Tag Archives: bed and breakfasts

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

How To Choose The Right Bed and Breakfast Linens

deep white tub in log cabin with white guest towels

 

As owners of bed and breakfasts, you build your brand based on the quality and level of hospitality you offer to your guests.  This includes guests’ first impression of your place and their individual guest room down to the look and feel of your sheets and bed and breakfast linens.

 

Innkeepers should strive to provide an experience above and beyond their guests’ expectations.  Thus, choosing quality linens for your bed and breakfast is of great importance.  Create an environment where your guests will not want to leave.  This will encourage them to come back as soon as they can return.

Here are some tips to help guide you when selecting your bed and breakfast linens. Before you start buying linens for each bedroom, make note of how many beds you’ll be fitting within each room as well as their respective sizes (twin, queen, king, etc.). Make sure you have extra pillows for your guests as well as a couple quality blankets for each bed.  One blanket can be placed on the bed between the comforter and the top sheet while the other blanket can be put in an accessible guest drawer or closet space.

When choosing the quality of your bed and breakfast linens, ensure that the material is 100% natural content featuring a thread count of at least 500. Consider choosing white to avoid any fading colors. White also has the advantage of looking crisp and clean while giving an airy and welcoming feel to the room.

When selecting your bathroom sets, make sure you select plush, 100% cotton towels with a dense loop. Anything below these quality standards can detract from the guest experience. Also ensure that you have the correct sizes, including bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths.

Coordination is key. Colors should play off each other to give a natural flow from the bedroom to the bathroom.  What matters is the perceptions of each guest. Whatever you end up choosing, make sure the bedroom and bathroom colors complement each other.

Be sure to provide a generous number of towels, to give your guests the feeling of comfort and luxury.  By having an extra amount of linens and towels, they will last longer.  When your towels are plush and sheets are smooth, your guests are more likely to remember their positive experience (including restful sleep) and return to your inn for another visit.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

10+ B&B Bedroom Names

guest bedroom with bed and luxurious sink with mirror

 

Bed and Breakfasts traditionally name each bedroom available to guests. This allows B&B owners, as well as their guests, to be able to distinguish between the rooms.  The B&B bedroom names can be based on any number of reasons.  Here are 10+ ways B&B bedroom names come about:

 

  • Activity (such as a hobby or a sport like photography or football)
  • Amenity (like a private hot tub or their own personal fireplace in the room)
  • Color in the room (like red or lavender walls or bedding)
  • Country or culture the room represents (such as China or Mexico)
  • Famous people (including famous writers and leaders like Hemingway and Lincoln)
  • History (named after the original residents; associated with the time period it was built)
  • Local connection (near a famous local attraction; common local flowers or foods)
  • Occasion (such as the Honeymoon Suite or Anniversary Room)
  • Style the room is decorated in (such as Victorian or French Country)
  • Theme (including a particular animal or season)
  • Type of location (such as on the beach or in a castle)

As bed and breakfast owners, you can have fun with what you name your rooms. Be creative and come up with names of rooms that people would like to say they stayed in. Sometimes B&B owners have signs by the doors to let guests know they have come to the right room.

Naming the rooms in your house gives your bed and breakfast character and distinguishes it from other B&B’s. This also allows your guests to recommend the particular rooms they stayed in by their B&B bedroom names to other people. 

You are welcome to share a link to your (named) rooms page on your bed and breakfast website as well as to tell us the reason they were named that way.

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Shatter the Disastrous Myths About Bed and Breakfasts

outdoor pool with picnic basket on umbrella table with a red rose in a vase

It is time to shatter the disastrous myths about bed and breakfasts. There are a handful of reporters recently who have published stories that seem to be more about their own awkward hang-ups than about having real issues with where they stayed. Also, most of their disappointments could have been prevented through simple actions like looking at the accommodations’ website and reading guest reviews before their booking rooms.

Most bed and breakfasts are NOT about staying at grandma’s house with doilies. While some bed and breakfasts are located in historic mansions, that does not mean they have thin walls, squeaky bed frames, and creaky floors. Many of those inns have been painstakingly returned to their original glory with added insulation (if needed), restored or new furniture, and repaired or refinished flooring.

99% of bed and breakfasts offer private, connected bathrooms for their guests to use. Bed and breakfasts with good websites always show pictures of their guest rooms and bathrooms and even specify which amenities come with each of their rooms. Hotels are not the only ones with private balconies, sitting areas, gardens, pools, restaurants, and gift shops. There are plenty of inns offering these same luxuries.

