Inn church

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Arks's picture
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My family and I spent last weekend at a B&B that had one or more Bible quotes framed and hung on the wall of every single room in the inn, even in the bathrooms. The John 3:16 section of their gift shop took up at least 33% of the display space.

Maybe this is a niche market, and it IS in the heart of the Bible belt, but surely this isn't wise business, putting one's personal convictions as a prime focus of the inn.  It's like an inn catering just to Republicans or Democrats.

At breakfast the innkeeper said a prayer each morning before we could dig in. At least he didn't make us all join hands. My brother, the black sheep, was with us and he made a point of quoting liberal dogma every time he was in the presence of the innkeeper. When I chastised him later for making me uncomfortable, he responded, "these people need to see that everybody doesn't agree with them." I couldn't argue with that.

Nothing more to say, other than that I won't be staying there again. Nothing against them and religion. I just don't want it mixed in with my weekend getaway!

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Why do I have a feeling that if I booked there, I would end up in a lawsuit? I'm not sure which would be more of a problem with them... but I certainly wouldn't be comfortable there and I wouldn't be comfortable with the prayer at the table. Do they at least advertise that this is their way. G-d forbid I should end up there, by error.

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Arks's picture
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Eric Arthur Blair wrote:

Do they at least advertise that this is their way.

They do not. Had no idea until we got there. I'm sure some people are caught by surprise, but here in the Bible Belt it's not THAT big a surprise so I think people just let it pass. I only mention it here as a general example of perhaps not the best way to run an inn, in my own opinion.

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Wow... what states are the "bible belt"? 

Madeleine's picture
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_Belt

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And a few of them have been referred to as the Gold Buckle on the Bible Belt.

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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As my DH would say, "Lord, save me from your followers". I would not personally insist that guests pray at breakfast. Those who will do so, will do so. Others would never return if they were made to feel uncomfortable. It's the same feeling you get when innkeepers ask that you're in by 9 or take off your shoes or whatever.

We are Christian people, but I'm not going to hit anyone over the head with it when they come in my door. I want them to feel welcome regardless of what they do on Sunday mornings at 11am.

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Or what they might do on their Sabbath (if it is not on Sundays)....

I agree, Arks, that you should contact the innkeepers directly about how it made you feel uncomfortable during your stay.  If you do write a review, you can mention that it was a Christian B&B if you so desire, because of course that's within your rights. 

 

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Silverspoon's picture
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 I would be gone after the first breakfast too.  This is where reading reviews before booking would surely reveal the peculiar nature of the place.  If this place were advertised as a Christian B+B that would be one thing, but if they did not mention it in their advertising I would be furious if I were a guest there.

Several years ago we had a VERY uncomfortable event where there were two "Christian" couples traveling together staying here, and one lesbian, atheist Guide Book writer.  Fortunately we had the two couples alone for their first breakfast so we knew that they did the hold-hands-and-pray bit before eating. Their comments to us were such that I had to excuse myself from their presence before I said something very un-innkeeper-like.  So, what to do about the second morning when the writer would be reviewing the breakfast?  On the first morning she stayed we explained the situation and sat her with the others.  It was tense.  She did not hold the hand that was thrust at her, nor did she say the prayer.  But somehow we got through it.  We opted to invite the writer into our private space for breakfast on the second morning rather than to subject her to, what we consider, inappropriate behavior of these other guests. In our 23 years of inn keeping this is the only time we have had such presumptuous guests....hopefully it is the last!

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Madeleine's picture
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I think we've discussed this a few times before...the praying at breakfast bit. These innkeepers should make it very clear that this is how they run the show because not everyone in the great wide world is Christian (most people are not) and even if the guests are, they may not pray at mealtime. And, many people believe their religious beliefs are personal and private and not for show and tell or at someone else's beck and call.

For me it would be a deal breaker. I'd leave after the first breakfast.

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Just as a warning, there are people of faith on this forum, so be careful with comments, and keep it geared towared the B&B, as this is something Swirt has spelled out, not to discuss religion or theology.

 Arkie would you consider changing the title of this thread? I am asking politely, I don't think it is appropriate, I am sure you can make it something closer to what you are discussing "overtly religious B&B" or something.

Update: Thank you for changing the title to be more appropriate. If you want to offend other forum members then continue on, what you remark as offensive is being shared in a way that is offensive to others, calling prayer a "bit" etc. I am just letting you know (forum). As mentioned there are people of Faith, retired Clergy and so on here on the forum. They won't step into this, they will just leave. Thanks for listening.

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Happy Keeper's picture
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The caution is warranted. I hope my comments did not disparage anyones personal beliefs. Feel free to delete them if need be. I totally have my innkeeper's business hat on and religion is just one of many themes that can send folks elsewhere. Politics, comsumption of alcohol, using tobacco, illegal drug use: innkeepers can not have it both ways. My message was: When you limit your market, it's important to do it legally and clearly upfront.

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OnTheShore's picture
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Arkansawyer, First the doilies and now the bibles? Eye-wink How did you come to stay at these places in the first place? Was the marketing material that led you to choose these places mis-representative? Are there lessons we can take from your experience?

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Arks's picture
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Harborfields wrote:

How did you come to stay at these places in the first place? Was the marketing material that led you to choose these places mis-representative?

It was all at the same place, not two different places. I see NOTHING at their website that indicates any sign or mention of religion. It was a complete surprise. Their TA reviews are excellent and none mention the prayers at mealtime. I guess it's just my family who found it all a bit unexpected.

