oh here's a toilet I will just use it ...and not flush it

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Yeah leave one room unlocked and see what happens. I smell a putrid smell, what the! I go in and sure enough someone used the toilet. What the hell is wrong with people! angry

It would have been from yesterday morning (in the no show room), so as you can imagine it was not just an unflushed toilet at this point. Now I had to flush, spray, flush spray, then clean it and leave.

Why do you lock the other rooms? GEE YOU ARE SO MEAN JB, YOU ARE NOT CUSTOMER SERVICE Orientated.

Golly gee why do innkeepers burn out, it is soooo much fun... (was almost as bad as the mummified-socks-in-the-closet day smell) crying

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Timely discussion about the powder room.  We are putting in one this summer, under the stairs in the center hall. 

After reading Banana's post and those that followed, I will now make sure the door is locked in the AM.  AND I will put in a time released spray as I don't want to deal with that odor any time of the day and I also do not have a way to put in an exhaust fan.

Why can't anything be easy!

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The same space under the stairs is a guest room bathroom here! All of our extra space is being used.

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My only request for late check ins is to give me advance notice.  That way I can provide them with the entry code either by phone or by text (which I started after someone mentioned it here, BD?).  No envelopes on the out side, only after entry. 

Late self check ins are typically very quiet, which of course was one of the main reasons we resisted doing them for a long time.  Then we came to our senses and said people come/go late/early without us being under foot to shush if need be, why not self check ins. 

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  after fluffing, we locked the guest doors.  they would have to have the outdoor key with them (attached to the indoor key) because how would they get back in to the building? 

  i was more concerned with someone's personal belongings going missing ... cameras, laptops, iphones, jewelry, etc. ... than with toilet and shower use. 

 but how rude is that ... to go into another room to shower?  or to send kids into another bathroom?  they know darn well it's wrong.

we had guests check out and a chambermaid was cleaning when a man who had checked out slipped back in during all the in and out the door chaos and sat down on 'his' toilet when she went out to get fresh linens from the hallway ... the shrieks when she stepped back into the bathroom to hang up new towels!!!!   unreal

 

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And don't get me going on the teenagers I found in the laundry room whose mother proceeded to yell at ME for daring to tell them they didn't belong in there.

Yes, this is still a bathroom story. They didn't want to walk to their room so they went looking for a bathroom on the main floor!

Mom's take on it was if it didn't have a keep out sign it was guest territory. So I had to put up keep out signs on all the doors to keep those kids limited to their room and the living room.

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We added a 'public' half bath at the foot of the guest stairs, just so people would not have to go back up to use their restroom.  It's just off the dining room.  The health inspector was pleased with the idea too.

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I am not trying to be negative here - just realistic with what has happened to my half bath, that is located downstairs, between the kitchen and the dining room, in the hallway on the way to the pool.  People see it is there (I no longer point it out) on their way outdoors, and inevitably, someone will use it to do their #2 in the morning because (I guess) they don't want to do that while their spouse or partner is in the room or showering.  I like it there because it is more convenient for people that are using the pool to just walk the few feet to it, instead of traipsing upstairs with dripping clothes to their room to go. 

But because people are so rude they have to do that and leave the stench for me and the breakfast guests to enjoy,  There is spray in the room, but no way to install an exhaust fan unless I cut a hole in the side of this 1887 house. Not happening. 

So be aware.....I am considering putting a lock on the door.

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on dragons den they were working on a toilet which has a sort of fan in the toilet tank so it sucks the smell down the pipe in a clever way - in the uk its the law that you have to have a vent with a toilet so it would solve that problem for builders - may be something to look out for in the future.

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We have a laundry room off the kitchen that is a converted bathroom. The sink & toilet are still there, the shower is gone.

Nosy guests will find that and use it even tho it is a pig pen most days and they have to move laundry and trash in order to get at the toilet.

Right off the kitchen??? No! I don't want to hear or smell this while we're cooking and serving.

