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Reasons why YOU don't choose to stay at a B&B

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JBloggs

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In response to another issue with marketing of late, I think it is worthwhile to share why WE don't stay in B&B's (when we choose a hotel vs a B&B or a different rental model).
This is not a question to unload on any inn or any specific methodology, but I think it might be enlightening for all of us. Maybe there are some small adjustments we can make or even package some ideas we read here.
 

Alibi Ike

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Why I don't stay:
  • Not in the location I want to be
  • WAY too expensive for my budget (I rarely stay anywhere that charges what I do, that includes hotels)
  • Too small (I don't want to stay somewhere that I am going to be 'on the spot' entertaining the innkeeper)
  • I need an early check-out and a clean break
  • Can't figure out what the price is without calling (My theory is 'if I have to ask, I can't afford it.')
  • Can't get a response to any questions either on the website or via email or phone
  • Am made to feel like an idiot if I call and ask questions (this applies anywhere)
  • Pets are allowed to roam free in the guest areas
  • The website has made the innkeepers' belief system very clear and I'm put off by it
  • Breakfast is buffet (unless the innkeeper has made an effort to explain that is all they are allowed to serve)
 

JBloggs

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Why I don't choose a B&B (this obv does not apply to all B&B's, but if I planned a trip today, these might be some of the reasons I choose a different type lodging - and the type of trip changes my answers as well.) For me, this would be American Travel only, if I went overseas I would choose a B&B unless I had a package deal or tour with hotels.
Why I don't choose a B&B:
#1) No TV
#2) too many antiques and old stuff
#3) Travelling all day and arriving late, not sure when and don't like to be pinned down by a check in time, or someone waiting for me
#4) policies too extreme or not flexible enough
#5) no online avail calendar or booking online - I must book online right now as I am planning the trip
#6) confusing website, can't find prices and decent information about the rooms - give me some nice photos, some bullets of info AND a map to show me where you are located
#7) you accept kids. I have kids, I don't want to be around other people's kids
#8) or you don't have two beds per room, so we have to book two rooms for our small family of 4, this is not economically feasible for us
#9) Some Innkeepers are weird. yes, weird, some of them. How do I know? I have had them stay HERE and found them weird, they are arrogant and pompous about their "lifestyle" not sure why, but they are. (None from this forum of course, you are stellar innkeepers and FUN! Wait, change that, there are a couple very strange ones on this forum, no names will be given, sorry)
#10) POOL.
#11) Not being interviewed about our lives, just going about our business, so anon at a hotel is preferable.
Now does any of this have to do with being in the right location? Parking? Access? Nope. Does it have to do with wifi? No. Does it have to do with being cool? Nope. Would I prefer to stay with cool innkeepers? No, doesn't worry me, I am there to do MY THING.
Examples of GREAT B&B's and WHY I LOVED THEM:
#1) Innkeepers who left you alone after check in. They welcomed you in, had everything in place, and information where need be, and then stayed away.
#2) Looked like fun people from the website and other online marketing like blog, made their area out to be fun. I am not there to be entertained by the hosts, at all, but I do like to hear they are nice and fun people, this means my stay will be fun! The whole atmosphere/aura thing.
#3) Gourmet candlelight breakfasts are not for me, I like something tasty, not overstarched sit down meals for breakfast, so those who have a more casual breakfast are more my cup of tea.
#4) Parking and being able to walk is a plus! Restaurants to walk to, and other things to do nearby.
#5) Recognition of a special event I am there to celebrate. (If a host asks, they should do more than say "OH" and walk away. A few inns I know have done something and made the guest/me feel special.
#6) Nice maid service is always a treat at a B&B.
 

JBloggs

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YES and breakfast is too LATE, I am out and about early. And NO I don't want the innkeeper up early to cook for me, and me to sit there and eat. So for that, a hotel works better I can zip out and be back if I have a later sleeper in the room.
YES, lack of common areas makes me feel like I am in someone elses house, that is the last thing I want to do, even my own relatives. This is probably a HUGE HINDRANCE to many who want to stay at a B&B but won't pick anything under 6 or 7 rooms!!
What I love is the gardens and attention to detail at B&B's. I appreciate seeing this, all the little tid bits here and there. NOT family photos, the last thing I want is family photos.
 

