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Madeleine

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OK, me again trying to make a reservation at a B&B. So, I ask you all to take this test...pick anywhere you would like to go and try to make a reservation at a B&B. What about the website makes you nuts? Now, go FIX that on YOUR website!
Some things that drove me up the wall:
  1. No prices.
  2. A range of prices with no defining dates.
  3. Having to read the history of the room before I got to the essentials (bed size, bath info). BTW, guilty, but after that intro I have a bulleted list so you can skip the blah, blah and get to it.
  4. No idea if you serve breakfast. Or what kind.
  5. Having to email to get info.
  6. Calling and being told, 'Oh,' and having the phone laid down and hearing all the chatter in the background for 2 minutes until someone figured out how to take a reservation.
  7. No online booking. Only 'request for room' applications. STOP IT! I am not moving in, I am a paying guest. I will pay, stay and go away. Don't torture me in advance! You're not worth it. (Apologies to those who are worth it but I have the attention span of a gnat.)
  8. Payment by money order only.
  9. MUSIC! Turn it off.
  10. Totally black page with text that spans the entire screen.
  11. Looking on a directory, I narrowed my search to a town that is 15 miles from where I want to be. Over half of the listings were for towns an HOUR in the opposite direction. Seriously? I don't care how much money those second city listings bring in, knock it off! (I know the area or I would be PEEVED to have to drive over an hour to get back to the inn after a party. And an hout to GET to the party.)
  12. Animals. Kids. Over-running the house. OK, that's not the website, that's the inn itself.
  13. Joey's fav- pix from 1995. And the decor probably hasn't changed, either.
So, the upshot? We are staying at DH's favorite dive motel for $69. Hey, YOU could have had my money. I could have spent $139 instead but you wouldn't let me. (No one in particular, BTW, I'm not going where any of you live or I'd be calling you! Not that you'd want me after that rant!)
PS- I do advise reading reviews. I was all set to book a B&B I've been looking at for years only to find out they have a VERY large family that runs loose in the house. And the mgmt response to a complaint was along the lines of- "We have kids. If you don't like that stay elsewhere." So I am.
 

Joey Camb

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We don't have prices as they vary from day to day but we do have live online booking - ie you put in your dates it tells you the price and you go on and book if you want to. BUT I don't make them fight me for the information! One of my neighbours on her web site has a static list of prices and they are her top end, for me I wouldn't do that as if it was dead then you don't have the option of going a bit cheaper if you want to - even a range would be better.
 

Highlands John

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It staggers me how difficult some people make it to book with them. They've gone to all the expense and effort of getting you to their website in the first place and then make it incredibly difficult to book or find the information that you (and most travellers) want.
Someone near here had a website were the navigation buttons were in different places and order on each page. So not only was it difficult to find the information you needed, it was difficult to get to the next page you wanted.
Emails is my major gripe. One line replies to enquiries like
"Yes, the room is available".
Great, how much is it? How do I book? Do you need a deposit? What do I do next ?
 

JBloggs

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and yet...people think we make this stuff up. There are even some on this forum with websites that turn away guests in droves, and they say "Everyone loves our website" well not everyone, but go on thinking that, if it makes you happy and unwilling to change.
Every time I plan a getaway I get frustrated with the B&B website process. Making me click 4 ot 5 times before I can see the room rate kills the deal. Put the room rate on the room every time, stop making us mad!
Oh yeah photos of guests in mullets and dingo boots, that is always a good indicator. But there are those who think this is a challenge, pay your hard earned cash and be treated improperly just to see if in fact it is a nice place to stay or not.
YOUR WEBSITE IS YOUR FIRST IMPRESSION.
 

JBloggs

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Oh Maddie you hit my favorite topic. When people get mad and say that innkeepers should all stick together I want to shout out this as the #1 reason why I cannot. When I refer a person to another inn, I cannot do so even when I know the innkeeper from this forum, I cannot do it in good conscience if their website is a mess. A mess.
You can lead a horse to water...
HIRE SOMEONE TO BUILD A WEBSITE if you have no talent in this area. Please I implore you. (This is to anyone who listens, those with terrible websites don't ever listen of course, bless their hearts.
 

gillumhouse

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Thank you. I REALLY looked at my site today. I discovered the banner across the photo in one room does not reflect the new bed size, although it is trumpeted in the text. I have had to trouble my webmaster to fix that as I do not mess with certain things that I have no idea how to do. I did replace a photo with the new furniture arrangement that changed the room completely and it does not enlarge as the others do, but I did not want to bother him with that. I did add the bed size to each room on the list on the accommodations page - rates plus tax were already there.
I added the breakfast type (and hours available) to the amenities list and that all rooms had TV with DVD.
Kicks in the rump like this are good. Thanks again.
 

Cbz

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Thankfully none of that on my site. But i do know from my experience why some do it - being choosy about the type of people you want to stay over. Avoiding people who'd not rate you or would rate you down. To put it rather bluntly - "lick above, kick below".
Was trying out some of the "top" B&Bs on tripadvisor across the world/continent wise - have not got reply from even a single one of them.... basic courtesy imo to get back to the person emailing you even if you say you are sold out, no?
 

Silverspoon

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Here's another thing to add. I was browsing some of the up-scale lodging on Martha's Vineyard, thinking DH and I might be able to sneak away for a couple of nights mid-week April when I came upon a lovely site for a boutique hotel that looked intriguing. Hmmm, kept looking for location.....page after page of professional pictures, nicely done....but where the
is the place? Not one page of their site had an address...and only one page had the town location on MV, buried in the text. I would think that at a MINIMUM a site should have the address and contact info on every page.
So I e-mailed them to see where they are located. Will keep you posted.
 

gillumhouse

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Thankfully none of that on my site. But i do know from my experience why some do it - being choosy about the type of people you want to stay over. Avoiding people who'd not rate you or would rate you down. To put it rather bluntly - "lick above, kick below".
Was trying out some of the "top" B&Bs on tripadvisor across the world/continent wise - have not got reply from even a single one of them.... basic courtesy imo to get back to the person emailing you even if you say you are sold out, no?.
No offense meant, but I usually delete e-mails from overseas - too many 6 Greek priests or some variation of them. I do not want to get on the sucker list of the scammer/spammers nor do I want to chance getting a virus or hacked. Then again, I am in a location that is not usually where the overseas guests come to. I am too far from DC.
 

JBloggs

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Thankfully none of that on my site. But i do know from my experience why some do it - being choosy about the type of people you want to stay over. Avoiding people who'd not rate you or would rate you down. To put it rather bluntly - "lick above, kick below".
Was trying out some of the "top" B&Bs on tripadvisor across the world/continent wise - have not got reply from even a single one of them.... basic courtesy imo to get back to the person emailing you even if you say you are sold out, no?.
No offense meant, but I usually delete e-mails from overseas - too many 6 Greek priests or some variation of them. I do not want to get on the sucker list of the scammer/spammers nor do I want to chance getting a virus or hacked. Then again, I am in a location that is not usually where the overseas guests come to. I am too far from DC.
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gillumhouse said:
No offense meant, but I usually delete e-mails from overseas - too many 6 Greek priests or some variation of them. I do not want to get on the sucker list of the scammer/spammers nor do I want to chance getting a virus or hacked. Then again, I am in a location that is not usually where the overseas guests come to. I am too far from DC.
Innkeepers are so much more savvy that the average person.
Someone sent me an email sent to a group I belong to. She said it was addressed to me. The person was writing press releases and gave a sample to check their work at the end... the first one was titled something like - how to u ri nate on video games. I deleted it and thought, come on now, surely the person knows THAT is spam, and I hope they didn't click on the ATTACHMENT! But they did fwd it!
 

Samster

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Maddie, isn't that sad that you ended up in a motel? I've had the same problems in the last couple of years trying to book B&Bs and ended up in chain hotels that actually turned out to be pretty nice.
ETA: I've still stayed at some B&Bs that I know are fantastic!
 

Joey Camb

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Thankfully none of that on my site. But i do know from my experience why some do it - being choosy about the type of people you want to stay over. Avoiding people who'd not rate you or would rate you down. To put it rather bluntly - "lick above, kick below".
Was trying out some of the "top" B&Bs on tripadvisor across the world/continent wise - have not got reply from even a single one of them.... basic courtesy imo to get back to the person emailing you even if you say you are sold out, no?.
For myself even if I am full I reply I usually text one of my neighbours to see if they have a room ie sorry I can't help you but XYZ can and these are the phone numbers/email. I also usually say if your dates are flexible I can do the weekend after etc.
 

Madeleine

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Latest report...no B&B's in the area that are open or affordable if they are open. (NOT spending $300/night, sorry.) So, we're at an all suites hotel. I've got a full kitchen, dining room, living room with TV and huge coat closet.
Bedroom with closet the size of another small room and then a full bath.
Continental included.
Guess the price?
$58/night. No wonder no one wants to pay for my rooms.
 

Innkeep

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Latest report...no B&B's in the area that are open or affordable if they are open. (NOT spending $300/night, sorry.) So, we're at an all suites hotel. I've got a full kitchen, dining room, living room with TV and huge coat closet.
Bedroom with closet the size of another small room and then a full bath.
Continental included.
Guess the price?
$58/night. No wonder no one wants to pay for my rooms..

 

Innkeep

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Another thing that we might want to emphasize a little more is our check-in times in more than one place. We all have a pretty good idea of when a B&B check in time is, but first timers may not get it as well. And the amount of grief we get by waiting for the late people to show.
I noticed that my check-in times were kind of buried in the policies page, so I've added check in times to my rooms page also.
 

Madeleine

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Another thing that we might want to emphasize a little more is our check-in times in more than one place. We all have a pretty good idea of when a B&B check in time is, but first timers may not get it as well. And the amount of grief we get by waiting for the late people to show.
I noticed that my check-in times were kind of buried in the policies page, so I've added check in times to my rooms page also..
Speaking of check-in times, we arrived at this hotel around 1:30 PM. DH went in to see if they had any rooms (we checked online at hotels.com and they did but we could not find a phone number online to call anywhere but hotels.com) and was told he could make a rez but no check-ins were allowed until 3 PM.
That's the first time I've had a hotel turn me away before 3 PM.
Lucky they did. We went across the street to get a bagel and who walks into the bagel shop but my daughter! Pure coincidence!
 

JBloggs

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Another thing that we might want to emphasize a little more is our check-in times in more than one place. We all have a pretty good idea of when a B&B check in time is, but first timers may not get it as well. And the amount of grief we get by waiting for the late people to show.
I noticed that my check-in times were kind of buried in the policies page, so I've added check in times to my rooms page also..
Innkeep said:
Another thing that we might want to emphasize a little more is our check-in times in more than one place. We all have a pretty good idea of when a B&B check in time is, but first timers may not get it as well. And the amount of grief we get by waiting for the late people to show.
I noticed that my check-in times were kind of buried in the policies page, so I've added check in times to my rooms page also.
1025PM and my room is not here yet, I left a voicemail and the note is out...ran the deposit, will they show or won't they... They are from an hour away, btw. Edited to add: NO SHOWS.
My confirmation has check in time on the very first line bulleted. Stating "Sorry no early check ins..." and people get mad, sobeit.
 

Penelope

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Another thing that we might want to emphasize a little more is our check-in times in more than one place. We all have a pretty good idea of when a B&B check in time is, but first timers may not get it as well. And the amount of grief we get by waiting for the late people to show.
I noticed that my check-in times were kind of buried in the policies page, so I've added check in times to my rooms page also..
Speaking of check-in times, we arrived at this hotel around 1:30 PM. DH went in to see if they had any rooms (we checked online at hotels.com and they did but we could not find a phone number online to call anywhere but hotels.com) and was told he could make a rez but no check-ins were allowed until 3 PM.
That's the first time I've had a hotel turn me away before 3 PM.
Lucky they did. We went across the street to get a bagel and who walks into the bagel shop but my daughter! Pure coincidence!
.
Madeleine said:
Speaking of check-in times, we arrived at this hotel around 1:30 PM. DH went in to see if they had any rooms (we checked online at hotels.com and they did but we could not find a phone number online to call anywhere but hotels.com) and was told he could make a rez but no check-ins were allowed until 3 PM.
That's the first time I've had a hotel turn me away before 3 PM.
Lucky they did. We went across the street to get a bagel and who walks into the bagel shop but my daughter! Pure coincidence!
Sweet!!!

 
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