Tag Archives: best

The Best Hospitality is Personalized to Guests

Rookwood Inn, guest room, innkeeper, bath tub

 

The best hospitality is personalized to guests. Owner and Innkeeper Amy Lindner-Lesser, of The Rookwood Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts, attributes the longevity of her hospitality business (22 years) to her continually adapting to the needs and wishes of her guests. Part of her B&B logo says, “Where memories are made.”

 

She says it is the responsibility of both the guests and the inn’s staff to be sure that wonderful memories are made. “We have guests, a couple who came the first fall we owned The Rookwood Inn and they have stayed more than thirty-seven times since then.” She has many repeat guests.

As both a MA licensed Justice of the Peace and a Universal Life Church (ULC) Minister, Amy performs interfaith and intercultural weddings. She takes the time to learn about the couples’ individuality, how they met, what they share, their ideas for their special day, family traditions, and wedding likes and dislikes. She strives to make this the dream wedding for every couple. She also enjoys working with more mature couples for whom this is their second or third wedding. “These are the type of couples who prefer our more intimate and unique setting for their wedding.”

I like that she features a room comparison chart, on her website so guests can easily make choices among the inn’s twenty rooms on three floors. It lists the type of fireplace (11 guest rooms), type of bath (all have showers; some have separate clawfoot tubs or a shower combination with tub), MP3 dock (8 guest rooms), porch or deck (4 guest rooms), TV (10 guest rooms), bed size(s), sleeper (4 guest rooms), location (3 floor levels), and maximum occupancy (2, 3, or 4 guests per room). Since the price varies by season, she does not list that in the chart.

Guest compliments include:

  • Attention to detail
  • Best hospitality around
  • Cleanliness
  • Location (in the heart of the Berkshires on a residential street half a block for the center of town)
  • Walking distance to shopping, restaurants, museum theater; close to Boston symphony

The Rookwood Inn guests come for the culture as well as to celebrate special occasions and for romance. The summer and fall are the busiest times of the year. She also hosts retreats throughout the year. She recently hosted a two-day retreat for entrepreneurs called, “Awakening the Shaman Within” to help them become new people for the new year (she graciously had furniture moved around at their request). She also hosted a retreat for Inn Partners for prospective B&B owners (she provided the needed equipment for them). Amy is accommodating to whatever the needs are and her guests appreciate that.

Amy tells guests, “The only cookie cutters we have are in the kitchen.” Everything they do is customized to best suit the wishes of each of their guests. Guests say Amy and The Rookwood Inn go above and beyond with their extra touches. They offer an individualized experience that hotels lack. The best hospitality is personalized to guests.

Thee Matriarch Boutique Inn

 

Thee Matriarch

Thee Matriarch Boutique Inn is celebrating three years of upscale bed and breakfast hospitality.  Rachelle Jamerson-Holmes used her design talents to skillfully decorate their Victorian manor in Orangeburg, South Carolina.  Husband Chef Fred Holmes is the culinary expert behind all the delicious gourmet food they prepare.

 

 

They actively host a wide variety of events right at their inn:

  • Top Chef Tuesdays: Every third Tuesday the community can come out and enjoy an international food, dessert and beverage tasting in a relaxed environment complete with sheer fun and networking. The cooking is prepared by local featured chefs, pastry chefs, caterers, cafes, bistros, and restaurants.
  • First Fridays: Every first Friday of each month Thee Matriarch invites you to experience a tantalizing feast of savory mouthwatering southern style favorites and their healthy alternatives.  Enjoy delightful lunch and dinner items created by Chef Fred!
  • Wine Tastings: Thee Matriarch offers a complimentary private guided wine tour of boutique, handcrafted, artisan wines from the wine country of California.  Taking their guests on a “colorful journey” of whites and red as they pair them with cheese and chocolates.

Thee-MatriarchThee-Matriarch

Thee Matriarch is listed in Black Enterprise Magazine as one of the 7 Top Black-Owned Bed and Breakfasts in America.  Rachelle and Fred make their guests feel welcome from the moment they walk in the door.  Whether they come for an event or stay overnight as a guest, their guests leave feeling even better than when they first arrived.

Everyone needs a little rest and relaxation.  They were voted one of the 12 Unforgettable Vacations in South Carolina If You Feel Like Really Splurging by the “Only In Your State” South Carolina website.

Millenium Magazine stated in their recent article, “Thee Matriarch Ranks Among the Top Boutiques” that “the couples love for people and their community fuels their enthusiasm to service their guest with excellent customer service, attention to details and personal attention.”

In Carolina Panorama’s article, “Best of the Best Orangeburg Couple’s Bed and Breakfast Named Among The Best Regional and National Boutique Inns”: “Designer Rachelle has elegantly restored and beautifully designed Thee Matriarch to appeal to business and leisure travelers satisfying the need for a full-service small- to medium-size venue for corporate retreats, seminars, family and class reunions, showers, weddings and receptions. An ideal setting for BFF, spa and golf getaways, Thee Matriarch’s Chef Fred crafts tantalizing cuisines of every genre for any occasion offering on and off property catering services.  Each bite will make your soul sing and yearn for more.”

Hosts Rachelle and Fred show their guests warm Southern hospitality.  Stay with them at Thee Matriarch in Orangeburg, South Carolina the next time you travel to the Palmetto State!

Pinterest Strategy

Pinterest strategy

 

 

While Pinterest is fun, it is important that businesses form a Pinterest strategy centered around the feedback they have received from other pinners.

 

 

Strategy:

  • Develop a strategy based on your analytics
  • Tailor your boards to the needs and interests of your followers (based on your Pinterest analytics)
  • Showcase your pins in an organized way that makes sense
  • Find out who is pinning what and why
  • Measure your impact and focus on boards performing the best
  • Create a variety of different boards that each target certain words
  • Cross-promote on other social media platforms (ex: Twitter, Facebook)
  • Include hash tags (#) in your board descriptions
  • Invite specific types of travelers into your bed and breakfast (ex: couples, business people, girlfriends, etc.)
  • Determine if you want to be pet-friendly, kid-friendly, or offer special events such as weddings or retreats
  • Look at how other B&B’s (with a large number of followers) use Pinterest

Pinterest can help virtually any business establish brand and get the word out.  What you get out of Pinterest depends on what you put in it. With the proper Pinterest strategy, guests will be able to peek into your personality, style, loves, and aspirations.  Guests will feel like they know you before they arrive!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Maximizing Your Time

maximizing your time

We all have 24 hours in our day.  Since none of us can buy time, we must maximize (make the greatest and full use of) this limited resource. This means we must have a strategy (a plan for obtaining a specific goal or result).

So what are goals?  Goals are the results toward which our efforts are directed.  The best goals are SMART:

  • Specific–target a specific area for improvement
  • Measurable–quantify or at least suggest an indicator of progress
  • Action-oriented–state what action must be taken
  • Realistic–state what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources
  • Time-related–specify when the results can be achieved

As an innkeeper of a bed and breakfast, you may want to categorize your goals based on the different areas in your job. I have included an example of a smart goal for each category.

  • Cooking–I will learn at least one new breakfast recipe each week and serve it to my guests.
  • Decorating–I will consult with a professional painter and get an estimate on interior and exterior painting costs.
  • Events–I will host a local chamber of commerce meeting every week.
  • Finances–I will keep an organized record of my earnings and expenses.
  • Gardening–I will plant at least 3 trees and 5 bushes this month.
  • Housekeeping–I will hire a maid to clean our rooms regularly.
  • Laundry–I will arrange for a laundry service to clean our linens.
  • Marketing and Promotion–I will hire someone to write a blog for our website.
  • Shopping–I will stick to my list every time I buy groceries.

You may think of other categories or come up with different goals.  The point is to make the best use of your time. This will allow you, the busy innkeeper, to get everything done and still have a little down time to yourself.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Innkeeper Personality Trait: Adaptable

innkeeper personality adapt

 

Innkeepers of bed and breakfasts need to have the wonderful personality trait of being adaptable.  According to the dictionary, someone who is adaptable is, “able to adjust oneself readily to different conditions.”  You never know what will happen when you run a bed and breakfast.

 

Bed and breakfast owners will need to be adaptable as they react to both new guests and new situations. Each guest is different.  They have their own unique personality, reason for staying, expectations of their stay, and objectives for their visit.

It is best when you have your initial phone conversation, to determine the purpose for their stay.  This way you can meet their own unique needs.  For example, you can give the honeymooners the romantic visit of their dreams.  You can give the business traveler, the peace and quiet they seek.

There will always be new situations that come up: a sudden cancellation, an unexpected repair, a couple lost trying to find your bed and breakfast. When you show that you are adaptable to what comes your way, your guests and employees will appreciate that and your B&B business will flourish.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Healthy Breakfast Foods: Oats

healthy-breakfast-oats

Bed and breakfast owners and innkeepers, do you ever feel like you cook the same dozen different breakfasts over and over?  From time to time, we are going to feature various healthy breakfast foods.  This blog post is about the health benefits of oats and then we will give you a link to a delicious recipe for a steaming bowl of freshly cooked apricot honey oatmeal.

  • Oats can lower high cholesterol levels (which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke)
  • Oats are high in fiber from its whole grains (which lowers the risk of cancer)
  • Oats can stabilize blood sugar (which is great for diabetics or to prevent Type II diabetes)
  • Oats have unique anti-oxidant compounds (that help prevent free radicals from damaging the good kind of cholesterol)
  • Oats can be a well-tolerated wheat alternative (for those with celiac disease)
  • Oats can be made into oatmeal, cookies, muffins, bread, granola, and more

The best place to store your oats in an airtight container in a cool, dry, and dark place like your kitchen pantry. You can add nuts and fruits for even more flavor.  At the bottom is the link to the delicious oatmeal recipe we promised.  Note that you can substitute the apricots with any dried fruit you like. You can also use half milk and half water for creamier oatmeal.

By cooking new recipes, this makes your daily breakfast cooking time more fun. Plus it lets you enjoy the rave reviews from your guests!

Apricot Honey Oatmeal Recipe

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Do Your Best and Be Good For Your Word

If you always do your best (no matter what your situation), you will develop long-term, and mutually beneficial, relationships with others.

Cultivate a reputation of integrity so that when people hear your name, they immediately think of you as someone with whom they can trust. If you are good for your word in small things, people will trust you with bigger things.