Contemplation of Becoming Stricter

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Generic's picture
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For years we have been very open to allowing guests to leave their luggage here. Sometimes they come in early from out of town by plane, train or bus and want a place to leave their bag. And sometimes they are leaving late and want to spend time in the city and we let them leave it and pick it up later.

Well lately they seem to be pushing the boundaries and are expecting that I have a public bathroom. I don't. They think that they have a right to use a bathroom, upstairs, that is unattached (and shared). But just because it's shared doesn't make it public. It's semi-private to those who use it, not the public.

So now it has me considering how nice I'm being about allowing them to keep their luggage here. I'm trying to be nice, but if they use the bathroom, I have to rescrub it, even if it's just to use the toilet and sink, because it's PRIVATE to those rooms.

Do I have to get mean or put up a sign or what? 

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Morticia's picture
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BTW, when we have guests who leave their luggage because they're catching the late train, I tell them before they leave here in the morning that we do not have an extra bathroom, but there is one at the train station. (And a dozen other public restrooms around town.)

Maybe something like that would work - Sure we can hold your luggage, but, just a heads up, we don't have an extra restroom. The closest one is...

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Yes, we let guests know that we do not have a bathroom for them once they check out.  Funny how they decide not to leave their bags once they realize that they will not have a bathroom!  All of our guests have their own cars so there really is no reason for them to leave their bags with us before they check in or after they check out.  We let them know that the public rest rooms are just a couple of miles up the road at the Visitors’ Center and that takes care of that!

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See we have hardly any public toilets any more in my town - council says they cost too much money to keep up I know there is literally nowhere else nearer than a 15 min walk from us.

On a side bar from this - If a guest leaves their luggage with us we put it in the back out of sight and then if I remember when the room is ready put the bag in the room. ie luggage is secure within reason. We went to london for a hotel show (ie you would think big capital city they would be a bit funny about left luggage) we rang in advance and checked we were ok to leave the bags there - yes fine.

Dropped bag off - no ticket or anything and told to leave it in reception - came back 6pm still was sat in reception - no system for who's bag is whos - all bags in big pile incoming or outgoing. I could have taken anyone's bags not a problem at all - is it not just me who thinks that's a bit slack? 

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 This is difficult.

 The older I get, the older family members get, the more little ones arrive, the more I understand the immediate urgent need for a restroom following a car trip. I am much more sympathetic than I used to be.

 I would offer a restroom - sparse as it may be. Even if it doubles as a laundry room. Even if it's my personal restroom (and yes, personals get LOCKED up)

 I like the idea of a room number or room name on a bathroom that is not within a guest room to prevent people from going in there and using it like it's a public bathroom. I also like the use of the coded lock for the guest whose bathroom it is. When they check in, let them set the code. 

 As for people who come in off the street, non guests, that's a whole other issue. 

 As for light in the hallway, I installed several of these and they are great! I 'installed' them myself, ha ha.  https://youtu.be/5uCL79X24kA  

 I have also seen light strips mounted along baseboards if you've got a particularly dim area. 

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Highlands John's picture
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I quite often get asked by people if they can use the bathroom, the answer is always no.

We have our bathroom in the hall, I'm not letting people use that, we have a small loo at the other end of the house, I'm not having people traipsing through my kitchen to use that either. 

There's a public loo down the road, I send them there.

 

I once heard a noise in the hallway went out to find two Spanish ladies (not guests) about to go into our bathroom, I said "can I help you?".... "Do you have a room available?".......... "No, we're full"......"Can we use the bathroom?"......"This is my home and that's my private bathroom, no you can't".

 

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Generic's picture
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You've been here. Is it right for me to let them use the bathroom one floor up?

Highlands John's picture
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I guess one problem is that many who've stayed with you know you have a shared bathroom on the 1st floor so it seems a bit mean to not let them use it, but if it's been cleaned ready for the next set of guests then it means at least checking it over again, maybe more cleaning.

