So you have finally purchased a country inn and you are ready to turn it into the bed & breakfast of your dreams. The furniture is picked out, linens purchased, menu has been created, chef is ready to make fabulous meals, and innkeeper is ready for guests. But what characteristics make a successful B & B where guests will return time and time again?
Being a frequent guest of Bed & Breakfasts myself, listening and tailoring details of my stay is what makes my get away successful. When I stayed with Inn at Tabbs Creek in Mathews County the Innkeeper asked a few questions about myself and husband when we booked our room. For example, it was our anniversary and we had both just finished schooling. When we arrived to our room there was a bottle of local wine chilling along with chocolate covered strawberries, fruit and cheese plate and a cute note congratulating us with finishing schooling. Another added surprise was the wine and appetizer happy hour every afternoon for guests. These small details (and delicious breakfast/oysters) are what made my stay memorable which has led to many more getaways to this quaint inn.
According to bandb.com being a great host for running a successful country inn includes:
- Ability to get along with all types of people who walk through your door
- Provide a warm greeting when guests arrive and allow time for them to settle into rooms
- Give a tour of home with small snack/drinks after they have settled from their drive
- Provide brochures of local attractions, restaurants, and points of interests
- Offering “special touches” for those celebrating special events or dates
- Coffee! Should be readily available and the best quality available. Perhaps local
- Happy Hour with local wine, beer, and appetizers
- Discuss dietary needs with guest and adjust menu accordingly
Being a people person, providing high-quality hospitality, having a clean and inviting country inn, along with standing out from other bed & breakfasts in the area is a great start to running a successful business. Attention to details and at times rolling up your sleeves to do laundry or plunge a toilet may also be required when running a spectacular country inn. No matter what the reason is for turning your dream into a reality, if you have the ability to make the stay perfect for your guests or make their lives everything they want for a few days, then you can call it a success.