Penelope

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I travel with kids. Period. I can't afford $50 or so extra for them.
I'm afraid I'll be put off by the atmosphere- too granny-ish, dripping Vic...I am NOT an elegant person. I don't want "elegant" when I get away.
If I can't book online, forget it. I'm not wasting my time calling
Chances are, I just want a place to lay my head. I need to get a good night's sleep before the next day of driving.
Don't treat me like my Gen X money isn't good enough, or as good at the Baby Boomer money. I earned mine, too
I don't want to be entertained. I don't want the song and dance. I want to get away.
Just my 2 cents
 

Alibi Ike

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Why I don't choose a B&B (this obv does not apply to all B&B's, but if I planned a trip today, these might be some of the reasons I choose a different type lodging - and the type of trip changes my answers as well.) For me, this would be American Travel only, if I went overseas I would choose a B&B unless I had a package deal or tour with hotels.
Why I don't choose a B&B:
#1) No TV
#2) too many antiques and old stuff
#3) Travelling all day and arriving late, not sure when and don't like to be pinned down by a check in time, or someone waiting for me
#4) policies too extreme or not flexible enough
#5) no online avail calendar or booking online - I must book online right now as I am planning the trip
#6) confusing website, can't find prices and decent information about the rooms - give me some nice photos, some bullets of info AND a map to show me where you are located
#7) you accept kids. I have kids, I don't want to be around other people's kids
#8) or you don't have two beds per room, so we have to book two rooms for our small family of 4, this is not economically feasible for us
#9) Some Innkeepers are weird. yes, weird, some of them. How do I know? I have had them stay HERE and found them weird, they are arrogant and pompous about their "lifestyle" not sure why, but they are. (None from this forum of course, you are stellar innkeepers and FUN! Wait, change that, there are a couple very strange ones on this forum, no names will be given, sorry)
#10) POOL.
#11) Not being interviewed about our lives, just going about our business, so anon at a hotel is preferable.
Now does any of this have to do with being in the right location? Parking? Access? Nope. Does it have to do with wifi? No. Does it have to do with being cool? Nope. Would I prefer to stay with cool innkeepers? No, doesn't worry me, I am there to do MY THING.
Examples of GREAT B&B's and WHY I LOVED THEM:
#1) Innkeepers who left you alone after check in. They welcomed you in, had everything in place, and information where need be, and then stayed away.
#2) Looked like fun people from the website and other online marketing like blog, made their area out to be fun. I am not there to be entertained by the hosts, at all, but I do like to hear they are nice and fun people, this means my stay will be fun! The whole atmosphere/aura thing.
#3) Gourmet candlelight breakfasts are not for me, I like something tasty, not overstarched sit down meals for breakfast, so those who have a more casual breakfast are more my cup of tea.
#4) Parking and being able to walk is a plus! Restaurants to walk to, and other things to do nearby.
#5) Recognition of a special event I am there to celebrate. (If a host asks, they should do more than say "OH" and walk away. A few inns I know have done something and made the guest/me feel special.
#6) Nice maid service is always a treat at a B&B..
Yup, forgot to mention strict policies. Or even too many policies.
Common areas- also important. Unless the room is totally over the top with lounge areas. I'd like to be able to sit outside or even inside in a comfy chair.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We are taking a 2 week trip soon and have booked no nights at b&bs, although I looked at a lot of them. Here are my reason why I don't stay in most b&bs:
  • Price - I'm not going to pay $250-$350 a night, unless I'm there for a special occasion and it's an experience. Most of our trips are to see new places and we will not be in our room very much.
  • I don't want to be an innkeeper on vacation. I don't want to talk business or be in critical/analytical mode (I just can't help it!) when I'm away. I need anonimity.
  • Breakfast is typically too early and I don't want to have to be up and presentable. In a hotel, there is more flexibility.
  • Depending on the region, a lot of b&bs offer a continental breakfast. NO WAY!
  • Location. Typically we're in big cities when we travel and b&bs in these towns are $$
  • Websites are terrible and the pictures are even worse. A lot of them look like you're going to grannys and they don't portray the privacy I need.
  • I need a tv in my room. It's getting better, but there are still a lot of b&bs out there that don't have them, or charge more for their rooms that do have them.
 

