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How to handle private innkeeper events while guests are present?

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StonehengeBNB

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What is the best way to handle guests when innkeepers want to have an event of their own--say a dinner party or barbecue--that is for the friends of the innkeepers and not for the guests?
Should the guests be invited as a matter of courtesy, or is it simple enough to say, "the dinner party we're having tonight is a private event--please ignore the noise/festivities"?
 

Banana

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I think I would just say "We are having a dinner party with a few friends tonight - please forgive any disturbance this may cause." I don't like the word "private". Sounds kinda snooty, and they should be intelligent enough to figure out that it is private. I would not invite my guests - I think that would be uncomfortable for you, your friends, and your guests.
 

JBloggs

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Good question. It depends on the lay out. I have had plenty of guests tell me they stayed at other inns when there was an event or function and felt like hostages in their rooms.
A B&B s/b set up for guests to enjoy the guest areas, it is not part of the family home. When you keep it part of the family home you will encounter different tax laws for writing off what you can as a B&B.
If it is a personal gathering then it is best to plan it with no guests present, if it is a business gathering, ie paid function well I guess the same answer applies - at least have it at a time when it won't disturb the guests or you think they may be out and about.
 

egoodell

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I'm not sure how to do that - are you having your dinner party in the dining room where you serve breakfast? That might be somewhat uncomfortable for your guests. We have our private apartment upstairs, away from the common areas, so our guests would not know we were entertaining.
RIki
 

EmptyNest

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Welcome to Innkeeping!
We never scheduled any personal / private parties when guests are in the house. If friends came over to say play cards, we kept it in our private area of the B & B so guests never even knew someone was there. I think it is probably best if you can to schedule things when you don't have guests.
In your case, your guest area is in it's own private wing of the house so I assume they will not be in your part of the house for some reason. So you can probably get away with say friends over for dinner..but a large event, BBQ etc....wait until you don't have guests to plan those. It would be best all around.
And..never invite them...when they will come back next time, they will expect to be included again :-(
 

Morticia

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Are you infringing on space the guests thought was theirs to use?
 

greyswan

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The dining room is not a walk thru kind of area. If guests happen to check in at the time, I will excuse myself from our friends, take care of the guests, and resume with the dinner party. Most of the time we schedule this when we don't have guests. We've enjoyed having the guests join us in conversations when then party has moved to the front porch... it's an open playing field out there for guests, friends, and innkeepers!
 

gillumhouse

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IF there is a function going on - as in a paid function such as wedding - other in-coming guests s/b apprised of it in advance. We traveled with friends once to a B & B and discovered a wedding/reception taking place in the first floor (the area that included the entrance to the inn) and we felt like interlopers and stayed in a small "common area" on our floor - ordering a pizza rather than "crash" the party going out and returning.
As an innkeeper, I was hosting an out-of-State bicycle group to a picnic cookout in my side yard in my capacity as Exec Director (another volunteer thing) and had returning guests coming in with an aunt & uncle who had never been here before. We invited the guests to join us (in advance so they were aware of the event) and they did. We have also invited guests to come to the Community Band covered dish picnics held in our City Park and they have come and had a great time.
I would not do a sit-down dinner with friends with guests in-house (that is why we have Thanksgiving dinner w/friends on Sunday) but a picnic or cookout? why not. As for expecting it in the future, why should they? We have in the past offered late arriving guests soup or something lite but in no way do we ever indicate this would be a normal occurence.
Our quarters do not contain a dining room (he dines in his studio so he can watch TV or study his paintings and I dine at my computer - so do not break the IRS rules) and this town does not do dinners (as invite someone to dinner).
 

wendydk

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I just tell them "We are having a family gathering tonight. If you need me, we'll be outside, just come around back and get me". Only once has a couple come around back with a question about the location of a particular restaurant. Then, they raved to the family about us...awwwww.
 

One Day

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Imagine this is where pocket doors come in good use......any doors for that matter.....
 

Samster

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If you have private innkeeper space to entertain friends, no problem. If you're using guest common areas (either indoors or outdoors) to entertain your friends, that's a different story. I'm a firm believer that you should not take away from the experience that you've advertised for your guests. This is what they've paid for. Guests should not feel excluded from something or that they have to tiptoe around your private function. If you can separate your gathering, then there shouldn't be a problem.
 

Breakfast Diva

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If your area is separate from the guest area, then go about your gathering if it doesn't impact the guests. If it's in a common area, then I would never schedule it if I had guests. Once you've turned your home into a b&b then the guests need to come first....one of the downsides of being innkeepers.
 

One Day

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What if..........family came to visit.......you gave them a family rate, they occupy an inn room......ok, it's 2 or 3 groups of family, 2-3 rooms......you have a 5-6 room B&B.......it's booked solid.
Family hangs around in the common areas....you join them for a cup of coffee...............or.......you want to BBQ for them and be out on the patio and grounds?
Me.....if I was having a BBQ for family that were taking up half the rooms.......no doubt I would invite all guests
 

JBloggs

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I have had this, sitting on the porch with family, no big deal, outside no big deal, I am not sitting in guest areas with family I have them in our quarters.
When you are in guest view then they want stuff all the time, and you pop up every 5 minutes to assist them, or you FEEL like you need to assist them constantly.
 

Breakfast Diva

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What if..........family came to visit.......you gave them a family rate, they occupy an inn room......ok, it's 2 or 3 groups of family, 2-3 rooms......you have a 5-6 room B&B.......it's booked solid.
Family hangs around in the common areas....you join them for a cup of coffee...............or.......you want to BBQ for them and be out on the patio and grounds?
Me.....if I was having a BBQ for family that were taking up half the rooms.......no doubt I would invite all guests.
We're fortunate to have a separate cottage as one of our "rooms". If we had more than 1 room with family, they would have to book the cottage and any other room in the main house. This way they/we can party and have fun without disturbing regular guests.
You never want your guests to feel like outsiders and so it's even a sticky situation when regular guests are traveling together. If we have more than 2 rooms (we have 4) traveling together, they need to book either the entire main house or the entire inn.
Our place is marketed as a romantic getaway, so we have to be extra careful that we keep the private, quiet nature of our property or we would definitely get the bad reviews from the guests who would feel like the outsiders.
 

Don Draper

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I have had this, sitting on the porch with family, no big deal, outside no big deal, I am not sitting in guest areas with family I have them in our quarters.
When you are in guest view then they want stuff all the time, and you pop up every 5 minutes to assist them, or you FEEL like you need to assist them constantly..
Joey Bloggs said:
When you are in guest view then they want stuff all the time, and you pop up every 5 minutes to assist them, or you FEEL like you need to assist them constantly.
This is why we try to do nothing with family when we have guests. Our private quarters are so small, so we usually have to go outside to eat. And the moment someone sees you they want something. It's just not relaxing for me. We do our family entertaining at the holidays when we are closed. THAT is fun, fun, fun!!!
 

Country Girl

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We host a book club/dinner party here once a month for 14 friends whether or not we have guests. I call it Books & Cooks. All of our friends stay in our part of the house which has a large kitchen/dining area combination. It's separate enough from the rest of the house that even when we get a little loud we never disturb the guests. I feel like this business is all consuming sometimes and if I couldn't have family and friends here on a regular basis I'd go crazy. I tell the guests ahead of time that we're having a gathering so if they need me they know they can come right in to the kitchen. Also, guests are always very curious about what books we're discussing and sometimes they want to add their opinion. It's never been intrusive on their space.
 

Morticia

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What if..........family came to visit.......you gave them a family rate, they occupy an inn room......ok, it's 2 or 3 groups of family, 2-3 rooms......you have a 5-6 room B&B.......it's booked solid.
Family hangs around in the common areas....you join them for a cup of coffee...............or.......you want to BBQ for them and be out on the patio and grounds?
Me.....if I was having a BBQ for family that were taking up half the rooms.......no doubt I would invite all guests.
You really try to NOT have family take up half your rooms when the other half are guests. Or, all of your family gathers in your private innkeeper space and leaves the inn common space alone. My parents will wander thru, say hi to everyone and then keep going. My brother's kids are not allowed anywhere near guests.
Family are only allowed to associate with guests if they don't admit to being family!
 

gillumhouse

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We have had guests in the past when grandkids were here (Mom & Dad were sent of to be Mr & Mrs while we played Granny & Grandpa). Kids were total great behavior. They were at the time about 4 & 6 and had discovered our doorbell - remember the bell you had on your tricycle? They were ringing the heck out of it and having done the same when we first moved here, I understood. I had not said anything to them about the bell - period. Guests arrived - without one word or even look from Granny, the bell went silent. Guests left for dinner - brrriinnngggggggg!
Now, I block rooms when the kids come. But grandkids were never a problem. We were so new when Daddy was here that it does not count, but when the b-i-l was here for his last 8 months we had no guests when things were at the worst and just kept the door closed to the Library when we brought him downstairs for the last few months. While he wsa still ambulatory, we just introduced him if he happened to be downstairs.
 

Proud Texan

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We are so laid back here, pretty much anybody that wanders in off the street is welcome. When the weather permits, we invite guest down for a glass of wine or a beer and neighbors and friends always show up. It turns into a party.
 
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