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And another thing for those who think can't can't work out a key pad on the door or something, then you need to revoke their license and take their keys, if they are that out of touch with reality that they can't work out how to open a door and go to their room. I think we give people too little credit. Sure some need hand holding, but if there is no hand, there is no holding..
I do have to say that, of the guests who have mentioned it, the idea of letting themselves in and not bothering us was very well-received. This is on the phone when they make the rez, day of when they find themselves stranded in an airport or find they really need to stop and eat before they get here, have a family event that takes precedence, or those who just don't 'get' the idea of a B&B being a small property without front desk services, etc.
Really, all that is needed is a system that works for the property in question. And we've listed off a lot of them that work in a variety of locations.
But, we know some innkeepers who must control every movement their guests make for whom this just does not work. But that's a whole 'nother story.
.
Morticia said:
I do have to say that, of the guests who have mentioned it, the idea of letting themselves in and not bothering us was very well-received. This is on the phone when they make the rez, day of when they find themselves stranded in an airport or find they really need to stop and eat before they get here, have a family event that takes precedence, or those who just don't 'get' the idea of a B&B being a small property without front desk services, etc.
Really, all that is needed is a system that works for the property in question. And we've listed off a lot of them that work in a variety of locations.
But, we know some innkeepers who must control every movement their guests make for whom this just does not work. But that's a whole 'nother story.
I couldn't agree more. And what we see, at least for our locale, is that the people who are really into the b&b "experience" (as opposed to the area/location, etc.) are the ones who are always here as soon as check-in starts anyway. They want the full experience and so plan their day around getting here as soon as we'll let 'em in!
.
I basically agree with the self-check-in, but I've had the opposite experience with the traditional B&B guests. They have been the ones that expect to be greeted personally and want more interaction, especially at check-in. We had a VERY negative experience where a guest was left a very explicit note at the door, a phone number to call, etc. They let themselves in, went to their room, used the bathroom, then left. They left a note saying they felt "lost and abandoned", in all their years staying at b&bs had never not been greeted personally and they were not staying (3 night stay). He later demanded his deposit back and refused to pay for his early departure. It was a very bad experience for us. We did finally convince him we were keeping his deposit, but wouldn't charge for the remainder of his stay.
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BD, sorry you had such a negative experience and I am glad you brought this up. Let us all learn from this bad experience! So a few of questions:
Were these guests late arrivals?
If so, had they told you in advance or were they just arriving in their due time?
Had you told them in advance that it would be a self check-in? Or after a certain time that it would be?
Have you changed your polices since this?
.
copperhead said:
BD, sorry you had such a negative experience and I am glad you brought this up. Let us all learn from this bad experience! So a few of questions:
Were these guests late arrivals?
If so, had they told you in advance or were they just arriving in their due time?
Had you told them in advance that it would be a self check-in? Or after a certain time that it would be?
Have you changed your polices since this?
This was a very interesting "case". When the guy called to make the reservation, I told him that his day of arrival was the same day we were flying back in from our vacation and that our innsitter would be here during the day. As with all our guests, their confirmation letters state that check-in is from 3-6 and if we are not available, there will be information left on the front porch for self check-in.
These were the only guests checking in that day and our innsitter was local. After she did her tasks in the afternoon, she found herself sitting and waiting, waiting, waiting. $$$ because we paid her by the hour. At 5:30 she decided to go home (10 minutes away) and left her phone # on the info and she was available if they needed her. The guest must have arrived just a few minutes before 6:00 and you know the rest of the story. We didn't know there was any problem until we arrived home from the airport about 11:30 that night and found too few cars in the parking lot and the key and note left at the door with their notes written on the back.
Since that incident, we have changed our check-in policy to read: "Our regular check in time is between 3:00pm & 6:00pm. If you find that you will be arriving late and have not notified us when making your reservation, please call us so we might be able to plan accordingly. Please, no early arrivals without calling first to see if your room will be available. We always try to greet you personally, but if we need to step away from the inn for a short time or your arrival is delayed and we are not able to greet you in person, there will be self check-in information left for you on the front porch."
.
BD - They had NO reason then to be this way! You had provided them all the needed info and your innsitter had provided them will all the info AND a way to contact her if they needed. THEY are not B&B people!
.
copperhead said:
They had NO reason then to be this way! You had provided them all the needed info and your innsitter had provided them will all the info AND a way to contact her if they needed. THEY are not B&B people!
I hate to be a stick in the mud on this, but I really disagree with that. Some guests will knock themselves out to arrive just before the end of check-in time. In this case, 6pm. They arrive on time and find a note.
Traveling is more difficult for some guests than others. My personal rule is that unless all check-ins have arrived, the innkeeper on duty that day is to stay until the end of check-in time. Are there occasional exceptions? Sure. But ONLY if the guest was contacted first and understood that there would be no one there when they arrived and why (owner flying home tonight, innkeeper had a personal emergency, whatever).
Some folks are going to be difficult no matter what. But a lot of folks would be disappointed to find no one there when they arrived within the timeframe given.
.
In hindsight, I wish the innsitter had not left a little early, but I backed her decision because over the years she had proven herself to me and I respected her decision making skills. I have since changed my check-in policy to inform guests that it's possible that we could be away from the inn even during regular check-in hours.
It turned out this guest was a Dr. and was probably used to having everyone at his beck and call. This is an unusual circumstance we went through, but I still think about it whenever we do the self check-in. I know I should just lighten up, but it's difficult!
.
Breakfast Diva said:
This is an unusual circumstance we went through, but I still think about it whenever we do the self check-in. I know I should just lighten up, but it's difficult!
To me, the whole key to lightening up is having a clear policy that's understood by the guests. And then, by all means, let them do a self check-in. Just make sure they know what they're going to find when they arrive.
No surprises, that's all.
 
