Embracing your true colors

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Madeleine's picture
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We don't get a lot of reviews. I don't ask for them, no one really cares enough to leave one. The last two have used the same term to describe our B&B. One was a 'good' use of the word (as in it was positive for the guest), the other was 'bad' (as in the guest was using the word to warn off other guests). The actual description of the place doesn't matter as much as the fact that it is not how we were picturing ourselves.

Now, I feel the need to embrace what guests are calling us in the reviews. If that's what they see, why fight it? Why not just go out there and really embrace it!

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Madeleine's picture
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Thanks for checking for me!

Arks's picture
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Yes, looks fine all the way from Arkansas!

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Madeleine's picture
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OK, peeps I changed the TA code on my site. It is not the same badge, it is the excellence badge. Please let me know if you can see it, if you see the inn name on it, if there are any problems with it. Ta much.

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Looks just fine!

Breakfast Diva's picture
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It works great! Congrats on the Certificate of Excellence!

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You can please some of the people some of the time, you can't please all of the people all of the time. 

 

and for every person who finds one place is too historic another thinks it is too modern. The same stay, same night, difference guests. 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

You can please some of the people some of the time, you can't please all of the people all of the time. 

 

and for every person who finds one place is too historic another thinks it is too modern. The same stay, same night, difference guests. 

yes  Exactly!

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Oh yeah..I surely agree! Funny thing though. the TA review previous to the one just posted RAVED about the same room Smiling  I helped with their response and told them to move on.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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It always floors me how a guest can look at pictures, read descriptions of rooms/inn/area, have choices of different amenities in different rooms, then book a room and complain that it wasn't what they wanted because it didn't have 'xyz'.

By the way, did you notice that the one reviewer never gave anyone a full 5 bubble rating...even the one they really liked? I think your management response let the public know that some rooms are different than others. Good job!

We've been trying to create more charm in the front of our place. We're a historic farmhouse, yet some guests expect something we're not. We have no "wow factor" when you pull in from the road. Last year we actually had two episodes where a couple who had reservations pulled in and refused to actually come in and see their room. One of them drove back out and never spoke to us until a call the next afternoon when they called us a fraud. The other one spoke with me, but refused to even see their room. Fortunately, neither one of them found TA. Because of our rave reviews and feedback from our thousands of other guests, we know that our perception of who and what we are is the accurate one. Still, I felt like I got kicked in the teeth with those two last year.

We've now spent at least $8,000 to add a little charm to the front (more white picket fence, a gazebo, etc), but I would have love to have been able to spend that money on upgrading a room or just keeping it in the bank! Will it help? Probably not. We're still a farmhouse out in the country. But we try...we all try.

We are what we are! Most people appreciate it, but there's a few that really chose wrong for themselves.

I think you might want to try what Eric suggests...ask those folks who love what you are to write a review. It's their descriptions of the room and experience that others will trust. It can't hurt.

Joey Camb's picture
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from the woman who has just redone my front garden with unified block paving - will take about 2 hours tomorrow morning to do the final bits then all done - I think it does make a difference - perhaps more to us than others as we are on a prominent roadway and I think it will encourage walk in guests or ones that have come to a conference and spot us for the next year or to come back for hols. - thats 50% of the plan the other 50% is so I don't have to do any gardening!

Was tossing up spending the money on a bathroom but to be fair the path was getting to the point of falling apart so it wasn't like we had much of a choice.

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Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Three things...

Stop not asking! If you think that they really enjoyed their stay, ask and send them a thank you email with the link. (If you question if they enjoyed their stay and it isn't enthusiastic.... don't remind them and don't email them.)

If you do like that they use that word and that is your desired clientele, keep things as they are and embrace it.

If you don't like that they use that word, time to add those modern touches that make people think that it's up to date. Sometimes it's a matter of simply decluttering, because things look more modern when they are simple (simple lines, simple patterns). Two things that are very dated today... floral patterns and rocking chairs. Oh and nothing is more dated at a CRT tube TV.

