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Well-known member
Oct 18, 2008
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I have now spent 4+hours looking for an Inn around New Orleans for myself and a friend of mine that will be visiting from overseas - what am I looking for, a room with 2 beds ... it takes me for ever to find some people's online availability, sometimes I have to click 3 or 4 times to get to an availability page, some have no online booking capability (people I am telling you that you are losing bookings!!), some rooms have no descriptions, some say book and tell me there is availability and take me to a booking and payment screen and have not even told me what type of room I would get, some pages say "rooms and rates" but I have to wade through pages of information before I get what I need, some say max occ 3 which makes me think there HAS to be an extra bed in the room but there are NO bed descriptions, some have so many policies it makes my head spin, one had so many fonts and colors and text sizes that I did not even want to look any further, some (clicking through from using the "visit website" button had a broken link and did not take me to the site .....counters "you are visitor number xxx " - really I don't care ...... then there is all that flashy stuff on the front page and I have to HUNT to find the "enter site" button - I thought I WAS entering the site when I clicked on your website .... outdated information on the home page about events happening in months that have passed ... there is no such thing as a "double queen bed" it is either a queen bed or a double bed or it is a double double with 2 queens (this was NONE of the above) .. rooms that come up when I do "check availability" but do not come up on your page where you describe each room ...
and hey Innkeepers that accept the free night certificate, if you are open to accepting that then think of giving other Innkeepers a decent discount, I would rather disclose myself as an Innkeeper than come in Incognito having bought an I love Inns book with a free night cert!! Makes ya think dunnit???
Now I know my website is not perfect and it makes me think to take a look at mine from an outsider but I THINK I have the relevant information on each page.
There are so many questions as to why people will choose a regular hotel over a B&B ... I think I am a pretty experienced "internet searcher" ESP in the area of B&B's - just think how frustrated some "regular" searchers must be
Right there with ya'. I did the same thing 2 weeks ago, looking for a place to stay on my road trip. It definitely gave me some ideas for my site.
I don't know that I accomplish this but Keep It Simple is the key to almost all advertsing.
I should add that in these tough times I would like to support my fellow Innkeepers hence my 4 hour search... Rather than staying at some chain hotel ... and what was trying to point out more than criticizing websites was how confusing they can be for the "general" public. Thank you to the ONE Innkeeper who replied to me through this forum .. you know who you are
I think that's why the advice here is so valuable- we try to help each other be the best we can be.
OTOH, we've had a number of innkeepers stay with us who wanted free nights in exchange for a free night with them. Without reserve, I will say those innkeepers were the most selfish people I have met in my life. No tips for the housekeeper (after staying for free), no thanks to their hosts (us) and non-stop talking about how they get ALL of their vacations for free by making 'friends' with their guests and then mooching off them anytime they want to travel. They said I should try it sometime. 'You just need a thick skin so you don't have to hang out with them all the time. Make it clear you have your own plans, that you don't want to bother them and then you can even get them to loan you their car!'
That may be why you're not finding any offers of discounts for innkeepers. I would never have suspected my fellow innkeepers of being like that but some of them are. And I don't want to be burned again by making that a blanket offer on my website.
I would never expect and never asked for any free nights. I asked ONE inn only if they had an Innkeeper rate. I never even contacted any other Inns because I could not figure out if they had 2 beds in the room. .. or if they had availability so "asking for a rate" was NOT the issue.
I however ALWAYS offer at least a 25% discount to other Innkeepers EVEN DURING PEAKS, and have often given comps. In one case I managed to used their comp offer and left them a GC. I really try to be a considerate guest - probably more than "regular" (non Innkeeper) guests.
We loved our stay at Ashton's in New Orleans and he is in a great location. Don't know if they have any rooms with two beds...

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