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Morticia

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When you leave a note for late arrivals, what does it say? Do you have one form with all the rooms on it or a separate form for each room? We arrived late the other day and the note was waiting for us. I like the style, much different from mine so I was wondering what others do.
 

Morticia

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dare you ask?.
Inquiring minds want to know what other innkeepers who DO allow guests to check themselves in put in the notes they leave! I totally get NOT allowing guests to let themselves in, I didn't use to do that, either. Heck, where we were the innkeepers left at 5 and came back the next morning. But I liked the letter they left and want to know what others say in theirs!
 

Baygirl

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We leave letters for guests if they're checking in after 6. I have a different letter for each room (8 rooms) saved in a word document. Then I personalize the letter with the guests name. Inside it explains where their room is, what time breakfast is and where the book in the room is that any information they need regarding the lodge, restaurants or the area. Guests don't seem to mind at all and it relieves them of stressing on getting here by a certain time.
It really makes a difference in the evening for us knowing that we're not waiting around for a guest to arrive.
 

Morticia

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We leave letters for guests if they're checking in after 6. I have a different letter for each room (8 rooms) saved in a word document. Then I personalize the letter with the guests name. Inside it explains where their room is, what time breakfast is and where the book in the room is that any information they need regarding the lodge, restaurants or the area. Guests don't seem to mind at all and it relieves them of stressing on getting here by a certain time.
It really makes a difference in the evening for us knowing that we're not waiting around for a guest to arrive..
So, you've saved a different letter for each room. I had one letter that I would update each time and kick myself that I didn't have all different letters! But we don't get too many late arrivals so it doesn't occur to me.
The letter I got from the place I stayed had all the rooms on one letter with my room highlighted.
 

Baygirl

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We leave letters for guests if they're checking in after 6. I have a different letter for each room (8 rooms) saved in a word document. Then I personalize the letter with the guests name. Inside it explains where their room is, what time breakfast is and where the book in the room is that any information they need regarding the lodge, restaurants or the area. Guests don't seem to mind at all and it relieves them of stressing on getting here by a certain time.
It really makes a difference in the evening for us knowing that we're not waiting around for a guest to arrive..
So, you've saved a different letter for each room. I had one letter that I would update each time and kick myself that I didn't have all different letters! But we don't get too many late arrivals so it doesn't occur to me.
The letter I got from the place I stayed had all the rooms on one letter with my room highlighted.
.
I don't like the idea of a standard letter.
We get quite a few late check ins. Especially on Fridays. The reason I did a letter for each room is because the books in the rooms aren't all in the same location. Now it's easy to just go to that saved letter, click on the room and type the guests name in it. Before I used to only have one letter and had to change it each time. Took me a while but I smartened up.
 

NW BB

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We have different letters for each room saved on disk. I personalize it for each late arrival. It tells how to get to their room, binder with information, how to reach us if there is an emergency, and breakfast info.
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left.
 

Baygirl

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I know what you mean about feeling like you should go down and greet them even if it is after 6. Sometimes I do go out, depends on how long after 6 they arrive and how my day has gone. I have to admit though, some days I'm so thankful for notes. We do have a bell in the library that rings up to our living area if the guest needs us for anything. If we do end up going out after 6 we always leave a note with our cell phone number on it.
 

Morticia

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We have different letters for each room saved on disk. I personalize it for each late arrival. It tells how to get to their room, binder with information, how to reach us if there is an emergency, and breakfast info.
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left..
NW BB said:
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left.
My late arrival notes go out after 9 PM. Up until that point I answer the door. I used to wait until 11 but now I know better. An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival. IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone. No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in. Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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We have different letters for each room saved on disk. I personalize it for each late arrival. It tells how to get to their room, binder with information, how to reach us if there is an emergency, and breakfast info.
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left..
NW BB said:
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left.
My late arrival notes go out after 9 PM. Up until that point I answer the door. I used to wait until 11 but now I know better. An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival. IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone. No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in. Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours.
.
The more I read the more I'm coming around to the idea that in certain individual cases, leaving a note and a key for the rare really late arrival whose reason for being that late is legitimate, ie. flight delays, weather, car breakdown, etc. may not be so contrary to our philosophy.
"An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival."
These are the folks that I just know can't and won't quietly find their way to their room and not wake everybody else up.
Truth be told, in an average year in what was an average economy to gauge it, we host anywhere from 250-300+ different sets of guests. I'd have to say that the average number of guests arriving even after 10pm is probably a dozen or so per year. Not exactly an epidemic or enough considering my naturally occurring sleepy time is about 11 on a daily basis for anyone to think I'm like up at all hours nearly every night waiting for guests.
Its about the same number of folks who arrive hours before check in starts. LOL How to handle them is a topic question I'll be asking in a new thread.
"IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone."
Its the extremely rare late arrival who doesn't at least call at some point to give me an idea of what the delay is. When taking reservations, we always ask if the guest will be traveling with a cell phone just in case, "we get cut off while we're helping you in some way." See, that way at 10pm, if I haven't heard from them, they get a call to see if everything is ok?
"No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in."
Well, of course most won't, but some will judge you on whether you do or not. If for example we get a guest with us for six or seven nights, do you think I want to have them copping attitude on me for the next week if they figure out I was in my space watching a movie at 7:30pm and didn't bother to come greet them. Some folks are like that.
As an example of this to anyone who has gotten a bad review somewhere from a guest. Did you KNOW you were going to get slammed, or better yet, did you even know the dissatisfied guest even was unhappy?
We've gotten like two out of 60+ on TA and in addition to the very tall tales these folks told in their reviews, they could have gotten Oscars for their performances displaying their total satisfaction to our faces while here.
"Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours."
Yes, most are very grateful I stayed up and if they needed to call for extra help finding us, they are extra grateful that a real live person picked up the phone and guided them in safely.
Good for you to have that dynamic with your guests, some of our guests and the less considerate the more they feel totally self-entitled and that they are paying us for our service and we better be jumping through all the right hoops to cater to them and their "special needs". Caring about whether we're losing sleep over them doesn't even enter their stream of consciousness.
 

