Category Archives: Holidays

How To Create Remarkable Holiday and Seasonal Packages

Pool with outdoor string lights shining over it

I am presenting a Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) webinar called “Creating Holiday and Seasonal B&B Packages” on Wednesday September 20, 2017 at 2 pm EST.  Attendees will hear examples from actual holiday and seasonal packages currently (or previously offered) at B&B inns.

You will learn WHY you should offer holiday and seasonal B&B packages to your guests.  Hint: it has to do with repeat visits throughout the year AND adding an additional stream of revenue to your business.

Discover why it is important to customize your own packages.  Take your local area into account as well as the interests of the types of guests you host.  Your packages can also relate to a specific culture, your inn’s history, your inn or city’s name, and your guest room themes.

We will discuss the disclaimers you may want to add to set clear guidelines and manage expectations.  I will discuss key issues that matter to your bottom line.

Your inn can celebrate many seasons and holidays, including:

  • Fall
  • Halloween
  • Veteran’s Day
  • Thanksgiving
  • Winter
  • December Holidays
  • New Years Eve
  • Groundhog Day
  • Valentine’s Day
  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • Spring
  • Easter
  • Mother’s Day
  • Memorial Day
  • Summer
  • Father’s Day
  • Independence Day
  • Labor Day

I give specific examples of real bed and breakfast packages that relate to the seasons and to holidays.  I state that the best way to learn more about the packages is to click on their respective website links.  For those of you who would like my list of links as well as my list of potential disclaimers you may want to add to your packages, please contact me and I will email you that information.

I do share which season of the year has the least amount of packages during its months.  This is a great opportunity to stand out by being the inn that offers a package for only during those few months.

You may email me any questions you have after watching my presentation.  I am happy to provide specific, practical advice about how you can maximize packages at your inn.  I will insert the link to watch the webinar right here.

Bed and Breakfast Blogging helps places of hospitality grow their business through strategic online marketing which includes blogging, social media, and email marketing.  The bottom line is that we can improve your bottom line!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

January Holidays B&B Inns

Celebrating January holidays at B&B inns can attract more hospitality business.  Both big and small,  there are special holidays throughout the year.  Some holidays are officially observed (like Thanksgiving) while others are just for fun (like April Fool’s Day).

january holidays

 

Depending upon where you are in the United States, the month of January can be really cold yet beautiful.  It is a time for reflecting on and making decisions to improve your overall life.  It can also be about honoring those who have made a great impact on the world like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

January Holidays

 

Jan. 1 New Years Day

  • Keywords: Happy New Year, New Year’s Day, January 1st, 1st Day of the Year
  • Themes: fresh start, new you, resolutions, commitments, goals, dreams
  • Example: New Years Eve Special

 

Cobblestone Bed and Breakfast of Birchwood, Wisconsin celebrated the New Year with champagne, hors d’oeuvres, noise makers, and hats.  That sounds very festive!

Example: New Years Eve Dinner or New Years Eve Package

 

Each New Years Eve, Orchard Inn of Asheville, North Carolina hosts a decadent 7-course dinner. The night begins with hors d’oeuvres at 7 pm and then dinner at 8 pm. Then guests raise a glass to the New Year with a complimentary glass of French champagne. 

Guests who chose their New Years Eve package (for the 2015-2016 calendar change) received 2-nights accommodation, breakfast each morning and dinner on New Years Eve as well as a choice of dinner on December 30th or January 1st.

 

 

january holidays

St. Augustine Foot Soldiers Monument in St. Augustine, Florida

Jan. 18 Martin Luther King Day

 

  • Keywords: MLK Day, Martin Luther King Day, Civil Rights Leader
  • Themes: freedom, respect, equal rights, unity, peace

 

 

 

 

Example: Carriage Way Bed and Breakfast of St. Augustine, Florida is promoting FREE admission into Castillo de San Marcos Fort on Monday, January 18, to honor the memory of where Dr. King himself walked.

Example: Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast of Durham, North Carolina, named by Black Enterprise magazine as the number one black-owned bed and breakfast in America, promotes their local area’s Annual MLK-Black History Month Parade.