I will not wait up for late arrivals. My check in time is from 3 to 6 pm. Arrivals later than 6 get a self check in letter with all details and a contact phone number. I realized years ago that the vast majority of my guests are mature adults who can find their way from the parking lot to their room by themselves. I work too hard as it is, I refuse to stay up half the night as well.
 
I have to chime in too on our latest trend...which is the guests racing into the parking lot at 5:58 pm and coming in breathlessly "We made it!". This to me is as annoying as being 2 hours late. It would be one thing if they were traveling from an airport, etc. but in our case they've been here all day touring and decide to stretch it to the last possible minute.
2-6 pm check-in means check-in is OVER at 6 to me! We are thinking of changing it to 5:30 to avoid this/not kill each other due to low blood sugar
tounge_smile.gif
 
I have to chime in too on our latest trend...which is the guests racing into the parking lot at 5:58 pm and coming in breathlessly "We made it!". This to me is as annoying as being 2 hours late. It would be one thing if they were traveling from an airport, etc. but in our case they've been here all day touring and decide to stretch it to the last possible minute.
2-6 pm check-in means check-in is OVER at 6 to me! We are thinking of changing it to 5:30 to avoid this/not kill each other due to low blood sugar
tounge_smile.gif
.
Rupert said:
I have to chime in too on our latest trend...which is the guests racing into the parking lot at 5:58 pm and coming in breathlessly "We made it!". This to me is as annoying as being 2 hours late. It would be one thing if they were traveling from an airport, etc. but in our case they've been here all day touring and decide to stretch it to the last possible minute.
2-6 pm check-in means check-in is OVER at 6 to me! We are thinking of changing it to 5:30 to avoid this/not kill each other due to low blood sugar
tounge_smile.gif
Just like breakfast...showing up at 9:30 when I am thinking I'm done, is the same thing. And they do shout, 'Whew, we made it!'
 
