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December 2007/January 2008

Our Members Speak Out

Blue Belle Inn, St. Ansgar, IA

Question for February: Because of Valentine’s Day, February is known as the month for lovers. What are some stories of romance – touching, funny, or anywhere in between – experienced at your inn?

Email your responses to
Sandy@BedandBreakfast.com. If we publish your comments, we’ll thank you with a $25 credit in our Featured Properties Auction program!

You were asked: The New York Times and USA TODAY have recently published stories about noisy hotel rooms. What have you done to soundproof your guest rooms?

"We have thick, solid wood doors on all of our rooms. If the doors didn't originally come all the way to the floor, we've added thresholds in the doorways, extended the length of the door and added foam weather stripping around the edges to make a tight fit for privacy's sake.

"When renovating the houses, we've put extra insulation in the walls between rooms and the floors/ceilings between units whenever possible.

"We've also arranged the rooms so that there are no headboard to headboard situations. In each of the rooms that share a wall, there is the buffer of a closet between them for added privacy.

"We've tested the rooms with all the doors closed to measure sound transfer, so that we can recommend our quietest rooms for those to whom the need for quiet or privacy is the greatest.

"The rooms are not soundproof, but we've certainly done all we can to ensure privacy for our guests and as quiet a stay as possible." Sherrie Hansen Decker, Blue Belle Inn, St. Ansgar, Iowa

In honor of the season, here's some holiday stories. You were asked: What have been your experiences hosting guests over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays?

"We welcome both children and pets, unlike many B&Bs. We often find the pets to be better behaved than the children, and sometimes the children are better behaved than the adults. But we learn from them all. One Christmas, we hosted guests who were having a hard time financially and were unable to stay an extra night to see the Christmas parade in historic downtown St. Francisville; their small daughter was crushed. I offered them a free overnight and suggested they repay me when they could.

"The next morning, our other guests kept thanking me for the Christmas presents. 'What Christmas presents?' I asked. I then discovered that this young girl, the one whose family could not afford to stay, had taken the few pennies she did have and provided a present for the guests in each of our cottages
three peppermints, carefully wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper and tied with ribbon. This small child reminded us of the true meaning of Christmas love, sharing, and generosity of spirit. Are we glad we take children? Sometimes we need to be reminded, but yes, we sure are." Anne Butler, Butler Greenwood Plantation, St. Francisville, LA (For more of Anne's stories, order a copy of her book, Lost And Found At The Plantation Bed And Breakfast.)

"We have had guests stay with us at Christmas for the 22 years we've had a B&B, but last year was one of the best. We hosted a young couple
she came from the Czech Republic, he from Spain. They met at a conference in Texas and English was their only common language. A Christmas Eve blizzard snowed out everyone's plans, so I cooked a holiday dinner for our friends and invited the guests to have cocktails and dinner with us. They were fascinating, intelligent, and well spoken. All six of us got along extremely well, and we laughed and forgot about all the snow. The next morning, we offered our snowshoes to our guests for their first outing, followed hot cocoa and cookies. Truly the meaning of Christmas sharing and giving but we received so much more just by getting to know them." Wendy Duvall, Country Life B&B, Greenwich, NY

"Our first year as innkeepers, we opened our inn to our family, who had not gathered as a whole family for Christmas in 34 years. It was more like the 12 days of Christmas all rolled into five, with enormous quantities of lasagna, sauerbraten, turkey, pork roast, trimmings, plus endless baked goods and sweets. People came from Florida, Arizona, Maine and more. The inn was decorated with Christmas trees in every room. Before the family get-together, jobs were assigned and meals were planned by nephews, nieces, in-laws and out-laws. Only the great-grandmothers were exempt from an assignment. It was an amazing event, from church and dinner on Christmas Eve, to presents and dinner for 40 on Christmas Day, to a party for the kids and quiet late-night chats for the adults, to a costumed murder mystery on the 26th.

"As new innkeepers, this was a really special way to celebrate a wonderful new beginning in our lives. The family said it is one Christmas they will never forget
a time of love and happiness for the whole family. Since then, we have added a grand-niece and had another wedding in the family. It was also the last Christmas that I spent with my mother." Elaine & Kevin Conlin, Whalewalk Inn, Eastham, MA

"During Christmas week, we always tell guests that we don't light the fireplace Christmas Eve so that Santa can get down the chimney. They all laugh at that, and then they smile again when they learn he tiptoed up to their rooms and left stockings full of goodies hanging on their doors to find when they get up on Christmas morning. One guest, who has family nearby and has stayed several times, decided he would wait in the living room so he could see Santa. The phone rang, and I told the guest it was Santa, leaving a message that he was running late, and would not arrive at the inn until early morning, but would try to be there before the guests woke up. My guest then decided to go on to bed. Santa arrived a few minutes later and did not get seen! (If Santa Claus is not a 'Bama fan' why does he wear a red suit?)" Pat LaGrone, Crimson Inn B&B, Tuscaloosa, AL

This Month's Sponsor

Gift Card Reseller Program

The BedandBreakfast.com Gift Card Reseller Program is here! Click here for details. If you'd like to receive a free reseller kit, contact us at 800-462-2632 or Support@BedandBreakfast.com.

Through the end of 2007, earn double commission! Make 10% of each sale in cash, and an additional 10% will deposited into your Featured Property Advertising account. PLUS, the 10 top-selling inns will each receive $1,000 CASH.

"We received a gift certificate from a relative and loved it so much that we decided to steal the idea and give one to friends." Christanne E.

Referral Program

What’s better than three month’s free membership? How about six months? Or a whole year? Refer fellow innkeepers to BedandBreakfast.com, and if they join at the Silver level or above, your membership will be extended by three months for each B&B that signs up. If four B&Bs sign up, your membership is free for a year!  For details, log in to your Home Base and click Referral Program under Free Member Benefits, or call 800-GO-B-AND-B (800-462-2632).

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