Why a BnB? The Status
My job is to inspect bed and breakfast inns. That is what I do...and I don't just enjoy the work. I really enjoy the people. This being said, why am I writing this blog from a very comfortable chair in a luxury hotel in eastern Europe? Why not a BnB?
The simple answer: I am special! For a number of reasons (none of which are really important to this blog) I have "status" at one of the largest hotel chains in the world. This means that they know me by name. When I check in, they are expecting me. The flat screen in my room even scrolls a personal welcome message when I arrive. My room is always spacious and well appointed. They send me a reminder email before my visit with a "virtual concierge" so I can request extra towels, special meals or transportation options.
Breakfast is always included in my room price and it is delightful. Always a wide range of offerings from healthy yogurt and fresh fruit to freshly baked croissants and really good butter! Then there is the coffee.....deep, dark, rich coffee with real cream! Clearly I work on the road, so WiFi is important to me. Even in the largest cities, my WiFi is always free...and it works....well. Parking, yes, and I don't ever pay. My bathroom is well appointed. Good lighting. Hot shower. Fluffy towels. Really nice shampoos, soaps and bath gels.
Everyday I leave for a walk, lunch and sightseeing. When I return, my bed is made, my towels are folded and my trash is removed. If I have a question, they answer it. If I need a map, they have one. A dinner suggestion or reservation...of course.
I receive all these things because I have "status". What that means is that I spent a whole bunch of nights in very obscure spots in the budget option of this major chain. All those nights earned me "status". Granted, all those nights were not quite as comfortable and the breakfasts not quite as delightful, but gee, I have "status".
This all caused a real dilemma for me. How can I be so very taken with a major hotel chain when I actually work for the bed and breakfast industry? Well, the answer is simple.
When I visit a bed and breakfast I have status. I don't have to spend endless nights on the road with sub par breakfast to gain importance. From the moment I make my reservation to the time I say goodbye...I am special to that innkeeper. Once I reserve, they confirm my stay by personal email. Often times they will follow up with a phone call. Yes, a real person! They inquire about special needs, dietary restrictions, dinner reservations and transportation options from the start. Innkeepers always know my name and they are always happy to see me. Their smile is genuine. Their desire to please is real. Many times they don't just work there...they own the business. Having happy guests is their business and their livelihood. They take if seriously, every single time.
Breakfast is always included in your stay....hence the term Bed AND Breakfast. Most innkeepers will be happy to meet you dietary needs and they love creating something special each morning.
BnB rooms vary in size, but they are all spotlessly clean, have comfortable beds, plenty of good lighting and well appointed baths. If you need extra towels, extra blankets or pillows, they have them.
Innkeepers offer the perfect concierge service, too. They have chosen to live in the area and are well versed in sights, events, restaurants and public transportation. Who better to help you plan the perfect stay then a local who is invested in their neighborhood.
Most bed and breakfasts have WiFi and I do not know of any that charge. Certainly they all offer some type of free and convenient parking.
Granted, I have never seen my name embedded in a welcome message scrolling across my flat screen when I entered my BnB room. What I have experienced is a warm welcome, from a real person. Someone who genuinely wants my stay to be the very best...every single time.
Dollar for Dollar....cost can be about the same. What they offer is surprisingly similar, but your "status" is not. At a bed and breakfast you have status....every stay, with every innkeeper. You already earned it....just by being a first time guest! At a bed and breakfast you enjoy the same personal service and welcoming hospitality that all those "travel warriors" receive at major hotels....without the headaches.
So, in the end, I have decided that I just like to be pampered. Whether is in a suite on the 25th floor in Vienna, or in the Lavender Suite in my favorite bed and breakfast inn, I like to be welcomed, appreciated and well cared for. There is room in my life for both. I like "status" ...however it is offered!