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our public loo is on the first floor - people are always asking me if that is the toilet for their room - yup all 11 rooms of you - DUH - does no one read? ie all ensuite? I do put it everywhere! 

I am surprised at John's not having a public loo as was purpose built as a B&B! would be something I would be designing in! - in answer to your question - if they need to go they won't care where it is!

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I don't see why you'd want a public loo in a B&B, everyone who's staying has an en-suite and anyone who's not staying.... tough. A B&B is someones home, why would you expect a public loo there.

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IF I had my druthers, I would have toilet & sink near the entrance. WHY? Because at breakfast, chatting, just out of the car (my family knew, GOD help anyone who gets between me and the bsthroom)

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Highlands John wrote:

I don't see why you'd want a public loo in a B&B, everyone who's staying has an en-suite and anyone who's not staying.... tough. A B&B is someones home, why would you expect a public loo there.

gillumhouse wrote:

IF I had my druthers, I would have toilet & sink near the entrance. WHY? Because at breakfast, chatting, just out of the car (my family knew, GOD help anyone who gets between me and the bsthroom)

We have a half bath (toilet & sink) just off our dining room on the main floor. It is at the end of the hallway from the front doors - a straight shot, if you will. Guests have been very grateful that they can rush to it after driving for several hours! I'm not sure what H. John is picturing when thinking of a "public loo". My front door is always locked. I wouldn't dream of letting someone off the street use my bathroom (nor will I give tours to folks, but that's another subject)! Guests have used this bathroom during breakfast, or while they're sitting in our front parlor enjoying drinks & socializing. Also, this half bath is perfect for when I have friends over for cocktails, poker night, dinner, etc. It just makes sense to have a bathroom available for visitors that's not located in your private quarters.

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My public loo is not avaliable to "the general public ie off the street" but if say I know the girls are working on the top landing and stuff is all over (they shouldn't but they do) then I can keep them down and away from the mess - also we have a large guest lounge and do occasionally hire out our breakfast room at both the C and L locations so do need a separate toilet. Guests have friends who visit from neighbouring B&B's and we do get a lot of early arrivals. Just saves me a lot of bother.

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notAgrandma wrote:

My front door is always locked. I wouldn't dream of letting someone off the street use my bathroom 

Me too. When we ordered guest room locks some years back we got the type that lock when the door shuts, didn't think about it and ordered these for our apartment too, works pretty well if I remember to take my key. If a guest checking in is in a hurry I can give them their room key as their room door (and my bedroom for that matter) all open to the common front porch. If maintaining a truly public facility for passerby then that cost would have to get passed on to your paying customers.

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JimBoone wrote:

When we ordered guest room locks some years back we got the type that lock when the door shuts, didn't think about it and ordered these for our apartment too, works pretty well if I remember to take my key.

I love my keypad locks. Always locked if the door is closed, but don't need a key to open them. Just the code.

(I had to disable the feature that lets you set them to unlocked mode, from inside. I didn't want people leaving them unlocked when they're gone.)

I predict  hotels will eventually go to keypads and changing codes rather than key cards. Does away with people getting locked out if they close the door without taking their card, or losing their card, as long as they remember their code. If they forget it, giving them their code again is still easier and cheaper than programming a new blank key card for them.

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Arks wrote:

I love my keypad locks. Always locked if the door is closed, but don't need a key to open them. Just the code.

Your locks sound like a neat idea to me, but then I like computers and such, yet after a year of booking online I'm still trying to sell the idea of looking on screen rather than keeping a duplicate book to my special someone, difficult when someone just doesn't like computers.

Is there somewhere online that I could read more about your locks? Both cost and features? Thanks

Morticia's picture
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JimBoone wrote:

Arks wrote:

I love my keypad locks. Always locked if the door is closed, but don't need a key to open them. Just the code.

Your locks sound like a neat idea to me, but then I like computers and such, yet after a year of booking online I'm still trying to sell the idea of looking on screen rather than keeping a duplicate book to my special someone, difficult when someone just doesn't like computers.

Is there somewhere online that I could read more about your locks? Both cost and features? Thanks

We still keep a paper reservation book because I need to see a week in advance what issues or packages are coming up. And, our power goes out too often to be without a back up.

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Morticia wrote:

We still keep a paper reservation book because I need to see a week in advance what issues or packages are coming up. And, our power goes out too often to be without a back up.

I'm a bit of a pack rat so a backup set of info is not a bad idea, but I see trying to keep two independent reservation systems as a concern. We use RK and in their system I created a guest sign in sheet so when the guest arrives they only need to check the info and sign the sheet. A copy of that sheet is emailed to our cell phones. When that email arrives or someone calls for a reservation I print out a sheet and it goes in the office, for me that's my paper backup, but if it is not also showing up in the "old" paper book, well the computer must be wrong or I didn't do something (rant over). Okay, I'm told I grumpy, so

Morticia's picture
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One reservation system. If it's not online, it never happened. The book is for me. Gomez never uses it. If he takes a Rez, he doesn't put it in the book. I scribble all my notes in there - dietary crap, names of kids, if they bought a package, etc.

Gomez would rather open every reservation and read thru all the notes. Not me.

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Morticia wrote:

One reservation system. If it's not online, it never happened. 

That's my goal, of course I don't have as much information to keep up with as you do. I mostly want to know the expected arrival time and RK will let me see that much by just hovering over the reservation. Computer on the desk and each of us has a smart phone so unless RK is down there are two way of reaching their site, not a great filing system yet, but there should also be a printed paper copy in the office, reached a point where I feel trying to keep the duplicate "old" system causes more headaches that it prevents.

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JimBoone wrote:

Is there somewhere online that I could read more about your locks? Both cost and features? Thanks

My guest room locks are Schlage Nexia Z-Wave locks. They're currently $215 each at Amazon. The "z-wave" means they are wi-fi connected to the internet, so I can add and delete guests' door codes from any computer in the world. 

My private closets have the same style of locks, so I don't have to carry keys to get into my storage closets, etc. They don't need to be programmable from the Internet, since the same user codes stay on them all the time, so they are cheaper. Currently $111 at Amazon.

In addition to the z-wave locks, you need one "z-wave bridge", currently $86. This is the wireless transmitter that provides the wireless connection between all your locks and the Internet.

Finally, you need a Nexia account. Nexia is the website you go to to program your locks. It handles transmitting your wishes to your z-wave bridge. The cost of having a Nexia account is $9/month.

The wireless transmits through my double-thick brick walls really well, so 1 link bridge in the center of the building reaches every lock in my building.

You can also buy "repeaters" that pick up the wireless signal and rebroadcast it full strength to give extended range, if needed.

The locks will hold 19 different codes at a time. I use 3 of those for my personal code, and a different code for each of my 2 housekeepers. These codes are on all locks, so any of us can open every lock in the building. By giving each housekeeper their own code, if a housekeeper quits, I just delete her code and the other housekeeper keeps using the code she's used to.

Another bonus of the system is that, optionally, you can have it send you an e-mail and/or text message each time the guest enters their code on a particular lock set. You don't have to use this, but it's very handy for me, since I don't live on site at the guest house. For example, if the Smith's are due to arrive today for their stay, it will send me an e-mail when the Smith's enter their code the first time and enter their room, so I know they've arrived and I go ahead and charge their balance due at that time. It's nice that all guests know their door code before they arrive, so I don't have to be there to give the a key. they just arrive and go to their room.

The lock sets run on batteries that it says will last 2 years. The Nexia software gives a daily update on what percent of battery life is left on each lock, and I change the batteries when they get down to 30% life left, just to be sure they always work for people.

If the power is off or the Internet is down, people's codes still work just fine. You just can't add/delete new codes until the wireless is working again.

When guests make their online reservations I have ResKey give them the option to enter their preferred 4-digit entry code. Some give one and I program that into their lock. Others leave it blank and I assign them something random, then I email their code to them, along with directions to find the inn and their room.

A really nice feature of the system is that, when you set up a guest's key code, you also specify the date and time when the code starts to work, and the date and time it starts working. So I set up all that when the reservation comes in, then I can forget about it. Their code won't let them in until check in time on day of arrival, and it won't let them back in the room after check out time. I set it to activate a little before check in time, and deactivate a little after check out time, in case their watch is wrong, but I don't tell them that.

Note that once you get your Nexia account and Nexia bridge, you can also control other things on your property, like turn lights on and off, control thermostats remotely, etc.

Generic's picture
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You can also get the Vera Zwave bridge, which does the same thing, but doesn't have a monthly fee.

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Generic wrote:

You can also get the Vera Zwave bridge, which does the same thing, but doesn't have a monthly fee.

Good to know. When my Nexia bridge dies, I'll give Vera a look!

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We had key cards that did not work. Hotel kept telling us it was because we had the key near our phines. FINALLY sent someone to look- the dor lock was malfunctioning. They replaced the lock.

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We went to a hotel show - 3 companies - what they now do as well is you if the customer wants to do self check in they can download an app to their phone which they then just hold the phone to the door - love it

Morticia's picture
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Put a lock on the detached bathroom door. Give key to guests, tell them to lock doors.

Sorry I originally misunderstood the situation.

Generic's picture
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Maybe that is what I'm going to have to do. Put in a digital lock and only allow those guests to use it. This way they may really understand that it's private to those two rooms. Or maybe it's just time to put up a sign that says "Private to guests of room X and Y" and see if that gets the point across. I don't want to have to become unfriendly because some mule thinks that they have a right to use the house after they are checked out.

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Im sorry but its a lock - we used to have 2 single rooms with private bathrooms - locked with a security key (you know the round ones?) guests no matter how many times I told them to lock their bathroom doors didn't - people were always in them despite the fact with do have a PUBLIC LOO! people would walk past the public loo to use on of the private bathroom ones! must be a yale so they pull it behind them and it locks - will not be 100% successful but a vast improvement.

Morticia's picture
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I've found the path of least resistance works best. Put on the lock, it removes having to explain in multiple languages. And, it removes the ability to use the bathroom unless you've been given the code.

 

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Generic wrote:

Maybe that is what I'm going to have to do. Put in a digital lock and only allow those guests to use it. This way they may really understand that it's private to those two rooms. Or maybe it's just time to put up a sign that says "Private to guests of room X and Y" and see if that gets the point across. I don't want to have to become unfriendly because some mule thinks that they have a right to use the house after they are checked out.

   Give the bathroom a name or number and everyone can think its another room.  Why should the rest of the guests know its a bathroom?  If it has a digital lock, make sure the code cancels that morning or they will just go upstairs and use it without you knowing.  Not so nice for those checking in later.

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Generic's picture
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I've so loved leaving the door open to give the hallway light. I hate that I have to do these things because some people can't understand boundaries.

Morticia's picture
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Generic wrote:

I've so loved leaving the door open to give the hallway light. I hate that I have to do these things because some people can't understand boundaries.

My problem for years - lack of natural light in the hall unless the bathroom door was open. Too annoyed by having to clean the bathroom multiple times. We now leave the light on if we need light.

Lee2014's picture
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   Install a light in the hallway, even if its a battery one.  Make life easier FOR YOU.

Generic's picture
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Natural light is nicer than a lightbulb.

Lee2014's picture
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   You can get a five gallon pail, put a toilet seat attached and a pitcher and bowl with water and stick it in the room with their luggage.  cool  Just joking.

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I started letting people use my very small, very cramped, very dark, personal powder room.   And I don't care that it is dark and cramped.

I say, "I don't have a public bathroom, I can let you use one in my home."  

I don't like it, but I also know what it feels like when you have to go and there is no place to go.

Another idea, is to simply say so.   "I'd be happy to hold your luggage.   Please understand, we don't have a public bathroom, or water available, so please take that into consideration."

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Generic's picture
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I've been saying that, but sometimes I forget... and sometimes THEY forget.

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