Innkeepers staying at other B&Bs

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notAgrandma's picture
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Hello fellow innmates - when you place reservations at other B&Bs, do you tell them you're an innkeeper? I've had innkeepers call & ask for a special discount (tacky!) and I've had others who use their business address on their reservation (bobs-inn@gmail.com, etc.), so it's blatantly obvious they own a B&B. If I've had others stay with me, they've never let on. 

Personally, I try my best to keep it under wraps for a few reasons. 1) I get a little wary when an innkeeper books with me bc you just know they'll be making notes on what they perceive as the good, the bad, & the ugly. 2) I don't want to "talk shop" while I'm on vacation. Unfortunately, when we're asked "what do you do" at the breakfast table, my hubby has let it slip, then it becomes a discussion on asking what works for us, telling us their guest horror stories, etc.

I just recently booked a 1-night stay at an inn 2 hours away from us. No online res system, the innkeeper was lousy at returning emails, and when I called, it went to the generic robot voicemail message. The innkeeper returned my call while I was on the other line and got my vm stating "This is __'notAgrandma'__, owner of..." So now the jig is up. <sigh> He already said, "Oh, so you own _..._" in a fairly smarmy voice...
 

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Well we are traveling in December and it will be our first time staying in a B&B since being Innkeepers ourselves...I didn't mention we were also innkeepers. The first reservation we made was only an email receipt for the money that was already charged on our card from the card processor!!!

...no reservation #, no room name, no dates...! I had to call three times to ask for an email that listed all those items... and even though the gal said she would send it right away, it took another day and was just info she typed out and emailed...

At least I have it to go by when we arrive...Crossing my fingers!

JimBoone's picture
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Northern Dreamer wrote:

...no reservation #, no room name, no dates...! 

Fortunately RK responds to reservations automatically and copies me so that I can check and know that emails are being sent out, but I confess the reservation # does not mean much to me as if there were a question I would be using dates and guest name to search.

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Still...to get nothing but a dollar amount of what my card was charged could leave me with having to take any room they gave me upon arrival...luckily she was compliant and sent all the info. 

I love that my online reservation system through our own website does all that - and I can add my own (pre-set) personal note to the confirmation!!!

JimBoone's picture
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Northern Dreamer wrote:

Still...could leave me with having to take any room they gave me upon arrival

I can add my own (pre-set) personal note to the confirmation!!!

We're different from most here on the forum (being a mom and pop motel) in that I state that we reserve the right to shift a guest to a different room, of course our rooms are pretty much uniform beyond wall color or number of beds. Any change would likely be an upgrade to a larger room and I do also say that I would try to honor any request for a particular room.

RK also lets us write our own confirmation emails, perhaps the place you are visiting needs a new booking system, although I confess that until friends here on the forum pushed me into adopting online booking a little over a year ago we were still using telephone calls and a paper book.

 

notAgrandma's picture
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Well, my experience with the B&B I reserved last week was a doozy. It was the first time ever in all my 20+ years of traveling that I turned around and left. We were greeted with a note on the front door telling us to call for the entrance code, despite telling the innkeeper our approximate arrival time. We were instructed via phone that our room was the first on the left. The room contained a queen bed, toilet in one corner with no door, and a tiny shower in the other corner. I've never seen anything like it. "Private bath" indeed! Additionally, the entire B&B smelled like an ashtray. I'm sensitive to smoke and my throat hurt from being in there for 15 minutes.

I had reserved their largest room with a king bed and jetted tub. I double-checked my email exchange with the owner to be certain I'd made it very clear which room I wanted. I called the housekeeper back and told her it was not the correct room. She says she needs to call the owner. The housekeeper calls back and tells me the other room isn't ready. She then changes her story and says the other room has been reserved by someone else over a week ago. I tell her that I'm looking right at the emails I exchanged with the owner and that it was *me* who reserved it a week ago. She calls the owner again, then she calls back and says she can have the room ready for us in 2 hours. I tell her not to bother and that we're leaving.

I forwarded the owner the email exchange. He emailed me back an hour later saying, "I am sorry, I have been in Louisiana for 7 months working and I am still shocked that I did not get this correct."

Needless to say, this innkeeper did not go out of his way to impress me. To top it off, this inn has a perfect 5-star rating on google and a perfect 5-star rating on Trip Advisor, both with 35 reviews. I am stunned!

notAgrandma's picture
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"To top it off, this inn has a perfect 5-star rating on google and a perfect 5-star rating on Trip Advisor, both with 35 reviews." 

--- I would just like to note that the most recent TA review was left yesterday, stating that the innkeeper "sat and chatted with us during our stay", and the review says they stayed there in November 2017. Oh really? How did he do that from Louisiana?

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Ok, wait.   The toilet was IN the bedroom?    Like a prison cell?   

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notAgrandma's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:



Ok, wait.   The toilet was IN the bedroom?    Like a prison cell?   

YUP! I wish I'd taken pictures.

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one we looked at to buy had the Glass/open shower cublicle in the middle of the room - and it was a twin! ie two workmen sharing one would have to have stood outside or get an eyeful!

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I’ve met some thatbhave mentioned it to ’impress’. Didn’t. 

And some have been kindred spirits. I think you can instinctively tell. I met one this fall that I immediately bonded with and her and her DH will visit us again in the spring before she goes full tilt so that they can stock up in Town. They’ll be staying at my invitation. 

Skamokawa's picture
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I rarely have said, and other than folks here, I will not going forward unless it seems like a happy conversational thing.  I just want to be happy at another's inn.  

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Lee2014's picture
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   We were with the chef in the kitchen and he said that he was at an inn and the innkeeper said that she hopes he doesn't mind stink bugs.  He said he spent the first 2 hours killing them in his room.  He wasn't impressed!  

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JimBoone's picture
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Don't travel as much as I might like and only a few times did I have an advance reservation, but if I email, my public email would show the business name as part of the address. Not my nature to ask for a deal, I agree, sort of tacky, although I admit to looking at cost over class when looking for a place to stay.

Now yeah, I'd probably talk shop on vacation, it is my life, it interests me, and I enjoy talking with folks, that's why I'm in this business, I'd be looking and learning from what the other fellow is doing.

For us, we try to be reasonable for this area to everyone, don't remember any requests from lodging operators for a deal beyond a couple of motel properties that were interested in trade outs for employees, but then I don't have employees. Now if a pal from here were in our area, tell me who you are, of course I might bend your ear talking shop.

gillumhouse's picture
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I usually discount professional courtesy. When I travel I am usually hit and split travel which is not B & B type travel. My trip to England was done on the rates I charge innkeepers I know.

I do not sweat it when other innkeepers stay - as Popeye put it, I yam what I yam. And for other innkeepers - I came to see them or their area, not to critique which is good because unless it is glaring, I do not notice.

I do not ask for discounts, but will happily accept them.

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05/21/2013

What about fake innkeepers ?  We once had a guest that said she owned a B&B somewhere in California... wouldn't tell us the name, and then she asked what we did the rest of the day, after the 15 minutes it takes us to clean the rooms... eat bonbons ?  That is when we knew that she was fake,  or the worst innkeeper in history if she takes only 15 minutes to clean up her inn everyday...   So no professional discount for you lady !

 

OnTheShore's picture
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Specific wrote:
What about fake innkeepers ?  We once had a guest that said she owned a B&B somewhere in California...

Well, one could be the owner of an inn property without actually being involved in the day-to-day work...   Maybe for her the 15 minutes was all it took to instruct her housekeeping staff on their charge for the day.

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Generic's picture
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Nope, she specifically mentioned that it was 15 minutes of work and there was no other staff. She wasn't an innkeeper... she was hoping she would get a discount.

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gillumhouse's picture
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If they cannot name it for me to look it up, go scratch is the answer.

Arks's picture
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I enjoy talking innkeeping with other innkeepers, so I'll mention what I do if I sense they are chatty and might like to talk. But I only bring it up after I get there and have paid in full. 

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See I like to chat and tell stories DH is a grumpy old git at breakfast which is why we keep him in the kitchen LOL

Morticia's picture
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Jcam wrote:

See I like to chat and tell stories DH is a grumpy old git at breakfast which is why we keep him in the kitchen LOL

Smiling

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Generic's picture
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I usually discount other innkeepers 10%, but those that I'm friendly with... a further (cash) discount. I see no reason to hide what I do. 

Though, to be absolutely honest, there are few on here that I would rather surprise than show up in their booking system.

I also prefer to pay in cash for my stays with friendly B&Bs.

Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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01/16/2010

would never make a rez at a B&B with no online booking system.

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notAgrandma's picture
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Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

would never make a rez at a B&B with no online booking system.

Agree 99.9% !! In this particular case, they are the *only* B&B in the area that we're visiting (must be nice to have the market completely cornered!). I'm usually placing my travel reservations late in the evening and it's inconvenient to call. I also dislike online forms where I'm only submitting a request, not actually placing a reservation. I want to pay for it all upfront & be done with it! We're traveling overseas next month and a lot of the places only had online forms, no rez system.

Generic's picture
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We ended up staying in hotels in much of France because of how hard it was to make a reservation. Some of them wanted me to pay via Paypal with an upcharge to pay their Paypal fees. And usually, I prefer to pay B&Bs in cash and guarantee my stay with a CC. Not really into the 3% foreign currency upcharge and well, what they do with cash is none of my business Smiling We can all use some in our lives.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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As I was leaving once, the front desk person told me, "You should have told me you are in hospitality.  We would have given you an upgrade!"   So I always do.  

PhineasSwann's picture
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Good question. I wouldn't have a problem one way or another - if they told me or not told me.

I tend not to tell people. I'm not trying to secret shop them, I just don't want to put any baggage or pressure on the innkeeper. 

If they ask me what we do -- and the good ones usually do -- we let them know. 

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