Quantcast

Aspiring Innkeeper needing some advice

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

brighteyes_22

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Hello, I am planning on opening a bed and breakfast within the next few years and was wanting some friendly advice.
We (my husband and I) currently own a 1-bedroom duplex. We live in one half and rent out the other. A well-insulated garage is placed in the middle to provide a sound barrier. It works quite well. Over the next year we plan on building a larger home just down the hill from our land and I had the idea of converting our current apartments into bed and breakfast suites. I was just curious if anybody else had done the same thing, and how the process went for them.
The other issue we have, is the location of the bed and breakfast. We live about 15 minutes away from a tourist town, which would provide us with most of our business. There are about 7 bed and breakfasts located in that town, and also many hotels and resorts. If we opened a bed and breakfast, it would be the furthest one available away from the town. The land that the house is situated on doesn't have much of a view, but it is somewhat secluded from the highway and other homes. With a little reconstructing (and a hot tub or two) I think we might have something to offer. I just wonder if we are kidding ourselves by thinking that people would drive so far away when there are plenty of places to stay within the city limits. What are some amenities that we can offer to draw people away from a busy city, besides privacy and a hot tub? We do have enough land for jogging/hiking trails, but that's about it. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks!
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,281
Reaction score
147
First thing is to make sure you're zoned for what you want to do. No sense getting great ideas and then having the town say no, or having the neighbors take up a petition against your ideas.
Being slightly off the beaten track can be tough. You could be the one place to offer solitude, but it depends on whether or not guests coming to the tourist town would be looking for solitude if that tack would work.
Who's going to clean? Make the breakfast? Run up there when the guests need something at 2 AM? Keep in mind you are talking about cleaning 2 whole apartments everyday and hot tubs to boot. That's a lot of work unless you're planning on weekly rentals.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
Welcome to the forum!
Question - how would your plan make teh duplex into a B&B? Wouldn't it be more of a vacation rental?
Check the laws locally and statewide for your location and find out (go into planning and zoning in your town/city). B&B's should be owner occupied, breakfast cooked onsite. You must pass inspections to be licensed as a B&B in most locales.
All the best.
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
Go vacation rental rather than B&B... you won't have to make breakfast! And guests may be more willing to stay out of town in such a place.
=)
Kk.
 

swirt

Forum founder. Former Owner.
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
3,210
Reaction score
0
Welcome to Innspiring.com
A few things come to mind. Are the 7 B&B's doing well or are they struggling? What is their primary market? (it may be most helpful for you to indicate the area more specifically if you can)
When you convert your duplex into B&B suites, how many suites do you intend to end up with?
As others have said, check the zoning. In many areas, you can't have a B&B unless an innkeeper is living on the property.
 

hawley

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
383
Reaction score
0
Others suggested vacation rentals. I wouldn't do a b&B unless you build right next to them. Do you have hospital, college or extended care facilities. There are students and familys that need short term housing if you have those things near. You could furnish them relatively cheaply from Craigslist or yahoo lists.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,520
Reaction score
84
I had a call from a lady looking for a place for her daughter for the 15 months she will be going to beauty school. Not here!
Vacation rental or something like above would be a lot less work for you since you will not be living in the building.
 

brighteyes_22

Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2009
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
Our new home will be just down the hill-far enough away for privacy, but close enough to walk in case I am needed. The bed and breakfast would have only two suites, but they will have a full-size kitchen and bathroom. My plan for breakfast is to make a basket of breakfast breads and deliver it to the rooms. The suites would already be stocked with fruit, drinks and yogurt. There is a college about 15 minutes away and the lake is only 5 minutes. I could reach out to families looking to vacation, but yet I want to advertise privacy for honeymooners and people who just want to get away. It's hard trying to decide exactly who my clientele is.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
As scary as it sounds, the majority of people going to B&B's go to interact with the innkeepers and other guests and the "experience" which includes a hot home cooked or gourmet breakfast typically with a gorgeous presentation. (of course many B&B do not follow this same route, but overall that is the 'theme' so to speak)
I know many Inns have branched out into cottages/cabins/suites to make their B&B rooms more private. What you are describing still does not seem like an inn? We used to know an innkeeper in FLA who due to zoning restrictions could not run a B&B and ran his place more like a high end vacation rental where there was daily maid service and B&B amenities. Perhaps this is what you are thinking of?
 

