As an innkeeper for a quaint bed and breakfast inn, you are charged with the task of not only creating a comfortable, homey environment for your guests, but also managing an effective marketing campaign that exposes your accommodations over large chain hotels. It can be rough especially for the new B&B owner to compete with a national corporation and their seemingly endless budget, but if you are savvy enough to operate social media and use it to your advantage, you can cut a chink in their business and watch yours grow. A Facebook fan page is a great, and free, way to start.Facebook Profiles and Fan Pages – the DifferenceIf you have a Facebook profile, you might be apprehensive about promoting your bed and breakfast through this network. Over the last few years, concerns about privacy have cautioned Facebook users from volunteering too much information, and you may not wish to arbitrarily add strangers to your friend network. The good news is: you don’t have to. With Facebook you can set up an individual page devoted to your inn or vacation rental, and people can join that page for information. Your profile remains intact.What can a fan page do for your lodging business? Now that Facebook URLs show up in search engine results, plenty! At the bottom left corner of your Facebook dashboard, you’ll find an icon that takes you to the setup area for a page. The wizard is user-friendly and the end result looks similar to your personal profile, only you have the opportunity here to promote your bed and breakfast main website, directions, and other important information. Also, you can create photo albums for your specific rooms and amenities, and list events happening in your area and at your inn. A video tab option allows you to upload short clips advertising the finer points of your B&B, or homemade “commercials” for viewers to enjoy.Facebook ExtrasWhile Facebook limits how users can structure fan pages, there are widgets available to enhance the functionality. If you are familiar with HTML, then using the Static FBML function can help you create custom tabs for your page. You can set up qualified code to direct users to a reservation engine or your Twitter feed or Flickr account…anything you wish.Facebook also has a proprietary advertising program, where you can market to specific demographics. If you seek in-state visitors, for example, you can advertise to profiles in the area – or to women only, people who like a specific football team near your home, and so on. Using the cost per click model, this social network’s advertising is affordable and the analytics are easy to discern.The notes section on the fan page is for making informative posts, much like a blog. To cut time, if you have an existing blog set up you can plug the RSS feed into the Notes application and every time you blog it will feed into your Facebook page.Finding FriendsOnce you’ve set up shop, next comes the job of getting people to join your fan page. Of course, word is mouth is the best method of advertising, so naturally the first thing to do is let your personal friends know the page is live! Make sure to include some kind of link on your main website leading to the page (Facebook has widgets and code available for us) to authenticate the fan page, and promote away. As other social networks have applications to interconnect with Facebook, you’ll find spreading the word is as simple as typing your inn’s name.If you do not already have a fan page for your lodging, it is important to set it up as soon as possible. Add social functionality to your business solidifies your brand in social media, and helps you better promote your inn. Invest the time to promote through Facebook and see the improvement in your reservations.
The day had started great: a hearty and healthy breakfast at the Lunenburg Inn was excellent preparation for a full day of discovery. During the bright and sunny morning I headed out and went on a walking tour through Lunenburg, a quaint and scenic town on Nova Scotia’s southern coast whose unique architectural heritage has garnered it the coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. I capped off my local explorations with a visit to the famous Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic, a renowned museum that celebrates the maritime heritage of Nova Scotia.I had big plans for today: a scenic drive along the Lighthouse Trail through scenic communities such as Mahone Bay and Peggy’s Cove to my final destination for today: Halifax, Nova Scotia’s capital. But before saying goodbye to this charming town I wanted to find out a little bit more about the hospitality entrepreneurs running the Lunenburg Inn. I am always interested in the people behind the destinations, because the people are really the key factor in any hospitality experience.So with my suitcase packed and stashed safely in the car, I sat down with Don and Gail Wallace, owners of the Lunenburg Inn, to find out more about their personal story. Don started off by telling me that he had spent 33 years with a Toronto-based company in the warehousing and transportation business, holding the title of Vice President towards the end of his tenure. He felt it was time to make a significant change in his life, so he and Gail sat down to discuss what options they might have. They talked about downsizing their house and looking at a second career that they could start together. They also wanted to relocate away from the Toronto area and find a place where they would be able to retire. So they started looking further afield.One day in February of 1995 they noticed an advertisement in the Financial Post for a place called the “Lunenburg Inn”. This struck a chord because both of them had been dreaming of retiring near the ocean. So Don picked up the phone and got in touch with the real estate broker. On a Sunday morning in February he flew to Halifax and fell in love with Nova Scotia’s South Shore. Don adds that Lunenburg was not as pretty as it is today, but even then he recognized the potential of this town. He really liked the property a lot, although it would need a lot of work. So he phoned Gail to share his positive impressions and suggested that they both travel to Lunenburg the following weekend to see the inn. All the necessary professional contacts were initiated: the mortgage officer at the bank, the building inspector, the real estate agent and the lawyer who would handle the transaction. Don and his wife talked the idea over with their grown-up children. The following Sunday afternoon there was a meeting with the building inspector, after which Don prepared the offer. On Monday morning the mortgage was approved and shortly after lunch Don handed the realtor a cheque as the down payment for their retirement plan: the Lunenburg Inn. Shortly after his arrival back in Toronto he received a call from his realtor that they would now be the proud owners of an inn as of May 1, 1995.Ironically, the day that this real estate transaction was completed Don had to go on a business trip to Vancouver, and he and his colleague went out after work and celebrated with a bottle of wine. It was not until months later that his coworker found out that Don had a real reason to celebrate on this very day: the beginning of his second career.Back in Toronto Don wrote a letter of resignation to his company’s president who was very surprised since he and most people in the company had assumed that Don was a “lifer”, i.e. that he would spend the rest of his working life at this company. Don gave 6 months notice and would leave his position as Vice-President by the end of August. This gave the couple sufficient time to organize garage sales to get rid of unwanted furniture in Toronto. On April 28 their van left at 5 am, packed up their goods and arrived in Lunenburg on April 30. Don had booked two weeks of vacation and his son came along to spend his summer in Lunenburg – a perfect arrangement since Don still had to wrap up his last few months with his company in Toronto.So from May onwards Gail and their son Drew started to operate the bed and breakfast. Their daughter came to join them in July, she had just finished her last year of high school and was starting a degree at Wilfred Laurier University in September. Don was able to leave his position early since by the end of July a replacement had been hired. So on August 1 the entire family was united in Lunenburg.The Lunenburg Inn was furnished when Don and Gail purchased it but the owners had taken personal pieces that had been used in the inn. The living room was very sparse and some rooms were missing chairs and tables. So for the first few weeks, Gail and her son Drew embarked on a nightly routine of furniture moving: they needed to provide a full compliment to those rooms rented for the night with the remaining furniture decorating the living room for that night. That meant that furniture pieces continuously had to be moved around from one room to another. They had decided to leave their Toronto-area house furnished while Don still lived there and to improve the chances of selling it. It was sold only in late July (with a mid-August closing) and Don had the moving company pack everything up in the last week of July. The furniture arrived in Lunenburg in mid-August and after its arrival they finally had a fully furnished living room without the nightly furniture move.The Lunenburg Inn had been an abandoned building, so it needed a lot of work. From 1924 to 1979 it had been the “Hillside Hotel”, a 13-room hotel (with one bathroom!) next to the town’s train station. In the meantime the train service to Lunenburg has been discontinued for many years. The property was abandoned for a number of weeks just prior to being purchased by the previous owners in 1988. When Don and Gail purchased the property in 1995 the building was very tired and in need of a complete redecoration and upgrading, including furnishings, to bring it up to a 4 1/2 star property.During their first winter of 1995 Gail stripped every piece of furniture and diligently refinished it. All the couches and armchairs were re-upholstered. Don himself learned how to fix the plasterwork in this historic building, and in the dining room the couple removed nine layers of wallpaper and four layers of paint, all accumulated over the years since the building’s construction in 1893. Carpets were torn out and replaced, floors were refinished. So far in the last 11 years, all the rooms have been redecorated at least three times. Don feels very strongly that a bed and breakfast should never look tired. His goal was to make the Lunenburg Inn a warm, comfortable place with upscale features.Now the Lunenburg Inn is in its 12th season and it is still holding up well. Don and Gail meanwhile are ready to start their real retirement. Don informed me that about 40% of bed and breakfast owners do not reopen after their third season, another 40% of B&B owners discontinue their business after 6 years. Only 5% of B&B owners make it to the 10-year mark. Don adds that running the Lunenburg Inn was “his second and final career”, and he and Gail had committed to 10 years. Now 11 years later, they are ready to move on into a well-deserved retirement.But this industrious couple did not stop at being B&B owners: from 1997 to late 2002 they also owned an M&M Meat Shop franchise which meant that Gail managed the retail operation while Don together with some hired help ran the bed and breakfast. Gail would be at the store every day from 9 am to 6 pm, and Don would handle the ordering and the accounting for the meat shop in addition to his duties at the inn.Today, the couple is focusing on the Lunenburg Inn only. Their day starts at 6 am when fresh muffins are baked for up to 19 breakfast guests. Guests can come to breakfast whenever it suits their schedule. Don and Gail put a lot of effort into preparing a healthy, filling and attractively prepared breakfast that always includes a lot of fresh fruit. They work with a 7-day rotation for the breakfast so none of the guests will get bored of having the same dishes served twice in a row.Breakfast takes place form 8 to 9:30 am and a helper in the kitchen handles the plate layout, coffee and toast. Two housekeepers help with the maintenance and cleaning chores, and all the laundry for the inn is handled in-house. The Lunenburg Inn opens from the beginning of May until late October. Don and Gail have made a commitment that one of them will always sleep in the house when the B&B is in operation. The guests may always have potential needs, and it is important to have a competent contact person on site.Don and Gail are proud of the fact that the Lunenburg Inn was the first 4.5 star property in Lunenburg, a property that combines the “warmth of home” with Victorian charm. 75% of their business stems from repeat customers and referrals, evidence of their commitment to an outstanding hospitality experience.Personally, they live in a separate private apartment on the lower level of the inn, and during the winter season they like to spend time with their children and go to South Carolina for a couple of weeks. There is always stuff to be done around the inn, and winter is the perfect time for redecorating or upgrades. Don also likes to go curling about four to five mornings in the week during the winter.The Lunenburg Inn is currently listed for sale. Neither Don nor Gail are in a rush to sell the property, and they realize that it is going to take a special buyer who is going to be interested in running this inn. Sometimes it could take as much as three to five years to sell a property like this. Don and Gail indicated that once the inn sells, they will stay in Lunenburg, and buy a simple family home. They enjoy the weather here: summers are less hot and humid than in Ontario, and there is less snow and rain. Gail adds that during the first four years in Lunenburg she did not even need winter boots. And falls are simply gorgeous in this quaint community.I realized that here was a couple who had made some very strategic, well thought-out decisions about their retirement. They knew exactly where they were going and what their next step was going to be. Few of us are so lucky as to have such a clear idea of where life is going to take us. With these thoughts in mind I thanked Don and Gail for their warm hospitality, and set off to continue my journey along the Lighthouse Trail to Halifax.
Step into the magical allure of a Temecula bed and breakfastand you’d think you’ve died and gone to heaven. The glaring difference between a B&B in Temecula and the typical hotel is an experience only you can see for yourself. As you journey through the ins and outs of such an enlightening adventure, it’s best to prepare yourself with a brief history of B&Bs in order to truly understand the sheer delight of exploring some of the best Temecula bed and breakfasts found in the region.By now, you probably already know that a bed and breakfast is typically referred to as a “B&B”, a private residence or establishment that offers shelter to weary travelers. You will often encounter this type of opportunity situated within a townhouse, single-family home, or condominium.In the beginning, shared bathrooms were commonplace in the bed and breakfasts of yesteryear, yet private bathrooms have become a given in many of the establishments of today. Breakfast is usually served as part of the room rate, which truly illustrates the meaning of a B&B, a warm bed and hearty breakfast at the start of each day. The concept of a bed and breakfast has endured many years of changes over time, as travelers have always needed a place to lay their head for the night. In the past, no one ever thought twice seeking shelter in the comfort of a private dwelling over a room offered at the local inn.What’s quite interesting is that before the 19th century, informal arrangements were made between individuals belonging to the same social rank. For example, a traveling physician may seek accommodations for the night at the home of a fellow doctor or pharmacist.Nowadays, it is quite common to see countless old properties find a new lease on life as they serve as guesthouses showcasing the beauty of antique furnishings that attract travelers with their historical charm. All through the United States, the unique features attached to various establishments paint the picture of what makes a B&B so special. Sometimes, a significant historical past is the attraction or perhaps a well known celebrity or former president spent the night in one of the rooms.One thing to count on, the majority of B&B’s in the U.S. have built a reputation for delivering impressively decorated guestrooms, friendly customer service, and individual room appeal.. Most of all the ‘home cooked breakfasts’ each morning always delivers the perfect push at the start of each day! There is no denying the allure of a Temecula bed and breakfast that knows just how to make the most out of a fascinating blend of an enchanting town setting with unforgettable local uniqueness.To take advantage of what a Temecula bed and breakfast [http://www.best-temecula-guide.com/temecula-bed-and-breakfast.html] has to offer, consider the following establishments offering a comfortable stay in this beautiful Southern California Wine Country region:· The Castle B&B (35925 Rancho California Road): European charm awaits at this Temecula bed and breakfast set in the wine country [http://www.best-temecula-guide.com/temecula-winery.html], which provides accommodations with a touch of Venetian, Medieval, English Tudor, or French Country character.· La Vindemia Bed & Breakfast (33133 Vista del Monte Road): A private villa with luxury accommodations located here highlights the taste and atmosphere of Italy with enchanting flower paths, romantic patio spaces, and a mesmerizing rose garden.· Inn at Churon Winery (33233 Rancho California Rd): To experience the French-style chateau of this bed and breakfast, consider the Merlot suite or a Jacuzzi bathtub for two.· Loma Vista Bed and Breakfast (33350 La Serena Way): Romance lingers about the pathways located outside of rooms called ‘Champagne’ and ‘Zinfandel.’· Fallbrook Bed and Breakfast (2239 Gird Rd, Fallbrook, CA) : Located just 20 minutes outside of Temecula, the town of Fallbrook is home to an 1885-remodeled farmhouse that offers two unique rentals with numerous hidden nooks and crannies to explore.All in all-a Temecula bed and breakfast will assist you in capturing the best of staying at some of the most peaceful escapes about town. When planning a visit to the region or looking for a personal getaway-considering a stay at a Temecula bed and breakfast should become top priority.
When my husband and I travel on our own, we prefer to seek out bed and breakfast inns for accommodations. We enjoy the intimacy and quiet atmosphere of a B&B – with many we know we don’t have to worry about loud neighbors stumbling in the hallway in the early hours, or noise from a nearby interstate. Bed and breakfast inns are typically nestled in the mountains or situated along secluded shores. In the Hampton Roads area, you’ll be surprised to find many conveniently located near the more popular attractions of Williamsburg, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach. If you enjoy a home-cooked breakfast, attention to detail, and nightly comfort, check out some of these awesome B&B’s in Hampton Roads.Please note rates may change according to season. It’s always best to call ahead for availability.ChesapeakeIrish Isle Bed and Breakfast – The only B&B in town, Irish Isle is a remote retreat where guests enjoy privacy and nature walks. You’re not far from Norfolk or the beach, either.NorfolkFreemason Inn – Aptly named for its location in the historic Freemason District in downtown Norfolk. Access the Tide light rail to see nearby attractions.Historic Page House Inn – Close to the Chrysler Museum and historic Ghent neighborhood. Take the Tide downtown to Nauticus or a baseball game.Walker’s Waterfront – Guests at Walker’s can enjoy a waterfront view and easy access to the local opera house, museums, and great dining.WilliamsburgLiberty Rose B&B Inn – This inn has won many awards for its hospitality and romantic charm. Rooms are lavishly decorated and guests love the garden.Williamsburg Sampler B&B – This beautiful 18th century plantation style home offers a quiet getaway for guests. All rooms have private baths and TVs.A Williamsburg White House – You may feel as through you’re stepping through time here. This B&B is blocks away from Colonial Williamsburg and features a room with a replica railroad berth!Virginia BeachBarclay Cottage – Want the quaintness of a B&B combined with a sunny beach vacation? Barclay Cottage is your stop – relax on the porch and walk to the Oceanfront.Country Villa B&B Inn and Day Spa – Gourmet breakfast, luxury amenities, and wine and cheese snacks are just some of wonderful things to enjoy here.Bed and breakfast inns are perfect for couples who want to relax on vacation and enjoy an intimate getaway. In Hampton Roads, you’ll find many inns ready to cater to you.
Bed and breakfast are a great way to spend a nice and quite night away from home. While big city hotels are often in the middle of a bustling metropolis, B&B’s are situated away from all the hustle and bustle. If you want a holiday away from all the fuss, a B&B is the way to go.The concept of a B&B inn has been around for centuries, and apart from a few things to keep up with the times, they haven’t really changed. Every B&B offers great personalised service, a comfortable room, and a breakfast in the morning. Some room shave their own bathroom, while others have shared facilities, but usually these are kept very clean so you don’t have to worry.The ‘bed’ in bed and breakfast can be different within the hotel itself, too. Some B&B inns offer different sized rooms with different aspects to them. In a B&B with a communal bathroom, they may offer a private bathroom for more money. Some B&B’s have theme rooms, like ‘Egyptian getaway’ or ‘a night in France’, and others will be stocked with real historic memorabilia from the surrounding area.Breakfast can also change from place to place. Some allow for breakfast in bed, so you can lounge around all day. Others will only serve it in the dining room. Others still will have it set at a specific time so everyone dines together. This is so everyone meets each other and will hopefully form a friendship.Bed and Breakfast inns are great places to spend a night or two away from home and back in nature.
A bed and breakfast is usually an exceptionally nice place to spend the night, as most are remodeled old homes or mansions. Some of these homes have been restored to represent the way they were originally built and contain beautiful woodwork, wood floors, spacious brick fireplaces and other designs of the era in which they were built.Most provide breakfast in the morning, which consists of a complete meal with breakfast meat, eggs, toast or biscuits, fried potatoes, pancakes and waffles, coffee, juice, etc., while others only provide a continental breakfast, consisting of coffee, juice and doughnuts. Then, some provide no breakfast at all, but still call themselves a bed and breakfast. The morning meal is normally included in the room rate.As you can see, each bed and breakfast can be different and even the Bed and Breakfast Associations have no accepted definition of what they are. When placing a reservation, be sure you understand what accommodations they offer, or better yet get a recommendation from someone who is familiar with that particular bed and breakfast.Normally, we think of a bed and breakfast as being a beautiful house with all the amenities to ‘cater to our every need’. A Jacuzzi or whirlpool/hot tub may be furnished, a suite of rooms with your own private bath is available instead of just one room and connection to the Internet is also available. Depending on location, recreational activities such as biking, canoeing, golf and skiing are nearby.If you are looking for a romantic getaway, a weekend at a bed and breakfast can fill the bill. Many offer a ‘special romance package’, which means the weekend is professionally planned. Be sure you understand what the package includes and the cost. The proprietor of the bed and breakfast should be able to recommend romantic restaurants so you will be able to make advance reservations. They can also advise other romantic locations in the area that might interest you.For those so inclined, there are haunted bed and breakfasts, which claim to have ghosts living in the house. The houses are haunted by spirits of previous owners, most of whom died a horrible death and their spirits have lingered in the house ever since. Each home has its’ own story about the ghosts and visitors have reported hearing strange noises, actually seeing the ghosts, etc. There are around forty of these haunted homes across the United States.A murder mystery weekend can be fun at a bed and breakfast. Approximately thirty inns around the country feature this type of weekend, participated in by the guests. The object is to determine who committed the murder by following clues given to each guest. The weekend is spent investigating the crime and, before leaving on Sunday, the murderer is revealed.In order to find the perfect bed and breakfast, take time to plan and research each one on your list. Be sure it offers what you are looking for and make sure the price is right. There is always one that will fit your budget. It is suggested that you plan on spending more than one night to get the full benefit of your stay.Keep in mind, a bed and breakfast is a great way to get away!
Knoxville Tennessee is a thrilling city with lots of festivals and events happening during the year. A temperate and mild climate makes the city even additional of a treasure as summer is at all times lush and green. Vibrant fall colors enlighten the local vegetation in Knoxville Tennessee and winters are mild and brief. Spring is an enjoyable and long season with local blooms taking over in all places. The great climate makes this city ideal for hosting many events and festivals for visitors and locals to let loose at.On the western boundary of downtown, the World’s Fair Park is subjugated by the futuristic Sunsphere, a giant glass ball mounted on a round concrete building. There is a watching deck on the lower level of this sphere (free from Mon-Sat 9am-4.30pm). The Knoxville Museum of Art, out in the park at 1050 World’s Fair Park Drive, holds visiting exhibits and shows a small permanent set of paintings and a expertly designed sculpture garden based on a 200-year-old elm tree. Next is Cumberland Avenue up a few blocks and can come to the sprawling college grounds of the University of Tennessee. Lined with diners and bars, commonly bedecked in the white and orange colors of the Volunteers football team, the university grounds has the Frank H. McClung Museum at Circle Park and two theaters, which features shows on the city’s history, art and archeology free of charge.900 Volunteer Landing Lane (9am-5pm daily; tel 1-800/727-8045), The Gateway Regional Visitor Center, celebrates east Tennessee’s innate resources and its scientific (predominantly nuclear) achievements. It stands amongst the waterfalls and flora of the revived Volunteer Landing, which possesses riverside restaurants and a port complex.About Knoxville, TennesseeThe Chattanoogan – Benchmark Hospitality’s extraordinary urban resort, is a fashionable hotel and conference center in two hours of Atlanta. Perfect for meetings, vacations, and special occasions, Chattanoogan features outstanding restaurants, superb rooms and suites, and 25,000 square feet of technically advanced meeting space, and a full-service spa, nearby recreation, like the white-water rafting and Jack Nicklaus golf course, merge perfectly with all the entertainment and shopping of downtown Chattanooga make a truly unique destination for family social events, getaways and business meetings.Maplehurst Inn – Maplehurst Inn is an 81 year old mansion in notable Maplehurst Park in Knoxville is situated near the Neyland Stadium and University of Tennessee, the convention center, and some of the luxury restaurants. The unique accommodations combine 18th century attraction with modern facilities. Each area in the Maplehurst Inn is attractively decorated to make us the perfect getaway for special occasions, business or for that memorable weekend!Brimer House Inn Bed Breakfast – Step back in time when you stay in the Brimer House Inn Bed & Breakfast. The 1909 Neoclassical/Queen Anne inclined house has been meticulously restored. The inn presents private tiled baths, king/queen beds, hardwood floors, cable TV, beautiful staircase, wireless DSL, and an exceptional service. Each area features chocolates, fresh flowers and luxury linens. Guests are delighted to afternoon pastries, evening cheese and wine, and a full gourmet breakfast provided at the time and place of the visitors choosing. Sit on the deck and enjoy one of Knoxville’s primary Historic Districts.