Morticia

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We have different letters for each room saved on disk. I personalize it for each late arrival. It tells how to get to their room, binder with information, how to reach us if there is an emergency, and breakfast info.
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left..
NW BB said:
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left.
My late arrival notes go out after 9 PM. Up until that point I answer the door. I used to wait until 11 but now I know better. An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival. IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone. No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in. Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours.
.
The more I read the more I'm coming around to the idea that in certain individual cases, leaving a note and a key for the rare really late arrival whose reason for being that late is legitimate, ie. flight delays, weather, car breakdown, etc. may not be so contrary to our philosophy.
"An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival."
These are the folks that I just know can't and won't quietly find their way to their room and not wake everybody else up.
Truth be told, in an average year in what was an average economy to gauge it, we host anywhere from 250-300+ different sets of guests. I'd have to say that the average number of guests arriving even after 10pm is probably a dozen or so per year. Not exactly an epidemic or enough considering my naturally occurring sleepy time is about 11 on a daily basis for anyone to think I'm like up at all hours nearly every night waiting for guests.
Its about the same number of folks who arrive hours before check in starts. LOL How to handle them is a topic question I'll be asking in a new thread.
"IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone."
Its the extremely rare late arrival who doesn't at least call at some point to give me an idea of what the delay is. When taking reservations, we always ask if the guest will be traveling with a cell phone just in case, "we get cut off while we're helping you in some way." See, that way at 10pm, if I haven't heard from them, they get a call to see if everything is ok?
"No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in."
Well, of course most won't, but some will judge you on whether you do or not. If for example we get a guest with us for six or seven nights, do you think I want to have them copping attitude on me for the next week if they figure out I was in my space watching a movie at 7:30pm and didn't bother to come greet them. Some folks are like that.
As an example of this to anyone who has gotten a bad review somewhere from a guest. Did you KNOW you were going to get slammed, or better yet, did you even know the dissatisfied guest even was unhappy?
We've gotten like two out of 60+ on TA and in addition to the very tall tales these folks told in their reviews, they could have gotten Oscars for their performances displaying their total satisfaction to our faces while here.
"Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours."
Yes, most are very grateful I stayed up and if they needed to call for extra help finding us, they are extra grateful that a real live person picked up the phone and guided them in safely.
Good for you to have that dynamic with your guests, some of our guests and the less considerate the more they feel totally self-entitled and that they are paying us for our service and we better be jumping through all the right hoops to cater to them and their "special needs". Caring about whether we're losing sleep over them doesn't even enter their stream of consciousness.
.
We stopped letting guests check themselves in after we were here for a year. For the same reasons you mention...they just could NOT get themselves to their rooms in a peaceable manner. Most of them were repeats from the POs. They don't come here anymore.
However, by the time they hit the door, given they have yelled to each other across the parking lot, rolled 15 suitcases across the pavement and banged them up the stairs, there's no one sleeping any longer anyway! Not to mention that half of my building is 2 feet from another driveway where the same thing goes on all night...car alarms going off by mistake, the beep-beep of car alarms being set, the opening and closing of 34 car doors on a 2 door sports car and the innumerable suitcase wheels and high heels on macadam.
I haven't kept track of how many late arrivals we've had this year so far. But I am so happy I don't have to wait up for them any longer. After answering the door at 2 AM for what both you and I would consider an 'invalid' reason, I had to decide if my sanity was worth it for a guest who obviously had no regard for me or my policies. The way I looked at it after that point was that the guest who was rude, would continue to be rude and nothing I could do would change that. So why should I be awakened at 2 AM to deal with rudeness? I could sleep and get some rest and deal with rude in the morning, when I was in my best fighting form!
BTW, the invalid reason started at 5 PM when they called from 5 hours away to say they hadn't been able to get out of work on time. It got worse from there. In for a penny, in for a pound, they decided to stop and visit friends who live 2 hours from here and have dinner with them to break up the trip. In the morning, overhearing a conversation with another guest we found out that they are wildly manipulative with each other. If HE was 20 minutes late, SHE would be 30 minutes late(r). So, if they arranged to get started at 2 PM and he was late, she would drag her feet and when she was ready, he'd do the same to her until it got to the point that they were 7 hours late.
After that I decided I don't care why guests are late. Because I'm not waiting up to play games with them, they can be late because their plane got diverted, their luggage got lost, they 'forgot' they were going on vacation, they decided to go shopping, eat dinner, watch the sunset, whatever, it does not matter to me.
At 9 PM I run their card. If it doesn't go thru, no letter, they have to ring the bell to get in and I run the card no matter what time it is. If the card goes thru and they never show? Their problem, not mine. I still check the parking lot around 2 AM to see if they arrived, but I don't worry about them any longer.
The worst ones are the ones that start off arguing with the check-in time and tell me, 'Just leave the door open, what's the big deal?' Well, honey, do you leave YOUR door unlocked when you go to bed? No, I didn't think so.
If someone wants to ding me on TA because I didn't greet them at the door at 1 AM in my jammies, bad breath and wild hair, so be it. It will be a lesson for anyone else reading that I'm not their father and I'm not waiting up for them. Be on time or be prepared.
And, yes, in spite of all my best intentions, I HAVE gotten up because guests have not been able to figure out how to open the door (I had to put 'turn knob and push door' in the welcome letter because guests thought the door would open by itself) or because they were so loud they woke me up. And believe me, the last thing you want to see in the wee hours is me in my bathrobe bearing down on you in a rage.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

