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How far do you venture from the inn when you have guests?

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Samster

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Thought I'd ask about this since it came up in the other thread about liquor licenses.
From the guest service standpoint, we are never more than a couple of blocks from the property when we have guests. Really not more than a few minutes away. If I have to go to the store, my dh is here since it's a bit farther afield.
You never know what's going to happen. I was at an event one evening & my dh was here. We had a tub leak in the dining room from the overflow not being sealed properly. If he had not been here, there would have been a lot more water!!
Just wondering what other folks are doing....
 

seashanty

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i was always there or just across the road.
i'd ask someone to 'hold down the fort' if i went anyplace for any length of time. the big social spot is the general store across the road, so i'd leave a note that i was at the general store. unless there was a bean supper at the local grange (woo hoo) i;'d have to get coverage to go there for an hour. i never wanted to be away with no 'staff' just in case. i sometimes paid a local woman to just be there for a couple hours so i could take a break. unless we had no guests and i could lock up the place and go.
my very first guests, i had one with a medical emergency who required er treatment so i was always anxious about leaving!!
 

egoodell

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i was always there or just across the road.
i'd ask someone to 'hold down the fort' if i went anyplace for any length of time. the big social spot is the general store across the road, so i'd leave a note that i was at the general store. unless there was a bean supper at the local grange (woo hoo) i;'d have to get coverage to go there for an hour. i never wanted to be away with no 'staff' just in case. i sometimes paid a local woman to just be there for a couple hours so i could take a break. unless we had no guests and i could lock up the place and go.
my very first guests, i had one with a medical emergency who required er treatment so i was always anxious about leaving!!.
We usually only go out for a quick dinner 2 - 4 miles awa, usually only when the guests are also out for dinner, usually when we are providing transportation to and from dinner so they will be calling our cell phone when they are ready to be picked up. When we have a wine tour and the guests are not going we have an innsitter.
Riki
 

gillumhouse

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Under normal circumstances we stay close. If DH has a doc appointment we go to Morgantown and do not worry about it (45 min away). The guests who are staying more than one night are given the key to their room and a key to the kitchen door and told to take it with them in case we are called away. One time we had planned to go to the motorcycle races, blocked off everything and 2 rooms of repeats called for that weekend. We knew both of them, knew he would not try anything and therefore he would be safe (she would have dispatched him in a heartbeat had he tried) so we asked for breakfast times for the next morning at breakfast and went to the races - about 90 miles away. We also once went to a funeral, leaving after breakfast and returning the 120 miles immediately after.
DH locks our side of the house before we leave because it makes him feel better - he does have a lot of "toys". We try to do errand running right after breakfast so we are back before they are. In this town, we could leave the front door unlocked and it would be safe.
 

Morticia

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I *try* to not be more than walking distance away. However, I feel that the time before 3 PM is my own. And I will leave the property, and even leave town if the guests are aware of how to contact me.
If anyone shows up before 3 PM, the sign is on the door to come back at that time (no info given on how to contact me, I would NOT come back to let an early arrival in).
It's one reason we are sure to remind guests to bring their keys! We tell them we will not be here to open the door should they forget. Hasn't been an issue yet.
 

Morticia

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After I read K's about going fairly far afield, I was reminded of a stay I had at a B&B where the innkeepers left for 2 days to go to a conference. Their take on it was that they were not going to lose the revenue. There was someone in the house to make breakfast and clean, but after that no one was there.
There were no instructions left on how to contact them (or anyone), no instructions on whether doors should be locked at night, basically nothing. That was a bit too casual for me.
 

gillumhouse

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After I read K's about going fairly far afield, I was reminded of a stay I had at a B&B where the innkeepers left for 2 days to go to a conference. Their take on it was that they were not going to lose the revenue. There was someone in the house to make breakfast and clean, but after that no one was there.
There were no instructions left on how to contact them (or anyone), no instructions on whether doors should be locked at night, basically nothing. That was a bit too casual for me..
You reminded ME of one. We had booked 2 couples for an inn-to-inn and about a month before they were due to arrive, my son announced he was getting married - that weekend. I called the guests and told them our son had just announced he was getting married that weekend and we would like them to please reschedule or they could spend both nights at the other B & B. Absolutely not! No reschedule and they were coming ro my B & B. Even after telling her that I watched him being born and I was going to watch him "die", she still insisted they were coming to both inns and that weekend. I have no idea what they would have done had I just gone and left the doors locked.
Fortunately I have wonderful friends - before I left, I had everything ready to either serve or go into the oven for the dinner and left copious notes as to where everything was, etc. My friends husband served dinner ans was doing the dishes when she got here from work (they live about 65 miles from me - in WV miles that is 90 minutes) and breakfast was also in the fridge ready for oven. The added stress of getting the place ready for those people not only made me hate them (my friend said they were nice), but we were about an hour down the road when I told DH we had to go back home. He did not talk to me for at least 3 hours he was so angry - I had forgotten our suitcase. We went to Chicago and I baked the wedding cake! (We got a very nice daughter in the deal - she is willing to adventure with him._
 

YellowSocks

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I don't really think about it... but we don't necessarily stay close. We might go hiking, or out to dinner, or shopping.
My cell phone number is posted on the bulletin board in the kitchen (which is central and open to the public). I also forward the phones to my cell phone while I'm out. The guests have the codes to the front door and their room... I rarely get called.
I'll check them in, do the dinner spiel, tell them where we're going and off we go.
=)
Kk.
 

EmptyNest

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We rarely left the house alone when we had guests in it. One of us was ALWAYS in the house if a guest was there. Now if they all had gone out and say we needed to run to the grocery store or somewhere in town, we always left a note that we would be back shortly in case someone came back and we might not be there.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I never leave if it is a full house. Or multiple check ins. If there is one check in only and like the couple who called us from 4 hours away at 8pm, I will do what I need to do. I will not be stuck here waiting and waiting. (I say that but often I am stuck waiting!)
I do leave if it is one or two rooms and they are out and about. I love to leave, or I will go insane. I go walking around town, walk to the restaurant on the corner, go out to our land or nearby river with bike and walking trails.
If it is evening and we have one or two rooms we try to not be out too far from the inn or for very long. Typically we get back and the guests have not even been back yet.
If I have guests checked in I will go to church, go to the store, go walking, go to nearby dinner, go to the pharmacy, any place in town or near town (since it is a small town), I won't go to our "nearby" city 20 minutes away without leaving DH here or vice versa.
Guests have our contact info in all instances. I won't be tied to this inn when I don't have to be. I am here ALL THE TIME. I think if we are never able to leave we will burn out. I must get out!! MUST!!
In the first year or so I never left with guests here. I remember saying "How can I ever go shopping?" I had to pick up kids at school - every single day. It was so stressful.
Then I said "Why am I stressing over this? The guests don't mind."
Like I mentioned "Took Sebastaion to his tuba lesson" it didn't bother me in the least, I liked it. But I am a guest who DOES NOT want to be entertained by the innkeepers, at all. I am there for a reason and it is not to listen to innkeepers dribble on about their lives or jobs. I have been roped into that, forced to listen to them and felt nauseas (TN B&B)! I think many innkeepers are good at reading guests and know when that is not what guests want. Esp when they sit down and eat with you on your anniversary that took highwater for you to finally get away together!
The only time I am interested in the innkeepers are my inn-mates from this forum. That is when I WANT to hear all about them - stuff I do not know. I enjoy that.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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After I read K's about going fairly far afield, I was reminded of a stay I had at a B&B where the innkeepers left for 2 days to go to a conference. Their take on it was that they were not going to lose the revenue. There was someone in the house to make breakfast and clean, but after that no one was there.
There were no instructions left on how to contact them (or anyone), no instructions on whether doors should be locked at night, basically nothing. That was a bit too casual for me..
Bree said:
After I read K's about going fairly far afield, I was reminded of a stay I had at a B&B where the innkeepers left for 2 days to go to a conference. Their take on it was that they were not going to lose the revenue. There was someone in the house to make breakfast and clean, but after that no one was there.
There were no instructions left on how to contact them (or anyone), no instructions on whether doors should be locked at night, basically nothing. That was a bit too casual for me.
We have had guests tell us this and how they were disturbed by it! One guest said the innkeeper lived down the street and they were left all the alone the entire stay.
 

greyswan

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If we need to leave the house with guests here, we tell them verbally when possible, otherwise we leave a note of how to reach us and about how long we'll be away... usually no more than 2 hrs. Our major shopping is 1 1/2 hrs away and we plan that when guests are checked out or have left for the day (our business guests)... we lock up our quarters so if guests return they do not have access to that area of the house. So far, it's worked out well.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Let me also mention we are not super high occupancy here - so MOST of the time we have one room a night until the weekend. I mean one night stay - travelling arrive late..one night stay at a reception arrive late...one night stay etc etc
We have so many one nighters throughout the week. Weekends are a diff story altogether. We are strapped to the place weekends. I guess I needed to clarify that. When I got out and about it is midweek or summer time midweek and I need to get out to go for a swim to cool off or a hike or walk with the dog,it is mandatory for me.
Innkeeper wellbeing is very important. You cannot be all things to all people - esp when you are feeling like a caged animal. Call it cabin fever if you will.
 

egoodell

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Let me also mention we are not super high occupancy here - so MOST of the time we have one room a night until the weekend. I mean one night stay - travelling arrive late..one night stay at a reception arrive late...one night stay etc etc
We have so many one nighters throughout the week. Weekends are a diff story altogether. We are strapped to the place weekends. I guess I needed to clarify that. When I got out and about it is midweek or summer time midweek and I need to get out to go for a swim to cool off or a hike or walk with the dog,it is mandatory for me.
Innkeeper wellbeing is very important. You cannot be all things to all people - esp when you are feeling like a caged animal. Call it cabin fever if you will..
We have inns that have high occupancy here in Charlottesville where we OFTEN go to pick up guests for wine tours to find the guests are alone in the inn. I don't think people need to be supervised at all times. I do, however, think that the guests should always have a cell phone number and the innkeepers should be not far away in case of a problem.
Riki
 

hawley

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I work full time and not at the B&B during the day. Guests know this before they book. They always have my cell phone number.
In summer we sometimes take the grandkids to the lake during the day. Again I have the cell phone.
Guests have key to their room and front door so they can come and go as they want to.
 

Copperhead

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We do venture in to town when we have guests. We are usually no more than 20 minutes away if we need to get back for something. Guests always have our contact information - I forward my business # to my cell. If I am going to big city, 30 minutes away, for an event, it is pre-planned and our guests know it in advance. Of course, they still would know how to reach us.
For the first few years we were glued to the place, not wanting to leave - at least together - if we had guests. It was one of our regular guests that convienced me that it was OK to get out. It was just though a casual conversation that she mentioned we were always here when she visited - don't we ever get out? It was during this talk that it struck me, our guests are not children and for the most part, the can fend for themselves. We do not need to be here to hold their hand every given minute. (Well 98% of them anyway.)
I will not be chained to this place, I need a life too! As it is there are many, many things that I would like to go do but can't due to the business. I won't be deprived a few simple pleasures or I would not be a happy innkeeper. And an unhappy innkeeper = no business.
 

Copperhead

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After I read K's about going fairly far afield, I was reminded of a stay I had at a B&B where the innkeepers left for 2 days to go to a conference. Their take on it was that they were not going to lose the revenue. There was someone in the house to make breakfast and clean, but after that no one was there.
There were no instructions left on how to contact them (or anyone), no instructions on whether doors should be locked at night, basically nothing. That was a bit too casual for me..
Bree said:
After I read K's about going fairly far afield, I was reminded of a stay I had at a B&B where the innkeepers left for 2 days to go to a conference. Their take on it was that they were not going to lose the revenue. There was someone in the house to make breakfast and clean, but after that no one was there.
There were no instructions left on how to contact them (or anyone), no instructions on whether doors should be locked at night, basically nothing. That was a bit too casual for me.
We had an experience too. Years ago, prior to innkeeping, we happened upon a B&B in my old home town and asked if they had a family room. Lady was very friendly and provided us with our room. The place had a lunch-cafe but served no breakfast and there were NO innkeepers there overnight. We really didn't mind that as we were spending much of the time visiting family anyway. Then that night we arrived back at the B&B after 10PM. We unlocked the front door with the key provided and the alarm went off. When the police showed up, there we were with 2 young children - what a threat! What had happend was 2 sisters owned the place, the one that rented us the room failed to tell the 2nd sister. We NEVER book a B&B where there are no 'staff' on site. But I do not feel they need to be glued to the place either.
 

Morticia

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We do venture in to town when we have guests. We are usually no more than 20 minutes away if we need to get back for something. Guests always have our contact information - I forward my business # to my cell. If I am going to big city, 30 minutes away, for an event, it is pre-planned and our guests know it in advance. Of course, they still would know how to reach us.
For the first few years we were glued to the place, not wanting to leave - at least together - if we had guests. It was one of our regular guests that convienced me that it was OK to get out. It was just though a casual conversation that she mentioned we were always here when she visited - don't we ever get out? It was during this talk that it struck me, our guests are not children and for the most part, the can fend for themselves. We do not need to be here to hold their hand every given minute. (Well 98% of them anyway.)
I will not be chained to this place, I need a life too! As it is there are many, many things that I would like to go do but can't due to the business. I won't be deprived a few simple pleasures or I would not be a happy innkeeper. And an unhappy innkeeper = no business..
I know we're talking day to day here, but when we checked the guest logs here after we bought the place, there were NO days marked off as the inn being closed. All the other stuff was written down...dr appts, what the guests had for breakfast, etc, but no scheduled days off.
We found out later on, from guests, the the PO's used to hire someone to take over. We don't know who. Because we plan our time off to coincide with low guest times, we haven't done that.
As innkeepers we need different kinds of 'time off'...daily breaks as well as real vacations. Guests say things like, 'Oh, must be nice,' when we say we take January off. None of them consider that in the summer we are not off at all, not one day where we kick back and relax. We go for 4-5 months with nary a weekend off and fairly busy during the week and it 'must be nice' to take a month off to do repairs to the building.
 

Copperhead

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We do venture in to town when we have guests. We are usually no more than 20 minutes away if we need to get back for something. Guests always have our contact information - I forward my business # to my cell. If I am going to big city, 30 minutes away, for an event, it is pre-planned and our guests know it in advance. Of course, they still would know how to reach us.
For the first few years we were glued to the place, not wanting to leave - at least together - if we had guests. It was one of our regular guests that convienced me that it was OK to get out. It was just though a casual conversation that she mentioned we were always here when she visited - don't we ever get out? It was during this talk that it struck me, our guests are not children and for the most part, the can fend for themselves. We do not need to be here to hold their hand every given minute. (Well 98% of them anyway.)
I will not be chained to this place, I need a life too! As it is there are many, many things that I would like to go do but can't due to the business. I won't be deprived a few simple pleasures or I would not be a happy innkeeper. And an unhappy innkeeper = no business..
I know we're talking day to day here, but when we checked the guest logs here after we bought the place, there were NO days marked off as the inn being closed. All the other stuff was written down...dr appts, what the guests had for breakfast, etc, but no scheduled days off.
We found out later on, from guests, the the PO's used to hire someone to take over. We don't know who. Because we plan our time off to coincide with low guest times, we haven't done that.
As innkeepers we need different kinds of 'time off'...daily breaks as well as real vacations. Guests say things like, 'Oh, must be nice,' when we say we take January off. None of them consider that in the summer we are not off at all, not one day where we kick back and relax. We go for 4-5 months with nary a weekend off and fairly busy during the week and it 'must be nice' to take a month off to do repairs to the building.
.
Yes, most people are clueless as to the number of hours we devote to our businesses. They only relate to the 24-48 hour periods THEY are here, no more.
 

Suzie Q

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Well...hubby and I used to both work overnights. We figured there wasn't a lot that could go wrong overnight. I left them 3 phone numbers to reach us if they needed to. A couple of guests arrived after we'd left for work and I gave them the number to our keyless entry. Now it is only me who works overnight, hubby working swing shift. Yes, we've gone to the movies while guests were here. The only "bad" thing was that our battery to the front door died while we were at the movies, and the guests called our house hoping to get ahold of us, not realizing it was our home phone. We were home within 15 minutes after they contacted the cell number. Now for the GOOD NEWS! (Separate post)
 

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