Family Friendly

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mikeyd's picture
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What do you all think of a family friendly B&B.  Where the focus isn't just couples and children are welcomed!

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Lee2014's picture
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   Yes and no.  Its all about who you are as a person and what you like.  The three places I worked in (two B&Bs, one retreat center) one welcomed children with open arms and a big in ground pool which was built especially for the children.  The owners had already raised their own eight children plus foster care children and were looking for something to keep them busy so...we love children!  We take the children' pictures and post them on our Facebook page.  The guests and staff become one big family and the inn is their second home.  When a baby is brought into the dining room everyone gather around to fuss over it.  We charge the same price for a child as an adult for our own convenience.  The House has a way of making the children behaved.  The children stand in awe of it and behave like little ladies and gentlemen.  I have heard the house called, the castle, the princess house, the tower, and the big house by the children who have come to claim it as their own.  One family ended up having to go to another B&B since we were full.  When they came the next time the child told us that it wasn't the same when not staying here and missed us all.  

   BUT that being said, the inn is in a tourist trap where it brings people back every year and where not many take children.  We don't get many looking for a romantic getaway or to have their wedding there.  That is fine with us.  We did get a review when a couple came for one night to celebrate being engaged and complained about a baby crying in the night.  The baby stayed for four nights and was so cute!  The parents surprised us by leaving raving five star reviews a month later at multiple sites each so we didn't mind the other one review.  The inn also does lots of bachelorette weekend and special birthdays weekends, etc.

 

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seashanty's picture
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Could be a niche for you especially if most places in the area cater to adults. There are (were) some successful innkeepers on forum who raised families while running a b&b ... one in particular in a college town. do you have children?  

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I don't think family friendly is a good idea in today's market.  You are competing with the AirBNB's to a certain degree.  By catering to couples wanting a romantic get away you are offering something people can't get at an airBNB or a hotel.

Silverspoon's picture
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I agree, but that may just be because that is our model: Romantic getaway, adult only.  It has been successful for us and sure means a lot less stress and work for us as well as a niche market that most hotels/motels can't match. But if you have many rooms to fill and you need to fill them at any price then you may have to take families and pets too.  Increasingly we see that couples who take their kids on vacation also want their pet dogs along.

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Generic's picture
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Why are you family friendly and who are you trying to attract? The hotels offer free buffet breakfast and kids stay free for a reason. They have the pool for the kids to pee into, they have the space for them to run around. They want their fingers all over the bread.

People at a B&B are looking for more quiet and more peace. We limit ourselves to older children. Few people ask to bring the younger ones. And when they do, they don't argue with me over paying for them.... unless they are hotel people... which at that point I suggest that I'm not the property for them.

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JimBoone's picture
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mikeyd wrote:

What do you all think of a family friendly B&B.  

My favorite B&B stay was at a place that was mostly families and children, we were the odd old folks, however it was in a rural area and catered to the family with children, swing set, play house, animals, pick your own breakfast egg from the hen house, hay ride, train ride (of sorts) for the kids. I believe the same families returned at about the same time each year, but I'm sure the innkeepers worked hard to develop this following.

I really think the key is to do what makes YOU happy. If you are having fun your guests will be having fun too and the work doesn't get old, but it is not likely to happen overnight. Step one is to get folks in the door, but be happy, be yourself and the guests that share your vision will return.

I should add to that thought that we and our general area have changed over the years, if you change too fast you risk losing your guests, but slow steady change moves you to your desired guests.

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Morticia's picture
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Depends on where you are located and what type of guest you want to attract.

What you can offer may be dictated by the laws in your area. In some locations you cannot say 'no children.'

It's easier to be family friendly if you've got kids off your own at home.

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Arks's picture
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Morticia wrote:

It's easier to be family friendly if you've got kids of your own at home.

Like with pets, I guess.

Really depends on the numbers. Evaluate how many guests you will lose if kids are running around the house, vs. how many you will gain by allowing them.

I don't know the answer. I allow kids, but my clientele is 55% couples, 35% singles,(I get a lot of business travelers.). Even though I allow kids, I'd say only 10% of my bookings include kids. But my place is upscale, the most expensive in town. People with kids are probably staying at the cheaper places (the hotels/motels).

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PhineasSwann's picture
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Arks wrote:

Morticia wrote:

It's easier to be family friendly if you've got kids of your own at home.

Like with pets, I guess.

Really depends on the numbers. Evaluate how many guests you will lose if kids are running around the house, vs. how many you will gain by allowing them.

I don't know the answer. I allow kids, but my clientele is 55% couples, 35% singles,(I get a lot of business travelers.). Even though I allow kids, I'd say only 10% of my bookings include kids. But my place is upscale, the most expensive in town. People with kids are probably staying at the cheaper places (the hotels/motels).

^^^ This. ^^^

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Innkeeper & Owner

 

Cindy-lee's picture
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Good tip thanx

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C-LP

 

gillumhouse's picture
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I have always welcomed the crumbsnatchers. I have a pack n play and an antique (VERY SOLID) wood high chair.

Have had a few but mostly couples or singles. My place is not child-proof but then again I do not have a lot of "stuff" around either. Used to have dolls everywhere because my aunt brought them - most of them went to toys for tots. I have had more breakage from adults than from the kids. You will probably make more though being dog friendly than the kid friendly. More is spent on dogs than on kids. And the older folks HAVE to have Fiifi (many of the younger set are traveling with their dogs too - the dogs take the place of kids and are often easier to deal with).

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