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Arks

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We're in the last few days of our British Isles B&B vacation and are now in the village of Dingle, Ireland, on a peninsula that extends out into the Atlantic. We've stayed in B&Bs rated from ** to ***** and all have been an education for this aspiring innkeeper.
Dingle is famous for traditional Irish music and dancing and tonight we're headed to a 2-hour folk music concert.
All the B&Bs we've stayed in are very clean and friendly. Haven't seen a single place with a jacuzzi or "power shower". Most offer a cooked "English breakfast" of fried eggs and meats, but some are strictly a continental breakfast.
Ice machines are unknown here but there's a grocery store across the street from out B&B here in Dingle that sells a 4-pound bag of ice for $1.25, so I'm enjoying my first cold Scotch in 2 weeks. Life is good!
I talked with the owner of the 5-star English B&B we stayed in and her primary advice to me was security. She has a house full of antiques and original art on the walls and she says there is NOTHING in her house that guests won't "pinch" (steal). She said you'd think people paying $200/night and up wouldn't steal, but they certainly will. I'm sure this isn't news to you experienced innkeepers.
Since I'm planning a guest house with no staff living "on site", I'll look into security cameras and screwing everything down with a screw head that's not easily removed.
I'm calling America in a few minutes...well, after the effects of the cold whisky wear off...to make a counter offer on the building I want to buy for my guest house. It's a 130-year-old 5000 sq. ft. building. She's wanting $80,000. I was expecting $45,000 to $65,000. So I'm planning to offer $70,000. Wish me luck!
 

egoodell

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It's a fact here that we don't put anything in the guest rooms that we'd miss if broken. Here we don't usually have any kind of theft due to the clientele we have.
It sounds to me like you are going to be more of a boutique hotel. B&B's have owners or an innkeeper on site. They don't use security cameras as substitutes. Screwing everything down sounds like a motel.
Not anything against your project - it sounds really cool but I would market it as a boutique hotel and not a B&B from what I'm hearing.
RIki
 

wendydk

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In nearly eight years, I have never had so much as a washcloth walk away.
 

Joey Camb

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I would try and make security cameras as unobtrusive as possible people don't like to think they are being watched. In 5 years we have only had 2 sets of towels taken and two pictures (the pictures are the weirdest thing as they were $2.00 each from a yard sale and prints not paintings or anything) so I don't worry too much about theft. I worry more about breakages so I don't put anything that if smashed to bits I would miss.
 

JBloggs

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Irish B&B's and American B&B's are nothing alike. I wouldn't use their advice or innfo as a basis for operating an Inn in the USA. Most Irish B&B's are closer to guest houses/homestays.
We have never had any theft here of any kind. Again, you are comparing apples and oranges.
 

JBloggs

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Unlike the UK that are under surveillance from ten cameras if they scratch their left nostril, Americans do not prefer to have their...well without getting political...let's just say cameras in a B&B are not a good idea. Listening devices are also not a good idea, anything that is not publicly posted is an invasion of privacy.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Irish B&B's and American B&B's are nothing alike. I wouldn't use their advice or innfo as a basis for operating an Inn in the USA. Most Irish B&B's are closer to guest houses/homestays.
We have never had any theft here of any kind. Again, you are comparing apples and oranges..
Joey Bloggs said:
Irish B&B's and American B&B's are nothing alike. I wouldn't use their advice or innfo as a basis for operating an Inn in the USA. Most Irish B&B's are closer to guest houses/homestays.
We have never had any theft here of any kind. Again, you are comparing apples and oranges.
Ditto.
It makes no sense whatsoever to go to Ireland to conduct research on an American B&B.
I'm not buying it.
 

Joey Camb

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The law in this country is if you have CCTV you have to display a large sign that you do. I'm not suggesting hiding the cameras and secretly filming but sometimes they are handy. One B&B near me has one focused on the door so when he is watching TV he has the screen for the camera next to him and can see people comming up the path and be there in time to greet them. Another lady I know has a cafe and has one out the back to see when deliveries are comming and one over the cafe to see people comming in when she is in the back cooking so she can keep and eye. It is not about invasion of privacy more about customer service but I would suggest that you don't have a million cameras pointing all over as that would be awful. I now and again think about having one over our front door so if people ring the bell and I don't like the look of them I can just not answer.
 

Copperhead

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While you may get some good advise or great ideas from the B&B's you are visiting, remember we all are different and do attract different clientele with different wants and needs.
While I do recall someone in the past on this forum mentioning having their pillows taken (had very nice pillows also had them for sale) or wooden hangers dwindling from their closets, I do not recall ever seeing any reports of a real thieft problem at any B&B in the states.
Could it happen, well yes but you have all their contact information, CC # etc. Maybe those B&B's are just allowing any John Doe to come in and pay cash - who knows!
I do agree with Riki that from what you have been mentioning, your place would fall more under a boutique hotel catagory than a B&B.
 

Arks

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It's a fact here that we don't put anything in the guest rooms that we'd miss if broken. Here we don't usually have any kind of theft due to the clientele we have.
It sounds to me like you are going to be more of a boutique hotel. B&B's have owners or an innkeeper on site. They don't use security cameras as substitutes. Screwing everything down sounds like a motel.
Not anything against your project - it sounds really cool but I would market it as a boutique hotel and not a B&B from what I'm hearing.
RIki.
I can't see calling it any sort of hotel as it will include almost none of the services one would expect from a hotel, like phones in the room, a 24-hour desk, a restaurant, etc.
 

Arks

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I would try and make security cameras as unobtrusive as possible people don't like to think they are being watched. In 5 years we have only had 2 sets of towels taken and two pictures (the pictures are the weirdest thing as they were $2.00 each from a yard sale and prints not paintings or anything) so I don't worry too much about theft. I worry more about breakages so I don't put anything that if smashed to bits I would miss..
I'm not planning to put anything expensive in the place that I can't bare to part with. I may put in conduits as we remodel in case cameras are needed later, but won't start with them. In fact, if I DO put in cameras, I may put in fake ones that are more obvious, expecting clever folk to throw a towel over them, then put in hidden cameras to do the real recording!
But I'll start with trusting people and see how far that takes me.
 

Arks

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Irish B&B's and American B&B's are nothing alike. I wouldn't use their advice or innfo as a basis for operating an Inn in the USA. Most Irish B&B's are closer to guest houses/homestays.
We have never had any theft here of any kind. Again, you are comparing apples and oranges..
Joey Bloggs said:
Irish B&B's and American B&B's are nothing alike. I wouldn't use their advice or innfo as a basis for operating an Inn in the USA. Most Irish B&B's are closer to guest houses/homestays.
We have never had any theft here of any kind. Again, you are comparing apples and oranges.
Ditto.
It makes no sense whatsoever to go to Ireland to conduct research on an American B&B.
I'm not buying it.
.
I'm not here for research. It's a vacation. But I'm certainly taking notes.
 

seashanty

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i don't know anything about guest houses ... and even less (if that's possible) about how things are done in other countries. but a boutique hotel implies to me ... luxury and service.
you mustn't put 'treasures' in the guest spaces. just in case. there is a great line in The Accidental Tourist i think of a lot ... 'never take along anything on your journey ... so valuable or dear ... that its loss would devastate you.' the same principle applies for b&b's.
no staff living on site and security cameras all around? this has no appeal to me as a potential guest at all ... none.
please come back to the u.s., and stay in some american b&b's ... then compare.
 

seashanty

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ps i think there's nothing wrong with having security cameras on exterior doors ... lots of private homes have those ... and apartment buildings ... lots of businesses, too. but inside? sounds like a big hotel.
when i first opened, two elderly couples were my first guests. one of the men scolded me because each of the rooms had two beautiful, monogrammed bathrobes. he told me that they'd be gone by the end of the summer, stolen. that was in early june. in december, when i locked up the place for the winter, all bathrobes were still there. not one went missing. not one. he was wrong. i don't know if a resident innkeeper and the relationship i seemed to have with my guests made the difference. i am very warm and friendly, and there were lots of hugs given to me when guests parted. so i just can't say.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Unlike the UK that are under surveillance from ten cameras if they scratch their left nostril, Americans do not prefer to have their...well without getting political...let's just say cameras in a B&B are not a good idea. Listening devices are also not a good idea, anything that is not publicly posted is an invasion of privacy..
Joey Bloggs said:
Unlike the UK that are under surveillance from ten cameras if they scratch their left nostril, Americans do not prefer to have their...well without getting political...let's just say cameras in a B&B are not a good idea. Listening devices are also not a good idea, anything that is not publicly posted is an invasion of privacy.
Exactly.
 

egoodell

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It's a fact here that we don't put anything in the guest rooms that we'd miss if broken. Here we don't usually have any kind of theft due to the clientele we have.
It sounds to me like you are going to be more of a boutique hotel. B&B's have owners or an innkeeper on site. They don't use security cameras as substitutes. Screwing everything down sounds like a motel.
Not anything against your project - it sounds really cool but I would market it as a boutique hotel and not a B&B from what I'm hearing.
RIki.
I can't see calling it any sort of hotel as it will include almost none of the services one would expect from a hotel, like phones in the room, a 24-hour desk, a restaurant, etc.
.
Arkansawyer said:
I can't see calling it any sort of hotel as it will include almost none of the services one would expect from a hotel, like phones in the room, a 24-hour desk, a restaurant, etc.
For the same reason you can't call it a B&B if you don't have a resident innkeeper or any staff at all. B&Bs are all about customer service.
Especially if you plan to have cameras. I'm not sure what to call it now. Vacation rental?
What are your guests going to do when they need local information? When they lock themselves out of their rooms? When there is a fire? With no staff how will all this be handled? It never happens from 9 - 5...
Riki
 

wendydk

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I find myself dreaming of running a Guest House down the road. It would certainly help me buy the house I've always wanted in my old hometown. I guess I'm not quite ready to give up innkeeping, it's what I've done for more than 20 years...what else would I do? :)

