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
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
"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
peppermints, carefully wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper and
tied with ribbon. This small child reminded us of the true
meaning of Christmas
sharing, and generosity of spirit. Are we glad we take children?
Sometimes we need to be reminded, but yes, we sure are." Anne
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
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
received so much more just by getting to know them." Wendy
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
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