 

Promote your bed and breakfast by celebrating more holidays throughout the year.  Have the appropriate decor (such as New Years’ noise makers) to make your inn more festive.  Consider hosting a dinner or encouraging your guests to attend local events (such a parades) in your area.

Become known for celebrating amazing holiday festivities (like these January holidays at B&B inns) throughout the year. This attracts visitors to come again to experience your hosting of another holiday.

 

Top Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

3 Autumn Bed and Breakfasts

autumn bed and breakfasts

Autumn Bed and Breakfasts features three United States bed and breakfasts with “Autumn” in its name.  Starting with Autumn Leaves Bed and Breakfast.  Located in Anacortes, Washington, this scenic inn is around two hours drive from the Seattle Airport between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

There are three spacious bedrooms to choose from and all of which come with free wireless internet, one queen size bed (that sleeps up to 2 people), gas fireplace with remote control, private bathroom with an air-jetted tub, 40″ flat-screen HDTV as well as bathrobes, slippers, and hairdryer.  Enjoy water and mountain views as well as their fabulous garden.

Their logo fits beautifully with their name:

autumn bed and breakfasts

Autumn Pond B&B rests on three quiet country acres, surrounded by panoramic views of the majestic Cascades. Their Leavenworth, Washington location is perfect for a brisk walk to downtown or a quiet evening stroll to the Ski Hill area where wild flowers will delight your senses.  They offer five guest cozy bedrooms with the following names:

  • Country Western Suite
  • Bear Room
  • Sleepy Pooch Room
  • Duck Room
  • Birdhouse Room

autumn bed and breakfasts

 

Their private pond (below) provides guests with memorable entertainment where they can become friends with their hand fed ducks. Guests can unwind in a wooden swing by the pond and watch the wild birds in their natural setting.

 

 

 

 

autumn bed and breakfasts

 

Autumn Ridge Cottages are located just two miles south of Downtown Historic Lexington, Virginia. The three cottages are situated on a forty-acre ridge surrounded by grassy fields and woodlands. Enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains from the picnic table at the end of the ridge! Wildlife is abundant with deer, wild turkey, rabbits and birds of all types.

 

 

 

autumn bed and breakfasts

The location is ideal in its convenience to Lexington while maintaining a secluded atmosphere. The cottages have been carefully situated so that each one is not visible from the others. Autumn Ridge is a setting that allows for peace and serenity.  Although the cottages are new construction, they are designed with that old, rustic mountain cabin feeling of the past.

 

 

autumn bed and breakfasts

 

The exterior is clapboard siding with cedar trim. All cabins have furnished front porches. The interiors are all wood-paneled, tastefully furnished and comfortably outfitted with kitchens and living room space.  Relax and enjoy the view!

 

 

4 Ways to Share the Fall Festivities

DECORATE

Do you decorate your inn to look like the Fall season?  Take inspiration from Autumn Pond B&B. Here is a list of items or areas that could inspire autumn decorating:

  • Blankets
  • Candles
  • Centerpiece
  • Dining Room Table
  • Dinnerware
  • Front Door
  • Lanterns
  • Mantel
  • Picture Frames
  • Pillows
  • Porch
  • Topiary
  • Vase
  • Wreath

List of props:

  • Acorns
  • Apples
  • Baskets
  • Birdhouses
  • Broom
  • Corn husks
  • Cornucopia
  • Dried flowers and herbs
  • Firewood
  • Gourds
  • Hay
  • Leaves
  • Letters that spell “FALL” or “GIVE THANKS”
  • Pears
  • Pine cones
  • Pumpkins
  • Rake
  • Scarecrows
  • Squash
  • Wheel barrow

MENU

Does your menu reflect the changing of the leaves?  There are so many tasty things to cook. Look on any recipe search engine by typing in phrases like “fall breakfast” or “fall dessert”:

PACKAGES

Do you offer any fall season packages to your guests?  They could include tickets to a corn maze or pumpkin patch.  A gift certificate to a local restaurant known for offering festive Fall feasts!  Your only limit is your creativity.  Think about what your local area is known for and the type of guests you attract.  Consider that as you design your packages.

PROMOTE

Does your area offer any local Fall Festivals or other seasonal events?  Check out this list of the Top Fall Festivals in the United States.  Be sure to promote these festivals and autumn events on your website and in person with your guests!