Bed and breakfasts are always unique. Every inn is different and offers its own special personality and experiences. Guests choose bed and breakfasts based on its location, style, local attractions, and personal preferences. Bed and breakfast inns can come in a wide variety of types to choose from, including:

  • scenic mountain bed and breakfasts
  • modern boutique inns
  • bed and breakfast farms
  • pet-friendly inns
  • B&B retreats for authors or artists
  • bed and breakfasts on the water
  • environmentally friendly inns
  • bed and breakfasts in secluded locations
  • kid-friendly inns

There is a reason why they are called bed and breakfasts. Hotels often offer “continental” breakfasts that leave much to be desired. Innkeepers often have culinary training as well as a natural talent and passion for cooking. Many bed and breakfasts accommodate guests on restricted diets.

Preferably while booking your room, be sure to indicate any food allergies or dietary guidelines. Whether you are on a gluten-free, dairy-free, low cholesterol, reduced fat, no sugar added, vegan, or vegetarian diet, bed and breakfast chefs can make something you will enjoy eating that does not compromise those standards.

You do NOT have to have conversations with other guests if you feel like keeping to yourself. There is no “dreaded obligation” to have small talk with strangers. At breakfast time, many inns offer tables for two or even in-room dining. It is less common for there to be one common breakfast table for all the guests to sit at. This is a win-win for shy and outgoing guests as well as perky and not-so-perky guests. You can seek interaction or keep to yourself. It is completely up to you!

Innkeepers want to provide their guests with the best hospitality experience possible. Bed and breakfast staff do not try to “hover” over their guests. They remain attentive (they are there if you need them) yet not intrusive (they give you space and privacy). They respect their guests’ wishes for peace and quiet. Some places offer private entrances, separate cottages or guest houses.

Bed and breakfasts are a great value. They offer free breakfast, free parking, and complimentary refreshments. Most offer free wireless internet and some have free DVD libraries and even provide free streaming video services like Netflix. Hotels charge extra for these things. There is no such thing as “free room service” at hotels.

If you like impersonal and stuffy hotel chains, then maybe bed and breakfast inns are not for you. However, many of you (if you have not already) will visit a bed and breakfast inn and never go back to staying at hotels!

Owners and innkeepers, are you looking to improve your online marketing results?  Want to educate potential guests about what makes your inn more appealing than your local competition? Bed and breakfast blogging offers professional services including blogging, e-mail marketing, social media, and reputation management.  Don’t have time or don’t know where to start? Contact Kristi today for a free consultation!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Make It All About Your Bed and Breakfast Guests

Book Cover: All About Them

Make it all about them. Make it all about your bed and breakfast guests.  Author Bruce Turkel, in his insightful book All about Them: Grow Your Business by Focusing on Others makes it clear that what really matters to consumers is their own self-interest. Business owners (including innkeepers) can use that knowledge to make their businesses (specifically bed and breakfasts) about the people they are trying to reach (potential guests).

Author Bruce Turkel states that successful businesses created for today’s “all about them” economy realize what you do is less important than identifying who you are and why that resonates with current and potential customers (guests).

Turkel stresses that “good brands make you feel good, but great brands make you feel good about yourself.” Things sell not because of what they can do, but because of how they make consumers feel.

What attracts business to you and separates you from the competition (other accommodations)? Understand exactly what your customers are buying.  What do you provide that they cannot find anywhere else?

Figure out who you are and what you stand for then communicate that identity.  Translate your message into customer centered communication that resonates with your audience.

What opportunities does your business provide for increasing customer satisfaction and company revenue?  What do you stand for?  Can you describe that in just a few words?  To determine what those few words are, Turkel recommends you consider five components.

  • First, write down your company features and benefits.  This means everything you and your business offer including products, services, talents, skills, experiences, and so on.
  • Then write down your points of distinction.  What sets you apart from your competition? What do your clients identify about you?
  • Next, focus on the functional side of your business.  What features and attributes do you offer?
  • Then focus on the emotional side of your business.  How do your customers feel?
  • Lastly, this is when you can take reflect upon that information and know what you stand for and know who you are.  This is your brand promise.

Innkeepers, do you make it all about your bed and breakfast guests?  Do potential guests know how you are different from other accommodations in your area?

If you need help defining what makes your inn unique, so you stand out from other lodging choices, the Bed and Breakfast Blogging team is here to help.  Contact Kristi Dement for a free consultation today and she can start help you share your inn’s story with the world!

How Bed and Breakfasts Can Win Like Amazon

Amazon Prime logo

Think about how your inn can win like Amazon and uniquely excel in hospitality, cuisine, and accommodations. Fast Company ranked Amazon the World’s Most Innovative Company in 2017.  Amazon is the largest American e-commerce company.

Founded on July 5 of 1994, Jeff Bezos selected the name Amazon as he looked through the dictionary.  He settled on “Amazon” because it was a place that was “exotic and different” just as he envisioned for his Internet enterprise.  Bed and breakfasts should each strive to be different and stand out in a unique and impressive way.

Bezos also noted that the Amazon river was by far the “largest” river in the world and he planned to make his store the largest in the world.  Amazon, as a company, has achieved enormous success. Back in 1996, Amazon was only a $16 million company while Barnes and Noble was at the time a gigantic $2 billion company.  However, Amazon was the fastest company to reach one billion in sales. In 2016, Amazon’s revenue was $136 billion United States dollars while Barnes and Noble increased to a significantly smaller $4.16 billion.

How did Amazon do it?  Amazon set goals to create something superior and completely new.  Jeff Bezos, who continues to record ideas as he thinks of them, made a list of 20 possible categories for his business and then decided that his best option was to start with books.  Years later Amazon would become one of the world’s best known companies and be referred to as “the everything store.”

While publishers complained when Amazon let its users publish book reviews (showing both the positive and negative comments), Jeff Bezos stated, “We make money when we help customers make purchase decisions.”  To him, it was so people could make informed choices.  The user-generated content did give Amazon viewers an extra reason to visit their website: actual buyers of books were giving their honest opinions.  Now consumers can leave written evaluations of any of Amazon’s products.  Bed and breakfasts would do well to encourage their happy guests to leave reviews as well.

Amazon strives for continuous improvement and efficiency.  While you may be satisfied with the size of your business, there are always things innkeepers can do to make more money with each guest who visits.  Whether through added packages, special retreats, retail merchandise, or other extras, make it a goal to win like Amazon by gaining more business from every customer (guest) who contacts your inn.

Names are so important for both people and places. Names help define people and brands. One of the most successful brands is Amazon.  Bed and breakfasts can look to Amazon for its success as a brand and its successful brand name.

Since June 19, 2000, Amazon’s logotype has featured a curved arrow leading from A to Z, representing that the company carries every product from A to Z, with the arrow shaped like a smile.  A good bed and breakfast logo can appear on merchandise you sell like coffee mugs, cookbooks, and aprons.

Amazon carefully selects who they hire to join the company.  According to Amazon, they hire only the best and the brightest.  Some interview questions have been known to catch people off guard like, “Do you know why manhole covers are round?”  This is to judge the reasoning skills of interviewees as much as it is assess their intelligence.  This sets a high bar for the talent they hire.

While they have had some personnel issues as far as people electing to leave the company, many employees have done very well for themselves by staying.  Bed and breakfasts can win like Amazon by being selective when hiring more staff members.

One of Amazon’s core values is innovation.  They remain on the cutting edge of technology with their products and services.  As a company they love inventing things.  They are not held back by conventional thinking. They will quickly abandon old notions and embrace new ones when better options present themselves.  Likewise, innkeepers should stay on the cutting edge with their online marketing, reservation software, and so forth.

Amazon is known for their excellent customer service. They offer a generous 30-day return policy. They are resolved to offer the lowest prices anywhere.  Amazon has expanded not only the types of merchandise it sells, but also the programs it offers.

With a focus on long-term customer loyalty, those who are Amazon Prime members get several perks including free shipping.  Bed and breakfasts can win like Amazon by rewarding returning guests and guests who make referrals.

Amazon is obsessed with customer satisfaction.  This online giant offers a personalized version of their website and gives recommendations to each shopper based on their previous searches and purchases. Amazon’s wide selection, low prices, and excellent customer service is remaking industries.

Through strategic marketing, including blogging, social media, and phone conversations, bed and breakfast guests can win like Amazon by persuading guests to spend more money during their visits on custom packages and other options.

Amazon arguably has the most authoritative online product catalog.  To make it easier for customers to learn more about the products on Amazon, they offer the following lists and tools:

  • Amazon Bestseller Lists
  • Amazon Sales Rank
  • Amazon Wishlists
  • Amazon Look Inside The Book
  • Amazon Search Inside The Book

Amazon’s overarching goal is to be the first place people look to buy anything. Amazon is also referred to as the “unstore.”  According to Bezos, Amazon is not bound by the traditional rules of retail. This is a list of some of Amazon’s products and services:

Perhaps having a company name beginning with “A” was preferential due to the probability it would occur at the top of any list that was alphabetized.  Does this mean that your bed and breakfast name must start with the letter A?  No, absolutely not.  You can think of a clever and profitable bed and breakfast business name by taking into account: your location, your inn, your decorating theme(s), and so on.

Maybe I should rename my company name from Bed and Breakfast Blogging to something else?  Any suggestions??  Feel free to comment below with positively creative suggestions!

Bed and Breakfasts Named After Queen Anne

named Queen Anne

 

We feature seven bed and breakfasts named Queen Anne.  The Queen Anne style in Britain refers to either the English Baroque architectural style approximately of the reign of Queen Anne (reigned 1702–1714), or a revived form that was popular in the last quarter of the 19th century and the early decades of the 20th century (known as Queen Anne revival).

 

In the United States, the so-called “Queen Anne style” is loosely used of a wide range of picturesque buildings with “free Renaissance” details rather than of a specific style in its own right. “Queen Anne” is broadly applied to architecture, furniture and decorative arts of the period 1880 to 1910.

 

Distinctive features of American Queen Anne style (rooted in the English style) can include:

  • dominant front-facing gable, often cantilevered out beyond the plane of the wall below
  • overhanging eaves
  • round, square, or polygonal tower(s)
  • shaped and Dutch gables
  • a porch covering part or all of the front facade, including the primary entrance area
  • a second-story porch or balconies
  • pedimented porches (a low gable, typically triangular with ahorizontal cornice and raking cornices)
  • differing wall textures (such as patterned wood shingles shaped into varying designs, including resembling fish scales, terra cotta tiles, relief panels, or wooden shingles over brickwork, etc.)
  • dentils (any of a series of closely spaced, small, rectangular blocks, used especially in classical architecture )
  • classical columns
  • spindle work
  • oriel and bay windows
  • horizontal bands of leaded windows
  • monumental chimneys
  • painted railing with support balusters
  • wooden or slate roofs
  • wraparound front porch
  • front gardens often had wooden fences

 

Now that we know what they typically look like, the following bed and breakfast inns, found in the United States, are all named Queen Anne:

 

Queen Anne B&B Inn in Denver, ColoradoBuilt in 1879 and 1886, the Queen Anne was originally occupied by the Tabor family. The doors were opened to the public in 1987, when the Queen Anne became the first urban bed and breakfast in Denver.

 

Queen Anne B&B and Spa in Fredricksburg, Texas: Built in 1904, the elegant Queen Anne is truly the grande dame of Victorian architecture.

 

Queen Anne Guest House in Galena, Illinois: Their Victorian Queen Anne style B & B is situated 4 blocks from Main Street where the historic shops and restaurants of Galena begin.  The Queen Anne has been featured in many books, including America’s Painted Ladies.

 

Queen Anne Hotel in San Francisco, CaliforniaThis jewel of Victorian architecture has 48 elegant rooms & suites and features a lovely Parlor and Library with English & American antique furnishings, crackling fireplaces, chandeliers, and vibrant works of art.

 

Reagan’s Queen Anne B&B in Hannibal, Missouri: “Write your own story” when you stay in Mark Twain’s boyhood hometown of Hanibal while enjoying their graceful Painted Lady and Victorian jewel. Find gracious hospitality and comfortable elegance in their restored lumberman’s masterpiece, featuring original magnificently carved ornate woodwork, brass lighting fixtures, and stained glass windows.

 

The Queen Anne Bed and Breakfast in Natchitoches, Louisiana: At almost 100 years old, The Queen Anne continues to define elegance while offering excellent location in this unique city, combining American history with French sophistication.

 

The Queen Anne House Bed and Breakfast in Harrison, Arkansas: The Queen Anne House is an elegantly restored two story Victorian Home nestled in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, only blocks from the historic town square of Harrison Arkansas.  Enjoy their gingerbread trim, stained glass windows, Infinity spa hot tub, claw foot tubs and showers, beautiful gardens, a large wrap around front porch with rockers, an enclosed glass solarium, a beautifully ornate fireplace, and period antiques.

 

Several bed and breakfast inns were built using the Queen Anne architectural style.  These bed and breakfasts thought it important enough to include that in their bed and breakfast name.  What is the architectural style of your bed and breakfast and is that included in your bed and breakfast name? Feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Bed and Breakfasts Named After Metals

 

named metals

Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast

 

 

Did you know that there are bed and breakfasts named metals?  Well, they at least have a metal in their name (or implied in their name).

 

 

 

 

The following is a short alphabetical listing of some “metallic” inns in the United States:

 

Advice 5 Cents: Duck, North Carolina (after all 5 cents is a nickel!)

 

Bronze Antler Bed and Breakfast: Joseph, Oregon (the innkeepers can arrange for bronze foundry tours upon request)

 

Coppersmith Inn Bed and Breakfast: Galveston, Texas (the second owner, Paul Shean, was a coppersmith from Ireland, hence their name)

 

Goldsmith Inn Bed and Breakfast: Missoula, Montana (the innkeepers have the last name Goldsmith; the Goldsmiths restored this beautiful historic property after it was planned to be demolished; it required moving this massive 4,000 square foot home)

 

Silver Heart Bed and Breakfast: Independence, Missouri (this historic home officially opened as a bed and breakfast in April of 2013; their sign has a large silver heart on it)

 

The Iron Gate Inn and Winery: Cedar City, Utah (the oldest Bed & Breakfast building in the Cedar City community opened as a bed and breakfast in June of 2002; and yes, the gate is made of iron)

 

Mercury Inn (formally named “Wild Iris Inn”): Portland, Maine (Mercury, a deity from ancient Roman mythology, was a protector and guide to travelers. He ensured that those in his care were given the best treatment he had to offer.  Mercury Inn seeks to offer the best in modern accommodations, local fare, and warm hospitality).

 

The Platinum Pebble: West Harwich, Massachusetts (centrally located on Cape Cod; “a pebble’s throw” from Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, Provincetown, and more; the word platinum may come from the fact that they receive rave reviews)

 

Tin Lizzie Inn at Yosemite: Fish Camp, California (Tin Lizzie takes its name from the Model T Ford which the public lovingly dubbed “The Tin Lizzie”; they have a replica 1890’s Victorian Model T, but it is only 2 years old.)

 

Each inn has its own story.  Whether the name is picked for its uniqueness, a nearby local attraction, an owner’s profession or last name, its physical features, its proximity to other attractions, or even an antique replica, it is always fun choosing the right name for your bed and breakfast inn.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Bed and Breakfasts Named After Colors

named colors

 

 

Since colors can be quite attractive, it is not surprising that so many bed and breakfasts are named colors. We take a look at bed and breakfasts across the United States that have a color in their name.

 

 

This is a small sampling of colorful inns listed in alphabetical order by name:

 

Amber House Bed and Breakfast: Sacramento, California (their logo has grain in it like the “God Bless America” song lyric “amber waves of grain”)

 

Black Forest B&B Lodge and Cabins: Colorado Springs, Colorado (built in the majestic Black Forest, the highest point east of the Rocky Mountains)

 

Blue Mountain Bed and Breakfast: Missoula, Montana (the sky is so blue in this gorgeous mountain setting)

 

Brownstone Colonial Inn: Reinholds, Pennsylvania (a beautifully restored 18th century Georgian sandstone farmhouse)

 

Green Palm Inn: Savannah, Georgia (there are a lot of green palm trees in Savannah)

 

Indigo Inn: Charleston, South Carolina (in the year 1850, this property used built to serve as an indigo warehouse now it has been transformed into a lovely inn)

 

Orange Blossom Hacienda: Queen Creek, Arizona (of course they have orange blossoms for guests to enjoy)

 

Purple Mountain Lodge B&B and Spa: Crested Butte, Colorado (the lodge is a pretty shade of purple)

 

Red Gate Inn: McKinney, Texas (appropriately, they have a red gate and a red front door)

 

Silver Fountain Inn: Dover, New Hampshire (their silver fountain has lights so you can even see it at night)

 

The Golden Leaf Inn: Estes Park, Colorado (located on a scenic mountain with plenty of trees including golden leaves)

 

The Yellow House: Waynesville, North Carolina (there’s no surprise that the house is yellow in color)

 

Tickle Pink Inn: Carmel, California (sits on the original home site of State Senator Edward and Mrs. Bess Tickle, who loved flowers–especially pink flowers)

 

Violet Hill Bed and Breakfast: Middletown, New York (originally operated as a dairy farm in 1926, they now grow beautiful flowers for market)

 

White Porch Inn: Provincetown, Massachusetts (in keeping with their name, the whole inn, including the porch, is the color white)

 

If you stayed at (or own) a bed and breakfast with a color in its name, feel free to comment below with the name and its website address.  Bed and breakfast inns display lots of lovely colors.

 

Want to attract more guests to your inn?  Contact Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging to help you with your online marketing needs.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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