WHAT is a B&B?

Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum

Help Support Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum:

happykeeper

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,758
Reaction score
0
The first theme is that in order for our industry to grow, a standardized model that increases brand awareness and reliability and reduces mystery and chance is essential.
The second theme is that in order for our individual businesses to grow, a unique niche with distinct plaudits and personalized memories and service are essential.
As is often the case in a healthy chat, opinions are fluid and many of us find ourselves dichotomously defending both of these themes. We struggle with the values of a hotel business model that doesn’t fit the reality of our inns yet we continually search for a way to improve the reliability of our business. We blanch at the commissions that hotels pay gladly and we chafe at special recognition other inns seek or receive.
Yet, we all want to find the answers that will make our inn and our industry one that provides us with a good living, a good quality of life, and sense of pride.
Now, the easiest thing to do is to read and react. To find some bit of what I have said and to toss out a narrow reaction. It’s much harder to read and reason. To forget about the prose and to think about the bigger idea where you resist taking a side but look at how the two can become one.
For me, I have not completely reconciled how to bring these two together so that the bed and breakfast industry can grow. I reject the head in beds (are you losing reservations?) approach that directories push at us and I often feel that may ultimately drive our industry as we know it today out of business. It feels dangerously close to a model that will produce an increasing number of bed and breakfast chains run by staff.
Yet, I know that the reason hotels have been successful is because there business model works. They have removed the mystery and chance. The Super8 in Billings is the same as the one in Orlando, except for the attraction brochures. Worse, they took the heart of our industry and made it their own. Get a great rate, make your own waffle, and save even more.
Now, I understand the desire on the part of those with big ambitions to take that model and begin to assimilate our industry. It’s a proven success. Then, I get this itch that tells me that it is the beginning of the end and my tummy churns.
How can we be a part of the solution? Can we? You see John B. on here asking. You see Jay K. on here asking. You know countless others are lurking and asking.
How does a small inn come together with other inns under a branded umbrella without losing the core guests that seek us out?
How can a small inn get exposure without coughing up back breaking commissions?
These are just a few of the questions that we ask. What questions do you ask?
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
The motels can take away the uncertainty and give 'em waffles, but they'll never, ever, ever replace what makes B&B's the fabulous lodging choice we are... and that's simply, us.
Whether your B&B is big or small, Victorian or modern, cabins or multi-story, continental or full, gourmet or homestyle, what makes us us is us. WE are what the motels don't have. When my repeat guests come and I know they love LOTS of black coffee and I give them a little gift and friend their college daughter on FB, they soak it up, come back again and again, leave me awesome TA reviews, and make me feel wonderful in the process. No matter how caring the staff of a hotel may be, I defy them to match the individual personal care that I deliver every single day.
A hotel can remove the uncertainty, but they can never, ever replace the hominess. I've had business travelers who freely admit they have their hotel routine and the monotony serves them well. Fine! That's why there are motels. But when a traveler wants to feel safe, wants to have real peace and quiet, wants to feel at home, wants to interact with real people, wants to have someone else put the breakfast in front of them, wants to use real silverware and china, we're here reading and waiting.
We've said before that a B&B is made by the innkeepers, and reflects our personalities. If I sold my B&B tomorrow it would become a different B&B than it is simply because the new innkeeper is someone other than me. And someday when it happens, that will be OK.
=)
Kk.
 

happykeeper

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,758
Reaction score
0
The motels can take away the uncertainty and give 'em waffles, but they'll never, ever, ever replace what makes B&B's the fabulous lodging choice we are... and that's simply, us.
Whether your B&B is big or small, Victorian or modern, cabins or multi-story, continental or full, gourmet or homestyle, what makes us us is us. WE are what the motels don't have. When my repeat guests come and I know they love LOTS of black coffee and I give them a little gift and friend their college daughter on FB, they soak it up, come back again and again, leave me awesome TA reviews, and make me feel wonderful in the process. No matter how caring the staff of a hotel may be, I defy them to match the individual personal care that I deliver every single day.
A hotel can remove the uncertainty, but they can never, ever replace the hominess. I've had business travelers who freely admit they have their hotel routine and the monotony serves them well. Fine! That's why there are motels. But when a traveler wants to feel safe, wants to have real peace and quiet, wants to feel at home, wants to interact with real people, wants to have someone else put the breakfast in front of them, wants to use real silverware and china, we're here reading and waiting.
We've said before that a B&B is made by the innkeepers, and reflects our personalities. If I sold my B&B tomorrow it would become a different B&B than it is simply because the new innkeeper is someone other than me. And someday when it happens, that will be OK.
=)
Kk..
It is so very true that we have something special, but you know that the industry is looking at that too! Somewhere someone is asking how do we offer the bed and breakfast host at our hotel .
I will add that it is the desire (temptation) to open our market that motivates the bed and breakfast herders to bring us to market. Is it enough to reject the hotel model? Somehow we must collectively move forward and expand, yet our handlers (and that's what these folks are) continue to use a modified model of what made hotels successful. Why? I don't mean it to be sassy. I really want to understand why. If I wanted to be sassy, I would say it is because they don't have the time and capital to do it differently, but these are hard working folks trying to make our industry successful- in many cases because they believe in it. (Hmm- maybe they believe in it and less so in us?) So why does it often feel like the primrose path? It's a fools game to lay it at someone else's doorstep- so I want to try and figure out what that model does for us and what it takes away and whether it is the right or wrong model. I just don't know.
 

wendydk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,656
Reaction score
0
The motels can take away the uncertainty and give 'em waffles, but they'll never, ever, ever replace what makes B&B's the fabulous lodging choice we are... and that's simply, us.
Whether your B&B is big or small, Victorian or modern, cabins or multi-story, continental or full, gourmet or homestyle, what makes us us is us. WE are what the motels don't have. When my repeat guests come and I know they love LOTS of black coffee and I give them a little gift and friend their college daughter on FB, they soak it up, come back again and again, leave me awesome TA reviews, and make me feel wonderful in the process. No matter how caring the staff of a hotel may be, I defy them to match the individual personal care that I deliver every single day.
A hotel can remove the uncertainty, but they can never, ever replace the hominess. I've had business travelers who freely admit they have their hotel routine and the monotony serves them well. Fine! That's why there are motels. But when a traveler wants to feel safe, wants to have real peace and quiet, wants to feel at home, wants to interact with real people, wants to have someone else put the breakfast in front of them, wants to use real silverware and china, we're here reading and waiting.
We've said before that a B&B is made by the innkeepers, and reflects our personalities. If I sold my B&B tomorrow it would become a different B&B than it is simply because the new innkeeper is someone other than me. And someday when it happens, that will be OK.
=)
Kk..
It is so very true that we have something special, but you know that the industry is looking at that too! Somewhere someone is asking how do we offer the bed and breakfast host at our hotel .
I will add that it is the desire (temptation) to open our market that motivates the bed and breakfast herders to bring us to market. Is it enough to reject the hotel model? Somehow we must collectively move forward and expand, yet our handlers (and that's what these folks are) continue to use a modified model of what made hotels successful. Why? I don't mean it to be sassy. I really want to understand why. If I wanted to be sassy, I would say it is because they don't have the time and capital to do it differently, but these are hard working folks trying to make our industry successful- in many cases because they believe in it. (Hmm- maybe they believe in it and less so in us?) So why does it often feel like the primrose path? It's a fools game to lay it at someone else's doorstep- so I want to try and figure out what that model does for us and what it takes away and whether it is the right or wrong model. I just don't know.
.
Somehow we must collectively move forward and expand, yet our handlers (and that's what these folks are) continue to use a modified model of what made hotels successful. Why? I don't mean it to be sassy. I really want to understand why.
Because that is the model that has worked for centuries, and no one has yet come up with anything better. The reason that we will never collectively move forward and expand is because we are such an independent bunch of cusses, and we each have our own way of doing things.
What's more, whenever anyone tells us what we "should do" or "should have" or compare us to another Inn, we get pissy and take it personally. Trying to "franchise" a bunch of Inns is like trying to herd cats! Just look at the reactions to the new bb.com program!!