YOUR TURN

What does your inn do to celebrate the autumn season?  Please comment below and share a link to your bed and breakfast inn.  Let others know what you do to make this season more inviting to your bed and breakfast guests.

Bed and Breakfast Patriotic Holiday Celebrations

patriotic holiday celebrations

 

Bed and breakfast patriotic holiday celebrations in the United States of America occur on special days like Flag Day, Fourth of July, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day.  It is during these times that we can honor our country as well as the men and women who serve in the military, our nation’s veterans, and those who sacrificed their lives while fighting to protect our freedoms.

 

Bed and breakfasts across the country can take the lead by decorating their B&B inside and out, hosting events on site, informing guests of local events in the community, offering holiday specials to attract guests to their inn, and cooking festive looking and fabulous tasting foods.  First, did you ever wonder about the history behind this patriotic holidays?  Here is an up close look:

 

  • Memorial Day, May 30 (traditionally), is a sacred day to all war veterans. America’s citizens are reminded of the deaths of their fellow countrymen during wartime. By honoring the nation’s war dead, we preserve their memory and thus their service and sacrifice. They came from all walks of life and regions of the country, but they all had one thing in common: love of and loyalty to country.

 

  • Flag Day is June 14 and celebrates the official symbol for the United States: our Stars and Stripes. Flag Day was first recognized by Congress on June 14, 1777. The colors used in the flag give special meaning to the flag: red for valor and zeal; white for hope and cleanliness of life; and blue for reverence and loyalty. When you are looking at the American flag, you are looking at the magnificent history of all Americans who have lived before us and the most enduring nation of free people that has ever existed.

 

  • Fourth of July is a day when Americans celebrate the pivotal moment in history on July 4, 1776, when the signers of the Declaration of Independence boldly asserted that all are “created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” With these words, our forefathers formed a new nation and put forth a vision of liberty and democracy that would forever alter history. This set into motion the development of a land of freedom and opportunity without equal in the world.

 

  • Veterans Day is an opportunity to publicly commemorate the contributions of living veterans. Formally the holiday was called Armistice Day through a congressional action in America. If World War I had been “the war to end all wars,” November 11 might be still called Armistice Day. Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of World War II and Korea, Congress decided to make the day an occasion to honor all those who have served America. In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.

 

Decorating your bed and breakfast is a patriotic expression of our thankfulness to be citizens of our free country.  You can add unique displays of red, white, and blue with American flags, banners, decorative crepe paper, table centerpieces, fireplace mantel decorations, and even displaying your very own fireworks show at night!

 

While hosting an event to celebrate a patriotic holiday at your bed and breakfast, your inn could have some of those actively serving our country or military veterans as guests.  Reach out to your local community and invite a guest speaker to give a speech. You can serve tasty treats at your event and hand out patriotic goodie bags so visitors can remember their visit to your inn.

 

Letting guests know about local events in the community such as parades or public nighttime firework displays allows you to promote your area.  There may be some local museums that allow your bed and breakfast guests to get a closer look at America’s military history.

 

Offering guests attractive holiday specials at your bed and breakfast will likely bring more business.  You may gain some first time guests to your inn.  This could be from a patriotic discount to American guests or a military discount to military families and veterans during these specific holidays.

 

patriotic holiday celebrations Lastly, creating patriotic breakfast dishes adds to the experiences of your guests.  In particular, using strawberries, bananas, and blueberries (to represent red, white, and blue) innkeepers could make a mixed fruit dish, add the berries to French toast, or even make a berry fruit smoothie.  Only limited by your own creativity, you will think of something amazing that your bed and breakfast guests will be delighted to eat!

 

Images by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Bed and Breakfasts in December

Bed and Breakfasts in December

The Queen Victoria in Cape May, NJ during Christmas time

Bed and breakfasts, in December, can put on a spectacular display of holiday cheer. This is the best time of year to decorate your B&B. There are so many creative and festive ways to do so. The Queen Victoria in Cape May, New Jersey has exquisite outdoor Christmas lights! I love how they outlined their bed and breakfast to highlight that their inn has three floors and they hung lit garland with red bows on the fence all the way around their property.

