Acquiring Inn

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Acf
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10/10/2015

We are about to acquire our first inn.   It is a total of 15 rooms.   Nine rooms in the main house which are 'luxury rooms' typical of an upscale B and B.   There is a second structure that houses 6 additional rooms that would best be described as very basic low budget motel rooms.  

The inn is closed and requires extensive renovation before we re open.

We were curious if any operators have tried to offer two different levels of service on the same property.  We could operate the motel rooms as just that and not allow those guests access to the main house where we would operate the B and B.   There really is no practical way to upgrade the motel rooms.  We would market the motel rooms differently than the main house B and B rooms.  

What do people think of that idea?  Thank you

 

B
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04/10/2016

I would keep everything the same. If your web site and explanation are clear (have good pictures), the guest will have the opportunity to choose the level they desire. I would suggest, if you have the capacity, to offer all of the same services. This should allow you to realize a higher rate for the "hotel rooms". When I started we had one building pretty close to the same situation and, our service was what initially allowed us to start charging more for the rooms. We have since completely updated the building and are realizing a 50% increase in our rates.

 

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Check out The Graham and Co. for an example.

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OnTheShore's picture
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Why not just offer the same service to your motel guests as those staying in the main inn, assuming your breakfast room, kitchen, etc.. is large enough?

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An Old Tavernkeeper's picture
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I agree with some of the others here.  I would go so far as to give them separate names completely.  The can still share a website, booking engine, etc.  But you want them to be completely thought of as different entities, especially on review sites.  

Even if the reviews are positive it could be very confusing to potential guests if all reviews are under one name.  

One guest says "We loved the tea and scones when we arrived, the turndown service and the handmade chocolates made our stay really special as did the locally made maple syrup at breakfast. The place was wonderful."

Followed by the disgruntled motel guest, "I didn't get.......da da dah.  The place was not as advertised"

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seashanty's picture
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My only problem with a room stay that does not get breakfast is remembering that said guest should not be coming in for breakfast ... I've seen this happen. As an innkeeper I'm sorry to say I could not remember the faces of all my guests when we were full up .. 21 people max, usually 16. I'd go over to the general store and not recognize my guests over there. So I just had to smile and say hello to everyone.

Anyway, back to the subject at hand ... how will you keep it all straight? Just depend on their honor or approach them for payment if they show up for breakfast?   

 

Acf
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10/10/2015

My plan is too have card access locks.  If you stay in the annex you card will not get you into the main house where breakfast is served.  I'm hoping that will work.  

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Acf wrote:

My plan is too have card access locks.  If you stay in the annex you card will not get you into the main house where breakfast is served.  I'm hoping that will work.  

 

Will breakfast be available for an additional fee for annex dwellers?  I'm certain people will ask.  Unless there is a very handy breakfast place nearby. 

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Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

TheBeachHouse wrote:

Acf wrote:

My plan is too have card access locks.  If you stay in the annex you card will not get you into the main house where breakfast is served.  I'm hoping that will work.  

 

Will breakfast be available for an additional fee for annex dwellers?  I'm certain people will ask.  Unless there is a very handy breakfast place nearby. 

We stayed at a place in Carmel that left a basket on the door knob every morning - 2 half pints of oj, 2 half pints of milk, boxes of cereal, 2 pieces of fruit and 2 muffins.

I don't recall how they did the coffee.

We ate what we wanted and took the rest in the car for the day.

It was cute. And it was at a small hotel.

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10/04/2015

or you could do something similar to what we do for early departures - breakfast pack up

juice

bacon sandwich

fruit

yogurt

ketchup sachet and brown sauce sachet

plastic spoon

cereal bar

all easy to do in advance and hand out - you could add in fresh danish as an option.

Acf
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10/10/2015

Thanks for the comments. We are leaning towards one website and looking for a way to differentiate the rooms.  Some options we are considering:

economy rooms

express rooms

business class rooms

extended stay rooms

cottage rooms

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

I would keep it very descriptive.

Motel rooms

Bed & Breakfast rooms

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06/26/2008

We have 4 locations and 2 types of accommodation.One of them is B&B and all other are self catering. We operate under one company name and one website. Each property is named separately -separate page on the website with detailed description. It can be done - we did not have that many confused in the last 10+ years

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06/24/2008

I would keep the 2 separate but would make sure they were both mentioned on each site.  

No matter how you do it, there will be those that are confused when they do a search and get the opposite accommodation for the address.  And there will be people who will see the motel pics and call back to tell you that you are false advertising.  

BE CLEAR - transparent as possible.   

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

We just had a guest complain that the price we were charging at check in was not what he was told when he made the rez. Gomez said this info was in your confirmation. Then he claimed he never got a confirmation. OK, guest made the rez himself online. The price + the tax is shown before you finish the transaction. The confirmation was sent, whether he got it is another thing altogether.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

Been there, done that, have the scars. We only offer one level of service now. But we didn't do it for a separate building, we did it on Air. 

I wouldn't advertise it exactly the same. For example if your inn was called "the Stratford Inn", I might call those outbuildings something like "the Motel @ the Stratford Inn" or "the Stratford Motel" or even "the Lofts @ the Stratford". Something along those lines.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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I don't see why not.   Price accordingly and list them clearly.

Don't use Bed and Breakfast in your name.   It would confuse me to reserve with a place called Bed and Breakfast and then not get breakfast.

Name each room block clearly, like:

Choose the type of accomadation you need for your vacation.  All rooms come with free parking and free wifi as well as access to lawn seating with view of the mountains (or whatever you offer.)

Motel option:  $90   Book our motel for a standard room with private bathroom.  (Breakfast NOT included.)

Bed and Breakfast option: $150   Stay in an antique home with individually decorated rooms all with private bathrooms.    This option includes a continental breakfast.

 

OnTheShore's picture
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Another example, the Topside Inn in Boothbay Harbor has outbuildings with somewhat more basic rooms than those available in the main building, but I believe the guests in those outbuilding rooms get the same service as those in the main Inn (where breakfast is served). The room layouts in the outbuildings are very much like motel rooms, but they are decorated very tastefully.

muirford's picture
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05/22/2008

You might take a look at the Graceland Inn in Elkins, WV - www.gracelandinn.com. They have that setup, although more 'motel' rooms with a conference facility.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Keep them 2 separate operations with 2 separate names and web sites to avoid confusion. 1 corporation with 2 pant legs so to speak.

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