Guest Room "Welcome" notebooks...

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While traveling this last Fall we found that some B&B's had WELCOME notebooks in the the guest rooms and some did not. Do you have them in your rooms? Do you like them? What do you have in your notebooks? Anyone willing to share a sample of their welcome letter in the notebook?

THX! 

 

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I'll stand out on that rock the same day I start picking up hitchhikers.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

I'll stand out on that rock the same day I start picking up hitchhikers.

I guess they are not on your bucket list? aye Arks.

I have decided I will do this hike. I said as much. We hiked 3 miles today after I said I would do THAT hike on the way to today's - not very vertical - hike. Then I was reminded "If you are going to hike McAfee's Knob you better get used to this one" yeah never verbalize to your spouse a "sort of idea" you have and think aloud.  It is on my list, but let me add "at my pace" not at a trekker's pace. 

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I have an amazing hiking list of nearby hikes in each room, for every guest, and they always ask me "Where can we go hiking?"

Here is a hike our guests did last week (it was not green like this yet of course). This is not far from us. it is a LONG hike, but not a strenuous hike. If people listen to me, yes really, they could do some really great stuff around here. A caller yesterday said "Other than the B&B, what else is there?"  

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Our welcome notebooks are three-ring binders with a welcome letter in the front cover pocket.   They essentially contain our website information reformatted and in book form.  This includes an expanded version of our policies spelling out those things that should be common sense, but apparently are not.   We remind them of things like NOT removing makeup with our white washclothes,  not smoking etc.

In addition,  we have trail maps,  pictures of the flora and fauna found on our property (along with any necessary warnings i.e., feral hogs and poison ivy).   We also include maps and information about local attractions,   a list of area churches and their worship time,  and everything else we can stuff in there that we think will be of use to the guest.

We KNOW that they are read cover to cover because our guest quote from them at breakfast time.

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i had my own personal recommendations, of course i did. but not many.   the beautiful books in the guest rooms, all carefully  printed out in individual plastic sheeting (and requiring constant updating and changes, hence the loose leaf binders) were available.  my area info in the guest rooms could not compare with what other guests had to say. 

please don't think i just had grubby scribbly pages of notes. it was not like that at all.  they seemed to take a lot of care in their writing.  but my place was not fancy, it was in the middle of a fishing harbor and 'rustic' is a good word for it  ... sadly, the lobstering operation across the road has since closed. i don't know if there's a new one there now. but, at the time, it was a huge part of what was happening complete with fishing boats in and out all the time, and all that implies. 

  in the downstairs hallway ... with the maps and menus, hours and specials as current as i could get them ...  you'd be surprised at how the guests would study what other guests wrote. .... people sometimes loved to act like expert reviewers .. however, they wouldn't go online and review later on. 

they also were in a loose leaf binder in case i had to pull something. but i never did.

how did i get them to write in the book?  i'd bring it to them while they waited for me to cook breakfast or in the evening or i had it right there at checkout and  i asked ... did you go out to eat yesterday? how was it? would you be willing to write a few words in the book for other guests?  

this worked for me.

 

 

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Here's my current welcome letter, much of it borrowed from others, of course!

Thank you for selecting [our place] for you stay in [our town]! Our mission is to provide a unique, comfortable setting for your memories. Please take a few minutes to read through the sections of this guide, as they are designed to give you information to make your stay more enjoyable.

We have included a handy list of area restaurants and menus, as well as things to do here in downtown [our town], around our county, and around this part of America.

A Suggestion Card is included inside the cover of this binder, should you wish to make comments or suggestions in writing to help us improve our facility and service. You know the old saying: if you find something not to your liking, please tell us so we can make changes. If you find things you do like, please tell your friends!

Thank you again,

[my signature]

[me], Innkeeper

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We do the books and then I copied it to the blog. Sort of makes me nervous about changes etc though. MS Office had a deal when they made software. 80% of the people use 20% of the features. B&B's probably have a similar deal in that 80% of our folks come through and do the basic deal but how you treat the other 20% is important and maybe makes or breaks your deal.

 

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IF it is a 2-night or more, I ask what are their interests and offer to print out a turn-by-turn routing for their interests - which may at some point become turn left/right onto Rt xx etc. I also give them a copy of the Gazetteer to use in case they decide to "explore". The Gazetteer (which I show them how to use) has every back road showing on the map to get them from point A to point B. Depending on what they want, I usually know where it is - as long as it is not an ocean as we are short of ocean this year.

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I had guest info books in the rooms ... mostly about my place ... where things were, how to make a phone call (no cell service in the immediate vicinity)  about climbing up into the cupola, what places I thought they might like to go to and the ferry schedule (with multiple copies of that schedule in the binder pocket for guests to take) And of course the places they could buy tickets for through me to get a discount. 

Some things needed explaining.

Like the lighthouse, hard walk uphill to get there depending on which road they took, but downhill back all the way ... and to back off when fog horn was in use.  Silly people insisted on trying to take a picture close by even though there was a warning sign and booooooom ... blasted by the fog horn.  One woman asked me if they couldn't turn it off for 20 minutes or so ... just so people could take pictures.  Hilarious!  I told her to write that in the guest recommendation book.  (see below) Most folks got a real laugh about that.  Sure, who cares if there are boats coming in near the rocks and the people on the boats can't see the light (or the coastline) because of the fog? 

As for restaurants, I noted in the info book and pointed out to guests when checking in that I kept a big 'diary' of guest recommendations on places to go and restaurants near the check-in they could look at.  I asked for individual guest thumbs up or thumbs down and why ... because a lot of the time I had not been able to eat there and really couldn't say someplace was great .. only that I 'heard' it was great.  I had big disclaimers all throughout the book explaining that these were individual opinions only.

The book turned into something so fun, I wish I'd taken it with me when I left.

There were people who ate at a lobster shack in a nearby village who raved about it, loved it, everyone should go there and experience real coastal maine.  Next guests wrote that the place was a dump, that they asked for lobster crackers (nut crackers) and the waitress handed them a rock. Underneath that was a rave about the place ... but they'd lost their liquor license for three days so no beer with the steamers.  Then, next guests who went said hurray they had beer with steamers but did not like the lobster 'shedders' because there is less meat inside the shell, but they iked the lower prices. on and on.

Another restaurant kept closing and reopening, I could not keep up.  Called and was assured they were open for business.  Guests drove over and were met by a Closed sign, no info ... guests boo'd!  I added my own note that day!  They could have called and TOLD me.  Following week, place was re-opened by the daughter who was very attentive, came out to make sure they were happy with their meal.  Two weeks later, awful food, etc. 

 

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How did you get guests to write in the diary about what they liked/didn't like and other comments? That sounds like a great idea.

After having a guest with a GC to a restaurant that was part of a package accuse me of being in cahoots with the restaurant I would love to have had other guest comments at the ready to show him that the other folks who were there the same night loved it. (This guest said, 'Whatever arrangement you have with that restaurant, I strongly suggest you cancel it, the food and service were awful.')

And here I am paying full price to the restaurants to get these GC for the packages and this guest is assuming I got the GC for free.

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 and yet, the one place I do not list has made dozens of guests sick and I will tell them if they ask me "I personally wouldn't eat there" but that is all I can say. I have reported them. Yes, all of that. But guests go there. 

Had guests asking me how to get to a restaurant that has been closed for 4 years. So ThE INN ROOM stuff IS IMPORTANT for this sort of thing, although come to think of it, they obv didn't read it if they asked me how to get there! haha

Weaver, I love the more info the better. I already said that. But I am a unique guest, most of our guests don't read sqwat. On your travels were these things the innkeeper TOLD YOU About or that they provided in the rooms? In the room book? Just curious.

I have a list of great hikes and we are near MP 121 by the way, MILE post. and guests said they were heading out to go on a hike on MP6.  I asked them if they knew how far that was? Well it was in the Blue Ridge Parkway guide you have in the room. The blue ridge parkway is 469 miles, fyi in case anyone is curious. Yes, I have it in the rooms, not saying it is up the road.

Speaking of this our guests who are going to go to our lake s/b here any minute. He called and I told him "It is winter" and then again and again he said they want to sit out by the lake, and it is snowing today (most parts) and I told him "There is nothing to do this time of the year, until the season starts at the lake" determined that once he gets there it will be summer or something.

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 

Weaver, I love the more info the better. I already said that. But I am a unique guest, most of our guests don't read sqwat. On your travels were these things the innkeeper TOLD YOU About or that they provided in the rooms? In the room book? Just curious.

I am a reader/researcher, you and I are probably similar types of guests.  Several of the inns (and I say inns since not all were B & B but larger Inns with the owner's on site) had a spot on their web site about ask "Tom" about where the wildflowers are blooming this week, or where the local mobile BBQ shack way hanging out their shingle that weekend, that sort of stuff.  Other info came in the form of an inn produced great rides/scenic drives guide with maps and or directions provided in the room or at breakfast. 

I agree too that most guests probably don't read sqwat, god forbid I forget my reading glasses or someone will end up in the wrong state. LOL 

So the direct answer to your question has been mostly verbal.  The owner/innkeeper knew how we were traveling and made a point of telling us at check-in/breakfast if you don't know about this or that you should check it out.  In other cases they had no clue and couldn't care less, honestly those were areas we didn't return to unless we discovered something cool ourselves.  But I always read the book while the then DH was in the shower or scouring the map for little tiny roads that looked like fun.  I was all about views, parks, food and shopping. Sometimes the book gave us ideas, sometimes it was been there done that, tell me somethin' I don't know.

 

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Yes, keeping up with restaurants is hard. Most here are in business about 8 months then close, followed by new owners reopening it a few months later under a new name. I maintain an online map of where our town's eating places are, and I have to update it about once a month. It's a pain.

I'll probably limit my guest book listing to the few that have been here a long time and are worth recommending.

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 I only put in the menus of restaurants I recommended. We don't have that many here so it was no problem. I have all of them as I do them for the Visitor center web site.

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We have a welcome letter which is out on the dressing table which does a quick sum up. We have a guest info folder in the top drawer with sightseeing, restaurants, info about us, emergency phone numbers ie 999 for an ambulance etc, Bit of stationary ie post card, headed paper and envelope ie so they can send them out to people at home in a plastic wallet in the back and the history of our town.

What I thought you meant was what some people have which is a sort of guests comment journal in each room. We have one in our common lounge but only get a comment now and again. I worry about drunks writing something rude and then you are kind of stuck with it.

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camberleyhotelharrogate@yahoo.co.uk wrote:
What I thought you meant was what some people have which is a sort of guests comment journal in each room. We have one in our common lounge but only get a comment now and again. I worry about drunks writing something rude and then you are kind of stuck with it.

The trick with those is to use books with a spiral binding so that the page is easily removed without a trace.  Happily, I've never had to do that. But I stayed at a B&B where the innkeeper should have exercised her right to excise...

=)
Kk.

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One more thing I'm adding in my book: I've picked 3 scenic drives here in the county, one of 30 minutes, one of 40, and one a 60 minute round trip. Each drive has its own page in the book, including info and photo of where the drive is going and a Google map showing the route to take from my place.

I'm also giving a map from my place to the city parks in case they want to picnic, and a map to the local sports complex (baseball, softball and soccer) in case they'd like to take in a game.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

One more thing I'm adding in my book: I've picked 3 scenic drives here in the county, one of 30 minutes, one of 40, and one a 60 minute round trip. Each drive has its own page in the book, including info and photo of where the drive is going and a Google map showing the route to take from my place.

I'm also giving a map from my place to the city parks in case they want to picnic, and a map to the local sports complex (baseball, softball and soccer) in case they'd like to take in a game.

Ark, have you thought of providing extra copies of the maps? Such as in the event your guests don't have internet/google on their phones, or more importantly if the routes are in dicey service areas.

 

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Weaver wrote:

Ark, have you thought of providing extra copies of the maps? Such as in the event your guests don't have internet/google on their phones, or more importantly if the routes are in dicey service areas.

I have some old computers that still work, they're just slow. I'm planning to have one available, and a printer, so guests can print off any pages of the guest book from the computer. But I don't what them to waste paper and ink by printing the whole book, so I'll probably put each page in a separate document so they'll just print the pages they really need. It would be a lot of work to print out the whole thing one page at a time. We'll see how it works out.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Weaver wrote:

Ark, have you thought of providing extra copies of the maps? Such as in the event your guests don't have internet/google on their phones, or more importantly if the routes are in dicey service areas.

I have some old computers that still work, they're just slow. I'm planning to have one available, and a printer, so guests can print off any pages of the guest book from the computer. But I don't what them to waste paper and ink by printing the whole book, so I'll probably put each page in a separate document so they'll just print the pages they really need. It would be a lot of work to print out the whole thing one page at a time. We'll see how it works out.

I am working on an outline for my book (for when I get the go ahead we have a deal)....anyway, I was thinking about putting two or three copies of maybe just the scenic drive/winery routes right in the "book" in a sleeve for the guests to slip one out and take with them.

Then no printing or ink issues.  As to businesses changing, going out of business etc, I have the local chamber visitor's guide book, and there is actually hand written notes, things lined out, and at least one business added, all by hand in blue ball point ink. 

Not a great impression.  I would rather spend an hour or two a month/week updating than hand a visitor's guide to a guest with handwritten scribbles/notes. 

Fortunately they have a new tourism director, actually from my neck of the woods, so I am hoping this was just a hold over until the new chief arrived and not a way of doing business. 

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Weaver wrote:

 I would rather spend an hour or two a month/week updating than hand a visitor's guide to a guest with handwritten scribbles/notes. 

 

Take my word for it...no you won't. You will have 15,000 other, more important, more in your face projects than updating an entire page in a guest book because a restaurant closed, opened, whatever. Unless you have ONE copy of the book, then you MIGHT do it. If you have a copy in every guest room, cottage, bunk house, you are not going to do this. You are going to hire it out to your front desk person to do in the downtime.

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Madeleine wrote:

Weaver wrote:

 

 I would rather spend an hour or two a month/week updating than hand a visitor's guide to a guest with handwritten scribbles/notes. 

 

Take my word for it...no you won't. You will have 15,000 other, more important, more in your face projects than updating an entire page in a guest book because a restaurant closed, opened, whatever. Unless you have ONE copy of the book, then you MIGHT do it. If you have a copy in every guest room, cottage, bunk house, you are not going to do this. You are going to hire it out to your front desk person to do in the downtime.

You are probably right, time is a precious thing, and as I get closer the clock seems to move faster!

 

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Weaver wrote:

Arkansawyer wrote:

Weaver wrote:

Ark, have you thought of providing extra copies of the maps? Such as in the event your guests don't have internet/google on their phones, or more importantly if the routes are in dicey service areas.

I have some old computers that still work, they're just slow. I'm planning to have one available, and a printer, so guests can print off any pages of the guest book from the computer. But I don't what them to waste paper and ink by printing the whole book, so I'll probably put each page in a separate document so they'll just print the pages they really need. It would be a lot of work to print out the whole thing one page at a time. We'll see how it works out.

I am working on an outline for my book (for when I get the go ahead we have a deal)....anyway, I was thinking about putting two or three copies of maybe just the scenic drive/winery routes right in the "book" in a sleeve for the guests to slip one out and take with them.

Then no printing or ink issues.  As to businesses changing, going out of business etc, I have the local chamber visitor's guide book, and there is actually hand written notes, things lined out, and at least one business added, all by hand in blue ball point ink. 

Not a great impression.  I would rather spend an hour or two a month/week updating than hand a visitor's guide to a guest with handwritten scribbles/notes. 

Fortunately they have a new tourism director, actually from my neck of the woods, so I am hoping this was just a hold over until the new chief arrived and not a way of doing business. 

and in other news...you want all of this stuff online. You want it out there so they WILL book a stay with you.  All well and good having it in the room or inn once they arrive, but they have already made the decision to stay with you and most likely will have researched online beforehand and have made plans.

This is the stuff that can be made into a package. Don't give it all away. Smiling Use these as promotional items when you market your inn on the various online sources. State tourism website, etc.

I am not sure that we have it all backwards here. Having info at the inn is GOOD. But trust me when I say 95% of the guests already have an agenda.  We hope this will bring them back yes, but you might have them saying "Why didn't you tell us about this before we got here?"  So in other words, on the website, on the blog, etc. 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I am not sure that we have it all backwards here. Having info at the inn is GOOD. But trust me when I say 95% of the guests already have an agenda.  We hope this will bring them back yes, but you might have them saying "Why didn't you tell us about this before we got here?"  So in other words, on the website, on the blog, etc. 

Makes me crazy (and is part of the reason I started the online calendar) that guests will say, in the morning, 'Why didn't you tell us such and such was happening???'

OK, I don't and can't know everything. I post what I do know on the white board in the dining room every stinkin' morning. I have the calendar up on the computer every day. You go to use the computer, there's the calendar of events.

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The INTERNET is king! or Queen depending on your preferance.

I certainly don't want to write a novel, but I think info is a good thing, and unless you have a group with "Julie, the cruise director" offering some neat little things that might not really have a home on the web site will be great for the "which ever way the wind blows you" crowd.

Having logged many, many miles on a motorcycle with few if any real plans these tid bits of local info were great for planning a cool off the beaten path ride out for the day.  Some days we did 300 miles without leaving the general area just following a route a thoughtful innkeeper shared with us.  I would IMHO make a list of the great locations, activities, and such on the site but the details I would want to keep to the "book" to keep the web site uncluttered.  However there is always the joy of linking to the attraction's web site as well.

I don't think there is one answer.  Ain't that grand?  Like so many things in this business as I am rapidly learning there is no right or wrong answer. 

 

JB I think you are 100% right when you say 95% of the guests have already done their homework.  We are an impatient society, we want it now.  That is why I agree that Social Media, Blogging, fresh web content, in room guest books, rack cards, guest diaries, comment books, all of it is so important, you never know what will inspire a guest to book, or return.  Hit 'em from all angles, and hope that some of the information sticks.   It is quite honestly the same in most service businesses, you never really know what will make one customer part with their hard earned cash and spend it with you; maybe it is your picture of breakfast, or the fresh flowers on the dresser in the room pic, or maybe because they can eat on the front porch watching birds. Different strokes........

 

 

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Weaver, very true that folks do alot of homework ahead of time and try to make plans BUT things can change.  My dh and I just got back from a 3 day weekend getaway in a Southern city that draws a lot of tourists.  It poured down rain for the majority of the weekend (3.5 inches, I think) and most of my best laid plans were nixed.  Thank goodness for a comprehensive room book and a great concierge at the resort.  We had dinner at two restaurants that were fantastic and close by our hotel, but they weren't some that I had picked out that were more well known. 

So, an innkeeper that offers great concierge services, as well as all the printed info that you mention,  can be really important.

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Oh, yeah, and photos and descriptons of the other rooms in case guests were planning their next trip right then and there.

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Yes, I had notebooks in the rooms with the following sections, all were in plastic sleeves.   I left them on the bed and open to the first page which was the welcome letter. 

  • Welcome Letter - included innkeepers's contact info (mobile phone number)
  • Room Info & Policies - Quick Info for the guests (breakfast, WiFi, housekeeping, amenities, safety), History of the inn & room (info about any room features like the steam showers), Policies, Property map & exits
  • Restaurant info - walking distance, close by, and farther afield
  • Entertainment - nightlife, museums/exhibits, historic sites, movies
  • Services/Local info - banking, transportation (taxis, airport shuttle, etc.), recreation, medical (pharmacies/closest hospital), places of worship
  • Shopping - walking distance and other

The pocket had the current copy of our State travel guide, our local CCVB guide (with city map), one of our rack cards, and the current local events pamphlet from the visitors center.  Also, a copy of the magazine that did an article on our inn & the innkeeper.  All of those the guests could take & keep.

Periodically, I'd update the restaurant list since that seemed to have the most changes and food always seems to be important to guests.  I once stayed at a B&B and the restaurant info was over 4 years old. 

Lots of info in a central location near the dining room with menus, lots of brochures, maps, guide books, etc. 

 

 

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Samster, this was very helpful. We have notebooks started with info in clear plastic sleeves, too...so I think we are heading in a good direction.

I have started and erased and started and erased a little "A Note From Your Innkeepers" letter (welcome letter) and at present have a blank slate again. I don't know if I am just tired or if I am simply embracing "stupid" Eye-wink but either way I cannot seem to get this Greeting completed. I think I feel I need to say something clever heck, I don't know. But thanks for the confirmation that if I ever get past this block we are doing the right thing.

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Thanks, Lady!  I hope you find your voice for your letter.

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Samster wrote:

Yes, I had notebooks in the rooms with the following sections, all were in plastic sleeves.   I left them on the bed and open to the first page which was the welcome letter.  

Considering the "guests don't read squat" knowledge we have, I'm thinking maybe it should be open to the "how to work the TV, jet tub, etc. page rather than the welcome page. Then at least they might see that the book has something in it they might benefit from knowing.

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Do what works for you....

I pointed the room books out and all the info contained in them (not page by page) during my very short room tour.  The most important piece of info at the bottom of that welcome letter was my mobile number which was the way to reach me 24/7.  So that was what I wanted folks to read.  Seemed to work for me!

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I'm currently in the process of creating my guestroom notebook. It's up around 45 pages now and I have a lot more do add, including the restaurants and menus.

On each "thing to do here" I'm including a brief description and photo of the destination, giving its phone number and physical address (for GPS users to find it) and including a Google map printout highlighting the best route from my place to the destination.

I'm sure some of these pages will be ripped out, the way people tear a whole page out of a business' phone book rather than jotting a number down on a napkin. So I'll have to put shingled tabs on each page so I can tell at a glance when one needs to be replaced.

In addition to what's mentioned above, give location of a nearby pharmacy and anything else you can think of to answer questions so guests don't have to come to you and ask. Some people, like me, DO read these things, and prefer to find the answer there rather than bothering the management with my questions.

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"I'm currently in the process of creating my guestroom notebook. It's up around 45 pages now and I have a lot more do add, including the restaurants and menus."

 

Just remember my warning, stuff happens, things change, put a disclaimer at the bottom of each page (as well as the file name and date) since you will update it quite a bit when businesses close, change hours, change prices, etc.  As soon as I get everything in place one item on the list is completely null and void. Sharpie pens all over it won't look great.

There is a new salon with spa in town - I was going to go in there, and thought, I will give them a month or so first. Opening in the winter, they might not make it. I was planning on getting a GC for a mani-pedi for someone, but can't chance they will still be in business.

BY THE WAY - I am sorry to side track, but I have to. One restaurant that has been here since we moved here and seems to be busy is a fast food fried chicken chain that begins with the letter "BOJ" or as they call it "BO TIME" in their ads. I went the other night and got a tail gate family pack, I cannot BELIEVE THE CRAP they call mashed potatoes. I mean wall paper paste IS A STEP UP! No wonder this is only the second time in 9 years I have eaten there! DISGUSTING FOOD. ALL OF IT. Not just the instant mash (mush). Pretty bad when teenagers won't even eat it!

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I have never, in 8 years, set foot in the burger chain restaurant across the street from me. I've never even taken a picture of it and it's probably the second most photgraphed building in town.

For Ark- limit the info you give. Name of restaurant, address, phone. Once you get into hours and menus and all of that, it's way too much to keep track of. I have the menus in the living room. I point them out and say, 'prices have changed, chefs have changed, please use those merely as a guide to the style of the restaurant.'

Cannot get the restaurants to part with new menus. I would even put them in the old sleeves, just give me the printed page, not the whole leatherette folder!

Like the scenic drives idea. I had 2 big 3 ring binders in the living room with all of that stuff and no one ever looked at it.

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Madeleine wrote:

Cannot get the restaurants to part with new menus. I would even put them in the old sleeves, just give me the printed page, not the whole leatherette folder!

 

OMG that is the way they are where I'm at!  I could not believe it. 

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Now our chain which is the same as yours, is locally owned and gives back so much to our community. He even buys all the beef for the burgers locally.  But as I had mentioned, highest grossing "this chain" in 4 states.  

Next door to that is the "King" and never even has one car in the drive thru. We went there twice, first they had no fries. "Sorry, no fries" second time it was a drive thru breakfast muffin sandwich, they didn't even toast the eng muffin and we nearly choked on it. So that was enough. Twice.  

Now our new locally owned and operated BBQ place! HOO RAH! I was so excited! I went in and sat down and asked what was homemade, which sides? The waitress told me "NONE."  They had a large selection of burgers - those have to be pretyt good, then right? They are from frozen patties, she said. I GIVE UP. SYSCO you win....

PS This really does have to do with the welcome books in the rooms, what do you put in there? Every restaurant or only those you recommend? Those who food poison your guests?

I added another "seafood restaurant" and wrote, and I quote on the restaurant list: "It is like a full service restaurant version of Long John Silvers" and people ask me every time, Is it good? Me, "Do you like Long John Silvers?"  If you do, then it is good. If you like real food, then it stinks.  (Shh! This is why I am anon on this forum so I can say these things!)

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Now our new locally owned and operated BBQ place! HOO RAH! I was so excited! I went in and sat down and asked what was homemade, which sides? The waitress told me "NONE."  They had a

large

selection of burgers - those have to be pretyt good, then right? They are from frozen patties, she said. I GIVE UP. SYSCO you win....

Do you ever watch Restaurant Impossible? Love when he asks what's homemade and the server says, 'Everything!' and he goes into the kitchen and it's all frozen stuff off the truck. A lot of them say, 'We make it right here,' when what they mean is they throw it in the microwave and warm it up right here.

That's a big issue with a place here in town. The food, altho local and packaged by the restaurant owner's own packaging plant, is still not fresh-cooked when you order it.

Who do I put on the restaurant list? Only the places I would go to. I will include the chain place because people come here with kids and they don't want to pay sit down prices for 5 yo kids who will push it around on the plate.

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Madeleine wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

Now our new locally owned and operated BBQ place! HOO RAH! I was so excited! I went in and sat down and asked what was homemade, which sides? The waitress told me "NONE."  They had a

large

selection of burgers - those have to be pretyt good, then right? They are from frozen patties, she said. I GIVE UP. SYSCO you win....

Do you ever watch Restaurant Impossible? Love when he asks what's homemade and the server says, 'Everything!' and he goes into the kitchen and it's all frozen stuff off the truck. A lot of them say, 'We make it right here,' when what they mean is they throw it in the microwave and warm it up right here.

That's a big issue with a place here in town. The food, altho local and packaged by the restaurant owner's own packaging plant, is still not fresh-cooked when you order it.

Who do I put on the restaurant list? Only the places I would go to. I will include the chain place because people come here with kids and they don't want to pay sit down prices for 5 yo kids who will push it around on the plate.

Yes I do watch it. Last week the "old school" Pittsburgh Italian restaurant microwaving the chicken parm and Chef Robert says I bet I can make it fresh faster than you can microwave it. And he did.  

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We have a great bbq place a couple of towns over from me. The guy and his wife have a big smoker out back, make their own bbq sauce, their coleslaw- ah, I could just dive in the container and eat my way out of it. They do three things: bbq'd or smoked chicken, beef, or pork. Friday nights, they offer smoked ribs. Standing room only. If you call your order in, you can pick it up faster than if you go in and sit down to eat. FANTASTIC place. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

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Penelope wrote:

We have a great bbq place a couple of towns over from me. The guy and his wife have a big smoker out back, make their own bbq sauce, their coleslaw- ah, I could just dive in the container and eat my way out of it. They do three things: bbq'd or smoked chicken, beef, or pork. Friday nights, they offer smoked ribs. Standing room only. If you call your order in, you can pick it up faster than if you go in and sit down to eat. FANTASTIC place. My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Yeah but see that is just it P. A couple towns over. You can't put that in the guest welcome or restaurant list. Not feasibly.

But like YOU, we will drive to get those RIBS! AMEN TO THAT!  We too have one who wins the Cook off on Food Network or Food Channel, and I have blogged them, and actually do have a footnote that says "Worth the drive" but our one nighters who arrive after driving all day don't want to drive some more... SHAME! Shame on those in THIS town who bite the big one.

It is what it is. a small town. I have to live with it, and rcommend the drive. You know there is a place right next door that serves dinner thurs and fri nights, country cooking, we have had guests who simply loved it, then the same night another two guests told us how awful it was.  Two couples traveling together - I always feel they are harder on EVERYONE.  The firts couple went back the next time they were here for more. And THEY DO make homemade berry cobbler (I know, it isn't rocket science - but rare to get home cooked food these days!)

I will make a note when you pass through our neck of the woods to take you to our bbq place down the road (35 miles) just let me know... 

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08/28/2011

How much of this could you do with QR codes? Those with smart phones could scan the code, and get the gps directions (etc...) right on their phone.

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Harborfields wrote:

How much of this could you do with QR codes? Those with smart phones could scan the code, and get the gps directions (etc...) right on their phone.

I think that's a great idea! By each map I'll put a QR code that will go to the URL of the map on their phone browser. That way they have the map without having to print a paper version.

Another possible use would be to put each map, plus description and photos of the place, in an PDF posted at my website, then the QR code would point to that PDF rather than to a URL of the map. It would give the same map, plus other info.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Harborfields wrote:

How much of this could you do with QR codes? Those with smart phones could scan the code, and get the gps directions (etc...) right on their phone.

I think that's a great idea! By each map I'll put a QR code that will go to the URL of the map on their phone browser. That way they have the map without having to print a paper version.

I gotta say, this QR code thing is working great! With my iPhone I can scan the code on the page of my guestbook. Up comes the Google map on the phone, showing the route from my place to the destination and the phone's GPS puts a blue dot on my current location on the map. And it's an interactive map, and all you have to do is tap the Start button and it will give turn-by-turn directions as it takes you to the destination.

Just perfect! And FREE!

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We don't have any notebooks in the rooms.  No adverstisements or brochures in the room either.  The rooms are a sanctuary to get away from that stuff.  What we do have in the room is a small pop up that has the breakfast times, wifi password and innkeeper phone number.  Each room has many different books to read on the area, a recent book on the history of the town and one magazine about 101 things to do in our area.  The common room has all the extra brochures, maps, trail books, games, book on the history of the house, local restaurant menus etc.

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Are you new to the forum Littleoldlady? Sometimes introducing yourself can go a long way... Smiling

Both.

I find anyone who is near to a local will TAKE my information. DOH!  Sometimes they like to use it as a coaster for cold drinks. Having recently redone all my room pages and actually thinking and maybe saying aloud "I do not know of any other inn who has this for their guests" I patted myself on the back.  I also said "The guests probably don't notice and don't care."

This is going back to BOB who stated guests never commented on NOT HAVING ROBES there, as I remind myself, just because they don't comment doesn't mean they don't read it or use it to plan their stay/day.

See I am my worst critic as well. haha

I have stayed at inns who had no information on what to do in the area. I did not know what to do. I felt a bit cheated, I thought there should be some "self help" area at the inn or in the room, vs having to capture the busy innkeeper at breakfast and pick his brain.  I am an infomaniac, and if you provide enough info I might even stay again to see and do more in the area. 

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09/29/2011

Yes, we have an entire tome in our guest rooms:

  • Restaurants
  • Things to Do
  • History of the house, history of the room
  • Things they might need/want directions to like the pharmacy or a church or the library
  • Not so short list of everything we tried to tell them on check-in (breakfast time, check out time, location of guest fridge, etc) which is our welcome letter. Basically 'thanks for staying with us, here's all the stuff you won't remember later on tonight...' and then a single-spaced, double-sided list. Because they WILL want to know.

BTW, no one reads the book. Not sure why I even bother with more than the welcome page.

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05/22/2008

Welcome! Oh yes, we had guest notebooks in all of our rooms. It was handy for guests to have them. It had brochures from all the local attractions, maps, menus from local restaurants etc. Our welcome note was pretty generic, explained the house rules, fire safety and general enjoy your stay with us. Ask us if you have any questions.

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