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We have different letters for each room saved on disk. I personalize it for each late arrival. It tells how to get to their room, binder with information, how to reach us if there is an emergency, and breakfast info.
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left..
NW BB said:
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left.
My late arrival notes go out after 9 PM. Up until that point I answer the door. I used to wait until 11 but now I know better. An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival. IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone. No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in. Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours.
.
The more I read the more I'm coming around to the idea that in certain individual cases, leaving a note and a key for the rare really late arrival whose reason for being that late is legitimate, ie. flight delays, weather, car breakdown, etc. may not be so contrary to our philosophy.
"An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival."
These are the folks that I just know can't and won't quietly find their way to their room and not wake everybody else up.
Truth be told, in an average year in what was an average economy to gauge it, we host anywhere from 250-300+ different sets of guests. I'd have to say that the average number of guests arriving even after 10pm is probably a dozen or so per year. Not exactly an epidemic or enough considering my naturally occurring sleepy time is about 11 on a daily basis for anyone to think I'm like up at all hours nearly every night waiting for guests.
Its about the same number of folks who arrive hours before check in starts. LOL How to handle them is a topic question I'll be asking in a new thread.
"IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone."
Its the extremely rare late arrival who doesn't at least call at some point to give me an idea of what the delay is. When taking reservations, we always ask if the guest will be traveling with a cell phone just in case, "we get cut off while we're helping you in some way." See, that way at 10pm, if I haven't heard from them, they get a call to see if everything is ok?
"No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in."
Well, of course most won't, but some will judge you on whether you do or not. If for example we get a guest with us for six or seven nights, do you think I want to have them copping attitude on me for the next week if they figure out I was in my space watching a movie at 7:30pm and didn't bother to come greet them. Some folks are like that.
As an example of this to anyone who has gotten a bad review somewhere from a guest. Did you KNOW you were going to get slammed, or better yet, did you even know the dissatisfied guest even was unhappy?
We've gotten like two out of 60+ on TA and in addition to the very tall tales these folks told in their reviews, they could have gotten Oscars for their performances displaying their total satisfaction to our faces while here.
"Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours."
Yes, most are very grateful I stayed up and if they needed to call for extra help finding us, they are extra grateful that a real live person picked up the phone and guided them in safely.
Good for you to have that dynamic with your guests, some of our guests and the less considerate the more they feel totally self-entitled and that they are paying us for our service and we better be jumping through all the right hoops to cater to them and their "special needs". Caring about whether we're losing sleep over them doesn't even enter their stream of consciousness.
.
We stopped letting guests check themselves in after we were here for a year. For the same reasons you mention...they just could NOT get themselves to their rooms in a peaceable manner. Most of them were repeats from the POs. They don't come here anymore.
However, by the time they hit the door, given they have yelled to each other across the parking lot, rolled 15 suitcases across the pavement and banged them up the stairs, there's no one sleeping any longer anyway! Not to mention that half of my building is 2 feet from another driveway where the same thing goes on all night...car alarms going off by mistake, the beep-beep of car alarms being set, the opening and closing of 34 car doors on a 2 door sports car and the innumerable suitcase wheels and high heels on macadam.
I haven't kept track of how many late arrivals we've had this year so far. But I am so happy I don't have to wait up for them any longer. After answering the door at 2 AM for what both you and I would consider an 'invalid' reason, I had to decide if my sanity was worth it for a guest who obviously had no regard for me or my policies. The way I looked at it after that point was that the guest who was rude, would continue to be rude and nothing I could do would change that. So why should I be awakened at 2 AM to deal with rudeness? I could sleep and get some rest and deal with rude in the morning, when I was in my best fighting form!
BTW, the invalid reason started at 5 PM when they called from 5 hours away to say they hadn't been able to get out of work on time. It got worse from there. In for a penny, in for a pound, they decided to stop and visit friends who live 2 hours from here and have dinner with them to break up the trip. In the morning, overhearing a conversation with another guest we found out that they are wildly manipulative with each other. If HE was 20 minutes late, SHE would be 30 minutes late(r). So, if they arranged to get started at 2 PM and he was late, she would drag her feet and when she was ready, he'd do the same to her until it got to the point that they were 7 hours late.
After that I decided I don't care why guests are late. Because I'm not waiting up to play games with them, they can be late because their plane got diverted, their luggage got lost, they 'forgot' they were going on vacation, they decided to go shopping, eat dinner, watch the sunset, whatever, it does not matter to me.
At 9 PM I run their card. If it doesn't go thru, no letter, they have to ring the bell to get in and I run the card no matter what time it is. If the card goes thru and they never show? Their problem, not mine. I still check the parking lot around 2 AM to see if they arrived, but I don't worry about them any longer.
The worst ones are the ones that start off arguing with the check-in time and tell me, 'Just leave the door open, what's the big deal?' Well, honey, do you leave YOUR door unlocked when you go to bed? No, I didn't think so.
If someone wants to ding me on TA because I didn't greet them at the door at 1 AM in my jammies, bad breath and wild hair, so be it. It will be a lesson for anyone else reading that I'm not their father and I'm not waiting up for them. Be on time or be prepared.
And, yes, in spite of all my best intentions, I HAVE gotten up because guests have not been able to figure out how to open the door (I had to put 'turn knob and push door' in the welcome letter because guests thought the door would open by itself) or because they were so loud they woke me up. And believe me, the last thing you want to see in the wee hours is me in my bathrobe bearing down on you in a rage.
.
Ok, so can someone explain to me why ONLY the extremely early check outs with only a bag or two can't seem to load a freakin' car at 5 am without fifteen trips back and forth from the room and slamming the car doors at least 20 times?
The types who hide in the room until an hour after your check out and you have to roust them, grab one thing, and they are gone before they even let the door hit 'em in the rear.
And is saving $18 on a flight to get a 8 am departure back to Paducah really worth missing a great breakfast, raising the ire of your host and other guests and sitting in some morning rush hour in a strange town somewhere.
Or these are the types who are driving 6 hours from Denver, didn't leave home until 5 on Friday night for a two night stay, get here at midnight and then still turnaround on Sunday and leave at 5 am because they like to get a "fresh start" so their not tired on Monday when they go back to work.
Well, when one basically drives 15 hours out of a possible 48 hour weekend, a "fresh start"ain't exactly what you'll be getting.
 

