Sometimes, a good deed pays off

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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Guests arrived to stay one night while they attended a concert at the local theater.   Hubby showed them to their room.  They were unhappy that the bathroom was down the hall.   (Clearly stated on the website and reservation list, but you know.)  

We had rooms available so Hubby gave them a higher priced room for the same price so they could have an attached bath.

They loved the concert, loved the room, loved the breakfast and insisted on paying the higher price for the room.

Smiling   AND - they both 'liked' us on Facebook!   Our first 'regular?'

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More surprises  this past weekend.   A full house in February!   One room was a pair of girlfriends who frequently use Air B&B.    The house they were staying in - the pipes burst so they couldn't stay there.  They found us and we had availablility.  The cool part is, after their one night stay, they liked it so much, they booked a second night.

AND gave us a rave in our guest book.  I'll let you know if we get a TA review.  They are nurses in Boston and just wanted to get out of the city.   We may see them again.  A convert?

At the same time, a pair of birders booked one night and again, liked it so much, they stayed a second night.   And seemed to like us enough to come back.  Hope so.

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Good for you! It's definitely a reinforcement for you that you're doing things right!

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YEA!!! That is awesome!

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

More surprises  this past weekend.   A full house in February!   One room was a pair of girlfriends who frequently use Air B&B.    The house they were staying in - the pipes burst so they couldn't stay there.  They found us and we had availablility.  The cool part is, after their one night stay, they liked it so much, they booked a second night.

AND gave us a rave in our guest book.  I'll let you know if we get a TA review.  They are nurses in Boston and just wanted to get out of the city.   We may see them again.  A convert?

At the same time, a pair of birders booked one night and again, liked it so much, they stayed a second night.   And seemed to like us enough to come back.  Hope so.

That is awesome beach house! This is the fun part of innkeeping, well done!

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Haha - this is a review of the room with the bathroom down the hall.  A glass half full kind of guy.

Relaxing Weekend”

Thanks to the owners of this inn or quiet getaway weekend was perfect. The loblolly room had a great view of the water and the sunrise. The house was in impeccable shape and made you forget that it was winter outside. For an offseason stay we couldn't feel more welcomed. I will have to come back in the summer

Room Tip: I'd ask for one with a sunrise view

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Haha - this is a review of the room with the bathroom down the hall.  A glass half full kind of guy.

Room Tip: I'd ask for one with a sunrise view

Not a bad review.  In he wants the sunrise, others do not so hey there is a positive tip for the Loblolly room for the 'others'.  That is the great thing about our places, people can select a room based on the sunrise, sunset, what the view will be etc.  
Try to do that with a hotel.  You get what you get. 

And THAT my friend is what should be added in your MG response.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Room Tip: I'd ask for one with a sunrise view

Wait until summer when you have guests who show up for breakfast and mutter, 'What the hell time does the sun come up around here anyway?' (Answer...4 AM. And the birds start in around 3:30.) It's already light here at 6 AM today.

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Madeleine wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:

Room Tip: I'd ask for one with a sunrise view

Wait until summer when you have guests who show up for breakfast and mutter, 'What the hell time does the sun come up around here anyway?' (Answer...4 AM. And the birds start in around 3:30.) It's already light here at 6 AM today.

 

LOL 

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Remember that the room tips are separated from the reviews, so most people won't even see it. I'd recommend not bringing up bathrooms at all.

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So to rehash all of this:

It isn't a good deed, it is a business decision.

Sometimes they are playing you. Sometimes you can play them (ask them to write a review or tell all their friends, in other words use the force Luke).

When a the above do not apply, throw your hands up in the air and move on... Smiling We have a case in point here "May we stay past check out time" Nice innkeeper thinking this is a good business move "Sure" and then guests are there til 4pm. In their mind, they think they left early. In the innkeepers mind it is more work and frustration piling up.

Overall, go with your gut. I say it every time, it is the only thing you can trust. Unless you are a wing-nut then don't go with your gut. 

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We just got a favorable Yelp from a young woman: Valentine's day I spent 10 minutes on the phone persuading her NOT to stay with us.  She and BF wanted to visit a particular rustic hot springs up the valley that I told her was located too far from us, given the bad weather, early dark, etc. - not fun.  I gave her the numbers for two sister inns located more conveniently and she stayed there.  Her review thanked us for being helpful.

