Bed and Breakfast Inns are Better than Hotels
Is a bed and breakfast stay in your future?
Never been to a bed and breakfast inn? Get ready for a great time - and a memory you'll create that will last a lifetime. If you are not sure of the right questions to ask when you book your first reservation, Here are some helpful hints to make your first visit one to remember.
Before calling a bed and breakfast to make your reservation, make a short list of questions to ask the innkeeper. And if you get an answering machine, don't worry, your innkeeper is anxious to respond to your inquiry but may be preparing a meal or getting a guest settled in their room. Your innkeepers are opening their home or country inn to you and will do anything they can to guarantee your return visit.
Prepare to be pampered
It's the extra special touches that a bed and breakfast inn provides that keep guests returning year after year. Innkeepers want to know about you so they can make your stay one to remember, as well as one that provides you the feeling of being safe and comfortable. Remember to let the innkeeper about any health concerns, such as needing handicapped access or a downstairs room, feather and down allergies, food allergies, or if there is a need for special diets. "We'll do just about anything to accommodate our guests' requests," says Bonnie Chiles, guest services manager for Highland Lake Inn. "Whether it's helping take family photos, troubleshooting computer problems, going to the grocery store, making golf reservations, or decorating someone's room for a special occasion, we love doing it."
Your personal Concierge
Innkeepers enjoy providing personal concierge services because they want to guarantee you the best time possible. They are often experts on both the favorite and little known activities of their areas.
The guest services staff at Highland Lake Inn in Flat Rock, North Carolina enjoy making their guests happy. "Sometimes, especially on a Saturday morning," said Bonnie Chiles, "We have guests who come in and haven't planned any activities during their stay. We take the time to find out what their interests are and help them make decisions based on those conversations. We have directions and contacts for just about any attraction or activity in our area. We're lucky to have so many fun things in the Western North Carolina area that mapping out one day, or several days, is an easy thing to do for our guests."
Owners of the Reluctant Panther Inn & Restaurant recall a favorite story about a man (late 20's) who called to get help in setting up just the right proposal evening. "He wanted it to be both memorable and romantic, and wanted the whole thing to be a surprise. The entire staff at the inn got into the act with numerous phone calls on details such as when they would arrive, what kind of champagne to have chilling in the room...the color of the rose petals on the bed...the fact that the fireplace in the bedroom as well as the one in the bathroom both had to have roaring fires going...and exactly how quickly to leave them alone in the room after check-in! In anticipation of her saying yes, we also arranged to have a fireplace table in our restaurant for an especially romantic dinner. My staff and I were unsure of his success until they came into the restaurant--with him beaming a huge grin, and with her dangling her left hand in front of her. We're pretty sure that she never suspected that their 'weekend getaway' was anything other than that. This is the kind of thing that smaller places such as our can do--extraordinarily personal service."
"Our returning guests know that every Friday afternoon, we have freshly baked cookies when they check in," said Chiles. "It's not the biggest thing we do, but it helps to create a memory for our guests, and that's the best part of our job."
Enjoy your research
Web sites are valuable sources of information and photographs that help you choose your destination. If you're looking for a room with a fireplace and a view, most likely you'll be able to choose a specific room online and ask the innkeeper about its availability. Many bed and breakfast inns also have online reservations, as well as telephone and fax reservations. Click here to start your search of the thousands of bed and breakfast locations on iLoveInns and you will find the perfect getaway.