Tag Archives: flowers

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

Hospitality Photography Advice From A Professional

Outside of green B&B with lanterns and white picket fence

Photos are an important part of marketing your bed and breakfast inn to travelers.  Professional hospitality photographer Marcus Berg, of Unique Angles Photography, shines the light on this crucial aspect of promoting your hospitality business. He specializes in photographing B&B’s and frankly, his talented work speaks for itself.

His company, Unique Angles Photography (UAP) was established in 1994 and over the years has created a niche in serving the hospitality industry. With exceptional attention to detail and skillful use of lighting, UAP has been privileged to work with lodging facilities that include bed & breakfasts, boutique hotels and inns. UAP also specializes in culinary and wine photography to showcase other aspects of hospitality.  Marcus is located on the West Coast in Oregon and can travel to your location.

Looking back, Marcus explains that he and his wife were spending an anniversary at a B&B and as he looked at their website; being an architectural photographer, he offered his services to improve their images. The second inn they visited, Marcus made the same offer and that innkeeper recommended he attend a B&B conference. Marcus said he’s been hooked on B&B’s ever since.

According to Mr. Berg, “It’s really not the equipment that is going to make the difference, it’s what the eye sees. It’s all about the lighting and where it’s placed. Turn on lights and try to bounce your additional lights off the ceiling.”  A poorly lit room can come off as stuffy, dark and small and may not be appealing to a traveler.  Utilize natural light to make your rooms shine. Taking interior photos during the middle of the day will help you maximize the sunlight.

According to Marcus, less is best.  The more you have the room cleaned the better.  Clutter in the background of an image can make your place less appealing.  Windows are often overlooked.  Remove the screen and clean the glass.  Hide the clocks, garbage can & telephone.  Set room up with some props for an invitational image, such as a robe, wine, fruit, coffee mug, chocolate, newspaper/book, reading glasses etc.

Marcus uses Photoshop to help with fixing his images.  Several things can be done on the computer. Lighting can be worked with, and levels of color to enhance the image. Removing reflections or unwanted objects and sharpening can also be done.

Berg advises that if you are going to do the exterior of the location, it’s usually best to have the sun behind you, which goes for interior photos too.  The two best times he likes to shoot is early in the morning or just at sunset or “the golden hour”.  One thing you want to stay away from is taking interior photos at night.

Avoid people in your photos, particularly when it comes to room or bathroom shots, as travelers want to imagine themselves in those spaces, not other people.

When it comes to staging photos, set your dining room and guest rooms how you would normally but pay extra attention to background. Make sure TVs are turned off and wall decor is straight. Also, consider putting flowers and champagne next to the bed. A professional photographer can help with staging your rooms for photos.

Make your setting as inviting as possible.  For instance, taking a photo of a nice looking bed is great, however, if you turn down that same bed and add an inviting cup of coffee with and a flower, you have just turned that photo into something much more enticing.

In working with his clients, he begins with an agreed upon project and date. Upon his arrival, Marcus meets with the innkeeper(s) and reviews what they want to focus on.  He tries to use as many props as are available at the location.  We may choose to bring outside props in, such as flowers or wine/cheese plate.

Depending on the size of the facility, Marcus spends most of his time shooting the inn.  When editing photos, don’t add any borders, watermarks, arrows, or text. Photos are literally the window to marketing your B&B. Hiring a professional photographer, like Marcus Berg, is worth the investment. Marcus recommends that photos are at least 1024 x 768 pixels.

At the end of the shoot, Mr. Berg comes back to his office and then the work continues to prepare each image for its final print.  Once all the photos are done, he prepares a DVD in both a JPEG and TIFF file for the client.  JPEG is for the internet and the TIFF file is for printing or publication.

Potentially interested innkeepers can always reach him via his email address: uniqueangles@gmail.com or contact him through his website (link at the bottom). Other ways to contact Marcus Berg are through LinkedIn as well as several associations like: PAII, OBBG, CABBI, the Keizer Chamber of Commerce and the Wine and Hospitality Network.

Having high-resolution photos is no longer a luxury — it’s required. How will travelers know how great your B&B is if they can’t tell from a photo?  Photos can make or break how new visitors perceive your B&B.  Are the photographs of your B&B doing enough to invite and attract more bookings?

Thank you, Marcus, for sharing some of your professional hospitality photography advice.  I know that social audiences love stories AND they love photos. Share stories (along with your professional pictures) about how your guests enjoy all that you have to offer.

By sharing photos on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter you can build your social following. Also, be sure to have social media icons easily visible on your website so that visitors can go directly from your website to your social media.  Make it as easy as possible for people to find your website and your social media online.  Pictures can make all the difference in the world!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

All in the Details

all in the details

 

Do you ever notice that it is the little things that make a big difference?  Sometimes it is all in the details.  For example, when I stay at a bed and breakfast and they include free use of their washer and dryer (and even supply the detergent and dryer sheets) that is an added bonus to me.

 

Other little details can include:

  • Friendly phone conversation
  • A professional hand carved sign to see as you approach
  • A warm greeting when you come in
  • A welcome note when you enter your room
  • Specific promotional package for your special occasion
  • Fresh flowers in your room
  • A guest book to write comments in
  • A guidebook to the local area and its attractions
  • A wide selection of books to read
  • Board games to play
  • Chilled wine bottle and wine glasses near the private hot tub
  • Filled basket of various snacks to choose from

The list of details can also be custom tailored to your bed and breakfast.  Perhaps you offer weddings or workshops.  The point is to get creative so that guests appreciate the little details you put into making their stay a happy and memorable experience they will fondly recall.  

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Promote with Packages

promote with packages

 

 

Promote with packages that your bed and breakfast guests can purchase.  These packages may be based on the season, occasion, local area, classes, or the need to feel pampered.

 

 

  • Classes--you may have guests who are attending conferences, workshops, and other learning opportunities at your B&B or near it
  • Local area–has its own attractions, things to do, and events throughout the year
  • Occasion–your guests may be celebrating their wedding, anniversary, birthday, reunion, graduation, or some other significant event
  • Pampering–your guests may like spa services, chocolates, flowers, or dessert for two delivered to their guest room to enhance their memories of their stay at your bed and breakfast
  • Season–you may offer specials during the slow times of your year or offer special holiday packages such as Valentine’s Day

As a bed and breakfast owner, you may make arrangements with local restaurants, attractions, florists, spa facilities, and more.  There is power in creating affiliations and associations with complimentary businesses to yours.  You both can profit from these mutually beneficial arrangements.

Never underestimate the power of packages.  People love to feel special and know that they will be making vacation memories they will fondly recall.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Top 5 Reasons to Stay at a B&B

 

reasons to stay at a B&B

Do you know that your blog is the perfect place to promote reasons to stay at a B&B? Bed and Breakfast Blogging will write a blog for your B&B that entices your website visitors to book rooms!

The following are excellent reasons why a potential guest should choose to stay at your bed and breakfast versus a hotel.

 

1. Bed and breakfasts treat all of their guests with special care and attention.  You may personalize their visits with little extras like flowers in their room and chocolate on their pillow.

2. B&B’s can be very romantic places to stay at. Several bed and breakfasts have honeymoon suites!  You may offer dessert and wine served to their room in the evening.

3. Your guests will enjoy the best home-cooked breakfast they ever have because you cook delicious gourmet food including Eggs Benedict and French toast!

4. Your visitors will be staying in the comforts of your bed and breakfast home and have the amenities of a hotel.  It is important to have pictures (even a video tour) of your bed and breakfast on your website for potential guests to see all your B&B has to offer.

5. Their special event is happening at your B&B.  Many bed and breakfasts specialize in doing weddings or hosting meetings–yours may be one of them.

Bed and breakfast owners, it is important for your blog to highlight what makes your particular bed and breakfast unique. Give them reasons to stay at a B&B. Bed and Breakfast Blogging can write you online content that is targeted to market to your ideal B&B guests.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography