For the most part, I believe I have covered most of the basics for those of you out there looking to book your next romantic or relaxing getaway at a bed and breakfast. Depending on what you are looking to get out of your trip and who you are going with will help steer you in the right direction in regards to picking the perfect home away from home!
Don’t Overlook the Basics
Remember what I have talked about in the most detail so far here at The Happy Guest. If you are feeling uncertain about the home owners or if they seem hesitant to provide you with proof of pretty much anything that is applicable to running a bed and breakfast, than you most likely have better options out there waiting for you.
Once all of the main concerns are checked off of the list then you can start looking at the aesthetics and general feels from each respective home and go from there.
If you want romance, choose the home that is further away from the downtown bar scene and is more focused on the house and property.
If you want to have a weekend to let loose and throw a few back, go with the house closest to the “happening” areas and you can focus less on the details of the actual home.
Apply To Your Own Life!
Don’t be afraid to take some of what I have talked about on here and use it in your own everyday lives. Now that my husband and I own our own home, we only go through contractors that are licensed & insured for repairs and maintenance. With the possibility of running a bed and breakfast again, we make sure to only go through contractors that are licensed & insured and have even became good friends with proroofersco.com – Owasso roofing and now have someone we can trust for all of our needs.
By taking the time to go over things in detail and only going through licensed & insured contractors for the upkeep and maintenance of your home will help you avoid major headaches down the road.
I hope I have gotten my point across on the importance of going over all of the necessary paperwork in regards to the upkeep and maintenance of the owner’s home but just in case, I will talk about it a little more.
Back to the Gentlemen
This one is going to be another one for the guys because I really do feel that going to a bed and breakfast can be one of the most romantic and thoughtful things you can do for a lady.
That being said, the romantic getaway with your lovely lady that you spent so much time planning can go array in an instant if you don’t do your research and find the perfect home. Take the example I gave from yesterday in regards to the first house my husband and I rented before we bought our current home. Could you imagine staying inside of a house you rented for the weekend having its roof caved in because of a little bad weather?
Even though something like this may be a total fluke and is completely out of your control, it can still make you look really bad in the eyes of your gal. Remember gentlemen, you never want to look stingy around your girlfriend and this is especially true when you are doing something for her.
Avoid these headaches and really impress her by doing your research and making sure you book nothing but the best for her!
As a word of caution for those who are considering running their own bed and breakfast or even home owners themselves in general, you really never know when something major can happen to your house and you always want to be safer than sorry if you can afford to do so.
Before my husband and I bought our current home, we were renting our first house here in America which we neglected to do the proper research on before we signed the lease (yes, out of all people I did this) and we ended up paying the price for it later on.
What May Seem Small
When we first moved in, we noticed that there were a few shingles that started to look like they were a little bit past the point of fading and might slowly but surely become a major issue. We notified our landlord and he assured us that everything was in proper order and that there was nothing to worry about. Of course, we didn’t take the advice that I have been talking about on here so far and never asked to see any paperwork to prove that this were the case.
About two months later, a real bad storm blew through our town and ripped that worn out part of our roof right off. Luckily, the tear wasn’t big enough to cause any leaking on the inside of the house and none of our belongings were damaged but needless to say, we were not happy tenants.
Because we were renting we were obviously not responsible for having the roof repaired and it was up to our landlord to find the licensed & insured contractors here at Superior Roofing, Siding, & Gutters – Top Rockford Roofers to come and ensure the work was done properly.
You can look at owning a bed and breakfast like you are a landlord for your guests stay. Just like our landlord, you are responsible for all damages and work done to your house and this is something you want to avoid doing at all costs. Not only can this ruin your guests entire stay, it can hurt your business in the long run!
So on one of my earlier posts I talked a little bit about the importance of ensuring that the owners of your bed and breakfast only hire professional contractors to do any repair or home improvement projects on their home and that I would take more time later on to discuss this in more detail. I am a woman of my word so here we go.
Remember… The Paperwork
If you are still searching for that perfect house and you see something that might be an issue either on the inside or outside of the house, don’t be afraid to ask for any recent documentation on a licensed and professional contractor coming in to do the proper repair work. You should never feel bad ensuring that these types of issues weren’t handled by the homeowner by throwing on some quick and easy band-aid.
Any reputable and reliable business owner will have all of the proper paperwork at hand and ready to turn over at any requests and those who don’t almost always have something that they are trying to hide which is grounds for moving on to your next option.
Although it is rare, you never want there to be any maintenance or repair issues to arise anywhere in the house or during anytime of your vacation.
Of course, I am talking about major issues that can happen to a house. For any home owners or aspiring bed and breakfast owners, there are plenty of DIY home improvement ideas here if you are curious to take a look.
When I was in the bed and breakfast business years ago, I noticed that a lot of my competition in and around my town would neglect to put a lot of emphasis or have work done to their yard. This is a common mistake made by a lot of people and was definitely something that made our home stand out from others.
Find Those Who Hire the Professionals!
Something that my husband and I always prided ourselves in was that we had regular and professional maintenance done for any sort of work that was done on our property. Along with repairing homes and other projects that some owners take upon themselves, having it done professionally is something that really makes any bed and breakfast stand out from others and leaves a lasting impression on any guest.
Although I am no longer in the business, I still keep in contact and have many friends in the business who often come to me for advice to improve their homes and keep their guests happy. Recently, a friend from out of town came to me asking this very advice and I told her the same thing that I have been talking about on here.
Always hire the professionals!
My friend had neglected to really take care of her lawn over the years and like many others, put all of the emphasis on the inside of their house. So instead of having her husband try and take on removing huge trees and trimming some down on their lawn, I urged her to hire professional contractors who know exactly what they are doing and how to make your lawn look professionally done, but still a natural homey feel.
Luckily, she did exactly that and used her resources to look for a reputable and reliable tree service company near her for tree removal Tulsa and even she couldn’t believe the difference it made in her yard. These are some of the things that you should be looking for when choosing where you would like to stay, because those homes who go to the professionals are definitely those who are taking this business seriously.
This one is kind of going to go off of yesterday’s theme on how all of you men out there can impress your ladies and talk a little bit about what to look out for, especially when trying to impress whoever you are bringing with you.
Once you have seen all of the owner’s paperwork and everything on the inside of the house checks out, you can start narrowing down your selection based on looks or aesthetic appeal.
The Lawn & Property
As you can see for yourself here at about.com, aside from plumbing from sprinklers, septic issues, and things of that nature, there aren’t many rules and regulations in regards to the yard and actual property that the home is on.
This is a double edge sword because unfortunately, this makes hiding certain issues a little bit easier for those who are running a bed and breakfast a little dishonestly.
Luckily, there aren’t many issues that can be hidden so you are pretty safe to go off of your own judgement and base your opinions on the looks alone. For those of you who are trying to impress your significant other, picture in your head how a candle lit dinner would look like in the yard and how romantic it would be.
Personally, I have always made sure that my yard and landscaping was professionally done and made for a perfect romantic evening under the stars.
Yesterday I talked about some of the most common groups of people who generally visit a bed and breakfast over a more traditional hotel and it got me thinking enough to the point that I wanted to dedicate a post for it.
This one is for the guys 🙂
The Perfect Romantic Getaway
Back when I was working in my Bed and Breakfast in Rome, it was very common for us to get guests that were in their mid 20’s or younger 30’s and they were obviously there for a romantic getaway and wanted to spend as much time together as possible.
For any guys out there who are having a hard time thinking of ways to “wow” their significant other (or especially guys who got themselves in a little trouble) then let me be the one to tell you that a bed and breakfast might be just what you are looking for!
There is nothing that a women loves more than a guy who does something spontaneous and goes out of their way to do something that guys don’t normally do.
For all the gentlemen following this page, ask yourself this simple question.
How many of your guy friends have ever taken their partner to a bed and breakfast before?
The answer is probably none and this is exactly my point! The great thing about this is that it not only shows that you care and like to think outside of the box, but it is generally much cheaper than a hotel and gives you the romantic setting that you can’t get from a hotel.
Just make sure you don’t mention the fact that it is cheaper to your girlfriend 🙂
Now that you have taken the first couple (and most important) steps in choosing the bed and breakfast for you and all the proper paperwork checks out but you still are left with a couple of choices, you can start narrowing down based on the more fun stuff 🙂
What’s Your Situation?
Now this part in the selection process is going to be pretty much based on what you like in a home and what you want to get out of your little vacation.
Are you visiting with a life long best friend?
A husband of 20 years?
A new girlfriend that you want to try and impress?
The home, landscaping, surrounding areas, and so much more will all have an effect on how the weekend will go based on what you are trying to get out of it.
For those of you out there who are traveling with a friend or a group of friends and are among the lucky younger generation out there, then the house probably won’t make as much of an impact on your decision as say the location of the house and what other activities or things you can in the area.
Someone who is traveling with a newer significant other (maybe taking their first vacation together) will probably want a more romantic setting with a beautiful scenery around it, rather than a party town with plenty of bars everywhere.
Whereas an older couple who have vacationed many times together will most likely prefer a quiet location with a neatly kept house and maybe a beach or park to visit in the day.
These are all situational of course and you are going to have to think about these and decide for yourself.
Now that you have skipped past the couple of homes that did not want you to see their home or take a look inside before actually booking and you have narrowed it down to a handful that welcomed you without any hesitation, you can now take your investigation work a little further.
Asking for all of the proper and up-to-date paperwork is the next technique you can use to make sure that you have found and booked the best of all of your options. This is another thing that anyone who is trying to run a reputable and honest bed and breakfast will never be hesitant to pull out at any request at a moment’s notice.
Like I mentioned before, there are a number of codes and ordinances that a bed and breakfast need to follow in order to legally offer their home to strangers. If you have found anything that might be of concern on your own little inspection, don’t be afraid to ask to see any paperwork that relates to the state of their home.
It is important to see that any home repairs, additions, or remodeling was done by licensed & insured contractors that follow strict guidelines and rules to make sure everything is in working order and is safe to inhabit. I have seen a great number of bed and breakfast owners who like to take on this kind of work themselves and even though they like to think that they are capable of doing so, 9 times out of 10 they are not done properly and would never meet the proper regulations.
This is a pretty important topic that I will make sure to come back to.
This one might be obvious to those who have never had any experience in either running or being guests of a professionally run Bed and Breakfast like yours truly, but I want this page to be for those who fall right into that category and don’t have much experience at all so bear with me on some of what I decide to cover here on The Happy Guest.
There are a lot of people out there who like to take advantage of unsuspecting guests without any real knowledge on what to look for in a bed and breakfast but don’t worry my friends, there are a few things you can do to make sure that you don’t fall as the next victim!
For one thing, if it isn’t too far out of your way you can always request to see the house first and do your own little investigation work to check out and make sure that everything is in working order and up to code. Those who run a proper and professional bed and breakfast have to abide by a certain and designed set of standards and codes to technically even be able to offer their home for random guests.
If anyone is at all hesitant to show you their home and allow you to take your own little tour around their place then this is an immediate red flag and you should start looking elsewhere. Someone who has nothing to hide and is proud of what they are offering will never be afraid to show off what they have to offer and should welcome an inspection with open arms!