Don Draper

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We have saved versions of our late check-in letter, one for each room, on the hard drive on our computer. Our policies and our confirmations detail explicitly that check-ins after 6 pm will be unattended. We of course can make an exception to this, particularly for multi-room groups or multi-night stays...we want to be sure they get in ok and that everyone is all settled. But having the very explicit wording on all of our written info has really cut down on miscommunications and just prompted people to call and let us KNOW...that's all I ask for, I don't mind waiting, but languishing for hours when I don't even know if they are coming got really old, really fast.
Again, in an average year we are working with about 1800 sets of guests, so we had to come up with a system that would work for us. I don't know why, but we've never had a problem with loud guests since we started limiting children (except for groups of rooms, sometimes they can get loud in the outdoor areas but we've learned to show them where the less obtrusive areas are to be outside, based on which rooms they are in). So disturbing other guests as they let themselves in has never been an issue.
 

JBloggs

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If we know in advance, then they are told about a letter with their name on it, to take their time, be safe and we will see them at breakfast. We have many late arrivals and many later arrivals. Fridays are notorious - we are 4 hours drive from a major metro area and Fridays involve increased traffic and accidents on the interstate. Our letters are always personalized, a big WELCOME SAM AND SUZIE! W'ere glad you made it! Basic instructions for finding their room (we have names on the doors as well), where to find sodas, coffee, tea, snacks, and other details. I will also add something like "Breakfast is at 830 tomorrow, you will be joined by a lovely couple from Kansas" and the guests always love that. They appreciate it. Then of course sign off with contact info - ring the bell right here if you have any problems or call this #.
 