Maybe what I want is to still do this, but less restrictively.....get DH away from doing daily breakfasts and me away from daily cleanings. I've really had no experiences with a guest house, or talked to anyone that owned one, so my dreams of innkeeping without the work and restrictions are probably unrealistic, and the guests would likely be TOTALLY different from what we get now.
 

egoodell

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I find myself dreaming of running a Guest House down the road. It would certainly help me buy the house I've always wanted in my old hometown. I guess I'm not quite ready to give up innkeeping, it's what I've done for more than 20 years...what else would I do? :)

Maybe what I want is to still do this, but less restrictively.....get DH away from doing daily breakfasts and me away from daily cleanings. I've really had no experiences with a guest house, or talked to anyone that owned one, so my dreams of innkeeping without the work and restrictions are probably unrealistic, and the guests would likely be TOTALLY different from what we get now..
It appears that often when you have a rental that is more guest house or long term, with no innkeeper or staff around, you can expect a lot less respect for the property. More damage, more dirt, more stuffing lots of bodies into one room.
Not to say that it would not work - I could see doing it somewhere I loved to live. But I would let them know I check in the rooms on a daily basis - or make them pay a good damage deposit up front..
RIki
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I find myself dreaming of running a Guest House down the road. It would certainly help me buy the house I've always wanted in my old hometown. I guess I'm not quite ready to give up innkeeping, it's what I've done for more than 20 years...what else would I do? :)

Maybe what I want is to still do this, but less restrictively.....get DH away from doing daily breakfasts and me away from daily cleanings. I've really had no experiences with a guest house, or talked to anyone that owned one, so my dreams of innkeeping without the work and restrictions are probably unrealistic, and the guests would likely be TOTALLY different from what we get now..
It appears that often when you have a rental that is more guest house or long term, with no innkeeper or staff around, you can expect a lot less respect for the property. More damage, more dirt, more stuffing lots of bodies into one room.
Not to say that it would not work - I could see doing it somewhere I loved to live. But I would let them know I check in the rooms on a daily basis - or make them pay a good damage deposit up front..
RIki
.
It can be done. Here's a place in Santa Cruz, CA that does it spectacularly well.
 

Copperhead

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It's a fact here that we don't put anything in the guest rooms that we'd miss if broken. Here we don't usually have any kind of theft due to the clientele we have.
It sounds to me like you are going to be more of a boutique hotel. B&B's have owners or an innkeeper on site. They don't use security cameras as substitutes. Screwing everything down sounds like a motel.
Not anything against your project - it sounds really cool but I would market it as a boutique hotel and not a B&B from what I'm hearing.
RIki.
I can't see calling it any sort of hotel as it will include almost none of the services one would expect from a hotel, like phones in the room, a 24-hour desk, a restaurant, etc.
.
Arkansawyer said:
I can't see calling it any sort of hotel as it will include almost none of the services one would expect from a hotel, like phones in the room, a 24-hour desk, a restaurant, etc.
For the same reason you can't call it a B&B if you don't have a resident innkeeper or any staff at all. B&Bs are all about customer service.
Especially if you plan to have cameras. I'm not sure what to call it now. Vacation rental?
What are your guests going to do when they need local information? When they lock themselves out of their rooms? When there is a fire? With no staff how will all this be handled? It never happens from 9 - 5...
Riki
.
egoodell said:
Arkansawyer said:
I can't see calling it any sort of hotel as it will include almost none of the services one would expect from a hotel, like phones in the room, a 24-hour desk, a restaurant, etc.
For the same reason you can't call it a B&B if you don't have a resident innkeeper or any staff at all. B&Bs are all about customer service.
Especially if you plan to have cameras. I'm not sure what to call it now. Vacation rental?
What are your guests going to do when they need local information? When they lock themselves out of their rooms? When there is a fire? With no staff how will all this be handled? It never happens from 9 - 5...
Riki
Services - there is a key word... That will help you decide on the type of accommodation you are going for. And with each, be prepared for a different type of clientele. AK - make sure you choose the right name (B&B, Inn, Guesthouse, Hotel ......) for the type of establishment you are putting together, it will dictate your client base.
While a B&B is typically thought of as having a resident innkeeper some areas do not require it and thus, thus guests find themselves at a place they would have contact and there is none. I wish there were a 'standard' slate of definitions for different types of accommodation catagories but there is not. I feel this does hamper our industry as people go to a place thinking it is something it isn't and reverts back to the BOX hotel because they know what to expect.
As far as security cameras, I would not mind if I saw cameras on the exterior of building, as I would then think of safety being a key element in it. Inside is a different story, I then would think that they were worried about what I am doing and that I might take something, then I feel like I am not trusted, as well as that others that are there are not trusted - so should I be worried about my stuff????
 
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