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 i have a theory - just my own idea - that some reviewers like to see themselves as expert travelers (or whatever) so they add in a little negative with the positive ... .  i'm sorry, but it's just not nice to do especially when given a free upgrade. i had people tell me they 'didn't see that' on the website or in the description.  basically, they didn't bother to read it, just picked the lower price .... or did it on purpose. why?  i would hear people telling one another how to get a free upgrade ... better room, better table, etc. by expressing disappointment.  ugh

  i echo madeline's suggestion to post a positive response and thank you. 

 

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Last year we offered a (repeat) guest the opportunity to move to a different cottage, further away from some infrastructure construction that was taking longer than planned to complete. It was a significant upgrade (much bigger, nicer bedroom) but we offered it with no upcharge (it was vacant anyway). This year that guest has booked the bigger cottage for his stay, at full price.....yes

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I stayed at a place in ogunquit that did that for me. Gorgeous upgrade, totally out of my price range. Which room am I for sure booking this year? You got it. Of course it's really stretching the budget and I might only be able to swing 2 nights instead of 3...

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Madeleine wrote:

I stayed at a place in ogunquit that did that for me. Gorgeous upgrade, totally out of my price range. Which room am I for sure booking this year? You got it. Of course it's really stretching the budget and I might only be able to swing 2 nights instead of 3...

Are you paying them back by becoming a repeat and being thankful, or are you simply in love with that room now and MUST HAVE IT!

Both are great marketing tools on the innkeepers behalf. 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Madeleine wrote:

I stayed at a place in ogunquit that did that for me. Gorgeous upgrade, totally out of my price range. Which room am I for sure booking this year? You got it. Of course it's really stretching the budget and I might only be able to swing 2 nights instead of 3...

Are you paying them back by becoming a repeat and being thankful, or are you simply in love with that room now and MUST HAVE IT!

Both are great marketing tools on the innkeepers behalf. 

I would have gone back anyway. But now I am stretching to get the better room. BUT, only 2 nights instead of 3. So, does it work out for them? I don't know. I'm not there long enough to run up a bar tab or get a massage or any of the things I would do with more time. 2 nights in posh room = 3 nights in less posh room.

But, here's the guilt factor...I don't want to feel like I'm not playing fair by hoping they'll upgrade me again.

Which makes me think I'd better book this soon or I won't go at all! I'm already 7 weeks late.

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Harborfields wrote:

Last year we offered a (repeat) guest the opportunity to move to a different cottage, further away from some infrastructure construction that was taking longer than planned to complete. It was a significant upgrade (much bigger, nicer bedroom) but we offered it with no upcharge (it was vacant anyway). This year that guest has booked the bigger cottage for his stay, at full price.....yes

 

Sometimes it works!   Great!

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Great!  Looks like you are off and running!

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yes

 

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That is terrific. Now be careful that they don't TA you and mention that AWFUL BATH DOWN THE HALL! thinking they are helping...

and...a few of us here who  have a "plague" room will tell you that some people will purposely book that one to complain and get a free upgrade. It happens.  Hopefully not your guests, but it has to most of us. 

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

That is terrific. Now be careful that they don't TA you and mention that AWFUL BATH DOWN THE HALL! thinking they are helping...

and...a few of us here who  have a "plague" room will tell you that some people will purposely book that one to complain and get a free upgrade. It happens.  Hopefully not your guests, but it has to most of us. 

 

OMG - you called it!

John and BeachHouse were friendly and helpful. The room was comfortable and nicely appointed. We loved the lighthouse motif throughout the inn, right down to the breakfast plates. The breakfast was great: assorted beverages, fresh fruit, hot and cold cereals, waffles with REAL maple syrup. The bathing facilities were a little spartan in our room. There was a lovely claw-foot tub, but one had to sit in the tub and use the flexible hose and shower head if one did not want to soak. But, that is to be expected at an older inn. The rocky coast and ocean views were spectacular!

Room Tips:

“There is not a room in the inn that does not have a beautiful view. The rooms on the third floor have more expansive views. All the rooms have private baths, but one of them requires you to go into the hallway to get to the bathroom.” (jonh704)

 

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At least they only put 1 - in your response I would put X room has a private bathroom ie for the exclusive use of that guest  but it is down the hall - we try to make this as clear as possible on our web site and booking facility and that is why we have a significant difference in price for that room - it does however have amazing views of the bay blah blah blah.

