ocassion. No name on the board, no little note on the bed, or chocolate with our names, nothing.  

OK, I'm taking notes. Anybody have any additions to the list above of inexpensive but appreciated ways to acknowledge a special occasion?

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I used to do a card (Dollar Store), and special chocolates or a chocolate bar (bought on sale) or a smaller version of our chocolate dipped strawberries with a special presentation on a silver tray.  For birthdays and wedding nights, I had special plates for their inn-room dessert treat.  I gave them an "upgrade" on the fresh flowers in their room to a small rose bouquet for anniversaries and wedding nights and also had CDs with romantic music that I'd leave on in the room at turn-down and would do silk rose petals on the bed for wedding nights. 

I also had place cards on place card holders that I could write, "Happy Birthday", "Happy Anniversary", "Congratulations!", or something similar and put them at their place setting (or on their breakfast tray if they had room service). 

We had lots of jetted tubs and sometimes I'd leave rose petal soap for them by the tub. 

We did offer romance package add-ons for a fee as well, but there are lots of thoughtful things that you can do that cost very little and create a lot of goodwill.  This was one of the things that I really enjoyed about being an innkeeper - trying to create a memory for guests. 

gillumhouse's picture
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IF I know it is anniversary or birthday, I get her a single red rose with water pick to keep it fresh. I slip the appropriate florist card to HIM to sign so he can get it back to me. It is then at her place with "his" card if they are having a dinner or get it to him to give to her otherwise.

I have to go pick up ballot boxes. More when I get back.

I also have hand-blown WV goblets that I sometimes give for an anniversary and definitely do for a honeymoon, that I give with 2 splits of WV Sparkling Cider.

Madeleine's picture
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Arkansawyer wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Never (except going to an innmates from this forum) has the inn or hosts ever acknowledged the special ocassion. No name on the board, no little note on the bed, or chocolate with our names, nothing.  

OK, I'm taking notes. Anybody have any additions to the list above of inexpensive but appreciated ways to acknowledge a special occasion?

We do a card and chocolates, if we know in advance. We'll also do something at breakfast if it's a birthday and we know at least before we serve the food. (No, I do NOT sing!) If you're a long-time guest, you get a real gift. Something we know you like because you've been here so many times. These are not inexpensive gifts, but we've more than made it back by long-time reservations.

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