And another thing for those who think can't can't work out a key pad on the door or something, then you need to revoke their license and take their keys, if they are that out of touch with reality that they can't work out how to open a door and go to their room. I think we give people too little credit. Sure some need hand holding, but if there is no hand, there is no holding..
I do have to say that, of the guests who have mentioned it, the idea of letting themselves in and not bothering us was very well-received. This is on the phone when they make the rez, day of when they find themselves stranded in an airport or find they really need to stop and eat before they get here, have a family event that takes precedence, or those who just don't 'get' the idea of a B&B being a small property without front desk services, etc.
Really, all that is needed is a system that works for the property in question. And we've listed off a lot of them that work in a variety of locations.
But, we know some innkeepers who must control every movement their guests make for whom this just does not work. But that's a whole 'nother story.
.
Morticia said:
I do have to say that, of the guests who have mentioned it, the idea of letting themselves in and not bothering us was very well-received. This is on the phone when they make the rez, day of when they find themselves stranded in an airport or find they really need to stop and eat before they get here, have a family event that takes precedence, or those who just don't 'get' the idea of a B&B being a small property without front desk services, etc.
Really, all that is needed is a system that works for the property in question. And we've listed off a lot of them that work in a variety of locations.
But, we know some innkeepers who must control every movement their guests make for whom this just does not work. But that's a whole 'nother story.
I couldn't agree more. And what we see, at least for our locale, is that the people who are really into the b&b "experience" (as opposed to the area/location, etc.) are the ones who are always here as soon as check-in starts anyway. They want the full experience and so plan their day around getting here as soon as we'll let 'em in!
.
I basically agree with the self-check-in, but I've had the opposite experience with the traditional B&B guests. They have been the ones that expect to be greeted personally and want more interaction, especially at check-in. We had a VERY negative experience where a guest was left a very explicit note at the door, a phone number to call, etc. They let themselves in, went to their room, used the bathroom, then left. They left a note saying they felt "lost and abandoned", in all their years staying at b&bs had never not been greeted personally and they were not staying (3 night stay). He later demanded his deposit back and refused to pay for his early departure. It was a very bad experience for us. We did finally convince him we were keeping his deposit, but wouldn't charge for the remainder of his stay.
.
BD, sorry you had such a negative experience and I am glad you brought this up. Let us all learn from this bad experience! So a few of questions:
Were these guests late arrivals?
If so, had they told you in advance or were they just arriving in their due time?
Had you told them in advance that it would be a self check-in? Or after a certain time that it would be?
Have you changed your polices since this?
.
copperhead said:
BD, sorry you had such a negative experience and I am glad you brought this up. Let us all learn from this bad experience! So a few of questions:
Were these guests late arrivals?
If so, had they told you in advance or were they just arriving in their due time?
Had you told them in advance that it would be a self check-in? Or after a certain time that it would be?
Have you changed your polices since this?
This was a very interesting "case". When the guy called to make the reservation, I told him that his day of arrival was the same day we were flying back in from our vacation and that our innsitter would be here during the day. As with all our guests, their confirmation letters state that check-in is from 3-6 and if we are not available, there will be information left on the front porch for self check-in.
These were the only guests checking in that day and our innsitter was local. After she did her tasks in the afternoon, she found herself sitting and waiting, waiting, waiting. $$$ because we paid her by the hour. At 5:30 she decided to go home (10 minutes away) and left her phone # on the info and she was available if they needed her. The guest must have arrived just a few minutes before 6:00 and you know the rest of the story. We didn't know there was any problem until we arrived home from the airport about 11:30 that night and found too few cars in the parking lot and the key and note left at the door with their notes written on the back.
Since that incident, we have changed our check-in policy to read: "Our regular check in time is between 3:00pm & 6:00pm. If you find that you will be arriving late and have not notified us when making your reservation, please call us so we might be able to plan accordingly. Please, no early arrivals without calling first to see if your room will be available. We always try to greet you personally, but if we need to step away from the inn for a short time or your arrival is delayed and we are not able to greet you in person, there will be self check-in information left for you on the front porch."
.
BD - They had NO reason then to be this way! You had provided them all the needed info and your innsitter had provided them will all the info AND a way to contact her if they needed. THEY are not B&B people!
.
copperhead said:
They had NO reason then to be this way! You had provided them all the needed info and your innsitter had provided them will all the info AND a way to contact her if they needed. THEY are not B&B people!
I hate to be a stick in the mud on this, but I really disagree with that. Some guests will knock themselves out to arrive just before the end of check-in time. In this case, 6pm. They arrive on time and find a note.
Traveling is more difficult for some guests than others. My personal rule is that unless all check-ins have arrived, the innkeeper on duty that day is to stay until the end of check-in time. Are there occasional exceptions? Sure. But ONLY if the guest was contacted first and understood that there would be no one there when they arrived and why (owner flying home tonight, innkeeper had a personal emergency, whatever).
Some folks are going to be difficult no matter what. But a lot of folks would be disappointed to find no one there when they arrived within the timeframe given.
.
I agree. I was mortified because a business guest who had said he was going to be a late arrival actually arrived during check-in time. Change in flight. He was the only guest checking in that day and I had run to pick up a package at the post office which is only a few minutes away. I had the inn phone forwarded to my cell but for some reason, I didn't hear the cell. He was hoppin' mad when I called him back about a half hour later when I saw the missed call. Luckily, all was smoothed over with apologies and a bit of a discount for the inconvenience. He loved it here and wrote a really nice review on TA. But I could see this one from the guest perspective.
 
Then there is this...got a call from a room checking in late who mentioned the word "DOG" in passing huh? Is this when they sneak them in? Late self check ins? I told DH I will have a fit if they leave a dog in the vehicle in the heat, and have a fit if they try to tie it up in our yard, like our dog won't immediately find it, and if they bring it in. We called them back and told them of a few kennels but of course none of them are open today on a Sunday to take in a dog.
We shall see....
Joey Bloggs said:
Then there is this...got a call from a room checking in late who mentioned the word "DOG" in passing huh? Is this when they sneak them in? Late self check ins?
Sadly, that is sometimes true and something you really have to watch out for. I've caught them in the act of sneaking the dog in late like that more than once.
.
Innkeeper To Go said:
Joey Bloggs said:
Then there is this...got a call from a room checking in late who mentioned the word "DOG" in passing huh? Is this when they sneak them in? Late self check ins?
Sadly, that is sometimes true and something you really have to watch out for. I've caught them in the act of sneaking the dog in late like that more than once.
Or extra people. Like you're not going to see them at some point.
But, by the time you DO they have done what they wanted, which was to cram 3 into a room for 2, damn the rules and full speed ahead.
.
Or babies.....
 
Then there is this...got a call from a room checking in late who mentioned the word "DOG" in passing huh? Is this when they sneak them in? Late self check ins? I told DH I will have a fit if they leave a dog in the vehicle in the heat, and have a fit if they try to tie it up in our yard, like our dog won't immediately find it, and if they bring it in. We called them back and told them of a few kennels but of course none of them are open today on a Sunday to take in a dog.
We shall see....
Joey Bloggs said:
Then there is this...got a call from a room checking in late who mentioned the word "DOG" in passing huh? Is this when they sneak them in? Late self check ins?
Sadly, that is sometimes true and something you really have to watch out for. I've caught them in the act of sneaking the dog in late like that more than once.
.
Innkeeper To Go said:
Joey Bloggs said:
Then there is this...got a call from a room checking in late who mentioned the word "DOG" in passing huh? Is this when they sneak them in? Late self check ins?
Sadly, that is sometimes true and something you really have to watch out for. I've caught them in the act of sneaking the dog in late like that more than once.
Or extra people. Like you're not going to see them at some point.
But, by the time you DO they have done what they wanted, which was to cram 3 into a room for 2, damn the rules and full speed ahead.
.
Or babies.....
.
I just love when they sneak the bambinos in. Like babies aren't going to do what babies do best and announce themselves to everyone. Jeeez Louise.
 
I am sitting here contemplating clobbering DH. Some promoters in a nearby small city have begun a big concert series - the second in the series is this summer one which is today and they have misting tents and all that to deal with the heat as it is in the 90's again...but just found out this afternoon Eric Clapton is going to show up on the sly and play with the band at 8pm. DH won't go. My other two check ins today are later...they both know they will have a note. see how it is. boo hoo hoo.
Clapton!!!!......
Awesome!!!!!
Seen him in concert more times than I can count...Saw him with CREAM at the Garden.
I ever move from here........I am surely going to miss the venues
 
We agree ...we have a blues fest coming in Oct. you know that if the guests dont show by 6PM--they will have a note on the door to check in themselves since most have been here before
BBKing is opening the fest--AND WE ARE NOT MISSING THAT!
 

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