Is there a way to get it all right? – How to run a successful B&B!

Standard

Even though my husband and I have some 20+ years of experience combined in the accommodation industry, this is a completely different ball game.
As much as we were convinced that we would be well prepared to build up a B&B from scratch and run it successfully, we still had to learn a few things along the way.
One thing was that family homes in North America are not built with the intention of making bedrooms soundproofed. When we were almost done with renovations we decided last minute to rip perfectly fine walls apart to insulate in-between with soundproofing insulation, as well as to put up soundproof drywall.
With all of our rooms equipped with 40” flat screen TVs, finding a good sound insulation was an unavoidable necessity, especially since we cater to people who are looking for a romantic and private escape from home and kids. Quiet and peacefulness is very important!
We are determined to go the whole mile and, in addition to everything else already in place, will be getting soundproofed doors put in.
That, I would say, will be the icing on our soundproofing cake 🙂

While doing research about running a B&B, I read over and over that TVs should be just a thing for common rooms and that it wouldn’t make much sense to install them in each guest room.
After almost 5 months into the B&B business I have to say that we made the right decision by NOT following this suggestion. One of our biggest selling points is that we equipped every bedroom with a big TV, PLUS a DVD player, and offer a DVD library, which guests can access for free.
Guests really appreciate being able to relax in the comfort of their private room and watch TV or a movie.
Coming from a hotel business, we found that guests always asked about TVs and what kinds of channels we provided. So we just assumed that whatever hotel guests demand couldn’t be wrong for B&B guests, and we were right.
Also thinking about my own needs and likes – a big and good quality TV with lots of channels was always one of my preferred amenities that I expected to find in a hotel room.

One thing I did not think was such a big deal turned out to be one of the most important aspects. Guests just can’t live without – a good breakfast.
Growing up in Europe – Germany to be precise – breakfast is important but not as grand as the warm North American first meal of each day. Germans typically have some bread with jam, cheese or cold-cuts (something most of our Canadian guest think is totally gross). My husband and I had wanted to offer only an expanded continental breakfast but felt basically right from the start that it would not go over too well with our guests.
And I should add here: our daughter told us so! She, as well as our son-in-law, said that a great breakfast was something they would pay very much attention to when going to a B&B.

So let’s list things in a short form here in conclusion.

What we learned or did right:
1.Every guest room should have a great TV
2.Rooms have to be as soundproofed as possible
3.The breakfast should be special.

The next little write-up will be about our needs as innkeepers.

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