Tag Archives: breakfasts

How To Make a Successful Bed and Breakfast Press Kit

bed and breakfast press kit

 

 

A successful bed and breakfast press kit can increase your inn’s likelihood for receiving media attention. Wondering what is a press kit? It is a package of media about your inn that makes it easier for a journalist or reporter to do a story about your bed and breakfast.

 

When you do most of the work for reporters up front, they will be more receptive to your pitch for press for their website, publication, or news story. In addition, it looks more professional and makes your bed and breakfast more appealing to write about.

 

Consider adding a press kit link on your website.  “Are you a journalist working on a story about inns or bed and breakfasts? We would be happy to help you with your story or article.”

 

Your valuable bed and breakfast press kit can include:

 

  • Contact’s name, phone number, and email address (the owner, innkeeper, public relations person)
  • High resolution photos (your gorgeous view, the outside of your inn, your guest rooms and common rooms, the best breakfasts meals you serve, etc.)
  • Map of your local area (and its nearby attractions)
  • Brief history of your inn (its location, year it was built, original owners, type of architecture, its history as a bed and breakfast, etc.)
  • Innkeepers/owners story (share your story or how your B&B came to be, a little about yourself and your team, and why you’re doing what you’re doing)
  • Pictures of your luxurious amenities (such as a pool or private hot tub, fireplace, library, spa, garden, etc.)
  • Current promotions (your own specials, custom packages, and description of private events you host like weddings, etc.)
  • Awards received (from bed and breakfast associations, contests won, your AAA Diamond rating, your BBB grade, etc.)
  • Online guest reviews (share links to positive guest testimonials)
  • Your blog (which features local activities and area events)
  • Existing press coverage (list of and links to articles in newspapers, magazines, and online attention)
  • Videos (made about your B&B or that you had filmed to promote your inn)

 

Include anything you think will enhance your reputation as providing exceptional hospitality. This is your opportunity make it accessible for the press to report about your bed and breakfast. Even curious potential guests will be impressed by it when they see it.

 

Having an available press kit, makes you media friendly and more likely to get more publicity for your inn.  If you do not mind members of the press coming to your bed and breakfast to interview you and/or make a video, then be sure to state that on-site tours can be arranged. There is nothing better than free publicity!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Yellow House in Waynesville, NC

Bedroom at The Yellow House in Waynesville, North Carolina

As soon as we met Owners and Innkeepers Ken and Kelli Todtenhagen, we felt very welcome at The Yellow House in Waynesville, North Carolina. We were in town to tour Western Carolina University in nearby Cullowhee.

We stayed in the Rockwell Suite (pictured above), named in honor of the famous 20th-century American author and prolific artist Norman Rockwell, who produced more than 4,000 works in his lifetime.  Rockwell is most famous for the color illustrations of everyday life he created for the Saturday Evening Post for nearly five decades.

In the suite, some of Mr. Rockwell’s pictures are on the walls and there are art supplies (including sketch pads and adult coloring books) available for guests who like to draw.  Ken and Kelli are amazed at some of their talented guests who have left pictures for them.

There are many reasons why guests love to visit The Yellow House, including:

  • Luxurious guest rooms and suites in their Main House and Pond House
  • All ten guest areas include their own gas fireplaces
  • Two dog-friendly rooms in the Pond House
  • Guest amenities including complimentary wine & hors d’oeuvres, 24-hour access to drinks & snacks, comfy robes, and private baths (some with jetted tubs)
  • Gorgeous mountain views
  • “Rest and Relaxation” and “Playing Hooky” specials
  • “Gone Fishing”, “Girls Getaway”, and “Honeymoon/Anniversary Picnic” packages
  • Extras including balloons, chocolate, picnic lunches, wine & cheese tray, flowers
  • Delicious fresh complimentary gourmet breakfasts each morning

There are many special occasions guests celebrate at The Yellow House, including:

  • Memorable anniversaries
  • Unforgettable birthdays
  • Joyous graduation parties
  • Festive holidays
  • Elegant weddings

The Yellow House is close to so many noteworthy and scenic places, such as:

  • Biltmore Estate
  • Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Brevard Music Center
  • Cherokee Indian Reservation
  • Folkmoot
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Pisgah National Forest

Guests of The Yellow House enjoy activities and adventures, like:

  • Flyfishing
  • Golfing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Mountain and road biking
  • Rock and ice climbing
  • Skiing
  • White water rafting

Some favorite restaurants where guests like to dine are:

  • Bourbon Barrel Beef and Ale
  • Boojum Brewing Company
  • Frogs Leap Public House
  • The Chef’s Table
  • Trailhead Cafe and Bakery

Ken and Kelli have done some major renovating to the house (built in the late 1800s) to restore its grand historic appeal.  They have added antique furniture and some of their delightful decor changes throughout the year to reflect the seasons and holidays.  We highly recommend a visit to The Yellow House and we look forward to many return visits.

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.

Healthy Breakfasts: Berries

healthy breakfasts berries
Healthy breakfasts: berries may be small in size, but blackberries, blueberries, boysenberries, cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries are big on taste as well as rich in three areas: antioxidants, fiber, and folate. Eating berries can help improve your health, wellness, and weight. Better yet, berries can be enjoyed all year long.

 

All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but nutrient-rich berries are some of the absolute best choices. There are powerful antioxidants found in berries, including Vitamin C, may help:

  • Prevent and manage arthritis
  • Slow age-related memory-loss
  • Decrease inflammation in joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduce the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration
  • Make skin more radiant
  • Make hair more healthy

Berries also contain fiber and folate. Fiber aids in weight loss and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Folate may protect against cardiovascular disease and age-related memory loss, and since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may also help avoid depression and improve one’s mood.

In addition to antioxidants, fiber, and folate, berries are “juicy foods,” which means they contain mostly water. Juicy foods are great for losing weight because they fill people up quickly, since their high water content bumps up the volume while driving down the calories.

Remember, if fresh berries cannot be found, frozen (unsweetened) berries are a great substitute during the off-season months — and just as nutritious! Delicious serving ideas include:

  • Adding berries to a bowl of warm oatmeal during breakfast.
  • Putting berries on top of pancake batter as it cooks for berry delicious pancakes.
  • Drizzling chocolate to cover strawberries as a romantic snack for couples.
  • Stirring fresh raspberries into Greek yogurt to amplify its deliciousness.
  • Combining frozen berries with bananas and low-fat milk to make an afternoon smoothie for guests.

Offering berries to your guests is a healthy and delicious way to fuel their bodies. Guests love the taste of berries and innkeepers love their smiles and return visits!   Be sure to put pictures of your breakfasts on social media! People can “like” your posts on Facebook, “re-tweet” your tweets on Twitter, and pin your pictures on Pinterest!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Your Website Needs Pictures

your website needs pictures

 

Your website needs pictures.  If this web page had no pictures, would it have caught your attention as well?  You need to wow your potential guests with amazing professional photographs showing them the experience they will have if they stay at your bed and breakfast.  

 

Your website needs pictures:

  • Outdoor Pictures
  • Gardening & Landscaping
  • Breathtaking Views
  • Guest Bedrooms
  • Guest Bathrooms
  • Gourmet Kitchen
  • Your Breakfasts & Other Delights
  • Common Areas
  • Grand Staircases & Fireplaces
  • Porch, Balcony & Deck
  • Your Antiques & Collections
  • Your Events such as Weddings & Concerts
  • Innkeepers/Owners
  • Area Attractions and Area Events
  • Events Hosted At Your Inn

The old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words” is right!  For search engine optimization purposes, be sure to label your images with the relevant keywords. Capture their love of what your inn and local community has to offer with awesome photos because your website needs pictures!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

What Innkeepers Like Most

what innkeepers like most

I wanted to see if there were some common responses to the question I asked bed and breakfast innkeepers in an online Linked In group. The question was, “What do you like most about being an innkeeper?” Answers to what innkeepers like most included:

  • Welcoming guests from all over the world
  • Meeting people from all walks of life
  • Showing hospitality by making others feel at home
  • Conversations that flow naturally with guests
  • Feeding our guests well
  • Being my own boss
  • Satisfaction from making others happy
  • Having guests return again and again and forming long-term bonds with them

So what do YOU like best about being owning a bed and breakfast?  I can think of several responses, to what innkeepers like most, depending upon what activities you like to do at your B&B:

  • Greeting and speaking with guests
  • Cooking delicious breakfasts, desserts, and more
  • Hosting events such as weddings and group meetings
  • Tending to our beautiful garden
  • Renovating and restoring our home
  • Decorating the rooms
  • Designing several different packages for guests to choose from
  • Updating guests with a regular newsletter or blog
  • Using social media to promote our bed and breakfast

Everyday keep in mind what you love about being an innkeeper. Keep track of memorable moments with guests. Stay in touch with former guests and reach out to potential new guests. Join an innkeeping association for support from fellow innkeepers.  Now it is easier than ever to keep in contact with others in our connected world.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

What Motivates You?

what motivates you

 

 

What motivates you?  What inspires you?  If you know the answer to those two questions, it can give you the strength and energy you need to persevere day in and day out.

 

 

 

How did you come to be bed and breakfast owners?  Whether you are new to inn-keeping or have been hosting guests for years, we all need to remind ourselves why we do what it is we do.

Your reasons can include:

  • Like to have your own business
  • Love entertaining guests
  • Enjoy cooking gourmet breakfasts
  • Get to tend a beautiful and fruitful garden
  • Appreciate meeting new people
  • Skilled at managing the books
  • Having fun decorating and remodeling
  • Have a vision for its growth

When you remember why, then it becomes easier to tackle daily chores and responsibilities. You are building your future and allowing your guests to have a wonderful experience they will always remember.

When your guests have a great experience, they are likely to let their friends know all about it and to return at a later date. Some of your best visits will be from returning guests to which you had a special connection.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Healthy Breakfast Foods: Bananas

 

healthy breakfast berries

 

Creamy, rich, and sweet, bananas are a favorite food for everyone from infants to elders. Sports enthusiasts appreciate the potassium-packed power delivered by this high energy fruit. Your breakfasts will be extra healthy if you give your bed and breakfast guests bananas–in a fruit salad, smoothie, or banana muffins.

 

Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. The effectiveness of potassium-rich foods such as bananas in lowering blood pressure has been demonstrated by a number of studies. Men who ate diets higher in potassium-rich foods, as well as foods high in magnesium and cereal fiber, had a substantially reduced risk of stroke.

Build better bones by eating bananas? Yes, enjoying bananas frequently as part of your healthy way of eating can help improve your body’s ability to absorb calcium via several mechanisms.The potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

Since bananas are picked off the tree while they’re still green, it’s not unusual to see them this color in the store. Base your choice of bananas depending upon when you want to consume them. Bananas with more green coloration will take longer to ripen than those more yellow in hue and/or with brown spots.

Bananas should be firm, but not too hard, bright in appearance, and free from bruises or other injuries. Their stems and tips should be intact. The size of the banana does not affect its quality, so simply choose the size that best meets your needs.

While bananas look resilient, they’re actually very fragile and care should be taken in their storage. They should be left to ripen at room temperature and should not be subjected to overly hot or cold temperatures. Unripe bananas should not be placed in the refrigerator as this will interrupt the ripening process to such an extent that it will not be able to resume even if the bananas are returned to room temperature.

If you need to hasten the ripening process, you can place bananas in a paper bag or wrap them in newspaper, adding an apple to accelerate the process. Ripe bananas that will not be consumed for a few days can be placed in the refrigerator. While their peel may darken, the flesh will not be affected. For maximum flavor when consuming refrigerated bananas, remove them from the refrigerator and allow them to come back to room temperature. For the most antioxidants, eat fully ripened fruit.

I highly recommend reading a related blog post called 35 Quick and Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Busy People (Most Take Less Than Five Minutes To Prepare).  Helen Sanders is the Chief Editor of this blog called Health Ambition.  They believe in empowering people with knowledge to make smarter, healthier choices in their lives. I will end with a banana muffin recipe from AllRecipes.com:

 
Banana Muffins II
 
recipe image
Rated: rating
Submitted By: ABI_GODFREY
Photo By: Dianne
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 25 Minutes
Ready In: 35 Minutes
Servings: 12
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large bananas, mashed
3/4 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted
DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat muffin pans with non-stick spray, or use paper liners. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
2. Combine bananas, sugar, egg, and melted butter in a large bowl. Fold in flour mixture, and mix until smooth. Scoop into muffin pans.
3. Bake in preheated oven. Bake mini muffins for 10 to 15 minutes, and large muffins for 25 to 30 minutes. Muffins will spring back when lightly tapped.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED © 2014 Allrecipes.com Printed from Allrecipes.com 1/11/2014

Top 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

Why You Need to Use Pinterest

use Pinterest

 

Pinterest may be the perfect tool for letting potential guests know about your bed and breakfast.  Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra co-founded this website in March 2010. Millions of people use Pinterest to pick up new hobbies, find their style, and plan life’s important projects.

 

Pinterest has pins that are like handsome little bookmarks. Whenever you find something on the web that you want to keep, add it to Pinterest. Your newly minted Pin will be here whenever you need it, and will always link back to the site it came from.

Boards are where you organize your Pins, and you get to decide what your boards will be all about. This is a great way for bed and breakfast owners to get ideas about cooking, decorating, gardening, hospitality, and more! Plus this is your chance to post pictures of your bed and breakfast, including:

  • The outside of your B&B
  • Your rooms and bathrooms
  • Your delicious breakfasts and recipes
  • Your garden, pool, hot tub, or any other amenity
  • Events such as weddings and music performances
  • Your library of books, DVD collection, etc.

Really the sky is the limit as far as how many pins you want to post. The point is that potential guests will see your bed and breakfast and click to find out more about you from your website.

This is a huge and free marketing opportunity to use Pinterest!  All it costs is the time it takes to share the pictures (your own and the millions of other pictures already on the Pinterest website)! Be sure to check out Bed and Breakfast Blogging’s very own Pinterest website!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

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