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winewitch

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Do any of you think having your availability calendar online could cause you to lose business due to folks seeing that the days they want are booked up and they just move on with no contact, versus, not knowing the availability, calling and talking to a real person and booking alternate days due to good customer service over the phone?
Also, a marketing question...those of you with different bathroom arrangements... do you think it's better to just say "private bath" for a room that has it's own bath but it is separate from the room, rather than saying "private but separate"? Seems most people are more concerned about having to share a bath, but I've had a lot of folks not book because a couple of the bathrooms aren't en suite, even though they are private. Picky! I think if they showed up without knowing they wouldn't care, once they saw the arrangement and how nice they are! Hate losing the sale over something so petty.
On the other hand if they are that picky, maybe I don't want 'em!
 

Morticia

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A couple of answers...yes, I think we lose guests who don't think about changing their itinerary but just keep looking for the time frame they wanted. If anyone DOES contact me first about avail, and that's about 75% of the guests, I DO suggest alternate dates. Sometimes that works. They are in the process of booking multiple stops on their journey so they just arrange to stay one night more or less somewhere else.
Point 2...TELL them. Whether they understand or not, it is better than the surprise of having the bathroom detached. No matter HOW nice it is, some guests are just SHY. If I had a nickel for every guest who insisted on saying that the private bathroom is NOT private because it is in the hall, I could retire. They have their own idea of what 'private' means.
 

Morticia

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I had to answer the door, but I wanted to add more...I think I would lose more business NOT having the avail calendar. Even tho few (about 25-30%) of my guests book online, I might lose those. I'll never know how many passed me by because I was full, so I can't worry about them. I am pretty certain that other 25% might have passed me by!
I worry more about the empty calendar syndrome where guests looking at multiple inns will wonder what is wrong with mine if they see no bookings here but a full house elsewhere. And I DO know this happens because I was full one day and a guest called to see if I could refer him elsewhere. (Why call me? Why not call the tourist info? Sorry, sidetrack.)
I said I would look at our group avail calendar and I didn't see any openings. He asked about a place that is not in our group and I said I thought they were full, too. He said, 'No, their calendar is wide open, why? If all the other places are full, why is that one empty?'
Of course, I have my guess, but I told him he should call them and ask.
 

muirford

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1) have the availability calendar - having the information more than makes up for the losses, and the fact is people who are flexible can see alternative dates - at least the way I have my calendar displayed. Plus I get run ragged answering a thousand phone calls for a festival weekend that books up six months in advance - I don't do the sell job well anyway.
2) tell the people about the detached bath. I have one and I am very specific about making sure that people know it is private but across the hall. No surprises when they check in.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Good questions. You will find the second one is a hot topic for us who have a "plague" bathroom. So called that as we have had people who were disgusted to the point of leaving when they found the bathroom not ensuite. Even tho the website, the room description says it is ACROSS THE HALL - PRIVATE.
Many of us have this set up and we have to sell it as best we can. We have a lower price on that room and the bargain hunters might book it, but it is the last room to book on a full weekend.
State it clearly. Just like guests who look at our place and would say "OUR ROOM is UP THERE!" as we headed up the stairs. No, an 1800's victorian usually have KITCHENS up stairs. DUH! So you put it where you think they will read it.
Some have taken the second bath and made it with another closer room into a "family suite" so you can sell two rooms for a lower price than one, hoping a family/two couples who are traveling together might like to save $.
Even tho our detached bath is private, and even tho people booking it are told this, they still act like it is shared. I have to reassure them.
I would not book a room with a detached bath. Most couples do not want it either. A single traveler might not mind as much but it is always hard to sell.
Availability calendar. Just be honest, keep it updated and let the bookings fall where they may. That is a genuinely great tool. Guests this morning said how great it was and how they worked it out to get the room they wanted for their stay by the calendar. Show availability. Most people are not going to compare - they will look for a place they like and book it if it is available.
YOU are getting the booking versus the B&B they have to call and wait for someone to call back, if they do at all. Your resource is immediately available, that is what people want. BOOK IT NOW! If not, they do go to the next website.
I cannot stress the number of website looking for myself, that were just pathetic. Awful terrible horrible disgusting websites. Sent me running. It is actually HARD to find a decent website for a B&B - so many make you work. Remember guests may have looked at 10 before yours. K.I.S.S. works everytime. Photos sell. WORDS don't sell. Sorry to those who keep telling me they do. They don't, not in this business. Photos sell your place.
 

