When was the last time Mr. Marriott checked you into your hotel room?
Seriously – have you ever even met the owner when you stayed at one of those big chain hotels? Probably not. In fact, chances are Mr. Marriott did not serve you breakfast in the morning, make the homemade pie or cookies that you snacked on the night before, help you carry your luggage upstairs or hand write the note left on your pillow at turndown wishing you a “Happy Anniversary”. All of these things probably would have been done by the owner of the B&B had you chosen to stay at a unique B&B inn for that special celebration.
According to the B&B Industry Study presented by PAII (Professional Association of International Innkeepers), 79% of B&B owners actually live on premise. This means that there is an actual person who is vested in the success of the B&B operation on site everyday. No matter how talented or dedicated an employee can be to a business, the small details are going to matter more and be noticed quicker by an owner. For the owner, guest satisfaction is paramount to the owner’s livelihood, retirement fund and the return on their capital investment. At a small lodging property like a B&B, everything is personal.
Like many small businesses, the advantage of owner run, small town, community minded endeavors translates to a really special experience for guests. The town you are visiting is where the innkeeper/owner lives also. They eat at the local restaurants, they shop at the local stores, and they know how to avoid traffic and where the prettiest spots are for viewing the fall colors. This personal connection that binds your travel experience with the location that you are visiting is not something that could ever exist in the anonymity or size of a larger chain hotel. Sure there certainly are large hotels that set exceptionally high standards for concierge services and guest relations but more times than not this level of personalized service comes with a hefty price tag that is greater than the average persons weekly paycheck. In a small B&B inn, personalized service and inside knowledge of an area is not reserved just for the elite but rather is offered freely for ever guest as they desire.
You want anonymity and freedom to come and go without feeling like someone is in your face that is fine also. Most innkeeper/owners of B&Bs are actually pretty good reads of people and can figure out pretty quickly how much face time guests want with the owner. They will however make sure that you as a guest know how to reach them if there is something that you want.
So next time you want to celebrate a milestone with your partner or just create a really personal and special memory – try setting the stage for romance at a small personalized B&B inn instead of a bland cookie cutter hotel. You can sleep well knowing that the owner will probably be sleeping under the same roof with you and really is vested in you having a wonderful experience!