What makes a visit memorable?
Over the past several weeks, the discussion among B&B hosts has centered on the little extras, touches individuals B&Bs add to their services. Inn keepers find that small things result in guests commenting on feeling specially treated.
What are some of the things various inns have provided to impart a sense of caring about each guest? Here are some of note:
- An imprinted plastic bag for taking home dirty laundry or shoes
- Private-label soaps bearing the inn’s name
- Clean footies for indoor wear
- Mint or cookie (individually packaged) on the pillow in the evening
- Fresh flowers at the bedside
- Espresso coffee in place of brew or drip
- Signature-brand teas, caffeinated and caffeine free
- Chilled, bottled water for day trips (add a raffia ribbon and the inn’s business card)
- Copies of recipes used for breakfast dishes
- Package of seeds for a flower prominently displayed at the B&B (or the state flower, Forget Me Nots)
The products must be of excellent quality, and if they are to be consumed, must be packaged according the regulations for food safety. Items such as the seeds may be a good choice for USA citizens, but taking them across borders may present a problem for the traveler! The thing to do is to think through the consequences of any small touch you are considering, prior to investing in it!
Sometimes the ‘things’ are acts rather than items. Perhaps the act of suggesting local tours* and then making a call on the traveler’s behalf is the special touch. At other times, it may be as simple as checking the Internet for a map to a local restaurant, showing how to get to and from the B&B. At other times, it may be that you print the history of a local building or event in which the guest expressed interest. These are inexpensive and low risk, but always remember to print the source of your information: crediting the source is more than avoiding plagiarism: it provides attribution to an author rather than to an inn keeper.
What gestures by inn keepers have delighted you, Mr. & Ms. Traveler? Share the story of your memorable moments and of those who delighted you!
*Note: The AABBA lists Travel Partners as excellent choices for visitors. The Travel Partners are members of the AABBA, which means that the innkeepers get to know them and develop longstanding relationships with them. These relationships inspire confidence in the services provided – and the stories our guests share the next day stand as testimony to the recommendation!
Mary M Rydesky is one of the Innkeepers of Anchorage Alaska Bed & Breakfast Association. She hosts Jarvi Homestay Bed and Breakfast.