Morticia

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winewitch said:
...but I've had a lot of folks not book because a couple of the bathrooms aren't en suite, even though they are private. Picky! I think if they showed up without knowing they wouldn't care, once they saw the arrangement and how nice they are! Hate losing the sale over something so petty.
On the other hand if they are that picky, maybe I don't want 'em!
I don't think this is picky. Whenever I am booking rooms for vacation, hubs is forever yelling, 'Make sure the bath is in the room!' I don't want a bathroom across the hall,either. Even if it is mine alone.
Our detached bath books a lot faster than JBJ's does. Could be the price, could be the number of Euro guests. But I still get guests who walk in and see the layout and just about pass out. We're VERY careful to mention where the bath is if someone calls. If they book online it is everywhere in the descr and it is in the confirm as well.
Had a lawyer pitch a fit one day when she saw the room. And this was a woman who has been coming here for 20 years and told me, 'I know every room, this is the one I want.' She even returned our confirm with 'approved' that she had read it. (Lawyers ought to know better.) Anyway, I could hear her outside on her cellphone complaining to someone about the detached bath. We offered to let them go, no charge and I found them another room. No siree, she had a GC and she was using that up and never coming back. (OK, here is where I admit I am happy she hasn't been back.)
 

swirt

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My take on the availability calendar is that those who are flexible will be flexible, those who aren't, won't. I am more likely to be flexibile when I am on my own time looking at the calendar and can chat it over with my travel companion and see how it fits with our plans. I am less flexible when I am on the phone, trying to think on the fly (might just be me). The truth is though, I very likely would never call if I couldn't see what was available online unless the place was leaps and bounds above the others (super special) in the area that had online availability.
Regarding the detached bath, I would be as clear and honest as you can be. There is nothing worse than having someone start off disgruntled. Not only does it afffect their stay, but it also has the potential to bleed off onto others. Somebody I highly respect wrote an article related to this very topic Be Honest
 

Samster

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You have to tell them that the bath is "private, but detached" or however you want to word it! There is nothing worse than a disgruntled guest on arrival who thought their private bath was also en suite. I have had guests say, "I don't need all that fancy stuff as much as I want to make sure that the bath is in the room". There you have it! I personally have also booked a room at a B&B & the website was not clear about the bath location. I was very disappointed when I found out that the bath was detached, and up a flight of stairs!!! The house was full..no other room available but I had to change rooms mid-stay anyway which worked out better.
Online calendars and booking are the best! Almost all of our guests book online. I don't like these big stretches of available rooms that we've got right now, but what are we to do??
 

gillumhouse

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Always, ALWAYS tell it like it is. Better to not get the booking that to get the kvetching. When taking the reservation for that room, you should ALWAYS verify that they are aware the bathroom is across/down/up the hall. Please feel free to use the Streaker disappointment. I am going to assume you provide robes. I have 2 "one-size-fits-all" (don't) and 2 huge robes (and the teeny tiny people use the huge 3x robes) in each closet - and the private ensuite bath uses the robes more than the shared rooms do!
 

Willowpondgj

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Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?.
Willowpondgj said:
Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?
What I wish...is this couple could do a B&B tour and stay in all of our detached baths and write an article or book about us.
God bless them.
 

Willowpondgj

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Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?.
Willowpondgj said:
Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?
What I wish...is this couple could do a B&B tour and stay in all of our detached baths and write an article or book about us.
God bless them.
.
You're so funny, JBJ!

 

Morticia

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Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?.
Willowpondgj said:
Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?
I mentioned this earlier...the bank mortgage inspector said the room with the detached bath was functionally obsolete. This month it has a 75% occ rate, beating out 5 rooms with en suite baths. It is totally the price point, but I'll take the money, that room paid the phone bill, electric bill, fuel bill, cable bill and the grocery bill all on its own and just bought me 2 new Adirondack chairs.
 

Willowpondgj

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Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?.
Willowpondgj said:
Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?
I mentioned this earlier...the bank mortgage inspector said the room with the detached bath was functionally obsolete. This month it has a 75% occ rate, beating out 5 rooms with en suite baths. It is totally the price point, but I'll take the money, that room paid the phone bill, electric bill, fuel bill, cable bill and the grocery bill all on its own and just bought me 2 new Adirondack chairs.
.
I KNOW!!!
This room is our tiniest room and has a detached bath, it is the one all the one nighters pick, most of the seniors pick and all the cheapskates pick! It is our most popular room! You wouldn't believe how many people have called who have wanted to try to cram more than two people in there, NOT! And YET, it is also the ugly duckling and half the time we can't sell it because...
Does it have a view? Yes, but....streetside, trees but not the pond...
Does it have a private bath? Yes but....detached...
How small is it? Well, it's our smallest room, pretty much a bed and two night stands....TV and dresser in the closet...
Oh that will never do!
(Of course our other rooms are available, but they won't boook them, because, God forbid they spend another 25 bucks and get the room with the amenities they really want!)
You can't win!

 

Morticia

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Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?.
Willowpondgj said:
Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?
I mentioned this earlier...the bank mortgage inspector said the room with the detached bath was functionally obsolete. This month it has a 75% occ rate, beating out 5 rooms with en suite baths. It is totally the price point, but I'll take the money, that room paid the phone bill, electric bill, fuel bill, cable bill and the grocery bill all on its own and just bought me 2 new Adirondack chairs.
.
I KNOW!!!
This room is our tiniest room and has a detached bath, it is the one all the one nighters pick, most of the seniors pick and all the cheapskates pick! It is our most popular room! You wouldn't believe how many people have called who have wanted to try to cram more than two people in there, NOT! And YET, it is also the ugly duckling and half the time we can't sell it because...
Does it have a view? Yes, but....streetside, trees but not the pond...
Does it have a private bath? Yes but....detached...
How small is it? Well, it's our smallest room, pretty much a bed and two night stands....TV and dresser in the closet...
Oh that will never do!
(Of course our other rooms are available, but they won't boook them, because, God forbid they spend another 25 bucks and get the room with the amenities they really want!)
You can't win!

.
I can actually cram 3 people in the room which is another reason it is popular...2 beds. The last guests who stayed in it had a very ritzy NYC address and a $60k Mercedes. Ya takes what you can get when you wait 'til the last minute (9 PM walk-in).
 

EmptyNest

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If someone has to go outside of their room..I don't care if it is just a few steps, that needs to be made clear..even if it is a private bath. If I booked a room and found that out when I got there, I would be mighty upset! I would NEVER book a room where I had to leave the bedroom to go to the bathroom..sorry..that is me. There are folks who will, but most won't like it.
 

EmptyNest

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Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?.
Willowpondgj said:
Just got this on a review...so not all folks are wierd about the detached bath...
"We stayed in the Coral Room (the smallest) and didn't mind the detached bathroom because it felt like we were in our own house!"
Wish they were all like that, eh?
I mentioned this earlier...the bank mortgage inspector said the room with the detached bath was functionally obsolete. This month it has a 75% occ rate, beating out 5 rooms with en suite baths. It is totally the price point, but I'll take the money, that room paid the phone bill, electric bill, fuel bill, cable bill and the grocery bill all on its own and just bought me 2 new Adirondack chairs.
.
I KNOW!!!
This room is our tiniest room and has a detached bath, it is the one all the one nighters pick, most of the seniors pick and all the cheapskates pick! It is our most popular room! You wouldn't believe how many people have called who have wanted to try to cram more than two people in there, NOT! And YET, it is also the ugly duckling and half the time we can't sell it because...
Does it have a view? Yes, but....streetside, trees but not the pond...
Does it have a private bath? Yes but....detached...
How small is it? Well, it's our smallest room, pretty much a bed and two night stands....TV and dresser in the closet...
Oh that will never do!
(Of course our other rooms are available, but they won't boook them, because, God forbid they spend another 25 bucks and get the room with the amenities they really want!)
You can't win!

.
These are the kind of guests who would take every amenity with them, eat all your snacks etc etc..because THEY PAID FOR IT!!! If that was how the conversation went. be glad they didn't stay with you:)
 

Copperhead

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Calendar - a must these days. If your full be happy! I do however state on ours that we would be happy to place them on a wait list in case of a cancellation. - This does work! Now regarding all rooms available, there is a B&B in the next town that does not really use her calendar. If you go to her website, all rooms are always open. She wouldn't explain her reasoning for this. I don't know if she doesn't know how to use the system or if she thinks this draws more interest. Go figure.
Private but seperate bath - FULL details a must. DH & I both dislike the detached bath. ... Stayed in one once, not disclosed at booking
and we did not bring robes, so we had to get dressed each time. Robes would be a top amenity if I had such a room.
 

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