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Madeleine's picture
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These last folks stayed in the newly done rooms. Floral wallpaper gone. Unfortunately, I will not put solid comforters on the beds as we all know it takes one dirty suitcase to ruin everything. So, yeah, florals and stripes on the beds. Rockers on the porch because, hey, that's where they go. Old TV's gone.

If I had a laundry service everything would be white. Comforters, sheets, everything. (Then again, a friend has a laundry service and half the time she can't put the table linens out because they got none of the stains out.)

So, yeah, I'm thinking of embracing what seems to be my motif even tho it's not what I planned. But, I'm not going to the dark side and cluttering everything up. It all just looks like what I like. A big old house filled with books and floral quilts.

We have been redoing things a little at a time because we have gotten slammed for being 'dated'. I guess I don't see it anymore. But I know it's there. I wanted to redo the whole house the day we moved in (so I used to see it!) but repeats thanked me time and again for not making it all 'new' and 'faddish'.

However, they're gone so the new stuff is coming in.

Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

I sympathize with you.  It's really tough trying to update a historic farmhouse without totally ruining it by making it something it's not.  One thing we recently did was to remove the floral curtains in the living room and replace them with shutters.  It de-cluttered the entire room and gave it an up-dated feeling. Also, we replaced the lace curtains in the dining room with shutters....lightened it up considerably.  So, how to "honor" a gracious old house without trying to make it into a modern house?  That's a tough one.  Some of our repeat guests still moan about no longer  having the lace canopy on the pencil-post bed in one of our suites.  When the lace curtains and floral duvet were removed we decommissioned the canopy as well.  Having DH point out the luggage racks seems to encourage guests to use them instead of the bed to unpack, but our quilted coverlets still do take a beating in high season.  

Fortunately, our only complaints have been verbal..not written in a review.  Try not to let it get to you and just remember that "They stay, they pay, they go away" and new guests who love your place and appreciate all the work you do for them will surely replace the complainers!

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Generic's picture
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Patterns are better for hiding things than florals, which just seem OLD.

We have parts to redo as well. Slowly over the years things need to change, just not all at one time. But rocking chairs and floral prints are very old fashioned. (And I too agree that I would rather have pattern to hide things.)

Guests shouldn't be putting stuff on the bed anyway, that's how BB get transferred.

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05/22/2008

My good buddies got slammed today for creaky floors...in an 1800s farmhouse DUH!!! And for guests below playing TV too loud.  oh..and a small room...What part of can't you see and read do they not understand??

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I just want to remind people, to the "Young Whipper Snappers" everyone is old. To the old, everyone young is a whippersnapper.

Don't take it all to heart, be you. You know who you are. 

My daughter said the other day when I asked if they were old or not, she said, "Yeah they were old like you" so I reminded her on our 5.4 mile hike much of it uphill 200 feet that my mother never did this with me! (I never spoke of how I couldn't walk the next week and had charlie horses every night) crying

gillumhouse's picture
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Joey Bloggs wrote:

I just want to remind people, to the "Young Whipper Snappers" everyone is old. To the old, everyone young is a whippersnapper.

Don't take it all to heart, be you. You know who you are. 

My daughter said the other day when I asked if they were old or not, she said, "Yeah they were old like you" so I reminded her on our 5.4 mile hike much of it uphill 200 feet that my mother never did this with me! (I never spoke of how I couldn't walk the next week and had charlie horses every night) crying

That is why we have our kids when we are young. Had the one I went to the delivery room with been the OLDEST of my 2-legged animals, I would be dead meat for doing things with them. My baby will be 40 this year! Not only are we mobile enough to keep up with them, we are young enough to remember what it was like to BE them! (Except in my day changes taking place were like being on the merry-go-round and today changes happen like the Tilt-a-World.)

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You know what...you are what you are! That's what makes B& B's special. You put yourself out there, your B & B reflects you. You do your  best and if you are satisfied with what you do that is what matters.

If they don't like it, then they can choose somewhere else to stay. 

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