Our Members Speak Out
on Grand, Des Moines, Iowa
What is the nicest/funniest thank-you gift you've ever received
from a guest?
Question for March: Look for Part II of your
stories of great gifts!
Email your responses to
Sandy.Soule@BedandBreakfast.com. If we publish your comments, we’ll
thank you with a $25 credit in our Featured Properties Auction program!
“We have received many
gifts from guests during our 10 years of innkeeping. The funniest was a book
called How to Make Your Man Behave in 21 Days or Less Using the Secrets of
Professional Dog Trainers. It was left anonymously in the kitchen one
morning. We had five women staying with us – all regular guests. We knew it
was one of them but not sure which one. They love to tease my husband, Don.
That morning at breakfast, he declined to serve them any portion of the
breakfast that he had contributed to i.e. no smoothie, no fruit, and no
silverware. This went on until they told on each other. It was a hoot! The
book became such a hit with our other guests that our local book store sold
numerous copies that summer.
“Our guests have done so many wonderful things for us, but one act of
kindness stands out. Two couples always come to the inn for the last weekend
of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in October. This year, they sent us a
“save the date card” for dinner and theatre on that Saturday night. Saturday
afternoon, they left a bottle of wine and a thank you card on the kitchen
counter and reminded us our car would be waiting on the drive at 6 p.m. Rod,
our chauffer, was waiting for us promptly at 6. The car doors were open and
ready for us. (The other three rode in a separate car.) When we arrived at
the theatre, the others hopped out of their car and opened our car doors
with a salute. We felt like the President with our own Secret Service
agents. They hosted dinner and theatre at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, and we
appreciated the opportunity to relax and really get to know them away from
the inn. After dinner, they did the reverse – opening/closing the car doors
and dropping us off at the front door of the inn. It was a night we will
“We are always amazed at the appreciation our
guests express. We hope we make them feel as good as they make us feel.”
– Deana and Don Politis, Romeo Inn Bed & Breakfast, Ashland, OR
“We have received some thoughtful gifts over the years. We have Lenox
Christmas plates that we use during the holidays, and one guest gave us a
beautiful Lenox table water fountain that matches our china! She has been
coming every year to see her father at Christmas, and he passed away last
year right before Christmas. The fountain had belonged to him, and she
immediately thought of us because of the plates she eats on when she stays
with us. The fountain now sits in our dinning room during the holidays. Even
though her father has passed away, she is still coming to stay with us this
Christmas.” – Clark Smith & Lauren Kernan Smith, Butler House on Grand,
Des Moines, IA
“The best gift we ever get from our guests is…their return visits;
they remember where we live.” – Jim and Barbara McLean, Apples B&B, Big
Bear Lake, CA
“This was a gift of kindness. A couple stayed with us for three
nights for their 25th anniversary. On their second day, they were
using their whirlpool tub when one of the jets malfunctioned when the glue
loosened the PVC fitting hidden in the back of the tub. They didn’t know it
and continued using the tub. I happened to go into the guestroom below
theirs to turn down the bed for the evening and heard water running. Much to
my surprise, water was pouring through the ceiling of that room. I
frantically ran upstairs and got their attention to turn off the tub. They
immediately got dressed and came down to help with ‘the flood.’
“Meanwhile, the guests in the lower room returned from a drive with a second
couple who was also staying here. As I frantically tried to catch water
coming out of everywhere, they asked if I had a minute to make them a dinner
reservation. I calmly looked at them and said, ‘I should probably take care
of that now.’ They went into my parlor and enjoyed a glass of wine while I
continued to repair the damage in their room, and I had it all put back
together when they returned from their dinner reservation.
“The couple from upstairs were so kind that when they went to dinner they
brought back our favorite cheeseburgers from the restaurant, for me and my
husband, who was expected home in an hour. Their kindness made the whole
experience bearable and now, laughable. They also rebooked for next year for
another three days and are bringing another couple.” – Kris Herrell,
Miller’s Daughter, Green Lake, WI
“The nicest gift we have received was from a guest who stays with us
for four nights during the Harborfest celebration in July in Oswego, N.Y.
She makes handmade ceramics and sells her pieces at the festival. One year
she came to our inn and gave us a gift. Using a photo from our website, she
hand painted the inn on the center of a ceramic square plate, and the edge
was done in black. It was beautiful and one-of-a-kind. It was so thoughtful,
and the plate is on a display stand in our dinning room so all of our guests
can see it.” – Diane Bednarek, Battle Island Inn Bed & Breakfast,
“Recently, we had guests whose car battery went dead just before they
were going to Thanksgiving dinner at a nearby restaurant. I knew that in
several hours my partner would be coming to the B&B, and he had cables in
his car to help them jumpstart their battery for the next day. In the
interim, I offered to drive them to the restaurant and would pick them up
after they finished. After their meal, they called me, and I picked them up.
On the way back from the restaurant my car had a flat tire! They graciously
helped to change the tire. Two days later I received a gift from them...a
can of ‘fix-a-flat!’” – Alan Rosenblatt and Kurtis Creider, ECCE B&B,
“On the mantle in the dining room, I have Noah’s ark with an
assortment of salt and pepper shaker animals proceeding toward it. At
breakfast, I’d place sets of animals next to each place setting, varying the
animal at each seat daily. One guest commented on how she loved cats, had
them at home, but they were missing from the animal selection entering the
“Within a month of these guests leaving, I received a package in the mail.
It was a pair of rather comical cats (they were grinning) with a note saying
that now my species entering the ark would be complete (from a cat lover’s
perspective). A few years have since passed. In the dining room sit these
grinning cats. They are great conversation pieces for other guests who
inquire about why the other animals look intent on getting into the ark but
the cats are grinning. I have to grin when I tell the story. Cat lovers have
a common bond, I’ve found! Incidentally, there were no dogs either, so I
went out and bought some!” – Dorothy Tameo, Nichols Guest Rooms, Seekonk,
“A couple who had been at the Outer Banks visiting with family came
to spend a little alone time. They were our age (mid-50s); we had a lot in
common and hit it off immediately. When I served them cheese and wine on the
deck by the pool the first evening, they insisted we join them. Hours later,
we were making plans to visit them. The morning they left, after hugs, we
found a card with all their numbers and addresses and a million thanks.
Seven minutes after they left us, she called. I answered, ‘Hi, whatcha doin?’;
her reply, ‘Missing you!’ Nicest gift I ever got!! We email each other
almost weekly.” – Teresa Bonifant, Country Villa Bed & Breakfast,
Virginia Beach, VA
“I’ve had guests give me cherubs for our Heaven to Betsy room, bunny
rabbits for Secret Garden, and antique hats to hang on our walls, but one
guests really topped them all...
“One of our rooms is named Sherwood Forest, and in keeping with the theme,
one of our guests recently carved an authentic bow and arrow for us as a
gift. It’s beautifully made, in the same way they were made in Robin Hood’s
day. It’s hanging proudly on the wall in Sherwood Forest and adds a very
unique touch to the decor.” – Sherrie Hansen, The Blue Belle Inn, St.
“For the past 30 years, our car’s license plate has read ‘Puck’ from
Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ where Puck’s famous line is ‘What
Fools these mortals be!’
“We had wonderful guests from California, and we had discussed that play and
the meaning of the line. Then we forgot about it. About two weeks after they
left, we received a box; I just assumed it was something that they had
inadvertently taken and were sending back.
“Imagine my surprise when I opened the box and found a framed antique cover
of the magazine ‘Puck’ from 1886. The date of April 14 was exactly when they
had been with us ( many, many years later of course). It still hangs in a
place of honor in our home and is one of our most treasured gifts – such a
thoughtful one.” – Wendy and Richard Duvall, Country Life B&B, Saratoga
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