Monthly Archives: October 2018

How To Have Amazing Bed and Breakfast Curb Appeal

Curbside view of well-landscaped yard in front of a bed and breakfast

 

Have you seen that HGTV Channel show called Curb Appeal?  That informative show is full of tips on how to attract people to want to come inside your home.  It is about becoming the best looking house in your neighborhood.  As a bed and breakfast owner, your goal is to look so appealing from the curb, that those passing by will want to book a stay.

 

The last thing you want is for people to visit your website that shows your bed and breakfast looking at its best, only for them be sadly disappointed when they visit and see that it has not been well maintained.  As you may already know, this is why first impressions are very important.

 

Useful Curb Appeal Questions

 

  • Do I have an attractive sign displaying the name of my bed and breakfast?  Well made signs can attract the attention of others from the road.

 

  • Does my home look inviting?  You want it to look loved and cared for, just as you will do for your guests in showing them hospitality.

 

  • Is there a clear path to my front door?  Guests should not be confused about the main entrance to your bed and breakfast.

 

  • Does my front door look welcoming?  You may need to refinish it and add a coat of fresh paint.  You may want to feature seasonal wreaths on it. Some even inns have front doors with stained glass.

 

  • Is there an outdoor focal point that tells guests where to look first?  This could be a fountain, bench, walkway, tree, or anything else attractive.

 

  • Do I have an attractive way to distinguish the boundaries of my property from that of my neighbors?  This could be fencing with landscaping inside your yard.  Or it could be trimmed hedges that add an attractive border.

 

  • Is my lawn well-manicured?  The key is to consistently mow and fertilize so that it is easy to maintain and you have the greenest turf on your street.  If your yard needs to be revitalized, talk to some local lawn care companies.

 

  • Do my windows sparkle and shine?  Make sure that windows are clean.  If they need replacing, go green with energy efficient windows.

 

  • Do I need to have anything repaired? This means looking at things like your roofing, gutters, decks, and siding.  Make sure that nothing is rotted.  Have regular pest inspections performed.

 

  • Are my driveways and walkways safe, clean, and attractive?  This could mean power-washing, repairing brick as well as repairing stonework and concrete.

 

  • Do I have any dead or diseased plants or trees that need removing?    Trim shrubs, prune overgrown plants, and remove dead trees and their stumps.

 

  • Do I have a variety of evergreens and flowering shrubs?  Group plants by height and layer the groups for visual interest.  You can also vary the colors and textures.

 

  • Is there something that sets my yard apart from others?  This could be a gazebo, a pond, a fountain, statues, porches, and swings.

 

  • Do I have plants in pots or urns in eye-catching places like near steps and walkways?  Some people prefer a symmetrical look at the front door with the same thing on each side of the front door.

 

  • Do I have a garden of some kind for guests to enjoy?  This could be a flower garden, rock garden, or a vegetable garden. You can even grow your own spices to flavor your meals.

 

  • Do I have a plan for irrigation?  Depending upon your climate, ideally you have sprinklers for hot and dry times of the year.

 

  • Is everything that is painted on my property look clean and bright?  You never want guests to see cracked or peeling paint.  It is amazing what a fresh coat of paint can do to revive the look of something.

 

  • At night, will my guests be able to see when they return to my bed and breakfast?  There should be enough outdoor lighting that it is safe and attractive for guests to come back to your inn.  Any paths they should walk should be well lit.

 

It is important that your property gives them a great first impression and sets your guests at ease that they made the right choice to stay at your bed and breakfast.  Help them feel sure of their decision from the very moment they see your property and love your bed and breakfast curb appeal.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Why Bed and Breakfast Gazebos Are So Popular

Gazebo with little white rocks surrounding in a bed and breakfast yard

 

As bed and breakfast owners, you know it is the little things that make a big difference.  Did you know that just by adding a gazebo to your property, you are making it more appealing to potential guests? Attractive landscaping, including bed and breakfast gazebos, enhances the look for your bed and breakfast.

 

 

A gazebo is sometimes octagonal (or tent shaped) and can be free standing or attached to a garden wall.  It is typically built with wood and has standard roofing materials.  It can be open on all sides or have netting to keep out bugs. Bed and breakfast gazebos are popular because they have a variety of styles and can serve a variety of purposes:

  • A quiet place to enjoy the view outdoors
  • Host meals, parties, and small musical performances
  • Meditation, prayer, or spiritual place
  • Ornamental feature in landscaped lawns
  • Provides shade (even for a hot tub)
  • Shelter from rain
  • In weddings, it is used for exchanging vows and cutting the cake

If you have one, do you feature your gazebo with landscaping around it? Do you use it for outdoor events?  If you do not have a gazebo, is there room for one and, if so, do you know how you would like for it to be used?

You do not have to be a professional builder in order to build a gazebo yourself. They can also be purchased from home improvement stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot.

However, before constructing or adding a gazebo to your property, you need to make sure you are abiding by zoning laws and community regulations. There could be height restrictions, allowable lot coverage (rules about the percentage of your property with a building on it), and restricted areas (used for utilities, emergency access, and your property line).

Furthermore, if you must abide by the rules of a homeowners association, you will need to understand their guidelines concerning things like style, height, and material used. In this case, it is much better to seek permission before adding a gazebo than to find out that you are in violation of a law or rule and you will need to make (what could be expensive) changes.

You can feature pictures of your gazebo on your website. You can also talk about its addition and/or construction in a new blog post and in social media.

Bed and breakfast readers, if you have a gazebo, please comment below about how you and your guests use it. If you are considering adding a gazebo, please tell us your reasons for doing so.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Beautiful Bounty of Bed and Breakfast Gardens

Flower garden with tree and bench in a landscaped yard

 

 

Some bed and breakfasts gardens have been very creatively designed and developed.  There are so many terrific ideas to make it a breathtaking, peaceful, and romantic place for your guests.  Bed and breakfast gardens may have or can include:

 

  • benches
  • bird baths
  • bicycle or boot used as a planter
  • conifers
  • curving paths
  • fish ponds
  • hosta plants
  • magnolia bushes
  • ornamental grasses
  • perennials
  • pines
  • planters
  • pottery
  • reflecting pond
  • rock garden
  • roses
  • shrubs
  • terraced wall garden
  • tulips
  • waterfall
  • water lilies
  • woods

Did you know that there are hundreds of B&B accommodations with the word “garden” or “gardens” in their name? This shows you how popular it is for places of hospitality to feature flower gardens and to grow their own produce and spices.

The flowers you grow can be displayed in vases throughout your inn. The fruits, vegetables, and herbs you grow will be a fresh (as well as economical) way to help feed your guests.

The farm-to-table concept has fairly recently become a mainstream culinary philosophy, however, innkeepers have been sourcing and serving local food for generations. You may offer your guests your own fresh produce, organic eggs, and/or free-range meat. Your inn may be located on a farm and/or have its own restaurant. There are so many options for innkeepers to provide.

Bed and breakfast gardens attract the beauty of gorgeous butterflies and hopping bunnies as well as the pleasant chirping of birds and sound of babbling brooks.  You can make it informative by placing little signs throughout to label what you planted.

You can make it as personal as you want by naming your garden and inscribing its benches.  If it is a historical bed and breakfast, for example, you can use the names of former residents.

There is no limit to the joyous possibilities of your ever changing and growing garden.   By planting things that bloom at different times in the year, it can look great all year round.  You may attract guests who are fellow green thumbs looking for more inspiration.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Wine Lovers Love Wonderful Vineyards and Tastings

Flowers, two wine goblets, with Youngberg Hill wine bottle with open window overlooking winery

 

Is your bed and breakfast located in wine country?  If so, do you invite wine lovers to your bed and breakfast for private wine tastings and tours of vineyards? Perhaps offer a Wine Lovers Package and assist your guests in arranging their wine-tasting itinerary depending on the date and the time of year they visit.

 

Recommend some wine-related activities (such as picnics) that you think your guests will love. Seasons play a role in the events that are offered, but there may be something ‘wine-related’ that is always happening nearby your inn.  Your guests could experience an exceptional wine tasting at some of your region’s premium, award winning wineries.

Whether your guest is a wine aficionado or just wants to try a new experience, he or she will discover the complexities of the vineyard, the artistry that takes place in the cellar, as well as the joys of tasting the result: elegant wines for every palate!

If guests are leaving your bed and breakfast for their wine tasting, consider providing them with a tour guide (and/or chauffeur) to help them experience some of the premium wines your local area has to offer.

Now, more than ever, wineries are eager for guests to stop by. Perhaps you could coordinate hosting an event with at least one local vineyard. If possible, give your guests the option of a half or whole day trip to arranging a multi-day tour.

Alternatively, you can host your own wine tastings right from your inn. This is very convenient for your overnight guests (yet you have the option of adding even more wine tasters to your gathering).

Wine is commonly paired with cheese, fruit, and chocolate so you have several options for your menu. Your tasting could provide a full meal or just one course (like appetizers or desserts).

It is perfectly acceptable to invite a local wine aficionado (or sommelier) to educate your guests. Your expert may offer this as a complimentary service to you if he or she may bring bottles for your guests to purchase.  Whether your guests are going on a tour (or staying “inn”) you can give your wine lovers the best wine tasting experience possible!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography