Quantcast

Kids (as guests) & inns

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

sgirouard

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
My husband and I were talking with owner.operators of a BnB we're considering (to purchase). When first opened, the inn did not allow children as guests. However, several years later, they changed policy to allow children. At that point, they said the number of bookings they got went up hugely. They didn't give hard numbers, but it's easy for me to accept in light of the area the BnB serves - very rural, no hotel, lots of folks coming to visit family who may not have room for guests. The local attractions are parks, lakes, hiking trails, etc. Places I'd like to keep my own kids busy.
I'd like to pick the brains of you all in terms of your policies with regards to children, provided that your permit tham as guests. I am aware many (perhaps most) BnB's do not accept children as guests, or only accept children past a certain age. But I have also read some different, interesting policiies. There's an inn east of our current location which specifies children can stay at the inn, but only when the ENTIRE inn is booked by the same party. I recently read a policy (online) of an inn that says children are allowed, but must be accompanied by an adult when on the pool deck (which sounds reasonable, but makes me wonder how you "enforce" that?).
[Maybe it's fair to share here that I spent over a decade in education - public and private schools - so while kids themselves don't bother me a bit, I have seen a very wide spread of what parents and other adults perceive as <ahem> acceptable (much less mannerly) behavior. I also know, and understand, that parents don't particularly like other adults interevening with their children. My husband grew up in a small town and has a certain sense of how kids and parents ought to behave, but I have fairly strong feelings that a clear and direct policy regarding children as guests could help avoid (although not eliminate) difficult situations.]
So, if you *do* accept children as guests (accompanied by custodial adults, of course), I'd be very interested in hearing your policies (and experiences) if you're willing to share.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
We don't accept kids period. I have enough to do to keep my place clean and spotless and refuse to spend my time digging cheerios out of the seat cushions.
I have had my own relative's children take apart a tv at a B&B to my horror trying to hook up their video games, refuse to eat at the family picnic, and the parents harrass the innkeepers that evening at 9pm to feed their kids.
While I am sure there are great kids out there, I would only recommend taking kids if your inn is completely child-proof and there are PLENTY OF THINGS TO DO AT YOUR INN, you are located walking distance to restaurants, are ready to accept the wear and tear that come with families (next time you go out to eat, go somewhere that caters to families, and look at the way they leave dining tables with all the garbage and food on the floor) and will plan to have STAFF.
I think if you're in an area that has trouble booking business, then it's also a good idea to cater to families - but they don't spend the money that couples do. And if you book any couples on romantic retreats - they don't mix well with families unless you're in an urban area and they know they will not be in an area for "peace and quiet" They will not be happy if they have hired baby sitters to find they have a crying baby or child having a tantrum in the breakfast room.
Most kids want a Holiday Inn with a swimming pool. I know I did when I was young.
Riki
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,518
Reaction score
80
My policy states "children must bring at least one well-behaved adult as chaperone"
I have always accepted kids. I have a porta-crib (I guess they call it a Pac n Play now) and low to the floor cots. We are in an Interstae corridor and do get families visiting or for funerals (once in a while anyway). I had 6 kids. What are the parents supposed to do? drown 'em? I prefer to have them stay here and introduce them to B & B early rather than go to a motel. There are lots of hotel/motel options near me.
I have had more items broken by adults than kids - and I do not "child-proof" my inn. I have dolls all over the place. The only concession I make is to remove the attractive temptations (dolls) from the guestrooms with kids. I have one doll in the dining room that is sitting on the edge of a shelf - at kid level - and has never been touched.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Our normal policy was no children. We were a romantic get away. OUr home is also not "child proofed" Most B & B's here do not take children for the same reasons. Since we have no children of our own, we also do not deal well with small children under foot..so this was our choice. I think you have to do what you are comfortable with and given what you say about your area, you may need to take children to get occupancy.
The one or two times we "gave in" and took children...things did not go well at all. I was constantly watching to see where they were running off to...parents were not paying attention to them and let them run at will etc etc. etc. That assured me that we had made the right decision. You have to do what feels right to you.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,518
Reaction score
80
We don't accept kids period. I have enough to do to keep my place clean and spotless and refuse to spend my time digging cheerios out of the seat cushions.
I have had my own relative's children take apart a tv at a B&B to my horror trying to hook up their video games, refuse to eat at the family picnic, and the parents harrass the innkeepers that evening at 9pm to feed their kids.
While I am sure there are great kids out there, I would only recommend taking kids if your inn is completely child-proof and there are PLENTY OF THINGS TO DO AT YOUR INN, you are located walking distance to restaurants, are ready to accept the wear and tear that come with families (next time you go out to eat, go somewhere that caters to families, and look at the way they leave dining tables with all the garbage and food on the floor) and will plan to have STAFF.
I think if you're in an area that has trouble booking business, then it's also a good idea to cater to families - but they don't spend the money that couples do. And if you book any couples on romantic retreats - they don't mix well with families unless you're in an urban area and they know they will not be in an area for "peace and quiet" They will not be happy if they have hired baby sitters to find they have a crying baby or child having a tantrum in the breakfast room.
Most kids want a Holiday Inn with a swimming pool. I know I did when I was young.
Riki.
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
Our rooms are designed for two guests only. If you accept kids you need more beds per room. There is a niche for that for certain, but you will turn away any romantic getaways like honeymoons, anniversaries, etc if you accept children.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
We don't accept kids period. I have enough to do to keep my place clean and spotless and refuse to spend my time digging cheerios out of the seat cushions.
I have had my own relative's children take apart a tv at a B&B to my horror trying to hook up their video games, refuse to eat at the family picnic, and the parents harrass the innkeepers that evening at 9pm to feed their kids.
While I am sure there are great kids out there, I would only recommend taking kids if your inn is completely child-proof and there are PLENTY OF THINGS TO DO AT YOUR INN, you are located walking distance to restaurants, are ready to accept the wear and tear that come with families (next time you go out to eat, go somewhere that caters to families, and look at the way they leave dining tables with all the garbage and food on the floor) and will plan to have STAFF.
I think if you're in an area that has trouble booking business, then it's also a good idea to cater to families - but they don't spend the money that couples do. And if you book any couples on romantic retreats - they don't mix well with families unless you're in an urban area and they know they will not be in an area for "peace and quiet" They will not be happy if they have hired baby sitters to find they have a crying baby or child having a tantrum in the breakfast room.
Most kids want a Holiday Inn with a swimming pool. I know I did when I was young.
Riki.
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
.
gillumhouse said:
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
Does not make it a requirement. Our wine must be locked up and I could not put it in the guest room if I wanted to take families. I just tell them I can't have anyone under 21 to protect myself.
I cannot confirm which are "well behaved parents". I have had a father show up with a child instead of his (divorced) wife when he booked as Mr and Mrs. Then he tells me his 21 year old daughter is coming too, and none of them can sleep in the same bed. The room has a King bed and chair that opens to a single. I don't know where the third one slept. They always want to cram the whole family into one room and I won't put up with that as we have built new with our own sweat. I only want two per room.
I have nothing against families, just the extra work they require - hauling out cots and pak n plays, but I have something against having to deal with spoilt kids.
Guillim House is in a town kids can run around and the family can probably walk to restaurants and shops.
I'm 6 miles from town with a vineyard and woods. Inns in this area that allow kids have had problems with parents not watching them, letting them run around barefoot in the woods and barns with animals in them, not watching them near water fountains where they could drown, etc.
That's what I mean by "child-proof". I can't protect them against wasps, posion ivy, climbing on the railings of my second story outdoor deck, etc.
We've been lucky, our only damage so far (knock on wood) is from our new cleaning lady.
RIki
I don't want the extra work.
RIki
 