JBloggs

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I travel with kids. Period. I can't afford $50 or so extra for them.
I'm afraid I'll be put off by the atmosphere- too granny-ish, dripping Vic...I am NOT an elegant person. I don't want "elegant" when I get away.
If I can't book online, forget it. I'm not wasting my time calling
Chances are, I just want a place to lay my head. I need to get a good night's sleep before the next day of driving.
Don't treat me like my Gen X money isn't good enough, or as good at the Baby Boomer money. I earned mine, too
I don't want to be entertained. I don't want the song and dance. I want to get away.
Just my 2 cents.
So P, do you choose to stay at them enroute while travelling or as a destination? See that makes a difference in the trip planning. While traveling, it is seldom/never a B&B for us. What percentage of us here have guests who stay with us ONLY as a soft place to fall while traveling vs "to stay here" specifically?
BD This is amazing info here. I like you begin my planning looking at inns, and get so frustrated that I give up and say NO WAY. They make it TOO HARD.
I am listening to all of this. So what you have said, what I say and Penelope has said is it is a special ocassion getaway. We want privacy and also lee-way. So we are feeling a bit "restrained" at a B&B. Interesting! Thanks for the answers so far...this is good stuff!
(I am purposefully leaving out staying with innmates for this discussion, as we are innkeepers and that would throw the results)
 

Alibi Ike

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I travel with kids. Period. I can't afford $50 or so extra for them.
I'm afraid I'll be put off by the atmosphere- too granny-ish, dripping Vic...I am NOT an elegant person. I don't want "elegant" when I get away.
If I can't book online, forget it. I'm not wasting my time calling
Chances are, I just want a place to lay my head. I need to get a good night's sleep before the next day of driving.
Don't treat me like my Gen X money isn't good enough, or as good at the Baby Boomer money. I earned mine, too
I don't want to be entertained. I don't want the song and dance. I want to get away.
Just my 2 cents.
So P, do you choose to stay at them enroute while travelling or as a destination? See that makes a difference in the trip planning. While traveling, it is seldom/never a B&B for us. What percentage of us here have guests who stay with us ONLY as a soft place to fall while traveling vs "to stay here" specifically?
BD This is amazing info here. I like you begin my planning looking at inns, and get so frustrated that I give up and say NO WAY. They make it TOO HARD.
I am listening to all of this. So what you have said, what I say and Penelope has said is it is a special ocassion getaway. We want privacy and also lee-way. So we are feeling a bit "restrained" at a B&B. Interesting! Thanks for the answers so far...this is good stuff!
(I am purposefully leaving out staying with innmates for this discussion, as we are innkeepers and that would throw the results)
.
Joey Bloggs said:
. What percentage of us here have guests who stay with us ONLY as a soft place to fall while traveling vs "to stay here" specifically?
A huge % of my guests are here for one night. This is not their destination, it's where they land between the 'flight' and the 'vacation rental'. (OK, that is in season. Off season this is where they are going.) So, in season- 1 nighters abound; off season- 2 nights are standard and then they go home, not somewhere else.
 

Alibi Ike

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I travel with kids. Period. I can't afford $50 or so extra for them.
I'm afraid I'll be put off by the atmosphere- too granny-ish, dripping Vic...I am NOT an elegant person. I don't want "elegant" when I get away.
If I can't book online, forget it. I'm not wasting my time calling
Chances are, I just want a place to lay my head. I need to get a good night's sleep before the next day of driving.
Don't treat me like my Gen X money isn't good enough, or as good at the Baby Boomer money. I earned mine, too
I don't want to be entertained. I don't want the song and dance. I want to get away.
Just my 2 cents.
Penelope said:
I travel with kids. Period. I can't afford $50 or so extra for them.
Just heard the very same thing from a caller. Did not see why kids were free at the hotel next door but I was charging for them. I lose a lot of family business that way.
 

EmptyNest

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In places I usually go, I don't want to pay the prices at the B &B. I now prefer the impersonal hotel. I don't want to sit around a breakfast table and converse with strangers or innkeepers. Sorry folks
 

JBloggs

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The problem I see is this, as innkeepers who are to be all things to all people, we understand this is our job, as impossible as it seems. BUT as a guest - what I want as a casual getaway near thing I want to see or do, is not the same inn as the "special ocassion getaway" celebrating an Anniversary. I want to find the best pizza, they want fine dining.
Can we be more/both, can we market to young AND old? I think the #1 perception is that B&B's are special getaways. For graduations it is because the hotels are full.
Now overseas the B&B is more geared toward the tourist, that is why I said here in the USA how I choose or not choose a B&B. Overseas they are tourist guest housing. But where does OUR money come from? If we are forced to choose will we lose out? Not all, of course, some here are TOTAL ROMANTIC GETAWAYS, they need to maintain that image and gear everything toward romance and privacy, 100%.
 

Alibi Ike

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The problem I see is this, as innkeepers who are to be all things to all people, we understand this is our job, as impossible as it seems. BUT as a guest - what I want as a casual getaway near thing I want to see or do, is not the same inn as the "special ocassion getaway" celebrating an Anniversary. I want to find the best pizza, they want fine dining.
Can we be more/both, can we market to young AND old? I think the #1 perception is that B&B's are special getaways. For graduations it is because the hotels are full.
Now overseas the B&B is more geared toward the tourist, that is why I said here in the USA how I choose or not choose a B&B. Overseas they are tourist guest housing. But where does OUR money come from? If we are forced to choose will we lose out? Not all, of course, some here are TOTAL ROMANTIC GETAWAYS, they need to maintain that image and gear everything toward romance and privacy, 100%..
OK, the person I spoke with today said B&B's are for 'romantic getaways'. She goes to hotels with her kids because she doesn't see B&B's as the right place to take kids. She wants 2 beds and a pullout couch and she wants to be able to feed the kids when they're hungry, not at a set time with fancy tableware.
 

JBloggs

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After this exercise is done here, can you do me a favor and ask your S.O. or DH/DW this same question? Will we be surprised to find different answers from our own?
Here is DH's answer in a nutshell "FREEDOM"
do whatever the heck I want when I want to. his words, not mine. check in check out leave.
 

Alibi Ike

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En suite bath. Gotta have it. More because I don't want to bother anyone else. Which means no shared at all. I don't even like sharing when I travel with girlfriends.
 

YellowSocks

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For the (one night) trip I took in November... b/c I was arriving late, with little boys, only staying one night, and we went to a place with the pool.
For the (week long) trip I took last April... b/c I found a three bedroom cabin on a lake with a kitchen and laundry facilities for a comparable price.
For the (three night) trip I took in summer of 2009... b/c I found a two bedroom rental house with full kitchen and laundry facilities for a comparable price. (Plus the B&B that took kids was sold out.)
I have stayed at several B&B's with my kids, and enjoyed them a lot. But one was a wedding (we wouldn't be around to use a pool) and one was visiting family (same, and no need for cooking facilities).
I don't care about TV... but I insist on wi-fi. If we don't have time to swim, and don't need cooking facilities, then a B&B with wifi that takes kids is my first choice.
=)
Kk.
 

Generic

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Well, I'm one of those foreign B&Bs.... the antique is the house... no old furniture. I am not a luxury place to stay. I only have one room with a private bath. I have TVs in all the rooms and a DVD player in all but one (in that room, I have a video player instead.)
I do ask people for arrival times, though. I gotta plan my day. But if they ask and want to arrive late, we have an electronic keypad, I can just give them the code and it's done with.
 

JBloggs

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Well, I'm one of those foreign B&Bs.... the antique is the house... no old furniture. I am not a luxury place to stay. I only have one room with a private bath. I have TVs in all the rooms and a DVD player in all but one (in that room, I have a video player instead.)
I do ask people for arrival times, though. I gotta plan my day. But if they ask and want to arrive late, we have an electronic keypad, I can just give them the code and it's done with..
Eric not asking for ANYONE HERE TO DEFEND WHY THEY DO WHAT THEY DO. I am ONLY asking why YOU choose to stay at a B&B. Please do not start the discussion on why we do what we do, feel free to begin a new thread on that topic. Trying to get feedback on what WE look for and why or why not we choose a B&B.
 

Don Draper

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Typically price: Either the luxury place I want to stay is too high, or the place looks TOO small/Mom&Pop and I don't want to stay there either.
I want to be anonymous at this stage of my life/innkeeping career. I'm not into being social when I get some precious time off.
But honestly, the number one reason I won't book at a B&B is poor website/no online booking.
ETA: Lack of TV is something we consider an amenity. We don't watch it and I don't want to hear anyone else's. We travel to see new places so are very rarely IN the room anyway, another reason B&B usually doesn't work out for us.
 

Alibi Ike

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After this exercise is done here, can you do me a favor and ask your S.O. or DH/DW this same question? Will we be surprised to find different answers from our own?
Here is DH's answer in a nutshell "FREEDOM"
do whatever the heck I want when I want to. his words, not mine. check in check out leave..
The other half? Wants to be able to control the temperature in the room. If it's hot he wants A/C he can control. Or windows he can open. If it's cold, he wants to be able to adjust the thermostat and make it warmer. (He has a heart condition and being cold is painful.)
Price is a problem. But he's good at finding inexpensive places with everything he needs. (For the most part.)
What he likes is how personable everything is. Being able to pop downstairs, get a cup of coffee and read the paper in relative peace and quiet.
 
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