Bed and Breakfasts in December

Decorative Doorway at Another Second Penny Inn of Stonington, CT

Another Second Penny Inn hung garland and put up a wreath with a red bow on their reflective glass door. The snow falling in Connecticut just adds to the bed and breakfast’s winter look.  They are located on a leafy, scenic road just 3 miles from Mystic and 2 miles north of Stonington Borough.

Their 1710 New England home offers friendly, romantic, and spacious accommodations for their bed and breakfast visitors. Winner of the Best Breakfast in New England, owners Jim and Sandra Wright, offer deluxe five course breakfasts on weekends and holidays and delicious Continental Breakfasts on the other mornings.

Curious about how this inn got its name? They offer this Ancient Persian saying to explain, “If you have two pennies, with the first, buy bread for your stomach and with the second, buy hyacinths for your soul.”

Bed and Breakfasts in December

Morehead Manor Bed & Breakfast of Durham, NC adds to the festivities with garland & bows decorating the stairway

Morehead Manor of Durham, North Carolina was recently named the Best Black-Owned Bed and Breakfast in America by Black Enterprise magazine.  Innkeepers Daniel and Monica Edwards decorate their inn festively every year.  The garland and ribbon going down their staircase is but one area of the inn in the Bull City.  Within walking distance for their inn is the Durham Performing Arts Center which has holiday performances including the fortieth year of performances of A Christmas Carol! Durham is also the Tastiest Town of the South so between the delicious gourmet breakfasts at Morehead Manor and award-winning restaurants, your appetite will be more than satisfied!

The York Harbor Inn family of Inns in Maine is comprised of six separate lodges. The Main Inn offers twenty-two guest rooms. There are also two ocean view restaurants as well as lovely banquet and meeting rooms. Many luxury rooms feature ocean and beach view decks, fireplaces and/or Jacuzzi tubs. The York Harbor inn recognizes that people’s dogs are part of their family and they offer pet friendly rooms in their Harbor Crest building.  The picture of their Christmas tree by the fire is gorgeous.

Bed and Breakfasts in December

Stunning Dining Room of The Empress Bed and Breakfast in Little Rock, AR

Bob Blair and his wife Sharon Welch-Blair are owners of The Empress of Little Rock, in Arkansas. They have been open for nearly twenty years and they love their guests! “Anyone who loves people, enjoys welcoming them into your home, looks forward to a day of tasks and events of all kinds (everyday a new day), and works with a great crew should become an innkeeper.” Their enthusiasm for entertaining is evident when you look at their multi-award winning AAA four diamond rated bed and breakfast!  Every guest room at the historic inn has its own themed tree to create magic throughout the entire mansion. Bob and Sharon display their mementos and antiques in each room so you feel like you are not only experiencing the past, but are cherished guests of The Royal Family.

Bed and Breakfasts in December

The twinkling lights of the tree at the White Oak Manor in Jefferson, TX.

White Oak Manor is an historic bed and breakfast in Jefferson, Texas.  Innkeepers Dave and Tammy invite you to join their warm and friendly atmosphere.  It is especially beautiful to visit them this time of year with their festive holiday decorations.  Jefferson is always filled with love, laughter and friendly faces.

So how does your bed and breakfast celebrate the holidays? Feel free to make comments about what food you prepare for guests, special ways you decorate your inn, and anything else you do to make this time of year extra special.

Labor Day Weekend Road Trip

Labor Day weekend road trip

Some of your bed and breakfast guests will be traveling by car and we hope they have a lovely Labor Day weekend road trip.  First, some fun facts about how the Labor Day holiday got started in the United States.  Did you know the United States workers’ unions chose the first Monday in September because it was halfway between Independence Day and Thanksgiving? The first Labor Day was observed on September 5th, 1882.  

Labor Day was created to rally for the adoption of eight hour work days and other more suitable working conditions.  Labor Day now carries less significance as a celebration of working people and more as a great way to finish the summer. Schools, government offices, and businesses are closed on Labor Day so people can get in one last road trip to the beach or have one last cookout before the weather starts to turn colder.