Told dh our first day here he was absolutely NOT to use that bathroom in the morning. Walk all the back thru our house and down the stairs and use our bathroom.

He complained and I just gave him the stink eye.

Would not want a real guest bath anywhere near the kitchen or dining room.

Would like one, just not there!

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BananaE29 wrote:

I am not trying to be negative here - just realistic with what has happened to my half bath, that is located downstairs, between the kitchen and the dining room, in the hallway on the way to the pool.  People see it is there (I no longer point it out) on their way outdoors, and inevitably, someone will use it to do their #2 in the morning because (I guess) they don't want to do that while their spouse or partner is in the room or showering.  

I know an innkeeper who had a half bath who locked it before and during breakfast for the reason you mentioned, more times than not that is what happens in that restroom. They will get up from the table and go there while people are eating and leave the door ajar.

Added: Which actually made me think of something, maybe the person with the key is downstairs dining and the other person has to go, leaves the table goes to the room and the door is locked and just finds another room. hm, i think you may have helped explain why this happened (in the orig thread above!) I never considered that being the reason...could be!

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That is a fantastic idea. No one is using the pool during those hours, and no one needs to be using that restroom.  I just found Tuesday's project.  THANK YOU!

(It's amazing how we get so worked up about certain things, never really seeing a way out of it.  I never considered only locking it part of the day.  DUH!)

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Skamokawa wrote:

We added a 'public' half bath at the foot of the guest stairs, just so people would not have to go back up to use their restroom.  It's just off the dining room.  The health inspector was pleased with the idea too.

That's excellent. Lots of places are bound to have empty space, or a closet under the stairway that could become a half bath. Also good for people checking in who really need to go before they get checked into their room.

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I love my downstairs half bath for this reason - so I don't have to rush through my spiel, they can use that restroom before we get upstairs to their room.  And I hate it for the reason listed in my post above Smiling

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If the guest checks out but leaves the car here for the day, their code is gone from the door at 11 am. 

We used to use the same code everyday and I had guests come back the following week and let themselves in again.

I found one woman coming out of a guest room saying she was looking for something she had left the previous week, as if the room wasn't cleaned after she left!

Nothing stops a person from coming in if they are persistent. I had the same guest continually let in walk ins no matter how many times I told him not to.

It was like he sat on the porch just to open the door for strangers!

 

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 man oh man

 do you remember the day i saw a woman leaving an unoccupied room  and walking out the front door ... a room that was guest ready ... the woman was not a registered guest.  i went tearing after her and she never stopped ... just called over her shoulder that she had an emergency and had to use 'the rest room'.  i was so mad, i was steaming!  she made a big mess (and stink) in a guest ready bathroom.  you know my rooms were locked up tight after that.  another guest held the front door of the b&b open for her as she sailed in like nobody's business.  i am still shocked to this day that she found an unlocked guestroom door and went in. 

unfriendly be damned.  that's why you see those unfriendly signs that say 'no public restrooms' in unlikely places ... an elderly man who lived on the street sometimes had random people walk in his little house and use his bathroom.  he took to sitting on the front porch with a shotgun across his lap.  sometimes the sheriff came by and talked to him about putting it away. 

pretty extreme ... angry 

 

 

 

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I would have been livid. I might have even called the cops and charged her with trespass. Many people leave their doors unlocked around here, we would never expect ANYONE to even try the door.

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I would have been livid. I might have even called the cops and charged her with trespass. Many people leave their doors unlocked around here, we would never expect ANYONE to even try the door.

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That's exactly why we keep our front door locked and instruct our guests to always close the front door.  There are no public bathrooms in the nature area that surrounds us so we are dead center for folks "in need".  Fortunately we can not see the visitors using the nearby parking lot as their toilet because our trees are finally tall enough to block it out.  But the poor park rangers have to clean up the TP left behind.  I will say one thing...the grass sure is greener on the other side of the fence! wink

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Why do I always remember your stories so well SS? You impact me with them, I do remember that one really well.

Do you remember why we first got out access key pad on the front door? Two things happened, someone raced in ran up the stairs and used a toilet.

The second time I was bent over a toilet scrubbing it when some salesman suddenly appeared and was standing right there, gave me the fright of my life. Who let you in? I said! From that second on our front door will remain locked at all times, only those with the code can enter it.

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People think NOTHING of this. Nothing! 

I had a drop in looky loo that after seeing the room they had to go and right then.  I went ahead and let her, even though they were not taking the room.  After, the hubby was going to lock the room door and I said there was no need as I was going back in to freshen the room. 

He said:  It's not dirty, my wife is very neat. 

I said: We clean after EVERY guest. 

I knew they were headed back to the Dollar Motel.

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When a guest leaves for the day and doesn't lock their door, what's your policy? After you refresh, do you lock the door or do you leave it open like they did?

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Doors were always locked after we cleaned. If they forgot their key, then they had to see us.  Our doors are always locked.

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I always lock their door if they left it unlocked.

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BananaE29 wrote:

I always lock their door if they left it unlocked.

I usually check to see if they've left the keys in the room before I lock the door.

Teenagers don't even close their doors. 

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I lock all the doors. Even if they left their key.  They know I do. as I tell them when they are here to please lock the doors when you leave for the day .  If you have left your key in the suite then please gives us a call.

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Locks the doors, PERIOD.  I would never take the chance that after I clean a room someone has gone in to look around, borrow a towel, use the toilet, etc.  They only get the key to the room they pay for for this exact reason.  It takes away this possibility and stress for us and ensures that our guests get their perfect clean room.  If someone wants to see another room for a future stay, they can ask.

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MtnKeeper wrote:

Locks the doors, PERIOD.  I would never take the chance that after I clean a room someone has gone in to look around, borrow a towel, use the toilet, etc.  They only get the key to the room they pay for for this exact reason.  It takes away this possibility and stress for us and ensures that our guests get their perfect clean room.  If someone wants to see another room for a future stay, they can ask.

I think it was unlocked originally for a late arrival. Which means that guest who used it may have been rattling door knobs in the middle of the night.

We don't leave keys outside any longer

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Madeleine wrote:

MtnKeeper wrote:

Locks the doors, PERIOD.  I would never take the chance that after I clean a room someone has gone in to look around, borrow a towel, use the toilet, etc.  They only get the key to the room they pay for for this exact reason.  It takes away this possibility and stress for us and ensures that our guests get their perfect clean room.  If someone wants to see another room for a future stay, they can ask.

I think it was unlocked originally for a late arrival. Which means that guest who used it may have been rattling door knobs in the middle of the night.

We don't leave keys outside any longer

If you don't leave keys outside, how do you handle self checkins?  Or do you not permit them?

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We don't do self check-ins EVER.  And before anyone goes saying that we need to be more flexible, this works just fine -- we have a great business and find that we don't need self check-ins to get bookings.  I don't like people coming in late, making noise, setting off the driveway alarm waking me up after I've gone to sleep and then I hear them talking in the great room, stomping up the stairs, etc. long after other guests have gone to sleep.  My sanity is not worth it.  Now if someone is traveling and a plane is delayed then my husband goes to bed and then checks them in when we hear the driveway alarm go off.  He then can be sure they get all of the important information, find out of they have food allergies and control them not wandering around making noise trying to find their room.  To me it's all about the guest experience and not allowing other guests to disturb those who have turned in.   But I fully understand those who do self check-ins, we all have to do what works best for us.

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This sounds more like our approach. The few times we have had to disrupt our sleep, it has been totally worth it as far as guest appreciation. Our late guests are instantly impressed that we would care enough greet them personally and our in house guests thank us in the morning by telling us how well they slept.

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happykeeper wrote:

This sounds more like our approach. The few times we have had to disrupt our sleep, it has been totally worth it as far as guest appreciation. Our late guests are instantly impressed that we would care enough greet them personally and our in house guests thank us in the morning by telling us how well they slept.

Please don't wait up for me, ever. It is too stressful, I will choose a hotel instead. That is how I feel as a traveler. 

We can bend this any way we want to y'all. We can say servive, but then when we tell guests they MUST BE IN by 9pm, not other option, how is that service orientated. Stuff happens. People have jobs and get way laid getting out of dodge. Now IF I LIVED ON AN ISLAND (ha  then things would be run slightly different, but then island time comes to mind, so maybe not.)

IT'S ALL GOOD!

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Remember my trip to see my daughter in NY? We told them we were innkeepers and said we weren't sure what time we would arrive because we didn't know when our guests would check out. But we would call!

Even if we didn't clean it might be later in the day when we arrived.

I called when we were about an hour away (we guessed) to ask how far away we were. The innkeeper got all grumpy on the phone sayng she had no idea how far away we were. (ok, really? An hour away on the only major highway in the area and you've never been on it? You don't know how far away we are? Bad news right there!)

Then she got on my case about it being after 3pm. 3pm WAS check in time. The ONLY time. Why would I think everyone had to arrive exactly at 3pm???

It went on from there. The 30 minute check in where we had to sit down and be shown all the local info. The"fireplace" that was one of those pictures of a fire with no heat. The dog in the dining room. And, obviously, the kitchen. The WiFi that didn't work which was obviously our fault. The driveway lights that shone in the bedroom all night long.

Meeting this person did not make my stay better. Which is part of the fun of the b&b stay.

Next year we stayed at a less intense place and had a great time coming and going when we wanted and not feeling like we were in the way or doing something wrong.

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I love that check in time is 3.   Not after 3.   3.   That's hysterical.   (Maybe not at the time, but it is now.)

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

I love that check in time is 3.   Not after 3.   3.   That's hysterical.   (Maybe not at the time, but it is now.)

Here is something that has to do with 3.

"Following our phone conversation, we request that we can get into our room no later than 3:00 as we will be traveling from Yorktown to attend a wedding at 4:00."

First of all she asked on the phone if she can check in AT 3. This makes it sound like she can check in any time no later than 3. She also swapped rooms from the one she looked at and booked a lesser priced room. I didn't say pick any room and check in when you want to.

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That is horrible.  And she KNEW you were Innkeepers?  Cringe.....

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My "Island Time" means I'm in bed by 9 PM, and I'm totally laid back enough to let you take your sweet time getting here to check yourself in.  Casual, carefree, not worrying about you stopping for dinner, or coming in at 2 AM.  Do as you please, and so will I Smiling 

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"we have a great business and find that we don't need self check-ins to get bookings."

Wow that was pretty blunt. It has nothing to do with GETTING BOOKINGS. Our guests 75% arrive after 9pm on a Friday night here. Every week. It is not one or two on occasion.

Actually letting them find their room quietly is preferred to showing them around. Self check-ins "here" are always the quieter check-ins, it is the opposite of your experience.

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Had a couple who checked in late one time and made tons of noise.  Guests the next morning complained at breakfast about how after they checked in they went back and forth to the dining room a couple times waking them up and then slammed their door shut.  They were probably going out for cookies and drinks.  Those other guests were pissed and it tainted their view of staying with us.  I said never again, not taking that chance.  I know that others' business depends on allowing late arrivals if you're in a city or have business guests, etc. checking in.  However, we don't need to do them so we don't.  Guests know that check-in ends at 9pm and they get here by then.  I have turned down reservations from those wanting to arrive at 11pm, midnight, etc. but typicality the room books with someone coming before 9pm so I prefer those guests.  To each his own and this is one policy I will never change.

We also have a driveway alarm to announce arriving guests so we can greet them at the door which is always locked - only registered guests get the code once checked in.  If late arrivals were coming in, then they'd wake me and my husband up.  We have to be up so early anyway, I don't want to be woken up and then fight to get back to sleep, having to get up early to make breakfast.  Some people like the freedom of allowing self-check ins and others need to do it to be competitive and get the business as I've been told by other innkeepers.   Again, we all have to do what works for us in business and in peace of mind.

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We used to be on PAII and I was given a harsh going over for allowing self check ins so we always did every check in in person. The first year.

After that I said I can't do this another year. Guests arriving at 2am, midnight, etc because of work schedules or because they were just plain selfish. Or, because they were paying and believed it was their right to arrive when they got here and not a moment before!

First year I tried calling after 7pm just to check on an estimated arrival and most guests were sitting down to dinner hours from here. Yes, selfish. And then awkward because now they felt like their parents were waiting up for them.

We figured *our* sanity was best served by letting them get here in their own time, having the lights dimmed so they get the idea no one else is awake but them and crossing our fingerrs.

Guests are told how it works and most are ok with it and like that they don't have to rush for whatever reason. If they don't like it they book elsewhere or arrive on time.

Yes, it works here. And, no, it doesn't work everywhere. A lot of it is trial and error. We are not in a location where we can turn down a late arrival. Way too much competition here with 800 available rooms!

Also, where I am, there are all night things to do so guests are coming and going at all hours anyway. It's nothing for me to hear guests laughing and talking at 1am just coming in from a restaurant or a show.

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Madeleine wrote:

We used to be on PAII and I was given a harsh going over for allowing self check ins so we always did every check in in person. The first year.

After that I said I can't do this another year. Guests arriving at 2am, midnight, etc because of work schedules or because they were just plain selfish. Or, because they were paying and believed it was their right to arrive when they got here and not a moment before!

First year I tried calling after 7pm just to check on an estimated arrival and most guests were sitting down to dinner hours from here. Yes, selfish. And then awkward because now they felt like their parents were waiting up for them.

We figured *our* sanity was best served by letting them get here in their own time, having the lights dimmed so they get the idea no one else is awake but them and crossing our fingerrs.

Guests are told how it works and most are ok with it and like that they don't have to rush for whatever reason. If they don't like it they book elsewhere or arrive on time.

Yes, it works here. And, no, it doesn't work everywhere. A lot of it is trial and error. We are not in a location where we can turn down a late arrival. Way too much competition here with 800 available rooms!

Also, where I am, there are all night things to do so guests are coming and going at all hours anyway. It's nothing for me to hear guests laughing and talking at 1am just coming in from a restaurant or a show.

 

How does it work?   Our town is almost crime-free.  So I can see leaving a key in an envelope on the door, but still, it's not the most secure idea.   Do you have a lock box?

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No lock box just a key in an envelope with directions to the room, breakfast time, name and location of open late restaurant, check out time, how to reach us late at night.

We stopped doing this for awhile when neighbors found unknown people in the house, with suitcases, claiming to be their guests.

Then realized I need to get the brief sleep I ever get without being woken up so we went back to the note on the door and now I sleep.

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our last check in is 9.30 - but if I had £1 for every "exception" in the last 2 weeks I would have £9.

(1) lady on train - car hit the bridge so they all had to just sit on the train till the bridge was declared safe

(2) selfish man who clearly had no intention of being on time

(3) people who rang at 8pm and said would it be ok to check in 10.15? as they were running late due to the cricket

(4) various people trapped behind roadworks and having to find a way round as they are literally digging up our entire county for the Tour de France.

(5) one very nice elderly gentleman who was trying to navigate to where we are by spotting place names he recognized and did a massive tour of the nearest big city by accident and probably went 50 miles out of his way at least.

plus the idiot who wasn't even one of my guests - had a print out in his hand saying he was staying at another property but managed to get in and use the contact phone as one of the other guests hadn't shut the front door properly so I had to get up in my PJ's check his paperwork - tell him he was wrong send him off up the street and then go back to bed!

had another one yesterday - the company has booked for me I didn't write down the name of the property just the post code (there are 8 hotels in this post code) grrr

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SELFISH - no, guests are never selfish Madeleine!  This is my big pet peeve and since we say on our website and reservation confirmation that we do not allow any checkins after 9pm, our guests come and get checked in and then go out to dinner so I'm not waiting around for them.  I can then relax for the evening.

No one should be giving anyone a harsh going over for anyway we run our businesses.  Each of us along with our properties are so different.  My motto, mind your own business and do what works for you but if someone asks input as to how you do it, then they should expect an honest response that won't necessarily match their own.   We have no night life around here and restaurants stop serving by 9pm or 10pm.  Guests are typically very active and up and out early hiking so they turn in early.  Therefore, late check-ins even at 11pm can disturb them.

We also are set way back in the woods and there isn't any noise at all and guests sleep with their windows open.  Imagine that with car alarms being set late at night waking up the entire place.  Again, only the owner knows what works for them - and I guess I tend to be on the blunt side so sorry if anyone took offense.

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No offense was taken here...I often say the same thing you do - it's MY business, and if it works for me...I don't need your lecture.  I have had questionable looks and intrusive questions from guests and associates when I change a policy or <GASP> do something to keep myself going for ten years doing this solo.  It always irks me that people think they have the right to judge what I do for MY business.  To me, it's comparable to judging how someone raises their kids. None of your business!  I pay my bills, treat people with respect (unless they don't deserve it! Smiling ), have a successful business, and a good reputation.  Get off me.

You can tell I'm a little passionate about this subject.  There is a lot of back and forth about "I do this, and why don't you" that I disagree with.  I try to stay out of those conversations, but wanted you to know that I support you on your thoughts.

That being said, I do self check ins and I sleep literally three feet away from the front door, on the other side of glass french doors.  In the five years since I started accepting them, I bet I've been woken twice.  People are very conscientious and courteous here, so I'm very lucky.

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Never had a loud self-checkin, personally.

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We give them a code to get in the front door and leave the key inside ready for them.

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easy lock box with a combination and the key in - its rare we have more than one but if I did would do what the serviced apartments around the corner do - 10 boxes each numbered for each apartment.

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Madeleine wrote:

MtnKeeper wrote:

Locks the doors, PERIOD.  I would never take the chance that after I clean a room someone has gone in to look around, borrow a towel, use the toilet, etc.  They only get the key to the room they pay for for this exact reason.  It takes away this possibility and stress for us and ensures that our guests get their perfect clean room.  If someone wants to see another room for a future stay, they can ask.

I think it was unlocked originally for a late arrival. Which means that guest who used it may have been rattling door knobs in the middle of the night.

We don't leave keys outside any longer

Yes thank you, that is correct. The note on the front door and me not sleeping ALL night wondering if they ever arrived, they did not. A no show.

I am pretty sure that is what I said in the orig post to lock your doors. I also said that we cannot guarantee guests will lock their own room doors (and for those of you who don't have guest room locks, then "here's your sign") cool

I share this for those who do not understand this, not so much for those who do. Those who cannot imagine this ever happening at their place.

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05/22/2010

Joey Bloggs wrote:

I am pretty sure that is what I said in the orig post to lock your doors. I also said that we cannot guarantee guests will lock their own room doors...

So far my system has worked perfectly for me. The doors on all my suites are like doors on hotel rooms, in that if the door is closed, it's ALWAYS locked from the outside.

They are all keypad operated, so as long as guests remember their 4-digit code, they can never get locked out of their own room, but nobody else can get in. So far nobody has forgotten their code, so zero problems.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Training new housekeeper to knock first then unlock door and then yoo hoo before entering.

She's forgotten to unlock the door but no need it wasn't locked in the first place.

So, yes, guests go off and don't check if they've locked the door.

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