 

happykeeper

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2008
Messages
1,758
Reaction score
0
The motels can take away the uncertainty and give 'em waffles, but they'll never, ever, ever replace what makes B&B's the fabulous lodging choice we are... and that's simply, us.
Whether your B&B is big or small, Victorian or modern, cabins or multi-story, continental or full, gourmet or homestyle, what makes us us is us. WE are what the motels don't have. When my repeat guests come and I know they love LOTS of black coffee and I give them a little gift and friend their college daughter on FB, they soak it up, come back again and again, leave me awesome TA reviews, and make me feel wonderful in the process. No matter how caring the staff of a hotel may be, I defy them to match the individual personal care that I deliver every single day.
A hotel can remove the uncertainty, but they can never, ever replace the hominess. I've had business travelers who freely admit they have their hotel routine and the monotony serves them well. Fine! That's why there are motels. But when a traveler wants to feel safe, wants to have real peace and quiet, wants to feel at home, wants to interact with real people, wants to have someone else put the breakfast in front of them, wants to use real silverware and china, we're here reading and waiting.
We've said before that a B&B is made by the innkeepers, and reflects our personalities. If I sold my B&B tomorrow it would become a different B&B than it is simply because the new innkeeper is someone other than me. And someday when it happens, that will be OK.
=)
Kk..
It is so very true that we have something special, but you know that the industry is looking at that too! Somewhere someone is asking how do we offer the bed and breakfast host at our hotel .
I will add that it is the desire (temptation) to open our market that motivates the bed and breakfast herders to bring us to market. Is it enough to reject the hotel model? Somehow we must collectively move forward and expand, yet our handlers (and that's what these folks are) continue to use a modified model of what made hotels successful. Why? I don't mean it to be sassy. I really want to understand why. If I wanted to be sassy, I would say it is because they don't have the time and capital to do it differently, but these are hard working folks trying to make our industry successful- in many cases because they believe in it. (Hmm- maybe they believe in it and less so in us?) So why does it often feel like the primrose path? It's a fools game to lay it at someone else's doorstep- so I want to try and figure out what that model does for us and what it takes away and whether it is the right or wrong model. I just don't know.
.
Somehow we must collectively move forward and expand, yet our handlers (and that's what these folks are) continue to use a modified model of what made hotels successful. Why? I don't mean it to be sassy. I really want to understand why.
Because that is the model that has worked for centuries, and no one has yet come up with anything better. The reason that we will never collectively move forward and expand is because we are such an independent bunch of cusses, and we each have our own way of doing things.
What's more, whenever anyone tells us what we "should do" or "should have" or compare us to another Inn, we get pissy and take it personally. Trying to "franchise" a bunch of Inns is like trying to herd cats! Just look at the reactions to the new bb.com program!!