That way future guests know X room is the room with private bath - not ensuite and not to book it if they don't want to

Also I concur no free upgrade unless its not busy - you will get jiggers who do it on purpose to get the free upgrade

For the first 3 years here we had 2 single rooms with private bathrooms and often upgraded people to a double ensuite - never in 3 years got a single thank you or positive review out of it. I do free upgrades but its when I feel like it and for regulars who I like and so on - but its up to me not the customer

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Joey Bloggs wrote:

That is terrific. Now be careful that they don't TA you and mention that AWFUL BATH DOWN THE HALL! thinking they are helping...

and...a few of us here who  have a "plague" room will tell you that some people will purposely book that one to complain and get a free upgrade. It happens.  Hopefully not your guests, but it has to most of us. 

 

OMG - you called it!

John and BeachHouse were friendly and helpful. The room was comfortable and nicely appointed. We loved the lighthouse motif throughout the inn, right down to the breakfast plates. The breakfast was great: assorted beverages, fresh fruit, hot and cold cereals, waffles with REAL maple syrup. The bathing facilities were a little spartan in our room. There was a lovely claw-foot tub, but one had to sit in the tub and use the flexible hose and shower head if one did not want to soak. But, that is to be expected at an older inn. The rocky coast and ocean views were spectacular!

Room Tips:

“There is not a room in the inn that does not have a beautiful view. The rooms on the third floor have more expansive views. All the rooms have private baths, but one of them requires you to go into the hallway to get to the bathroom.” (jonh704)

 

There is your thank you.

I am so sorry Beachie, that is rotten. They couldn't have left it at this is a fantastic place to stay! This makes me mad. spittin' mad!

 

The rooms on the third floor have more expansive views. All the rooms have private baths, but one of them requires you to go into the hallway to get to the bathroom. but the price is right!

and we certainly don't hide the fact! DUFUS!

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A very nice review.  Re: the mention of the hall bath in the tip is not bad.  It reminds one to be alert when booking. 

At least they did not mention you moving them because of the bath.  Had they mentioned the move and not mentioned they paid for the upgrade it could cause you grief down the road.  

A thank you for the review and if you wish you can go into a sells mode about your rooms and say the _____ room with the private hall bath provides guests an economical way to stay at .... while still experiencing everything our property has to offer.

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So, what is my response?   Taking suggestions.  

I love his review of the breakfast. 

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Thank you for your wonderful review, we're glad you enjoyed your stay, hope to see you again soon!

Why oh why did they mention the bath in the hall when that was NOT their room? I hate when guests do that. Some people can't help but poke their noses in where they don't belong. One notices that about certain guests. (Yes, I know they changed rooms, but they KNEW about the bathroom beforehand.)

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Madeleine wrote:

Thank you for your wonderful review, we're glad you enjoyed your stay, hope to see you again soon!

Why oh why did they mention the bath in the hall when that was NOT their room? I hate when guests do that. Some people can't help but poke their noses in where they don't belong. One notices that about certain guests. (Yes, I know they changed rooms, but they KNEW about the bathroom beforehand.)

 

Thanks.   You're right....go with the positive.

AND - I just noticed that his review moved us from #2 of 7 to #1!!!!!   When we started, we were ranked #5 of 7.    I'm pretty excited by this!

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Also interesting.  My Dad mentioned the lighthouse 'theme' the other day.  I honestly thought it was more subtle.   We do have lighthouse dishes and a lighthouse painting and a lighthouse pillow.  But we also have 7 other paintings and a ship pillow in the same room.   LOL

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

Now be careful that they don't TA you and mention that AWFUL BATH DOWN THE HALL! 

Yes, I've seen those on TA helpful hints. "Be sure to book the wonderful X room. Don't take the Y room because it has street noise and a bad bed."

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Joey Bloggs wrote:

That is terrific. Now be careful that they don't TA you and mention that AWFUL BATH DOWN THE HALL! thinking they are helping...

and...a few of us here who  have a "plague" room will tell you that some people will purposely book that one to complain and get a free upgrade. It happens.  Hopefully not your guests, but it has to most of us. 