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Arkansawyer wrote:

Harborfields wrote:

How did you come to stay at these places in the first place? Was the marketing material that led you to choose these places mis-representative?

It was all at the same place, not two different places. I see NOTHING at their website that indicates any sign or mention of religion. It was a complete surprise. Their TA reviews are excellent and none mention the prayers at mealtime. I guess it's just my family who found it all a bit unexpected.

Have you considered doing a TA with your experience? That's a good way to give a heads up to folks. Of course it needs to be done with respect and sensitivity. Also, a mention about your room with no window should be mentioned!

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I've considered a TA heads-up for future guests. I may do it, but I'll wait a while so he doesn't know it's me writing it. He's a nice guy. The B&B was his dream. A while after they bought the B&B, his wife divorced him, saying she didn't sign on to be an innkeeper.

The inn is now for sale. He has a big "For Sale By Owner" sign right in front of the place, recently marked down from $995,000 to $749,000 "for quick sale". I talked to some guests who had stayed there in the past. They said he seems noticably less enthusiastic than a couple of years ago. Burn out.

So I feel sorry for him. But also feel sorry for guests who need to know the situation with the no-window room and the overt religion.

Madeleine's picture
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Be careful how you word that review. Religion is one of those things TA will ask you to remove from your review if the owner complains. Unless you can make it sound like that's not the reason you're writing the review, or you make it a positive aspect of your stay. "We were delighted that this B&B owner required that prayers be said before meals. Finally! A good Christian home."

Something like that will say what the website apparently doesn't. And it will allow like-minded guests to make the right choice. And un-like-minded guests to choose elsewhere.

Definitely put in about the no windows.

 

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Madeleine wrote:

Be careful how you word that review. Religion is one of those things TA will ask you to remove from your review if the owner complains. Unless you can make it sound like that's not the reason you're writing the review, or you make it a positive aspect of your stay. "We were delighted that this B&B owner required that prayers be said before meals. Finally! A good Christian home."

Something like that will say what the website apparently doesn't. And it will allow like-minded guests to make the right choice. And un-like-minded guests to choose elsewhere.

Definitely put in about the no windows.

 

or not review it at all and let the guy alone to sell his inn... Smiling  If it bothered you Arks, can you please do what EACH OF US ASK to be done, go directly to the innkeeper.  Consider this.  Some people are that way, it is in their being, just like others have other "things" that are in their being.

I just wish you could share the website with us, I know you can't, but to look at it and see if we see this on there, or other things like no window in that room.  

Arks's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I just wish you could share the website with us, I know you can't...  

Yes, don't feel I can share that here, but I'll send the link to you privately.

And yes, I'll probably end up leaving the poor guy alone. His guests can survive the relatively minor problems. Really feel bad about how his dream turned out, and hope for a better ending to my own dreams.

Happy Keeper's picture
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Yeah- best left alone. Our policy is that we only give reviews for those that we found to be exceptional and we leave the rest alone. If we were unhappy enough to write anything else, we would tell the proprietor instead with the hopes that it would help them and not cause them harm.

Arks's picture
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Madeleine wrote:

"We were delighted that this B&B owner required that prayers be said before meals. Finally! A good Christian home." 

You are a very wise woman! Thanks!

Madeleine's picture
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I hate to advise on how to write a good bad review, but we got that info when Eric had a review written more or less expressly to let everyone know he's a couple with another guy. TA advised the reviewer to remove that one sentence and now the review reads like his place is seedy without the accompanying 'aha' moment when you, the reader, realize the whole thing was written just to end up with, 'And, oh by the way...'.

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trouble is as well if the chap is selling its unlikely he is going to change things at this stage in the game.

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Joey Camb's picture
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I used to sort of house sit for a neighbour of my parents (they had an elderly mother who was fine most of the time but had a dicky heart and epilepsy so they liked to have someone they knew stay over with her if they were away over night) and they are super catholic and it did give me the wig to have Jesus in about 4 formats staring at me but I figure its your own home do what you like, however if it was a B&B I would try and keep it to a minimum a little bit isn't offensive but a ton is a bit much, for example my neighbour is a Sikh but they don't have the equivalent things all over.

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THIS is about business. IF you are choosing that market and you consider your business mutually exclusive from other market segments, than so it shall be: IF you live in a place where that is illegal, so it shall eventually bring trouble.

Stayed at a similar place a few years back- absolutely horrible. They did a very poor job of representing what kind of place it was upfront. If they had been clear on the web site, they would be getting only people who want what they have on offer.

Stayed at another place where you could feel an unspoken prejudice. Amazing grace!!

Who would want to run an inn and constantly have people you are uncomfortable with? Yikes!

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To each their own!  While they are full within their rights to run their place as they like, they should know that not everyone will fill comfortable with the chuch feel to the place. 

They should make certain guests get the feeling of what to expect on their site - placing the fish symbol & placing Bible verses on the site would do the trick for me. 

I am sure they get a good share of 'black sheep' at their place. 

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There is one in WV that each room is named for an angel and there are angels all over the place. As much as I believe in a Higher Power, that would creep me out. It is one B & B I would never visit as a guest - taking the tour (as Marketing Chair for the Association at that time) when I was in town was enough for me.

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Well, to prank on you, I will quote John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free".  i.e. don't stay there again.

I have noticed the worst bible thumpers turn out to be the biggest hypocrites.  Wish I had been there to blast them with a few right back at them.

Guess I'm a bit fiesty today.

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