wendydk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,656
Reaction score
0
We started out pretty accepting, but have tightened up our kids policy as we've been in business longer. Since we have one room that sleeps three, we get numerous requests to bring kids (usually a family of four or five, apparently two or three kids counts as one person to their parents).
We often will accept a child if it's midweek and slow, and we charge $15.00 nightly for the additional person. When we do, the child is invariably a delight. I think taking just one is what makes the difference. It's when you get more than one together that the noise and such escalates.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,273
Reaction score
135
We do take kids of all ages. We do not have any baby stuff, tho, so parents need to bring all the gear with them. Our policies basically state that the kids may not be left alone at all anywhere on the premises if under age 16. Do the parents leave the kids anyway? Yes they do. If we see that happen, we call the parents.
In spite of what we all know to be true- that parents do not want anyone interferring with their kids or correcting their behavior, if the parents won't do it, I will. I won't have screaming kids at the breakfast table, no running thru the house (I have a huge yard for that) and kids are required to put away any toys they take out.
We encourage parents to give serious thought to how well this inn will suit their needs with no TV's, no pool and the need for the child to sit still and wait to be served. (Believe me, a kid in my dining room does not wait to be served. Been there, done that, why subject everyone to a hungry kid.)
We've been lucky in that any kid we've 'spoken to' has sat right down and behaved. I also keep toys and books on hand for breakfast and I'll take babies or younger kids to the living room while parents eat if time allows.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,518
Reaction score
80
We don't accept kids period. I have enough to do to keep my place clean and spotless and refuse to spend my time digging cheerios out of the seat cushions.
I have had my own relative's children take apart a tv at a B&B to my horror trying to hook up their video games, refuse to eat at the family picnic, and the parents harrass the innkeepers that evening at 9pm to feed their kids.
While I am sure there are great kids out there, I would only recommend taking kids if your inn is completely child-proof and there are PLENTY OF THINGS TO DO AT YOUR INN, you are located walking distance to restaurants, are ready to accept the wear and tear that come with families (next time you go out to eat, go somewhere that caters to families, and look at the way they leave dining tables with all the garbage and food on the floor) and will plan to have STAFF.
I think if you're in an area that has trouble booking business, then it's also a good idea to cater to families - but they don't spend the money that couples do. And if you book any couples on romantic retreats - they don't mix well with families unless you're in an urban area and they know they will not be in an area for "peace and quiet" They will not be happy if they have hired baby sitters to find they have a crying baby or child having a tantrum in the breakfast room.
Most kids want a Holiday Inn with a swimming pool. I know I did when I was young.
Riki.
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
.
gillumhouse said:
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
Does not make it a requirement. Our wine must be locked up and I could not put it in the guest room if I wanted to take families. I just tell them I can't have anyone under 21 to protect myself.
I cannot confirm which are "well behaved parents". I have had a father show up with a child instead of his (divorced) wife when he booked as Mr and Mrs. Then he tells me his 21 year old daughter is coming too, and none of them can sleep in the same bed. The room has a King bed and chair that opens to a single. I don't know where the third one slept. They always want to cram the whole family into one room and I won't put up with that as we have built new with our own sweat. I only want two per room.
I have nothing against families, just the extra work they require - hauling out cots and pak n plays, but I have something against having to deal with spoilt kids.
Guillim House is in a town kids can run around and the family can probably walk to restaurants and shops.
I'm 6 miles from town with a vineyard and woods. Inns in this area that allow kids have had problems with parents not watching them, letting them run around barefoot in the woods and barns with animals in them, not watching them near water fountains where they could drown, etc.
That's what I mean by "child-proof". I can't protect them against wasps, posion ivy, climbing on the railings of my second story outdoor deck, etc.
We've been lucky, our only damage so far (knock on wood) is from our new cleaning lady.
RIki
I don't want the extra work.
RIki
.
Having had 6 of the 2-legged animals I TOTALLY understand anyone who says No Kids. Also having had them, I know the need of finding decent accommodations while traveling.
Being in town limits the possibility of working off that excess energy built up while being cooped up in the car - and my cash crop is poison ivy (if I could find someone to pay me for it).
I am NEVER castigating those who say no kids. It does make it difficult for folks who want to teach their kids quality. We took ours to LUNCH to places with the towel over the arm and nose in the air maitre d' at least once per trip (could never afford dinner) so they would know what to expect as good service AND so they would not be intimidated or walk around with their jaws on their chests in awe. So far we have managed to not have kids when we had a romantic get-away. Just luck I know.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
We don't accept kids period. I have enough to do to keep my place clean and spotless and refuse to spend my time digging cheerios out of the seat cushions.
I have had my own relative's children take apart a tv at a B&B to my horror trying to hook up their video games, refuse to eat at the family picnic, and the parents harrass the innkeepers that evening at 9pm to feed their kids.
While I am sure there are great kids out there, I would only recommend taking kids if your inn is completely child-proof and there are PLENTY OF THINGS TO DO AT YOUR INN, you are located walking distance to restaurants, are ready to accept the wear and tear that come with families (next time you go out to eat, go somewhere that caters to families, and look at the way they leave dining tables with all the garbage and food on the floor) and will plan to have STAFF.
I think if you're in an area that has trouble booking business, then it's also a good idea to cater to families - but they don't spend the money that couples do. And if you book any couples on romantic retreats - they don't mix well with families unless you're in an urban area and they know they will not be in an area for "peace and quiet" They will not be happy if they have hired baby sitters to find they have a crying baby or child having a tantrum in the breakfast room.
Most kids want a Holiday Inn with a swimming pool. I know I did when I was young.
Riki.
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
.
gillumhouse said:
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
Does not make it a requirement. Our wine must be locked up and I could not put it in the guest room if I wanted to take families. I just tell them I can't have anyone under 21 to protect myself.
I cannot confirm which are "well behaved parents". I have had a father show up with a child instead of his (divorced) wife when he booked as Mr and Mrs. Then he tells me his 21 year old daughter is coming too, and none of them can sleep in the same bed. The room has a King bed and chair that opens to a single. I don't know where the third one slept. They always want to cram the whole family into one room and I won't put up with that as we have built new with our own sweat. I only want two per room.
I have nothing against families, just the extra work they require - hauling out cots and pak n plays, but I have something against having to deal with spoilt kids.
Guillim House is in a town kids can run around and the family can probably walk to restaurants and shops.
I'm 6 miles from town with a vineyard and woods. Inns in this area that allow kids have had problems with parents not watching them, letting them run around barefoot in the woods and barns with animals in them, not watching them near water fountains where they could drown, etc.
That's what I mean by "child-proof". I can't protect them against wasps, posion ivy, climbing on the railings of my second story outdoor deck, etc.
We've been lucky, our only damage so far (knock on wood) is from our new cleaning lady.
RIki
I don't want the extra work.
RIki
.
Having had 6 of the 2-legged animals I TOTALLY understand anyone who says No Kids. Also having had them, I know the need of finding decent accommodations while traveling.
Being in town limits the possibility of working off that excess energy built up while being cooped up in the car - and my cash crop is poison ivy (if I could find someone to pay me for it).
I am NEVER castigating those who say no kids. It does make it difficult for folks who want to teach their kids quality. We took ours to LUNCH to places with the towel over the arm and nose in the air maitre d' at least once per trip (could never afford dinner) so they would know what to expect as good service AND so they would not be intimidated or walk around with their jaws on their chests in awe. So far we have managed to not have kids when we had a romantic get-away. Just luck I know.
.
gillumhouse said:
Having had 6 of the 2-legged animals I TOTALLY understand anyone who says No Kids. Also having had them, I know the need of finding decent accommodations while traveling.
I am NEVER castigating those who say no kids. It does make it difficult for folks who want to teach their kids quality. We took ours to LUNCH to places with the towel over the arm and nose in the air maitre d' at least once per trip (could never afford dinner) so they would know what to expect as good service AND so they would not be intimidated or walk around with their jaws on their chests in awe. So far we have managed to not have kids when we had a romantic get-away. Just luck I know.
I understand completely. We were brought up not only in hotels but in restaurants and pensions (in Europe that's what was affordable in the 70s). My problem is too many parents, some my own family, refuse to make them behave, and I won't put up with it. Just yesterday someone told me it took them years to get their kids to go to bed without screaming and that they gave up and let them stay up until all hours of the night. My father would have taken care of that in a New York minute if I had tried that.
That said, there is a huge market for families in the right location. Just make sure on your website you state that you are family friendly so singles are prepared. And with lots of outdoor things to do , you could be great for the families. For me, if I was going to take families I would also have some pet-friendly rooms too. That would include two groups that both require more work, but are few and far between. This would give you two niches to fill your rooms, not just one.
Just make sure your insurance will cover you if one of the little darlings (two or four footed) gets lost on the hiking trail or drowns in a pond. Don't assume you won't be sued. It's a sorry state of affairs, but that's the way it is.
I don't know what state you're in, but here in Virginia we are able to put up notices warning guests that they are entering a farm area and that the law says they are responsible for their own safety. This is up at all the wineries in the past year, I've noticed. Don't assume the parents sigining a waiver stating you are not responsible will protect you.
Riki
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,518
Reaction score
80
We don't accept kids period. I have enough to do to keep my place clean and spotless and refuse to spend my time digging cheerios out of the seat cushions.
I have had my own relative's children take apart a tv at a B&B to my horror trying to hook up their video games, refuse to eat at the family picnic, and the parents harrass the innkeepers that evening at 9pm to feed their kids.
While I am sure there are great kids out there, I would only recommend taking kids if your inn is completely child-proof and there are PLENTY OF THINGS TO DO AT YOUR INN, you are located walking distance to restaurants, are ready to accept the wear and tear that come with families (next time you go out to eat, go somewhere that caters to families, and look at the way they leave dining tables with all the garbage and food on the floor) and will plan to have STAFF.
I think if you're in an area that has trouble booking business, then it's also a good idea to cater to families - but they don't spend the money that couples do. And if you book any couples on romantic retreats - they don't mix well with families unless you're in an urban area and they know they will not be in an area for "peace and quiet" They will not be happy if they have hired baby sitters to find they have a crying baby or child having a tantrum in the breakfast room.
Most kids want a Holiday Inn with a swimming pool. I know I did when I was young.
Riki.
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
.
gillumhouse said:
You also have the wine which makes it absolutely a requirement of NO under 21!
Does not make it a requirement. Our wine must be locked up and I could not put it in the guest room if I wanted to take families. I just tell them I can't have anyone under 21 to protect myself.
I cannot confirm which are "well behaved parents". I have had a father show up with a child instead of his (divorced) wife when he booked as Mr and Mrs. Then he tells me his 21 year old daughter is coming too, and none of them can sleep in the same bed. The room has a King bed and chair that opens to a single. I don't know where the third one slept. They always want to cram the whole family into one room and I won't put up with that as we have built new with our own sweat. I only want two per room.
I have nothing against families, just the extra work they require - hauling out cots and pak n plays, but I have something against having to deal with spoilt kids.
Guillim House is in a town kids can run around and the family can probably walk to restaurants and shops.
I'm 6 miles from town with a vineyard and woods. Inns in this area that allow kids have had problems with parents not watching them, letting them run around barefoot in the woods and barns with animals in them, not watching them near water fountains where they could drown, etc.
That's what I mean by "child-proof". I can't protect them against wasps, posion ivy, climbing on the railings of my second story outdoor deck, etc.
We've been lucky, our only damage so far (knock on wood) is from our new cleaning lady.
RIki
I don't want the extra work.
RIki
.
Having had 6 of the 2-legged animals I TOTALLY understand anyone who says No Kids. Also having had them, I know the need of finding decent accommodations while traveling.
Being in town limits the possibility of working off that excess energy built up while being cooped up in the car - and my cash crop is poison ivy (if I could find someone to pay me for it).
I am NEVER castigating those who say no kids. It does make it difficult for folks who want to teach their kids quality. We took ours to LUNCH to places with the towel over the arm and nose in the air maitre d' at least once per trip (could never afford dinner) so they would know what to expect as good service AND so they would not be intimidated or walk around with their jaws on their chests in awe. So far we have managed to not have kids when we had a romantic get-away. Just luck I know.
.
gillumhouse said:
Having had 6 of the 2-legged animals I TOTALLY understand anyone who says No Kids. Also having had them, I know the need of finding decent accommodations while traveling.
I am NEVER castigating those who say no kids. It does make it difficult for folks who want to teach their kids quality. We took ours to LUNCH to places with the towel over the arm and nose in the air maitre d' at least once per trip (could never afford dinner) so they would know what to expect as good service AND so they would not be intimidated or walk around with their jaws on their chests in awe. So far we have managed to not have kids when we had a romantic get-away. Just luck I know.
I understand completely. We were brought up not only in hotels but in restaurants and pensions (in Europe that's what was affordable in the 70s). My problem is too many parents, some my own family, refuse to make them behave, and I won't put up with it. Just yesterday someone told me it took them years to get their kids to go to bed without screaming and that they gave up and let them stay up until all hours of the night. My father would have taken care of that in a New York minute if I had tried that.
That said, there is a huge market for families in the right location. Just make sure on your website you state that you are family friendly so singles are prepared. And with lots of outdoor things to do , you could be great for the families. For me, if I was going to take families I would also have some pet-friendly rooms too. That would include two groups that both require more work, but are few and far between. This would give you two niches to fill your rooms, not just one.
Just make sure your insurance will cover you if one of the little darlings (two or four footed) gets lost on the hiking trail or drowns in a pond. Don't assume you won't be sued. It's a sorry state of affairs, but that's the way it is.
I don't know what state you're in, but here in Virginia we are able to put up notices warning guests that they are entering a farm area and that the law says they are responsible for their own safety. This is up at all the wineries in the past year, I've noticed. Don't assume the parents sigining a waiver stating you are not responsible will protect you.
Riki
.
I am in West Virginia and signs like that are up at the stables - thank goodness. I would still get sued.
My house is not set up for Fifi - and I do not want Fifi peeing (or worse) on my rugs. So far the kids have refrained from doing that. I have no hesitation in correcting a kid in MY house - not with the "educator" Daddy & Mom used, but verbally. So far the worst (and I did say nothing) was a 21 year old traveling with Mom who was paying all the bills so the brat could compete at the Nationals (horse competition). If I had even considered talking to my Mother that way I would have been looking for my head in the next county! My thought was that mother had done a lousy job raising her kid (probably should have had a better nanny).
 