Copperhead

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 24, 2008
Messages
5,969
Reaction score
0
Welcome to the forum...
I happen to agree with the rest of the posters here. First and foremost check the zoning for the property and the local regs on running a B&B as well as vacation rentals. As stated before there are many rules and regs related to this industry and all vary from city to city and state to state.
Swirt stated to research the other B&B's and I will add to check on other vacation rentals in the area as well. You may find that having a vacation rental would be far more beneficial if there are none in the area.
Well good luck getting started!
 

swirt

Forum founder. Former Owner.
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
3,210
Reaction score
0
Our new home will be just down the hill-far enough away for privacy, but close enough to walk in case I am needed. The bed and breakfast would have only two suites, but they will have a full-size kitchen and bathroom. My plan for breakfast is to make a basket of breakfast breads and deliver it to the rooms. The suites would already be stocked with fruit, drinks and yogurt. There is a college about 15 minutes away and the lake is only 5 minutes. I could reach out to families looking to vacation, but yet I want to advertise privacy for honeymooners and people who just want to get away. It's hard trying to decide exactly who my clientele is..
I'm not sure what your income requirements are, but if you need the B&B to essentially replace a salary, then a two room B&B is not likely to generate enough income even at much higher than average occupancy rates. It could supply some supplemental fun money but not enough to live off of.
 

scrambled_eggs

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
612
Reaction score
0
I wouldn't even bother with the breakfast in this situation. I feel that to have a really good breakfast it should be a hot cooked breakfast served at the table with other special touches. Anyone can throw some bread together in a basket. This is the time of day when the guests all come downstairs and meet everyone and I as innkeeper get to interact with them as well. I think your place would be better off being called a vacation rental. There are quite a few vacation rentals where I live in very nice homes and the guests fend for themselves when it comes to breakfast. If I was looking for a place to stay and wanted the extra privacy and amenities such as a full kitchen then I would book a vacation rental. If I wanted to stay in a unique or historic home and get the whole experience of meeting other guests and maybe getting to know the innkeepers then I would stay at a B & B where the owner or innkeeper lives on the property.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
Our new home will be just down the hill-far enough away for privacy, but close enough to walk in case I am needed. The bed and breakfast would have only two suites, but they will have a full-size kitchen and bathroom. My plan for breakfast is to make a basket of breakfast breads and deliver it to the rooms. The suites would already be stocked with fruit, drinks and yogurt. There is a college about 15 minutes away and the lake is only 5 minutes. I could reach out to families looking to vacation, but yet I want to advertise privacy for honeymooners and people who just want to get away. It's hard trying to decide exactly who my clientele is..
Bear in mind that if you are renting suites with a kitchen that will mean far longer than normal to clean and turn the rooms. People expect kitchens to be spotless and they are messy at checkout.
Riki
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,281
Reaction score
147
Just talked with someone today who has been doing what you're talking about for over 10 years. She does not supply any breakfast. She only does weekly rentals. She provides the linens, the guests make their own beds. It takes a lot less cleaning time that way. You'll need to have a contract that explains how clean the place must be left or the deposit is forfeited.
We've rented a house for a week and we had to strip all the beds and put all the towels, etc into bags to be taken away. Cleaning the kitchen was required (and given my mom was with us, it was quite a bit cleaner when we left than when we arrived). We had to take the trash out as well. I can't remember if we had to vacuum, but we did have to wash the kitchen floor.
 

seashanty

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
5,694
Reaction score
16
welcome.
i agree with the weekly rental arrangement as the way to go. i have friends who rent their places ... and i rented one myself. we were required to clean before we left. i would have paid a service to do it if offered as we really just wanted to pack up and leave, not clean and then drive eight hours.
other places, cleaning service is extra or part of the rental. i don't like the 'extra' part ... there are folks who don't want to pay for the cleaning and say they will clean and then don't. for folks that rent for longer than a week at a time, they INCLUDE the cleaning. this is a great way for someone to keep tabs on what is happening in the house. renters are told that wednesday and saturday someone will be by to clean. some really bad rental abuses have been caught this way before things got out of hand. not trying to scare you ... just want to put it in the back of your mind.
isn't there someone on the forum who has a sweet country cottage rental who provides muffins and things in a basket? it's a place with farm animals. or maybe i am combining two places.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,520
Reaction score
84
I would think doing the cleaning yourself (fee included in the rental of course) or having a leaning service would guarantee that the next guests were not greeted by something less than what you would want it to be. Also, I agree with Seashanty, I do not want to clean - I want to pack and leave, I am on vacation!! And I also agree that a cleaning deposit that would be forfeit if the place was excessively messed up and dirty would be in order.
Living close will keep a lot of problems from happening in the first p[lace and will also make it nice for keeping tabs on what goes on and making it easier to go do the cleaning between guests.
 

hawley

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
383
Reaction score
0
One of my suites is almost used like what your duplex would be used. It used to be an apartment. We redid the kitchen and put in a smaller refrigerator, it is the bigger small ones that fit under a counter. We took out the stove because they are a night mare to keep clean. We put in a microwave and a hot pot for water to make hot drinks. The kitchen I haven't stocked with dishes etc. but have stocked it with cups. I did have plates and silverware, but guests left a sink full of dirty dishes for me or washed them but not up to my standard and I ended up re doing them.
I stocked a few disposable plates and cutlery but if they want different stuff they can buy it. I also supply things to use with the hot water, like coffee bags, tea bags, hot chocolate and microwave popcorn. I also supply cutting board and a couple of sharp knifes because people do make sandwiches and I encourage them to use those instead of the counter.
These are the things you will need to contend with.
 

Latest posts

Top