Tag Archives: stay

NC Bed and Breakfast Inns

NC Bed and Breakfast Inns

NC Bed and Breakfast Inns Association started in 1985.  For over thirty years, they have been dedicated to serving those traveling to North Carolina.  This non-profit, statewide organization recognized the need for an association to ensure high standards in safety, housekeeping, food service, comfort, and hospitality for all member inns.  The traveling public can have confidence in their lodging.

NC Bed and Breakfast Inns is the first state association in the United States to require rigorous inspections as a condition of membership.  To maintain these standards, NCBBI re-inspects member inns every two years. 

 

The Many Benefits to B&B Membership in the NCBBI Association:

 

  • Networking, educational, and marketing opportunities
  • Remain knowledgeable and up-to-date about meeting the needs of travelers
  • Keep up with the latest requirements for state and local laws and standards
  • Show potential guests that they can expect a higher level of service
  • The prestige and credibility of passing their rigorous inspection
  • Regular blog and social media activity
  • Their printed travel planners found at welcome centers, tourism attractions, visitor bureaus & chambers of commerce throughout North Carolina
  • Quarterly newsletters and monthly emails with important industry-related news, alerts, opportunities, reminders, and updates

 

From East to West, North Carolina measures 580 miles. That is more than a day’s drive, so NCBBI encourages guests to stay in more than one region as they travel around our gorgeous state. Based on the topography of North Carolina, the association has assigned three different regions.

 

  • Coastal Region: to find the perfect B&B in the Coast, near the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful beaches, birding, water sports, boating and summer fun.
  • Piedmont Region: to find the perfect B&B in the middle Piedmont region, where you’ll find dynamic growing cities, wineries, universities, golf, lakes and rivers.
  • Mountain Region: to find the perfect B&B in the Western Mountains region, home to the beautiful Smoky Mountains, the Blue Ridge parkway, the Biltmore Estate, waterfalls, hiking and fall foliage.

 

The North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns Association features specials and packages from member inns on their website.  The specials include for military, veterans, and emergency workers (like police, fire and EMS) as well as last minute guestsInnkeepers also offer creative packages so guests can relax and enjoy their stay:

 

  • Anniversary or birthday
  • Girlfriends getaway
  • Local activities
  • Picnic lunch
  • Romance
  • Spa
  • Wedding
  • Wine and Dine

 

From their website, The North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns Association offer its online visitors an opportunity to purchase their NCBBI cookbook so they can sample the best of North Carolina cooking with their collection of bed and breakfast and inn recipes. In addition to the cookbook, give the gift of memories by purchasing lodging gift certificates (available in $50 increments) that may be used at any NCBBI member B&B. 

 

An NCBBI gift certificate is a thoughtful way to say “thank you” or to surprise someone special. They are also great gifts for special occasions like anniversaries, honeymoons, birthdays, and retirements.

 

The NC Bed and Breakfast Inns website lists North Carolina events (searching either by name, type of event, event date, or venue).   They also provide a way to search for local North Carolina attractions by its name, location and type of attraction, or by a specific local area (within a designated amount of miles).

 

Together you can promote all the wonderful things that your state has to offer its visitors.  You can educate potential guests about everything that comes included when they stay at a bed and breakfast.  You will also have a network of innkeepers with which to ask questions and refer each other business when your own inns are full.  Those are just some of the many reasons why it is important to belong to a bed and breakfast association.

Promote Your Local Area to Guests

promote your local area

 

Since your guests decide to stay with you in large part due to where you are located, it is in your best interest to promote your local area. You can do this with website links, menus, guidebooks, maps, and more to tell your guests about your area’s attractions, events, and concerts. Remind them why bed and breakfasts are better than hotels.

 

Start by having a links web page on your website that refers your guests to local places of interest.

  • Art & Cultural Activities: theater, museum, symphony, ballet, etc.
  • Area History: historical sites, battlefields, visitors center
  • Fine Dining: you can emphasize your own restaurant if you have one and/or recommend local restaurants
  • Recommended Guide & Recreational Services: tours, biking, fishing, hiking, river guides, etc.
  • Outdoor Recreation, Wildlife Activities, & Gardens: birding, golf courses, gardens, parks, recreation, wildlife sanctuary
  • Specialty Stores & Services: bakery, brewery, tea, herbs, landscaping, food stores, gift shops, spa, etc.
  • Sports Events, Family Activities, & Concerts: concert venues, concert tickets, sports arenas, sports tickets, arts and drama

Of course, depending upon your location, you may have different categories.  For example, your bed and breakfast may be on the beach and/or have its own spa.  Emphasize the places you know that your visitors like to see and activities they like to do.  You can also offer specific packages based upon the special occasion your guest is celebrating or their particular interests.

When your guests arrive at your bed and breakfast, direct them to a welcome table that features brochures from local attractions and restaurants.  Think about having a guidebook or a basket full of local maps, fliers, and more.  Local Chambers of Commerce and Visitors Centers will have various information for you to display.

You may even arrange with some of these local places (such as local restaurants) to offer your guests a discount if they mention that they are staying with you.  This is great for a number of reasons:

  • You look good for having this arranged ahead of time for your guests
  • The local business owner benefits from the referral
  • Your guests benefit from the discount
  • It is a win-win-win situation!

Thus, you can use your website to post local links, your inn to provide brochures for guests when they arrive, and your connections with local restaurants and other businesses to have deals in place for your guests.

Do not forget the power of video to highlight local attractions near your bed and breakfast and the power of social media to spread your message.

By following this advice, you will take attract more guests to your bed and breakfast as well as position yourself as an expert on your local area.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

The Art of Pinning

art of pinning

 

The art of pinning on Pinterest is visual in nature.  This works very well for visually oriented businesses like bed and breakfasts.  People want to know what your inn looks like and what your breakfasts look like.  Seeing your pins helps them to imagine themselves at your bed and breakfast inn.

 

 

Pictures:

  • Motivate them to plan a vacation to stay at your inn
  • Each picture is worth 1,000 words
  • Are more appealing and stronger than words
  • Pin only images with strong visual content
  • Brighter colors bring more joy
  • Feature just one idea or product in each pin
  • Use descriptive keywords you want to be known for
  • If you resize an image, make sure it is still clear and easy to see

Social media

  • Builds relationships with guests and potential guests
  • Raises the visibility of your bed and breakfast online
  • Gets you ranked higher on Google
  • Finds you business contacts like fellow innkeepers and associations

Remember:

  • Share your story of how you came to be bed and breakfast owners/innkeepers
  • Share information you are interested in and that your followers will find useful (such as travel tips)
  • Educate your audience on the advantages of staying at a bed and breakfast
  • Pin pictures of your bed and breakfast
  • Pin pictures of you amenities such as pool, garden, spa, etc.
  • Pin pictures of your community to give guests reasons to want to stay in your area

Etiquette or “Netiquette”:

  • If you were not the first to pin it, give credit to the original pinner.
  • Share and repin to show you are interested in other things outside your own B&B

Pinterest users become part of a larger community.  When we promote other people’s pins they are more likely to follow us.  That is one of my secrets to the art of pinning and how I grew such a quick following on Pinterest.  You can too!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Innkeeper Trait Attentive

innkeeper trait attentive

 

 

 

Do you think of yourself as attentive to the needs of your bed and breakfast guests? Having the innkeeper trait attentive means you are:

 

  • observant
  • aware of others
  • thoughtful towards others
  • considerate
  • polite
  • courteous

The simple act of noticing little things (which is part of the innkeeper trait attentive) goes a long way.  This means treating guests they way they want to be treated.  If they have several questions when they first come in, then by all means make sure you have answered all of their questions. You can offer to give them a personal tour of your bed and breakfast or mention when the next event such as afternoon tea and goodies.

If they seem to want to go to their room right away to relax, then hand them a friendly information sheet on your B&B policies including check-out time and ask them to let you know if they need anything else. Do everything possible to show that you are completely dedicated to making sure they have a tremendous experience while they stay as your guests. This increases your chances of having repeat visitors as well as new friends.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

B&B Guests: Hobby Lovers

hobby lovers

 

 

Hobby lovers may be attracted to stay at your bed and breakfast. Common outdoor hobbies include photography and bird watching.  Other hobbies include scrap-booking and writing.

 

 

There may even be a local conference related to their hobby in your area.  This is a great opportunity for you to offer a special package to your enthused hobbyists.  Assure your hobby lovers that they will have the quiet they need and beautiful scenery they want when they stay at your bed and breakfast.  This is a win-win situation!

 

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

Why Bed and Breakfasts are Better Than Hotels

better than hotel

Staying at a bed and breakfast can be better than staying at a hotel. Your B&B could be located in a restored old home or even a mansion with antique furnishings.  Your gardens may be lush and offer comfortable seating, and your rooms range from cozy to luxurious. Staying in your B&B can be a really unique travel experience and not one to be missed. Here are the top 10 benefits you can emphasize to your bed and breakfast guests.

  1. Their bed and breakfast is included.  While this may seem obvious, it’s actually a wonderful amenity in terms of convenience and cost savings. B&B’s offer anything from a continental spread to a hot gourmet meal. As a special touch, you can even bring guests their breakfast in bed.
  2. You can give them the privacy and peace and quiet they desire.  As a B&B, you can be more exclusive with fewer guests. You often have guests looking for a place to spend a quiet weekend.
  3. They’ll get more personal service.  With fewer guests than a hotel, you can give your guests a much more personal experience. Wanting guests to return, you are invested in making sure you have a great stay.
  4. Your bed and breakfast may be located in a less traveled area.  Unlike hotels, your B&B could be located off the beaten path. This provides your guests with a great opportunity to see less traveled parts of your community that they would otherwise miss.
  5. It is the perfect romantic getaway.  In fact, B&B’s have become so popular for couples that you may cater to this romantic angle, offering special romantic packages. These may include events planned ahead or excursions that are included in their stay.
  6. Your bed and breakfast is more secure.  At a B&B, there are fewer people coming and going. With less going on, as a B&B owner, you can keep a much better eye on their property than a typical hotel staff can on a hotel.
  7. Your guests can get a taste of the local culture and style.  Your B&B has its own character. Even better, you have lots of advice for your guests concerning the best things to do and see in the local area.
  8. You can offer extra activities.  You may be one of the many B&B’s that offer additional recreational activities in your regular packages. Depending on the location, your guests may be able to enjoy biking, hiking, canoeing, golfing, or skiing.
  9. Your guests will encounter unexpected luxuries.  B&B’s tend to offer all those extra special touches that can make your guests’ stay pampering and luxurious. Luxury bed linens and bathrobes, organic food, and locally roasted coffee are only some of the many perks that you may offer. You may even stock snacks and drinks in the common areas and rooms in case your guests get hungry.
  10. You provide a great value.  Although B&B rooms tend to be priced higher than hotels, usually your place offers a better value overall than hotel rooms. More amenities are included such as free phone calls and Internet, you get much better service, and the experience tends to be much more unique than an average hotel stay.

So, as the bed and breakfast owner, be sure to emphasize (on your website, blog, and your other marketing) the unique benefits that guests will receive when they stay at your bed and breakfast and why staying with you will give them a better experience than if they were to go to a local hotel.  You can focus on how your B&B gives that extra special personal touch.

 

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