greyswan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
625
Reaction score
0
4 of our rooms are designed for 2 guests only... we have our king suite that will take up to 5 guests and we charge $20 per person over 2 guests. We have had guests show up with baby in tow... online reservations for 2 guests.. I guess they don't think baby counts as a person... we turned them away as our king suite was already booked.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
585
Reaction score
0
We've run the gamut on ages, experiences both good and bad, flexibility on accepting them, etc.
We are fortunate to have a suite that has two bedrooms and it is the only room we'll accept families in. It is also the most secluded and soundproofed room we offer.
When starting out, we accepted kids of all ages and honestly have always had more problems with the 16-20 year olds than babies or even toddlers.
As our business grew and had a few great years earlier than we expected, we tightened it up to 10 or over in order to cater to our key demographic, romantic couples.
As the economy soured and the thousands of guests over the years who have bent our ears upon check out about "How they were gonna go tell all their friends, write reviews, keep us full all the time, blah...blah....blah...." haven't done so despite my mailing over 500 "thank you" cards this spring with an incredible discount and new guest referral offer, we just figured, you call we try to book you.
Of course, we have limitations in place that we think minimizes the possible trouble. Frankly, if our "romantic, peace and quiet only" demographic wants the place only for their type, they can put their money where their mouths are and either do what they blather on and on about, or deal with an occassional laughing, mostly happy, joyful child in their midst.
We've had no higher levels of cleaning or damage from any young children and I always ask on the phone about both the children's and the parents experience level staying at a B&B.
When I think of our worst possible guests and the negative impacts they've had on us, other guests and the property, its always been the adult, drunk louts, not families.
As far as any group under 21, its the damn teenagers and young adults that give us the most headaches.
We do like Bree, we have lots of toys, art supplies, games, etc. and we do our best to relate to any of the kids we get like they are on a very special treat vacation, and that seems to really help them relax and behave. Many kids find it cool that I'm an artist and I'll take a few minutes and draw with them on the porch or whatever and they take their drawings and my doodles home with them.
The parents are always very grateful that we don't treat thier kids like suspects and helo-hover over them and that seems to translate into better behavior.
Kids really are little people and if you immediately put them on edge with suspicions about them behaving they inevitably will misbehave.
 