 

He actually apologized saying he should have noticed when he booked.  Really nice people.   But I hear you.  The bath down the hall room is our most popular.  Imagine.  It is way cheaper.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:
The bath down the hall room is our most popular.  Imagine.  It is way cheaper.

Makes we wonder whether it might be better to price the less desirable rooms to be closer to the more desirable rooms, so that when the complaint comes one can offer a discount rather than an upgrade (or so that the upgrade doesn't cost you as much).

 

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Harborfields wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:
The bath down the hall room is our most popular.  Imagine.  It is way cheaper.

Makes we wonder whether it might be better to price the less desirable rooms to be closer to the more desirable rooms, so that when the complaint comes one can offer a discount rather than an upgrade (or so that the upgrade doesn't cost you as much).

 

yes

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We tried it both ways. We got more bookings with the big price difference and more people asked why the difference than did when the process were closer.

We also didn't upgrade for free. Got wise to that game early on.

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Harborfields wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:
The bath down the hall room is our most popular.  Imagine.  It is way cheaper.

Makes we wonder whether it might be better to price the less desirable rooms to be closer to the more desirable rooms, so that when the complaint comes one can offer a discount rather than an upgrade (or so that the upgrade doesn't cost you as much).

 

 

I guess we figure the upgrade doesn't cost us anything because the room is empty anyway.  We wouldn't do it on a summer weekend.   Right now, we are happy to have anyone in the house at all.  But I see your point.  Maybe a gift certificate for % off the next stay or something.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Harborfields wrote:

TheBeachHouse wrote:
The bath down the hall room is our most popular.  Imagine.  It is way cheaper.

Makes we wonder whether it might be better to price the less desirable rooms to be closer to the more desirable rooms, so that when the complaint comes one can offer a discount rather than an upgrade (or so that the upgrade doesn't cost you as much).

 

 

I guess we figure the upgrade doesn't cost us anything because the room is empty anyway.  We wouldn't do it on a summer weekend.   Right now, we are happy to have anyone in the house at all.  But I see your point.  Maybe a gift certificate for % off the next stay or something.

I know exactly what you are saying. I have been giving away upgrades for the same reason, my thinking is they will be so appreciative and write a nice review or something...anything. They never even really say thank you. Maybe this year 2014 I won't do that anymore? I often upgrade on a whim to be nice. But for some reason, those who do not get all the super niceness are always the best guests, and we never see it coming! They are thankful for the little extras we do, and those who book the cheapest room then are shocked...not so much.

The point I was going to make, you gave an upgrade because you had rooms open, this is the trick of the "plague room" booker, they will book when they know other rooms are open.

Go with your gut!

Your business your rules or lackthereof... I bend the rules here whenever I want to. Unless they are pitas, then "No soup for you!"

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You are right that folks who get freebies and upgrades rarely appreciate it in a vocal way, as in a simple thank you.

I don't want them to make a comment online about it just thank us!

The folks who do notice and thank us for gifties/upgrades are those we have a relationship with already.

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I have, on occasion listed our "plague" room as reserved during the slow season so anyone wanting to stay has to take a more expensive room.  If we get booked we have a "cancellation" for that smaller room and it suddenly opens up.  If I am going to jump through hoops for one couple I would prefer to get paid for it.  

We have also run specials during the winter where someone can reserve a room and get a free upgrade to the next expensive room if it is available at the time of check-in.  Some folks will gamble on the bigger room being available but most will take the bigger room and pay for it rather than to take a chance. 

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Yes. I block the plague room too when we are not busy.

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Silverspoon wrote:

I have, on occasion listed our "plague" room as reserved during the slow season so anyone wanting to stay has to take a more expensive room.  If we get booked we have a "cancellation" for that smaller room and it suddenly opens up.  If I am going to jump through hoops for one couple I would prefer to get paid for it.  

We have also run specials during the winter where someone can reserve a room and get a free upgrade to the next expensive room if it is available at the time of check-in.  Some folks will gamble on the bigger room being available but most will take the bigger room and pay for it rather than to take a chance. 

yes Great ideas!

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I think it was the "soup for you" that got me the big tip last month. She was arriving late so I offered veggie soup & cornbread and we would hold supper until she got here.

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