B & B – do’s and don’ts
mr husband and I love to stay at Bed and Breakfast Inns. there is something more welcoming and earthy about staying in a small inn, with the unique, personal touches that entails.
That being said, there are a few tips I would offer to those who are thinking of running their own Inn
1. Clean your ceiling fans – this is the number one issue – clean them, and weekly. They should sparkle. Ceiling fans get dirty, fast. People accept their own dirt, they don’t want to live in yours!
2. provide a mirror in the guest room, with good lighting, for makeup. This is especially important with a shared bath situation, but even with a private bath, it will be appreciated. Guests are getting ready to enjoy the wonderful attractions in your neighborhood, and they don’t want to be jostling for mirror time to get ready.
3. A B&B should feel like home, but don’t overdo it. Personal pictures should not be part of the decor – it makes your guest uncomfortable.
4. Don’t display your collections, unless they are very artfully and artistically displayed. Hummels, seashells, hockeypucks, whatever you collect, don’t force it on your guests.
5. Theme rooms – don’t do it!!!! here’s the thing – if you are a B&B in New Orleans, it is okay to provide a Saints themed room, a French Quarter room, etc. But if you are in Cleveland, I really don’t want to stay in the Key West Room, or the Maui Room. If you want to provide character and flavor, go for it, but make it fit the city in which you are located.
6. Invest in the best quality bedding and sheets you can afford. Buy hotel quality bedding, if possible. It will pay off. This bedding will get washed, often, and should always feel new and fresh to your guests. Guests will appreciate the quality. Hey, if I wanted to sleep on Aunt Sophie’s sofa, I could, I chose you because you are a cut above.
7. know your city. why are your guests there? What is there to do in the area? Be ready with maps, flyers, etc. Be a concierge for your community, especially the smaller venues. They, and your guests, will appreciate it.
8. Know your strengths. If you are a gourmet chef, stick to that. Leave the maintenance to those who do it best. We stayed at a place with a FABULOUS cook, but he insisted on doing all the maintenance himself, and frankly, he sucked at it. Know when to write a check.
If you are considering running a B&B, I say, go for it! It looks like a wonderful want to spend your day. Just know your strengths and weaknesses, and above all else – clean that ceiling fan!