Breakfast Diva

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
5,904
Reaction score
22
We don't take any kids in the main house, but we have a cottage and kids are allowed there. We definitely don't encourage people bringing kids. They are told that the kids are not allowed in the main house and try to inform them of the type of place we are which is not basically kid friendly. We don't provide any cots or equipment for their kids. If they are infants, no problem and I won't charge them the extra person charge ($30).
The property you are looking at sounds like they are set up for families. If I were looking to purchase that property, I would want to know what percentage of their business comes from families and I would want documentation. The toughest decision here is one only you can answer. Do you enjoy kids? When you have been fantasizing about the property you will have, did it include kids? If so, there is definitely a market for it. I turn away many families and also pets.
Here is my caution...if you are seriously considering this place and you are on the fence about whether you want to deal with families, make sure that the business can support itself without them. What you want for your future business is choices.
 

Proud Texan

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
2,685
Reaction score
0
The reason we don't allow children echos much of what has already been said. However, I think the primary reason we don't is that it would diminish the experience of those other (childless) guests who have come here for a quiet retreat and getaway.
Even "quiet" children reach a certain decibel range that exceeds what is required for tranquility. We don't even allow our own grandchildren here while we have guests.
 

sgirouard

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2009
Messages
61
Reaction score
0
Thanks for the replies (so far).
I fully expect we will end up - whatever property we select - accepting families with children for several reasons (not the least of which is we have children of our own...I know, I know, but that's a topic for another thread).
I am mostly interested in policies, but hearing the practices you've put into place (like the activities) is helpful as well.
One interesting note - the innkeepers changed the bed in one room (that has use of a hall bath) from a king bed to two twin sized beds - and that room started getting booked more often (which is totally not what I would expect in general).
Childproofing is definitely something that's entered my mind - especially since childproofing can often mean more obstacles for those of us who aren't children.
One of my primary concerns is adult guests who are not comfortable around children. Some adults simply aren't. I can't explain it without speculation, but I have known lovely, honorable people who genuinely felt this way. I want all guests to be comfortable - I suppose I'm trying to think of ways to make things work for as many different people as possible.
FWIW, at this property I would *not* expect romantic getaways, but I suppose it is a possiblity. The current owners have told us they get many requests for weddings (which they don't do - and after reading this forum, I'm not inclined to do myself).
Again, thanks for the responses - looking forward to hearing anything else anyone wants to add.
 

sunburst2

Member
Joined
May 2, 2009
Messages
24
Reaction score
0
Most, if not all of the problems ,you might encounter with kids have actually to do with their parents. Some kids are great, some are not, just like the big people. If the parents have taught their children to be polite, respectful and generally well behaved then they may be a delight to have around. I taught one young lady how to make an apple pie, and her folks tell me she makes a pie for them every few weeks now. Parents who let their kids run wild are the real problem, and you don't know which parents are overly permissive until their kids are running wild through your house. I don't hesitate to explain house rules to children if need be and that usually fixes major issues, but it doesn't stop some from doing lots of aggravating little things if their parents don't think they need to supervise. Kids, especially young ones, are joyful; they run, jump, yell and talk loudly, all of which is great in the proper place, but most B&B homes are not the proper place.
As a general policy I don't accept children under 12 years of age because many people come to my B&B as a destination for a special occasion such as anniversary or honeymoon, or they may be "getting away" from their own children for a night alone, so I don't want other peoples kids to bother my other guests. I do accept any age children if the whole house is taken such as for a family reunion, because if they are noisy or bothersome they are only an aggravation to their own group (and maybe me). My home is not childproof, and i have no desire to make it such, so I do explain to parents what they need to be careful about in regard to their children and my furnishings.
I guess I would rather not have children because it is more likely I will be stressed over something a youngster is doing than I will be annoyed by adults behavior. As stated when i introduced myself a short time ago, most of the issues I have had with guest behavior have involved children. But, I hasten to say I have never had a horrible guest problem with anyone - adult or child - most are great. Also, you may have more recourse in correcting improper behavior exhibited by a child than saying anything to a PITA adult.
It has to be a personal decision based in part on how much potential business do you want to make yourself unavailable for. If you cater to couples you might loose some of that business if they knew they might have share any space with children, so it also depends on your area and why most of your guests come to your B&B, and how you feel about having kids around yourself.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
One of my primary concerns is adult guests who are not comfortable around children. Some adults simply aren't. I can't explain it without speculation, but I have known lovely, honorable people who genuinely felt this way. I want all guests to be comfortable - I suppose I'm trying to think of ways to make things work for as many different people as possible.
May I put it this way? We had two couples here celebrating a milestone birthday. Each couple had 3 children and had this "getaway" planned for months, granny watching the kids etc. They came here to be around adults and do adult things and if they found little kids in the room next door...well let's just say they would not be pleased.
This morning at the breakfast table were three adult couples, it would not have been the same if a child was sitting there listening to the conversation. Or Mommy was telling him to sit up, wipe his face, stop wiggling, etc.
So whatever the draw is for the B&B - recreation, or whatever - you will have to determine how you market it to get the most bang for your buck.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
I worry the most about parents trying to force innkeepers to accept their kids. STUFF HAPPENS a kid might miss out on sleep and be crying constantly, not the kids fault at all. Shoot arrows my way if you want to - but on vacation kids belong in hotel rooms with swimming pools and soda machines and long hallways they can run up and down and elevators they can ride. Or they belong in a tent with a campfire and s'mores or a cabin near a lake with bike trails.
 

Latest posts

Top