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Actually being "The Better Way to Stay"

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Samster

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Don't shoot the messenger on this one but there's a lot of competition out there in the hospitality arena....so this is food for thought.
I'm traveling this weekend to explore an area where we might "retire" to in a year or so. I booked an economy chain hotel (that we've also been using recently for some trips to another city to visit our son) online for 2 nights after I got discouraged in the B&B realm. A large upscale inn was over $300/night.
When I arrived & checked in, the clerk graciously gave me a handled bag with a note, "We think our *insert reward program* members are really SMART! Thank you for choosing us!" Inside was a premium bottled water brand and a 100 cal bag of popcorn. How much did that really cost them?
You would have thought that they gave me gold! I had driven almost 3 hours to this town from my first stop on Thursday night and then had spent about 4.5 hours looking at developments, neighborhoods, and homes. Skipped lunch so the little snack was nice and I downed the water right away.
My room has free WiFi, a desk, King bed, large bathroom with tile floor, plenty of amenities & soft towels, 32" flat panel TV, and a fridge & microwave. Nice common areas, exercise room (I used the treadmill this morning), and free, decent hot breakfast. I walked to a really good Mexican restaurant last night and when I got back there were yummy self serve chocolate chip cookies by the desk.
The local B&B had NO ONLINE BOOKING, a rate range so I didn't know exactly what the room would be for my dates, and I had to do multiple clicks to get to 360 degree room tours. Keep it simple, please! I wanted to pick the better way to stay but it wasn't the easier way to stay.
Oh, and this B&B is on the main drag with lots of traffic.....sigh.
 

Don Draper

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Good tips. There is simply NO EXCUSE for b&b's not to have quality photos, website and online booking. NONE!
I had to stay at an economy hotel while helping my sister send her husband off in the military, and while the price was certainly right I'll tell you what the worst part of the experience was: my fellow travelers. When you stay in low rate places you're going to tend to get some low rate issues going on (in my case crying kids, fighting spouses and constant running up and down the stairs).
I didn't get anything at check-in but they did have complimentary continental breakfast which was yucko, all processed stuff and having to fight with the aforementioned kids to get at anything.
SO...they might get a few people while offering what they do, but they likely won't get repeats. Just a reminder for all of us here that what we do is consistently QUALITY, every day. So market it people!
 

sandynn

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One of the things that is a must when booking at a bed and breakfast from a guest prospective (mine anyway) is I won't book if they don't have a website, online booking, good pictures, and if their prices are too low. I am sure I have said this before but I look at those things first. One more thing but I won't tell that because I know it would be a sore spot with some innkeepers. :)
 

JBloggs

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I have stayed in South Carolina where I believe the STATE TOURISM actually has this whole hospitality thing down to a science and they implemented these little "WELCOME" packages. Oh and also some places in FLA do this as well, not sure if it is a hotel association or city/town itself, that is reliant on tourism dollars. I thought the pack of gum and extra toothbrush were awesome!
FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING!
So in this case, with no first impression as a nice website, what else is there? Hope the inn is nice? Read some reviews? Why not have the owners try to sell their place as a lovely place to stay?
Trip planning will quickly sour you on many B&B's BEFORE YOU GO! They either live with eyes wide shut or are so isolated in their operations and interactions with others in the industry they just miss the boat.
 

EmptyNest

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Yep..you are preaching to the choir here. These kind of innkeepers don't care:-(
 

Samster

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One of the things that is a must when booking at a bed and breakfast from a guest prospective (mine anyway) is I won't book if they don't have a website, online booking, good pictures, and if their prices are too low. I am sure I have said this before but I look at those things first. One more thing but I won't tell that because I know it would be a sore spot with some innkeepers. :).
Ah, shucks, tell us what the other thing is......pretty puh-leeze!!!

 

Samster

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Good tips. There is simply NO EXCUSE for b&b's not to have quality photos, website and online booking. NONE!
I had to stay at an economy hotel while helping my sister send her husband off in the military, and while the price was certainly right I'll tell you what the worst part of the experience was: my fellow travelers. When you stay in low rate places you're going to tend to get some low rate issues going on (in my case crying kids, fighting spouses and constant running up and down the stairs).
I didn't get anything at check-in but they did have complimentary continental breakfast which was yucko, all processed stuff and having to fight with the aforementioned kids to get at anything.
SO...they might get a few people while offering what they do, but they likely won't get repeats. Just a reminder for all of us here that what we do is consistently QUALITY, every day. So market it people!.
This place was extremely quiet and all the kids in the breakfast room were wrangled by their parents, so no issues there. Plenty of food options, if not gourmet. And the coffee was actually GOOD! Rates here are around $90/per night with various discounts - AAA, AARP, military.
As a priority member, they also always put you on the top floor when you book ahead or if there are rooms there when you arrive. And you get a later check-out if you wish. Smart!
 
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