.
It sure does seem like that is the rub. I have a couple of questions if I may.
When we say it has worked for centuries, what model are we speaking of? I don't think of this model taking hold until the 1800's. Moreover, why has the model worked?
Never is a very powerful word, especially given that are industry appears to be expanding and moving forward. Do you think it might be that the directories are not the answer to continue that expansion?
The reaction to the program really demonstrates the two headed dragon. How would you reconcile the herd with their desire to make a decent living and enjoy the lifestyle they signed up for?
I feel like I need to go back and read about the history of the bed and breakfast. My understanding of how we evolved is kind of fragmented.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,792
Reaction score
448
The motels can take away the uncertainty and give 'em waffles, but they'll never, ever, ever replace what makes B&B's the fabulous lodging choice we are... and that's simply, us.
Whether your B&B is big or small, Victorian or modern, cabins or multi-story, continental or full, gourmet or homestyle, what makes us us is us. WE are what the motels don't have. When my repeat guests come and I know they love LOTS of black coffee and I give them a little gift and friend their college daughter on FB, they soak it up, come back again and again, leave me awesome TA reviews, and make me feel wonderful in the process. No matter how caring the staff of a hotel may be, I defy them to match the individual personal care that I deliver every single day.
A hotel can remove the uncertainty, but they can never, ever replace the hominess. I've had business travelers who freely admit they have their hotel routine and the monotony serves them well. Fine! That's why there are motels. But when a traveler wants to feel safe, wants to have real peace and quiet, wants to feel at home, wants to interact with real people, wants to have someone else put the breakfast in front of them, wants to use real silverware and china, we're here reading and waiting.
We've said before that a B&B is made by the innkeepers, and reflects our personalities. If I sold my B&B tomorrow it would become a different B&B than it is simply because the new innkeeper is someone other than me. And someday when it happens, that will be OK.
=)
Kk..
It is so very true that we have something special, but you know that the industry is looking at that too! Somewhere someone is asking how do we offer the bed and breakfast host at our hotel .
I will add that it is the desire (temptation) to open our market that motivates the bed and breakfast herders to bring us to market. Is it enough to reject the hotel model? Somehow we must collectively move forward and expand, yet our handlers (and that's what these folks are) continue to use a modified model of what made hotels successful. Why? I don't mean it to be sassy. I really want to understand why. If I wanted to be sassy, I would say it is because they don't have the time and capital to do it differently, but these are hard working folks trying to make our industry successful- in many cases because they believe in it. (Hmm- maybe they believe in it and less so in us?) So why does it often feel like the primrose path? It's a fools game to lay it at someone else's doorstep- so I want to try and figure out what that model does for us and what it takes away and whether it is the right or wrong model. I just don't know.
.
Somehow we must collectively move forward and expand, yet our handlers (and that's what these folks are) continue to use a modified model of what made hotels successful. Why? I don't mean it to be sassy. I really want to understand why.
Because that is the model that has worked for centuries, and no one has yet come up with anything better. The reason that we will never collectively move forward and expand is because we are such an independent bunch of cusses, and we each have our own way of doing things.
What's more, whenever anyone tells us what we "should do" or "should have" or compare us to another Inn, we get pissy and take it personally. Trying to "franchise" a bunch of Inns is like trying to herd cats! Just look at the reactions to the new bb.com program!!

.
It sure does seem like that is the rub. I have a couple of questions if I may.
When we say it has worked for centuries, what model are we speaking of? I don't think of this model taking hold until the 1800's. Moreover, why has the model worked?
Never is a very powerful word, especially given that are industry appears to be expanding and moving forward. Do you think it might be that the directories are not the answer to continue that expansion?
The reaction to the program really demonstrates the two headed dragon. How would you reconcile the herd with their desire to make a decent living and enjoy the lifestyle they signed up for?
I feel like I need to go back and read about the history of the bed and breakfast. My understanding of how we evolved is kind of fragmented.
.
I believe the B & B in this country evolved from the Tourist Homes found in the early days of tourism - the 40s was the real beginning I think, especially after WWII. There were no hotels or no motels in every town (or traffic to support them) so many people along highways opened rooms in their homes and became Tourist Homes. The busier routes developed Tourist Cabins - the forerunner of the motels. After WWII people started moving away from home - to exotic places like California and Florida and Arizona. In the 1950s, these were WOW places - several in my family moved to the land of no winter, California, from Chicago. And they became the travelers who trekked back East to see the family who used the Tourist Homes and Cabins.
With the advent of HI and some of the chain motels and the creation of the Interstates, many of the Tourist Homes and Cabins disappeared. The current B & B popularity came with the travelers (and travel writers) going to Europe and "discovering" what had gone out of fashion here. The stakes of "must have" have been ratcheting up ever since.
Route 66 created a whole mystic of travel. The song, the TV program motivated people to see the country and be able to say they had traveled Route 66. It still has "cult" followers today.
 
Top