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Samster

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Have you done anything to change up the in-room guest amenities that you offer?
As I notice more and more even "economy" hotels offering additional complimentary room amenities, I wonder how some B&Bs are adding value to their rooms to stay with the trend.
Your thoughts?
 

Joey Camb

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you mean packs and kits and things? We keep them all in on an ask for basis but are never asked. Most of my neighbours are cutting them out. It makes me laugh cos one of them was talking down to me "oh you must have all the kits and use posh branded toiletries etc" we never have just reasonably priced ones and kits on request - now they are all doing what we did all along I find this hilarious!
 

Madeleine

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It's a great idea. We're following the adage that the horizontal spaces belong to the guests so we haven't added things like coffee makers and the like.
Looking at our target market, our take is they'd be really happy with a bowl of chocolates in the room more than anything else! So, we've changed the snacks we have out to include bags of trail mix, M&M's and nuts. Along with the cakes, pies, cookies and brownies. And that has really been appreciated. The same bags (they are vending machine size) go for $2-$3 if you want them at a hotel.
Most of the problem with adding stuff in a smaller business is that we can't buy in the bulk that gives the best discount.
What we've moved toward outside the guest rooms to add value is packaging giving the guest an experience rather than just a room. So, we give them tickets to local attractions if they stay 2+ nights. This is discretionary, not on the website. More or less a gift when the guests arrive. We ask what attraction they would like to visit and have the tickets ready in the morning.
I've also worked with a local chocolatier to get a discount rate on boxes of chocolates that we have in the rooms for the same 2+ night stays.
 

gillumhouse

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I added one flat screen 26 in TV with DVD player and queen bed in that room (replaced a full) and replaced a 15 in regular TV with a flat screen (22 in) and a DVD with dolby sound. I also have a small Library of DVDs now in the hall on the bookcase so all can access them as now all rooms have DVD. I am looking into adding to that DVD Library.
I also finally raised my rates rom the 2008 level. My budget room went up $4, the new queen bed went up $19, and my pvt bath went up $6. The pvt is $20 more than the queen shared and the q/s is $16 more then the full shared. I have my online rez set up that if the pvt is booked, the queen shared can be private (blocking the budget room) for $5 less than the ensuite. I give lots of options.
 

gillumhouse

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It's a great idea. We're following the adage that the horizontal spaces belong to the guests so we haven't added things like coffee makers and the like.
Looking at our target market, our take is they'd be really happy with a bowl of chocolates in the room more than anything else! So, we've changed the snacks we have out to include bags of trail mix, M&M's and nuts. Along with the cakes, pies, cookies and brownies. And that has really been appreciated. The same bags (they are vending machine size) go for $2-$3 if you want them at a hotel.
Most of the problem with adding stuff in a smaller business is that we can't buy in the bulk that gives the best discount.
What we've moved toward outside the guest rooms to add value is packaging giving the guest an experience rather than just a room. So, we give them tickets to local attractions if they stay 2+ nights. This is discretionary, not on the website. More or less a gift when the guests arrive. We ask what attraction they would like to visit and have the tickets ready in the morning.
I've also worked with a local chocolatier to get a discount rate on boxes of chocolates that we have in the rooms for the same 2+ night stays..
We have been told by guests that they appreciate the space for their "stuff". We have a basket of fruit on one dresser but it is on the mantles in the other roms. One room has the flat screen (no longer the old regular type space hog) & DVD and a small bowl of chocolate. We have antique kerosene lamps in every room but very little "clutter" - mainly because I have no intention of having to dust any extra crap.
 

Madeleine

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Another issue that comes up with adding amenities at lower price points is that the high end hotels are still charging for everything. And they are not seeing reductions in occ, either. Sure, cheap people like me complain but then cheap people stay at cheap places so the upscale places don't care about what I think. But they are doing what they do best- managing the bottom line.
Even some of the cheap places have found they make more money by offering the lower room rate and then tacking on all of the extras.
My parents just got their hotel stay for what amounts to free. $31/night room (I come from a long line of cheap people) and with that they were given tokens for the slot machines. They won the money back that they paid for the rooms using the casino's money. Then they left. They asked at the desk if my mother wanted WiFi and she gave them the hairy eyeball and asked, 'And how much is THAT going to cost me?' Free. (Never underestimate the power of a 76 year old woman giving someone the hairy eyeball!)
 

Arks

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I recently returned from a few days in Las Vegas, stayed at "THE hotel" at Mandalay Bay. The in-room coffee was $4/cup!! I couldn't believe it. The coffee packet was shrinkwrapped inside the coffee cup and the sticker on it said if you open the coffee package, $4 will be added to your bill.
The room came with a really nice, lighted minibar with fridge below the granite counter, a bar sink, and glass shelves above where they had on display the various alcoholic treats they had to offer. There as a note on the minibar that said, "This minibar is not for private use. If you use the minibar without buying any of its offerings, $25/day will be added to your bill".
So, if you set your own bottle of wine or whiskey on the minibar, instead of buying theirs, they threaten to charge you a $25 "corkage fee".
It was a beautiful place. Every room there is a suite with large flatscreen TVs in the living room and bedroom and a smaller flatscreen in the bathroom. Each suite has a bath and a half, with two sinks in the main bathroom, plus separate tub and shower. Just pure luxury. But the silly coffee charge and minibar threat will assure I'll never stay at that place again. Couldn't believe the extra charges for what anybody these days expect to be included amenities.
 

muirford

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We're going to put bath sheets in the rooms soon - I have them already but am waiting for the winter to get them into circulation. One room is getting a king bed. We've just stopped using bath gel but upgraded one of the bath soaps to a bigger unscented bar.
The always-out hot beverage fixings includes the Starbucks Via packets now. P.S. Maddie I picked up some of their hot chocolate mix today at Sam's to try out - salted caramel hot chocolate!
 

Madeleine

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We're going to put bath sheets in the rooms soon - I have them already but am waiting for the winter to get them into circulation. One room is getting a king bed. We've just stopped using bath gel but upgraded one of the bath soaps to a bigger unscented bar.
The always-out hot beverage fixings includes the Starbucks Via packets now. P.S. Maddie I picked up some of their hot chocolate mix today at Sam's to try out - salted caramel hot chocolate!.
We just got the big box of Land o' Lakes hot cocoa and Swiss Miss at Sam's today. (The swiss miss is what guests use to make cafe mocha.) 2 big bags of candy bars, too. I have to stay away from the kitchen right now!
 

Madeleine

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We're going to put bath sheets in the rooms soon - I have them already but am waiting for the winter to get them into circulation. One room is getting a king bed. We've just stopped using bath gel but upgraded one of the bath soaps to a bigger unscented bar.
The always-out hot beverage fixings includes the Starbucks Via packets now. P.S. Maddie I picked up some of their hot chocolate mix today at Sam's to try out - salted caramel hot chocolate!.
Bath sheets. Nice! Good for you. I'm coming to visit. I hate (HATE) the postage stamp size towels I've gotten in some places. I test all the new towels by wrapping them around me in the store. If there's a gap before washing, back on the shelf it goes!
 

Proud Texan

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We actually reduced or repackaged amenities. If it wasn't adding to our bottom line, it got the heave ho.
We used to put complimentary beverages the rooms for everyone. They took them wheather they drank them or not. It was costing us a small fortune and we weren't seeing the benefit to the bottom line. Now, I offer our guest a complimentary beverage. Most smile, thank me, but usually decline. This accomplishes two things for us.
1) It makes come across as more hospitable and attentive to our guest as opposed to just leaving it in the room for them to find.
2) I now very seldom have to provide our guest with beverages. I even offer beer! Very few takers.
So, we look good and save money. The only thing that has remained constant is we have two little ice cream cups in the mini-fridge of each room. It costs us about a buck, but everyone comments on it. Again, brownie points.
 

Madeleine

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We actually reduced or repackaged amenities. If it wasn't adding to our bottom line, it got the heave ho.
We used to put complimentary beverages the rooms for everyone. They took them wheather they drank them or not. It was costing us a small fortune and we weren't seeing the benefit to the bottom line. Now, I offer our guest a complimentary beverage. Most smile, thank me, but usually decline. This accomplishes two things for us.
1) It makes come across as more hospitable and attentive to our guest as opposed to just leaving it in the room for them to find.
2) I now very seldom have to provide our guest with beverages. I even offer beer! Very few takers.
So, we look good and save money. The only thing that has remained constant is we have two little ice cream cups in the mini-fridge of each room. It costs us about a buck, but everyone comments on it. Again, brownie points..
What kind of drinks? And how do you offer them? On check-in? 'Welcome, can I get you a cold soda or beer?' What kind of soda do you have on hand?
I like this idea.
 

Proud Texan

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We actually reduced or repackaged amenities. If it wasn't adding to our bottom line, it got the heave ho.
We used to put complimentary beverages the rooms for everyone. They took them wheather they drank them or not. It was costing us a small fortune and we weren't seeing the benefit to the bottom line. Now, I offer our guest a complimentary beverage. Most smile, thank me, but usually decline. This accomplishes two things for us.
1) It makes come across as more hospitable and attentive to our guest as opposed to just leaving it in the room for them to find.
2) I now very seldom have to provide our guest with beverages. I even offer beer! Very few takers.
So, we look good and save money. The only thing that has remained constant is we have two little ice cream cups in the mini-fridge of each room. It costs us about a buck, but everyone comments on it. Again, brownie points..
What kind of drinks? And how do you offer them? On check-in? 'Welcome, can I get you a cold soda or beer?' What kind of soda do you have on hand?
I like this idea.
.
Madeleine said:
What kind of drinks? And how do you offer them? On check-in? 'Welcome, can I get you a cold soda or beer?' What kind of soda do you have on hand?
I like this idea.
We have the smaller bottled Cokes, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper and Sprite. I found that most in this area will drink a Miller Lite or Bud Light. When the guest arrive, I show them their room and how everything works and ask if they need dinner suggestions etc. then ask them if I could offer them something to drink. If we like them, and the weather is nice, we might even invite them to sit out and have glass of wine with us. Like I said, we get few takers but the gesture registers with the guest and they feel welcomed. DW also has fresh-baked brownies waiting for them too.
 

gillumhouse

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We're going to put bath sheets in the rooms soon - I have them already but am waiting for the winter to get them into circulation. One room is getting a king bed. We've just stopped using bath gel but upgraded one of the bath soaps to a bigger unscented bar.
The always-out hot beverage fixings includes the Starbucks Via packets now. P.S. Maddie I picked up some of their hot chocolate mix today at Sam's to try out - salted caramel hot chocolate!.
Bath sheets. Nice! Good for you. I'm coming to visit. I hate (HATE) the postage stamp size towels I've gotten in some places. I test all the new towels by wrapping them around me in the store. If there's a gap before washing, back on the shelf it goes!
.
We have always had bath sheets because I hate small towels. We told guests there were bath sheets to wrap themselves in. That we considered what the industry called "bath towels" to be hair towels.
 

Joey Camb

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we have a tray with kettle, tea, coffee etc in every room but we knocked off hot chocolate as it was a nightmare powder everywhere and the mugs were a nightmare to clean (people left them all night with a bit in the bottom till it was welded on)
I think partly its a uk thing if you want to be star rated you have to provide tea and coffee either in the rooms or you have to provide it between reasonable hours ie have to make it for them. I am so not doing that as it causes 2 problems 1- PITA for the ones that want it and 2-they don't want to bother me so wont ask but would like a cup of tea.
For the star rating we just gave up we were supposed to offer free refreshments on check in but I am not doing that as our guests are usually dashing off to something and just want to park the car and dash off which is fine. As a compromise we offer tea and coffee sounds daft when they are say waiting for a plane or train we let them sit in the lounge. mind you everyone we have offered to has insisted on paying anyway - "ie we would have to pay in a cafe" bless.
 
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Madeleine

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we have a tray with kettle, tea, coffee etc in every room but we knocked off hot chocolate as it was a nightmare powder everywhere and the mugs were a nightmare to clean (people left them all night with a bit in the bottom till it was welded on)
I think partly its a uk thing if you want to be star rated you have to provide tea and coffee either in the rooms or you have to provide it between reasonable hours ie have to make it for them. I am so not doing that as it causes 2 problems 1- PITA for the ones that want it and 2-they don't want to bother me so wont ask but would like a cup of tea.
For the star rating we just gave up we were supposed to offer free refreshments on check in but I am not doing that as our guests are usually dashing off to something and just want to park the car and dash off which is fine. As a compromise we offer tea and coffee sounds daft when they are say waiting for a plane or train we let them sit in the lounge. mind you everyone we have offered to has insisted on paying anyway - "ie we would have to pay in a cafe" bless..
Can't you have a kettle out so they can make the tea themselves and still cover that requirement?
 

Samster

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We actually reduced or repackaged amenities. If it wasn't adding to our bottom line, it got the heave ho.
We used to put complimentary beverages the rooms for everyone. They took them wheather they drank them or not. It was costing us a small fortune and we weren't seeing the benefit to the bottom line. Now, I offer our guest a complimentary beverage. Most smile, thank me, but usually decline. This accomplishes two things for us.
1) It makes come across as more hospitable and attentive to our guest as opposed to just leaving it in the room for them to find.
2) I now very seldom have to provide our guest with beverages. I even offer beer! Very few takers.
So, we look good and save money. The only thing that has remained constant is we have two little ice cream cups in the mini-fridge of each room. It costs us about a buck, but everyone comments on it. Again, brownie points..
What kind of drinks? And how do you offer them? On check-in? 'Welcome, can I get you a cold soda or beer?' What kind of soda do you have on hand?
I like this idea.
.
Madeleine said:
What kind of drinks? And how do you offer them? On check-in? 'Welcome, can I get you a cold soda or beer?' What kind of soda do you have on hand?
I like this idea.
We have the smaller bottled Cokes, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper and Sprite. I found that most in this area will drink a Miller Lite or Bud Light. When the guest arrive, I show them their room and how everything works and ask if they need dinner suggestions etc. then ask them if I could offer them something to drink. If we like them, and the weather is nice, we might even invite them to sit out and have glass of wine with us. Like I said, we get few takers but the gesture registers with the guest and they feel welcomed. DW also has fresh-baked brownies waiting for them too.
.
PT, What no Shiner beer? That's the beer I'd be drinking in Texas.

We finally got it in the stores here a couple of years ago....
 

Happy Keeper

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I recently returned from a few days in Las Vegas, stayed at "THE hotel" at Mandalay Bay. The in-room coffee was $4/cup!! I couldn't believe it. The coffee packet was shrinkwrapped inside the coffee cup and the sticker on it said if you open the coffee package, $4 will be added to your bill.
The room came with a really nice, lighted minibar with fridge below the granite counter, a bar sink, and glass shelves above where they had on display the various alcoholic treats they had to offer. There as a note on the minibar that said, "This minibar is not for private use. If you use the minibar without buying any of its offerings, $25/day will be added to your bill".
So, if you set your own bottle of wine or whiskey on the minibar, instead of buying theirs, they threaten to charge you a $25 "corkage fee".
It was a beautiful place. Every room there is a suite with large flatscreen TVs in the living room and bedroom and a smaller flatscreen in the bathroom. Each suite has a bath and a half, with two sinks in the main bathroom, plus separate tub and shower. Just pure luxury. But the silly coffee charge and minibar threat will assure I'll never stay at that place again. Couldn't believe the extra charges for what anybody these days expect to be included amenities..
That is shocking! So you just get the bed and the bathroom? Too funny. I would be afraid to touch anything.
 

Joey Camb

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I recently returned from a few days in Las Vegas, stayed at "THE hotel" at Mandalay Bay. The in-room coffee was $4/cup!! I couldn't believe it. The coffee packet was shrinkwrapped inside the coffee cup and the sticker on it said if you open the coffee package, $4 will be added to your bill.
The room came with a really nice, lighted minibar with fridge below the granite counter, a bar sink, and glass shelves above where they had on display the various alcoholic treats they had to offer. There as a note on the minibar that said, "This minibar is not for private use. If you use the minibar without buying any of its offerings, $25/day will be added to your bill".
So, if you set your own bottle of wine or whiskey on the minibar, instead of buying theirs, they threaten to charge you a $25 "corkage fee".
It was a beautiful place. Every room there is a suite with large flatscreen TVs in the living room and bedroom and a smaller flatscreen in the bathroom. Each suite has a bath and a half, with two sinks in the main bathroom, plus separate tub and shower. Just pure luxury. But the silly coffee charge and minibar threat will assure I'll never stay at that place again. Couldn't believe the extra charges for what anybody these days expect to be included amenities..
That is shocking! So you just get the bed and the bathroom? Too funny. I would be afraid to touch anything.
.
Thing is by doing that they would make me determined not to touch or buy anything it just puts a nasty taste in your mouth.
 
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