JBloggs

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We have saved versions of our late check-in letter, one for each room, on the hard drive on our computer. Our policies and our confirmations detail explicitly that check-ins after 6 pm will be unattended. We of course can make an exception to this, particularly for multi-room groups or multi-night stays...we want to be sure they get in ok and that everyone is all settled. But having the very explicit wording on all of our written info has really cut down on miscommunications and just prompted people to call and let us KNOW...that's all I ask for, I don't mind waiting, but languishing for hours when I don't even know if they are coming got really old, really fast.
Again, in an average year we are working with about 1800 sets of guests, so we had to come up with a system that would work for us. I don't know why, but we've never had a problem with loud guests since we started limiting children (except for groups of rooms, sometimes they can get loud in the outdoor areas but we've learned to show them where the less obtrusive areas are to be outside, based on which rooms they are in). So disturbing other guests as they let themselves in has never been an issue..
InnsiderInfo said:
We have saved versions of our late check-in letter, one for each room, on the hard drive on our computer. Our policies and our confirmations detail explicitly that check-ins after 6 pm will be unattended. We of course can make an exception to this, particularly for multi-room groups or multi-night stays...we want to be sure they get in ok and that everyone is all settled. But having the very explicit wording on all of our written info has really cut down on miscommunications and just prompted people to call and let us KNOW...that's all I ask for, I don't mind waiting, but languishing for hours when I don't even know if they are coming got really old, really fast.
Again, in an average year we are working with about 1800 sets of guests, so we had to come up with a system that would work for us. I don't know why, but we've never had a problem with loud guests since we started limiting children (except for groups of rooms, sometimes they can get loud in the outdoor areas but we've learned to show them where the less obtrusive areas are to be outside, based on which rooms they are in). So disturbing other guests as they let themselves in has never been an issue.
We haven't had an issue with loud guests either. Typically a late check in note sends the message that everyone is in bed or something. These are our quietest guests by far. When I am up at 6am making breakfast, if they do not show by the check in time stated by our policies then they have a nice welcome note. I can't operate on no sleep. I am working alone except on weekends when my S.O. can assist with breakfast clean up.
 

Don Draper

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dare you ask?.
Inquiring minds want to know what other innkeepers who DO allow guests to check themselves in put in the notes they leave! I totally get NOT allowing guests to let themselves in, I didn't use to do that, either. Heck, where we were the innkeepers left at 5 and came back the next morning. But I liked the letter they left and want to know what others say in theirs!
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Do you mind sharing the parts that you liked about it? Just curious!
 

Willowpondgj

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Late check-in charge deters these problems and takes away some of the pain of waiting up for them...DH has them call when they are close, if they are checking in late so our Adam's Family doorbell doesn't wake up the whole house and he greets them with a whisper at the door, to set the precident. And it is the 6'4" MAN that answers the door at night! (he's a night owl, so it's usually no biggie)
There's no way we would leave our house unlocked and we're not giving out codes over the phone or leaving keys/notes instructing strangers how to get into our place anywhere, this is just not common sense in today's world (We are originally from California, high level of paranoia! LOCK EVERYTHING!!!!) I like to believe we are living in Mayberry, but that just isn't reality.
 

egoodell

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Bree said:
When you leave a note for late arrivals, what does it say? Do you have one form with all the rooms on it or a separate form for each room? We arrived late the other day and the note was waiting for us. I like the style, much different from mine so I was wondering what others do.
What was the style of the note that you liked?
We tie a not to the door with our number in case they forgot to bring the door code
Then we have a note on the door of their room with their name so they know they are not making a mistake.
RIki
 

Morticia

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We have different letters for each room saved on disk. I personalize it for each late arrival. It tells how to get to their room, binder with information, how to reach us if there is an emergency, and breakfast info.
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left..
NW BB said:
My problem is, that if I'm here, I have a tough time leaving the late check-in info and not greeting them personally. This is something I need to work on for myself, so I can have more of a life after 6:00pm.
Most people don't mind the late check-in letter, but we did have a very unfortunate incidence once with a guest to felt "lost and abandoned". He was very upset there was no one there to greet him and he left.
My late arrival notes go out after 9 PM. Up until that point I answer the door. I used to wait until 11 but now I know better. An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival. IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone. No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in. Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours.
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The more I read the more I'm coming around to the idea that in certain individual cases, leaving a note and a key for the rare really late arrival whose reason for being that late is legitimate, ie. flight delays, weather, car breakdown, etc. may not be so contrary to our philosophy.
"An 11 PM arrival will usually decide to stop and eat and become a 1 AM arrival."
These are the folks that I just know can't and won't quietly find their way to their room and not wake everybody else up.
Truth be told, in an average year in what was an average economy to gauge it, we host anywhere from 250-300+ different sets of guests. I'd have to say that the average number of guests arriving even after 10pm is probably a dozen or so per year. Not exactly an epidemic or enough considering my naturally occurring sleepy time is about 11 on a daily basis for anyone to think I'm like up at all hours nearly every night waiting for guests.
Its about the same number of folks who arrive hours before check in starts. LOL How to handle them is a topic question I'll be asking in a new thread.
"IF the guest calls or tells us in advance that they are arriving late, I explain to them everything we are going to do while they are on the phone."
Its the extremely rare late arrival who doesn't at least call at some point to give me an idea of what the delay is. When taking reservations, we always ask if the guest will be traveling with a cell phone just in case, "we get cut off while we're helping you in some way." See, that way at 10pm, if I haven't heard from them, they get a call to see if everything is ok?
"No one has ever requested that I greet them personally on check in."
Well, of course most won't, but some will judge you on whether you do or not. If for example we get a guest with us for six or seven nights, do you think I want to have them copping attitude on me for the next week if they figure out I was in my space watching a movie at 7:30pm and didn't bother to come greet them. Some folks are like that.
As an example of this to anyone who has gotten a bad review somewhere from a guest. Did you KNOW you were going to get slammed, or better yet, did you even know the dissatisfied guest even was unhappy?
We've gotten like two out of 60+ on TA and in addition to the very tall tales these folks told in their reviews, they could have gotten Oscars for their performances displaying their total satisfaction to our faces while here.
"Most are grateful we are even letting them in after hours."
Yes, most are very grateful I stayed up and if they needed to call for extra help finding us, they are extra grateful that a real live person picked up the phone and guided them in safely.
Good for you to have that dynamic with your guests, some of our guests and the less considerate the more they feel totally self-entitled and that they are paying us for our service and we better be jumping through all the right hoops to cater to them and their "special needs". Caring about whether we're losing sleep over them doesn't even enter their stream of consciousness.
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We stopped letting guests check themselves in after we were here for a year. For the same reasons you mention...they just could NOT get themselves to their rooms in a peaceable manner. Most of them were repeats from the POs. They don't come here anymore.
However, by the time they hit the door, given they have yelled to each other across the parking lot, rolled 15 suitcases across the pavement and banged them up the stairs, there's no one sleeping any longer anyway! Not to mention that half of my building is 2 feet from another driveway where the same thing goes on all night...car alarms going off by mistake, the beep-beep of car alarms being set, the opening and closing of 34 car doors on a 2 door sports car and the innumerable suitcase wheels and high heels on macadam.
I haven't kept track of how many late arrivals we've had this year so far. But I am so happy I don't have to wait up for them any longer. After answering the door at 2 AM for what both you and I would consider an 'invalid' reason, I had to decide if my sanity was worth it for a guest who obviously had no regard for me or my policies. The way I looked at it after that point was that the guest who was rude, would continue to be rude and nothing I could do would change that. So why should I be awakened at 2 AM to deal with rudeness? I could sleep and get some rest and deal with rude in the morning, when I was in my best fighting form!
BTW, the invalid reason started at 5 PM when they called from 5 hours away to say they hadn't been able to get out of work on time. It got worse from there. In for a penny, in for a pound, they decided to stop and visit friends who live 2 hours from here and have dinner with them to break up the trip. In the morning, overhearing a conversation with another guest we found out that they are wildly manipulative with each other. If HE was 20 minutes late, SHE would be 30 minutes late(r). So, if they arranged to get started at 2 PM and he was late, she would drag her feet and when she was ready, he'd do the same to her until it got to the point that they were 7 hours late.
After that I decided I don't care why guests are late. Because I'm not waiting up to play games with them, they can be late because their plane got diverted, their luggage got lost, they 'forgot' they were going on vacation, they decided to go shopping, eat dinner, watch the sunset, whatever, it does not matter to me.
At 9 PM I run their card. If it doesn't go thru, no letter, they have to ring the bell to get in and I run the card no matter what time it is. If the card goes thru and they never show? Their problem, not mine. I still check the parking lot around 2 AM to see if they arrived, but I don't worry about them any longer.
The worst ones are the ones that start off arguing with the check-in time and tell me, 'Just leave the door open, what's the big deal?' Well, honey, do you leave YOUR door unlocked when you go to bed? No, I didn't think so.
If someone wants to ding me on TA because I didn't greet them at the door at 1 AM in my jammies, bad breath and wild hair, so be it. It will be a lesson for anyone else reading that I'm not their father and I'm not waiting up for them. Be on time or be prepared.
And, yes, in spite of all my best intentions, I HAVE gotten up because guests have not been able to figure out how to open the door (I had to put 'turn knob and push door' in the welcome letter because guests thought the door would open by itself) or because they were so loud they woke me up. And believe me, the last thing you want to see in the wee hours is me in my bathrobe bearing down on you in a rage.
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Ok, so can someone explain to me why ONLY the extremely early check outs with only a bag or two can't seem to load a freakin' car at 5 am without fifteen trips back and forth from the room and slamming the car doors at least 20 times?
The types who hide in the room until an hour after your check out and you have to roust them, grab one thing, and they are gone before they even let the door hit 'em in the rear.
And is saving $18 on a flight to get a 8 am departure back to Paducah really worth missing a great breakfast, raising the ire of your host and other guests and sitting in some morning rush hour in a strange town somewhere.
Or these are the types who are driving 6 hours from Denver, didn't leave home until 5 on Friday night for a two night stay, get here at midnight and then still turnaround on Sunday and leave at 5 am because they like to get a "fresh start" so their not tired on Monday when they go back to work.
Well, when one basically drives 15 hours out of a possible 48 hour weekend, a "fresh start"ain't exactly what you'll be getting.
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Tim_Toad_HLB said:
Ok, so can someone explain to me why ONLY the extremely early check outs with only a bag or two can't seem to load a freakin' car at 5 am without fifteen trips back and forth from the room and slamming the car doors at least 20 times?
They are really tired and they forget everything or think they forgot stuff and have to 'double check'.
I really hate leaving before breakfast to catch an 8 AM flight but if I don't, I'm usually not home before midnight, no matter where I am traveling from. There are no direct flights to here unless I'm only going to/from Newark, JFK or DC.
Using pure dumb luck, I booked a flight at 10 AM out of Atlanta, thinking I could eat breakfast before I left the B&B. Nope, clueless guest that I am I didn't realize where I was staying was 2 hours away from the airport. The innkeeper woke me up and hustled me out of the house to get to the limo service in time so I could get to the airport. I never even checked to see how far the town I was going to was from the airport.
 

Morticia

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Bree said:
When you leave a note for late arrivals, what does it say? Do you have one form with all the rooms on it or a separate form for each room? We arrived late the other day and the note was waiting for us. I like the style, much different from mine so I was wondering what others do.
What was the style of the note that you liked?
We tie a not to the door with our number in case they forgot to bring the door code
Then we have a note on the door of their room with their name so they know they are not making a mistake.
RIki.
I put the guest's name on their door as well.
What I liked about the note I got was that it had all the rooms listed on it and that it explained what to do about the lights and how to lock the doors.
 
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