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July/August 2008

Our Members Speak Out

Question for September: Do you solicit tips? Why or why not? If you do, how do you go about it?

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!
 

Do you need extra help this summer? Or maybe you know an aspiring innkeeper who is looking to dip their toes into innkeeping. The BedandBreakfast.com Employment for Innkeepers forum is here for you. Check it out today!

You were asked: Little things often make a big difference. What are the small touches and special amenities at your inn that guests rave about?

“We will rent out the entire guest house, or we rent the rooms in the guest house individually. Our guests enjoy the use of the kitchen in the guest house more than anything else; they get to use the fridge, microwave and stove if they want, and they can make coffee in the morning to sit on the large porch and watch the birds and hummingbirds. They can sit in the living room and get to know each other or play cards at the dinning room table, have snacks and cook something if they want to. The best thing is it’s all complimentary, and the guests have the convenience of a kitchen without using mine.” -- Susana and Jon, Garvey House B&B, Winona, WV

Here are a few of our top amenities that guests love:

  1. Every Friday night (and some Thursdays and Saturdays), we host wine tastings by local wineries. Judy makes appetizers/hors d'oeuvres, we provide the patio and the guests, and a long list of Napa and Sonoma wineries bring their finest liquid products to share and discuss. We usually do it on a Friday evening so our ‘typical’ weekend guest has two days to go directly to the winery to enjoy the wines further. Everybody wins!

  2. Never-empty fresh chocolate chip cookie jar in the dining room.

  3. Port and chocolate for late-night enjoyment in the parlor.

  4. Cold Calistoga Premium Water (a local product) in the in-room refrigerators.

  5. Cold lemonade on the porch (if requested).

  6. Our shady, cool (cooler by 10 degrees than the southern lawn) north side patio.

  7. Complimentary use of the outdoor swimming pool and mineral springs hot tubs at the Golden Haven Hot Springs Resort (about 3 blocks away), and assorted discounted spa treatment packages.

  8. Discounted and free wine tasting cards to over 40 wineries.

  9. 10% discount cards to eight of the 20 restaurants within walking distance."

Doug Cook, Brannan Cottage Inn, Calistoga, CA

“We provide extra large waffle weave robes. With a ‘growing’ population, we have found that one size does not fit all, so people enjoy slipping into our very large robes. We used to have the thick terry ones but find that they take forever to dry, so we have changed to the light weight waffle weave robes. I also offer them for sale with our logo on them.

“We also have Sunbeam electric mattress pads on each bed with dual controls. You can pre-heat your side of the bed before entering. Economical, and people love them. I put another mattress pad with deep pockets over the electric mattress pad to keep it clean.

“TV with a DVD player is warmly received too, with a collection of first-rate DVDs in our Gathering Room for guests to borrow. We offer two kinds of pillows: the Dacron ones and the super down filled pillows too so they have a choice.

“Since we have many corporate guests, as well as families visiting the neighborhood folks, we provide breakfast from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. so the corporate ones can get on the road. Our menu is nothing extra fancy, just eggs any style, bacon, French toast, waffles, pancakes and four different breads. That way people only order what they wish to eat, and there is no waste. Less labor too!” -- Tricia Young, Atherton Inn, Redwood City, CA

“Special touches that guests rave about: the number one is the welcome sign at the back door with their name on it. If more than one family is staying, only first names are used to give privacy. Our two cats are a big hit (and keep plenty of people away, too). Guests comments often say: ‘Enjoyed our stay, LOVED the kitties!’ Breakfast is set out from 7 a.m. on for the early birds, and late-sleepers can come down as late as noon.” -- Diana Henry, Lathrop House B&B, Springfield, MA

“Many of our guests comment about our glass knife rests – many have never seen them before – and the way we set the table for breakfast. I have chargers under the plates, the glass knife rests (some are antiques), cloth napkins with glass napkin rings, Wm Rogers silverware including butter spreaders when serving my English muffin bread, either Pfaltzgraff or antique Steubenville Pottery dishes, and Fostoria water goblets and wine goblets for juice glasses, and a small doily under the sherbet on the plate for their fruit. They never expect elegance in small town West Virginia.” -- Kathleen A Panek, Gillum House Bed & Breakfast, Shinnston, WV

More green tips
“The Dragonfly Ranch is an organic eco-spa Healing Arts Center that caters to B&B guests who care about ecology and personal health.

Things that Dragonfly Ranch does to be green:

  1. Recycled brown paper bag floors (easy to make, easy to clean, non-toxic, durable, inexpensive, and quite beautiful).

  2. Thin, cotton towels from India (comfortable to wear, dries the body, lightweight to wash and easy to dry).

  3. Offering purified water in recycled wine bottles, cleaned for guest excursions.

  4. Organic vegetable and herb garden for guests to enjoy.

  5. Organic products used to clean clothes and room.

  6. Solar water heater.

  7. Cloth towels instead of paper towels for cleaning.

  8. Low voltage light bulbs.

  9. Skylight in kitchen.

  10. Recycling bin for bottles/cans/paper.

  11. Composting kitchen garbage to feed the garden.

  12. Taking ‘green’ bags when shopping in the store instead of wasting paper or plastic.

  13. Hanging clothes on the line instead of using a gas dryer.”


Barbara Moore, Dragonfly Ranch, Honaunau-Kona, HI

This Month's Sponsor

Reviews = Reservations

No doubt about it: travelers want reviews, and they are more likely to stay somewhere that has reviews posted. The BedandBreakfast.com reviews program was developed specifically for B&Bs. An easy way to get more reviews on your listing is to add a badge, like the one below, to your website. Log in to your Home Base. Click Reviews, then click Links, Awards and Review Reminders to download the badge and other helpful review tools.


 

Summer Travel Survey Results

In late June 2008, BedandBreakfast.com polled more than 5,200 U.S. innkeepers about advanced bookings for the July 4th weekend. The 1,346 respondents reported that July 4th weekend reservations are even with or have increased over last year at more than 70 percent of B&Bs. Read more.

Online Trade Show

Visit our newest vendor members!


 Click here to view our Online Trade Show. Are you a vendor? Click here to get featured!

Gift Card Reseller Program

Could you use some extra cash? Sign up for the gift card reseller program, and make 15% on each sale! There is no cost to get started; click here for details. If you'd like to receive a free reseller kit, contact us at 800-462-2632 or Support@BedandBreakfast.com.


            

"As much as I would like to sell gift certificates that are exclusively for my inn, I realize that we are not the perfect gift for everybody. This year, I gave everyone who enquired about a gift certificate an option of a GC to be used exclusively with me or good at any B&B in the BedandBreakfast.com membership. Many liked the idea of having choices, and I sold them the BedandBreakfast.com gift card. I got the commission up front, and I don’t have to worry about the liability. I also get most of the face value back should the gift card be used at my inn. The process was quick and easy. I am very happy with the results and will continue to offer BedandBreakfast.com cards as an option." Mike Venturini, Munro House B&B Spa, Jonesville, MI

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).
 

Advertising Auctions

Featured Property and Inn of the Month auctions are easy, affordable and effective ways to drive traffic to your website.

Member Information

To update your entry, check your traffic statistics, and renew your membership, please log in with your property ID and password. Don't like your password? Once you're logged in, click "Membership," select "Change Password," and choose another that's easier to remember. More information

"I am happy to report that we have had several enquiries from your site, including one guest who is staying for five nights, so our membership cost has been covered. Thanks for your help!" Caitlin Adair, Sanctuary, Putney, VT

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