AAA is a company known in the lodging industry for their AAA diamond rating approval system. Guests can be reassured that those properties have been selected on the basis of merit alone.   Chief Operating Officer Marshall L. Doney explained, “With Labor Day symbolizing the American workers’ contributions to the strength and prosperity of our country, it’s only fitting that millions are choosing to celebrate this positive direction with an all-American road trip.”

AAA offers a Fuel Cost Calculator on their website.  Drivers can select, from about 125 different locations in the United States, the closest starting city and destination location. They can indicate their vehicle’s make, year, and model.  Drivers can select “one-way” or “round trip.” The Fuel Cost Calculator will show you the miles, gallons used, and fuel cost.  The fuel price data is provided by Oil Price Information Service.  You can put a link to this Fuel Cost Calculator from your own website.

We have tremendous respect for innkeepers who consistently get great online reviews from previous guests for their hospitality.  Remember you can team up with complimentary local businesses to set up packages for your guests.  Innkeepers, while entertaining guests:

Remember, when hosting, it is the little details that make a big difference.  Your phone communication is a great way to start the process of building relationships with your guests so that they become repeat guests and refer their friends and family to stay at your B&B. You may even often a frequent stay and referral program to help you gain more business and rewards your guests for returning and referring.

Innkeepers, we know you stay busy.  For those of you who want to focus on innkeeping and give the blogging and social media responsibilities to a knowledgeable and dedicated company, think of Bed and Breakfast Blogging as a great solution.  We can provide fresh blog content the search engines reward with higher rankings as well as an active and positive social media presence so you stay top of mind to potential and returning guests.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Valentine’s Day is Coming

valentines day is coming

 

 

Valentine’s Day is coming. It is time to start promoting how your bed and breakfast will be celebrating it. This is a great opportunity to put together a package deal for couples.

 

 

  • Make a connection with a local florist that you will only use their service in exchange for them giving you a discount.
  • If your bed and breakfast does not offer spa services, maybe you can arrange for a nearby spa to offer you a deal on massages, facials, and nails.
  • You may be located near to a card and candy gift shop.  This is another opportunity to make exclusive arrangements with them.
  • Look at romantic restaurants in your area and ask the manager if you can arrange for your couples to dine at their restaurant.
  • If you have a concert hall or arena in your area, you can check to see the performances showing or games being played during that time.
  • If you have rooms with their own private hot tubs, this is the time to emphasize that in your marketing.
  • Lastly, do not forget the wine or sparkled juice as well as dessert for two in the room.

The more you know about the couple, the more you can personalize the package.  Try to find out their preferences in food and entertainment.  What they would like done at the spa or if they are more likely to enjoy a concert or a game.

Sometimes one person is surprising the other person with this romantic trip. You can join in the fun.  Make sure to price your package at a cost where you will be making a healthy profit from your package after paying the other places.  This is your chance to play Cupid on February 14 because Valentine’s Day is coming.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year 2014

Happy New Year 2014! I love New Year’s Day! We all have a fresh start to accomplish and achieve our goals.  More importantly, to grow closer to becoming the kind of person we would want to be around.

There are so many individuals that come through the doors of bed and breakfasts.  Each one is special and every person has a story.  If it is appropriate and the guests are talkative with you, take time to listen to them.

They will remember you as the innkeepers who were very hospitable, went out of their way to serve them, and cared enough to hear what they had to say.  As innkeepers, you have an opportunity to bless your guests with the most positive lodging experience ever.

Happy New Year 2014 from Kristi Dement and her team at Bed and Breakfast Blogging!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Stay Inn-spired

stay inn spired

 

 

Especially around the holidays, it is easy to feel like you have too much to do to actually have time to enjoy it.  Remember that, as a bed and breakfast owner, you are helping to make other people’s Christmases very special so it is important to stay inn spired.

 

Even if you cannot take time off from inn-keeping, you can still be inn-spired. Think of at least 5 positives that happened this year associated with your bed and breakfast. Now think of 5 positives you would like to see happen in 2014.

When you focus on the good, you tend to get more of it.  You can make your bed and breakfast even more successful in the coming New Year.

What actionable steps can you take toward making those 5 things happen in 2014?  The secret to success is step by step. A little bit each and every day turns what seems impossible into a reality!  The solution is making progress every day toward achieving your bed and breakfast goals and to stay inn spired.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography