Human beings are sensual creatures. Hospitality providers (including B&B innkeepers) can appeal to the senses of their guests. Make sure guests know that they can ask if they anything else during their stay— extra towels, more pillows, iron and ironing board, etc. Offer to answer questions about your local area and mention nearby attractions based upon the interests of the guests. Wow your guests with the following ideas!
- The aroma of homemade bread, muffins, or cookies can be very welcoming
- Seasonal potpourri can be a nice touch, however, some guests are sensitive to strong smells
- Studies show that some of the most agreeable aromas in a home are orange, lemon, and grapefruit
- Comforting, inviting scents like vanilla, apple, and cinnamon are also appealing
- Pine or cedar will reinforce the ambiance of a rustic cottage located in a forested area or a mountain setting
- Offer beautiful curb appeal with attractive landscaping and a well-maintained exterior
- Set up a special corner in your public lounge area with a variety of games, cards, books, and magazines.
- Provide a variety of reading material in each room.
- Provide guests with a list of frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) about your inn and the surrounding area (either on your website and/or in print form upon their arrival)
- Collect local brochures and maps and make these available to your guests at no extra cost
- If you have a historic inn, your guests may want to know more about it. Keep a scrapbook of pictures and documents detailing the history and/or renovations and restoration of the inn. This can be placed in a public area or duplicated and placed in each room.
- If your community has a walking tour, provide guests with a copy and, if they ask, make suggestions of things to look for along the route
- Respect your guests’ need for quiet time, privacy and space, by being available for those who want to talk with you, but also allowing for them to have alone time (if that is their preference)
- Soft and pleasant background music
- Some inns feature talented live musicians playing music (including at special events)
- Offer guests the option to play music within their own guest rooms
- Share complimentary beverages and a light snack upon arrival in each guest room
- Have an area that is easily accessible to guests where they can always find a beverage or snack of some kind.
- Find out when guests arrive what they would prefer as a beverage in the morning, and always have coffee made early. A pot of freshly brewed coffee outside the door in the morning will be a treat for the true coffee drinker.
- For an extra fee, you could make special picnic baskets for lunch or dinner so that guests may enjoy a special outdoor location. Be sure to look into your local food service regulations.
- Keep menus from local restaurants (to put in guest rooms or leave in your lounge area) for guests to browse at their leisure
- Collect discount coupons from local restaurants, fast food chains and other attractions for your guests’ use
- Some hosts put together a collection of recipes to share with guests. You’ll need to decide whether or not to charge for this.
- Provide a variety of beverages so that guests can choose from a good selection. Experiment with different blends of coffee or you may even have a coffee maker that makes individual flavored cups.
- Leave a note telling your guests where they can order delivery if they wish and let your guests know your policies about food in guest rooms
- Provide a warm and friendly welcome your guests when they arrive (a handshake if appropriate)
- As you check your guests in, offer to carry their luggage when you show them their room
- Provide an umbrella stand with loaner umbrellas near the door for guests who aren’t prepared for bad weather so they can stay dry
- Offer “special touches” that will appeal to a variety of guests, such as offering breakfast in bed for honeymooners or for special occasions
- Bed and breakfasts often attract couples looking for a romantic getaway. If your setting conveys that feeling, play it up
- Offer guests some privacy in front of a fireplace, use a romantic decor for a special honeymoon or anniversary room.
- Extra touches such as candlelight, satin sheets, soft music
If guests want to get to know you better, do so. You are a unique individual — your way of life, your home, your town all make the visit very special to your guests. Remember that word of mouth is one of the best ways to attract more guests and repeat visitors, so it benefits you to make a positive impression.
Looking to Buy or Sell a Bed and Breakfast?
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