Staying In Your Own Inn

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Highlands John's picture
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One thing we do every winter is spend a few nights in each guest room. Last week we spent 5 nights in the room we've refitted the bathroom in, I actually take my wash bag and clothes with me, like I'm going away. I also take a note pad so I can write down short-comings that occur to us. It really helps to see things for a guest perspective, you'd be surprised what you find.

Last time I bought a bed linen set I splashed out on 500TC Pima cotton. After a few washes it's lovely a silky smooth feeling, however I like 2 pillows and because they're silky smooth  during the night they keep slipping off of each other. Back to Egyptian cotton next time. We also found there were not enough places to hang towels in the bathroom so we've put in a new towel rail.

Also found that in that room you can hear noises from the kitchen very clearly, and talking normally you can hear what people are saying, will have to be careful of that.

We laid in a bed and said to each other "This room is really nice", that's good to know too.

Anyone who's not done it, we thoroughly recommend it.

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Highlands John's picture
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That's interesting. There's been a program on the BBC this week about the internal running of Claridges Hotel in London.  One thing they said was that after a refurbishment the room is never let to a guest until a member of staff has stayed in the room for the night and checked everything.

 

Madeleine's picture
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Have done it a few times but always when no one is here. So, I don't get the noise transference that the guests get. We did have one guest complain she could hear the water running in the upstairs room when she was in the downstairs room so we added more insulation in the bathroom ceilings. I have noticed it didn't really make a difference. (That guest now takes the upstairs room.)

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Madeleine wrote:

Have done it a few times but always when no one is here. So, I don't get the noise transference that the guests get. We did have one guest complain she could hear the water running in the upstairs room when she was in the downstairs room so we added more insulation in the bathroom ceilings. I have noticed it didn't really make a difference. (That guest now takes the upstairs room.)

EXACTLY!

I said to DH, when he rolled into the kitchen for coffee the next morning and he mentioned he heard the water dripping off the leaves of the Magnolia tree onto the roof.

I said "You were alone" and that makes all the diff in the world if there is one guest or two. If I am alone, I notice every little thing 100 times moreso than if I were with him. It is what it is, now if I were out there that night, I would only hear snoring, and NOT the water droplets hitting the tin roof!  haha

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I LOVE the sound of water/rain on a metal roof.  Many other people do too!  Smiling

We have trains here...took me awhile to get used to them but now I don't notice them anymore.  But they are freight trains, not passenger trains.   I have very fond memories of riding a train to school everyday.   I really want to take a train trip...

 

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Madeleine's picture
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I hear the road noise. And yet so many guests say how quiet it is. I guess it depends on what you hear.

gillumhouse's picture
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City people will not hear a siren but crickets will drive them up the walls. I once lived in an apartment building across an open space from the factory where I worked and there was a railroad siding next to the factory. About 3 AM a train would be parked on the siding as they unload/loaded - rumble/rumble with the sound bouncing between the 2 buildings - and I was also in the glide path of O'Hare Airport. After about 3 days I heard neither one because I was used to it.

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gillumhouse wrote:

City people will not hear a siren but crickets will drive them up the walls. I once lived in an apartment building across an open space from the factory where I worked and there was a railroad siding next to the factory. About 3 AM a train would be parked on the siding as they unload/loaded - rumble/rumble with the sound bouncing between the 2 buildings - and I was also in the glide path of O'Hare Airport. After about 3 days I heard neither one because I was used to it.

True.

Personal story time from me: There is something here that I love, that I was never privy to anyplace else I have lived, and that is the sound of the train afar off as it approaches, then the vibration and chuga chuga choo choo and the squealing sound of the metal on the track...then the occasional train whistle.

I kid you not, when I hear it I close my eyes and take it in. To me it is equal to the sound of waves crashing on the shore. This only recently overcame me this way, and I am in love with the train sounds - at night off in the distance when everything is quiet and still.  I finally understand the train fanatics. When they call the steam trains beautiful and gush on about them. I get it.

I used to catch trains in Sydney every day - 4 trains per day, and the chaos and mad rush and people putting their greasy head on your shoulder as they nod off and you are trying to read, and the heat and all of it. But it is the train in the distance as it approaches that I now love.

gillumhouse's picture
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You know how close I am to the rail-trail - that was the railroad when our Mr Gillum was the station agent. THAT close, i do not want to live. Now we hear the train whistle at night as it goes through Lumberport (about 4 miles away by road). It is a sound both DH & I hear and comment on fondly.

Before my son was born, I commuted into Chicago every day on the train. At the end, I was doing the morning waddle to race for the train (evening I could always take the next train out). And when I was in first grade, I could watch the steam engines pulling the trains at the base of the hillside across from the school. Today that is also a rail-trail. I watched the steam engines disappear and be replaced by diesel engines. I like trains also.

Madeleine's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

 But it is the train in the distance as it approaches that I now love.

Like I said a few weeks ago...it is the sound of progress, prosperity and people on the move. My grandmother's house was close to the train line in Queens and that's where I got my love of the sound from. And, now? Of course the complaints have come in from people who live right next to the tracks because no daily train has run here for 50 years but the ones who grew up with it?

'When I hear the train in the morning it's time to get the kids out the door for school. When I hear it at night it's time for the kids to go to bed. Just like it was when I was a kid! I love it.' (Quote from the local newspaper. Altho I bet she's talking about grandkids at this point.)

We cannot wait to just hop on the train and see where it goes. There's something about having a train in town that makes the world seem possible.

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Madeleine wrote:

We cannot wait to just hop on the train and see where it goes. There's something about having a train in town that makes the world seem possible.

So poetic Mad, you sound so John Steinbeck-ish. (That is a compliment!)

gillumhouse's picture
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How do you mange to find out about the noise level? If we are in the rooms, no one else is in-house and WE are not making noise. My "shake-down cruise" years ago said she could hear the TV in the "bat cave", not to make out words, just the sound so DH makes sure he turns down the volume of his TV (thankfully he is only hard of hearing ME).

I wish I knew if the kitchen noises (doing dishes at 11 PM) can be heard - and he does not do it unless we have had guests because then there are not that many dishes. So far, no one has said anything in review or in person. Hmmm, Glenda just texted she is coming down for a visit today. Maybe she can tell me.

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I nearly did it. Friday night in our retrofitted cottage. I will be honest, I do not like individual HVAC units. For all of those people who complain about central heating/ac I prefer it. I cannot sleep with the noise. So I left DH out there on his own.

Also, the TV is too high on the wall. He refuses to change it. He agreed after watching a movie, but said if he lowers it the door will knock into it, and I understand. We went through the whole simulation thing, of someone flying open the door, which they do, they do this to the front door here all the time, so why not that door?

Some things we have to do for guests comfort and some for guests safety.

I applaud you for more than one night tho HJ, we are only in the room one night. But bring a bag and toiletries and the whole she-bang. You have to see that there is a lack of horizontal space for guest stuff.

Glad you enjoyed the new bathroom, more than anything else I always say "We need to be the first in that room to enjoy the fruit of our labors!"

Oh and I also noticed that DH put his gear on top of the wardrobe (which I had not dusted yet) as I had to dust everything intensely and dry vac the room from the construction dust.

Joey Camb's picture
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Could you not put a stopper on the floor? or we have door closers so you just can't open the door that far.

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gillumhouse's picture
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The flat screen in Rosi's Room is on the wall behind the door -because that was the only place for it! We figured guests would have the door closed when they watched anyway. We put a brass doorstop on the floor to keep the door from being flung open and putting the clothes hook on the back of the through the screen. It is not one that is put in at the wall and would just poke through the door, it is screwed into the floor and holds the door at that point.

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Do you have carpeting or an area rug in the room? Put one down with a padding underneath..that might help a bit as well.  Glad you did that as I always recommended innkeepers do exactly what you did.

Highlands John's picture
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Yes, the rooms carpeted. Actually it's going to be replaced in january, so I think we'll put down a much better quality of underlay. Unfortunately it's a modern house (10 years old) and the floors and walls are very thin.

Proud Texan's picture
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Highlands John wrote:

Yes, the rooms carpeted. Actually it's going to be replaced in january, so I think we'll put down a much better quality of underlay. Unfortunately it's a modern house (10 years old) and the floors and walls are very thin.

In our newer cottage, we put down a commercial grade carpet, much like that is used in airports and such.  It's been wonderful.  It's easy to clean and doesn't show traffic wear at all.   In contrast, we have a Berber carpet in our second cottage that shows every stain and spec of dirt.  I look forward to replacing it when we can afford to.

Madeleine's picture
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We have an off-white berber and it's awful. Firstly, the dog got her collar caught in the loops and pulled a long row out before we realized she was stuck. Every stain shows. We wear black-soled shoes and there is a visible track thru the room to the door. That's being replaced this winter.

That same off-white carpet was in the guest room that has access to the outside. What a disaster. Muddy, dirty shoes and suitcases constantly rolling over it. It's gone now but even the new carpet shows a wear pattern. I'd do away with carpet altogether if it wasn't for the sound-deadening.

Silverspoon's picture
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We use antique (read old) oriental carpets in the areas that receive the most foot traffic but have successfully used sisal and wool/sisal in guest rooms.  The wool/sisal cleans up remarkably well and gives the rooms a clean, spa-like feeling.  Bought all on-line here.  The sisal, natural fiber rugs have also held up well, although they have not had any large stains so I'm not sure about their cleaning.  

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Madeleine's picture
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Love wool for carpets! I have a wool runner in my own entry hallway and it's been tracked on and trampled for over 10 years and it looks great. (Other than needing a really good cleaning.) I wanted to get wool wall to wall for the rooms but it was just too cost prohibitive.

Joey Camb's picture
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the PO's to us were basically had - they bought a whole ton of commercial grade wool carpet with stain resist - yup you are thinking - but it was beige! showed every mark and foot track! it always looked slightly grubby! they still had several rolls of it that we were welcome to! politely declined! ruddy nightmare!

Joey Camb's picture
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As we work through the rooms I am putting in all new underlay - the developments in underlay are amazing! and prices have vastly improved - A lot of the underlay here was from the PO's and it was so old the rubber had crumbled to nothing! counting down to my room 4/5/6/ project and they will all have new carpets - and lino in the bathrooms! only 57 DAYS to go!

Joey Camb's picture
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I would put a layer of sound proofing on the ceiling of the kitchen - couldn't have every word being heard! luckily my kitchen and breakfast room are under the lounge so keeps noise travel to a minimum.

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