Business travel accommodation is a trend on the horizon and demand for the Bed and Breakfast industry. Inns that embrace the needs of business travelers will find a mutually satisfying partnership.
To get those personalized services and amenities look to B&Bs and other small hospitality. Lodging of all types are stepping up services that market directly to the corporate traveler and the Bed and Breakfast industry is no exception. B&Bs recognize they can provide an unparalleled level of service to this segment of the market. Many Inns are even stepping up service to provide a venue for hosting business meetings and conferences.
Business Travel? Conference? Does Bed and Breakfast come to mind? It should! Keep reading…
There are misconceptions about B&Bs and what they can or can not do. The truth of the matter is many Inn's are installing more modernized accommodations that are suited to hosting corporate needs, all the way from a multi-day retreat to an overnight stay for a single traveler.
An excellent example of one Inn that is capitalizing on this market is the Blair House Inn in Wimberley, TX. You can review some of the details of their business service at their website.
Unparalleled Business Accommodations
There are misconceptions about B&Bs and what they can or cannot do. The truth of the matter is many Inn's are installing modernized accommodations that are suited to hosting corporate needs, all the way from a multi-day retreat to an overnight stay for a single traveler.
What accommodations and amenities are essential for you to work efficiently?
What accommodations and amenities are essential for you to work efficiently?
Can a B&B Stand Up to a Hotel?
It is true that many companies won't check out the options a B&Bs has to offer when they need to book a business conference, retreat, or meeting because they assume that large hotels are better equipped to handle this service. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, when it comes to service and price, B&Bs and larger Inns may out-do a hotel on some services. It will certainly pay to include B&Bs, Inns and Boutique Hotels when a corporation shops around for a business venue. It is true that smaller establishments may not have the capacity to host larger groups (25+ people), but they typically have a facility that can accommodate a small group or individual travelers. Many B&Bs have added the technology required by today's business executives, such as WiFi, desks, and appropriate connectivity.
Business travelers are typically the target market for a B&B Sunday through Thursday, thus giving the business guest the undivided attention of the Innkeeper. There is a misconception that B&Bs are priced much higher than a hotel. However, this has not been the case. As a rule, B&Bs rates are very competitive with hotel rates, especially the high-end hotels, and many B&Bs offer special corporate rates to the business traveler.
B&Bs are gaining a lot of traction when it comes to popularity with business travelers. When questioned, many who have stayed at both hotels and B&Bs will say they prefer the B&B over a hotel. They enjoy the personal one-on-one attention afforded to them by the Innkeepers, who have much at stake if the guest is not happy. Despite perks that a B&B can offer the business guest some establishments are lacking in space and equipment needed by someone working remote.
Modifications to Accommodate a Business Guest
Reliable, fast connectivity has become the standard in most upscale Inns that market themselves to business travelers. You can even find B&Bs that have dedicated connectivity for the conference or boardroom.
Innkeepers are assuring that no matter where you are in the Inn, you can find a place to power up mobile devices. It is essential that there are adequate outlets and charging stations for cell phones, tablets, or laptops. You can often find guest rooms equipped with table lamps and bedside tables with built-in charging ports. Long gone are the days of going out to your vehicle to charge your device. Some larger Inns are going so far as to provide T1 access lines and iPads or Chrome Books to use during the stay with them.
Many mid-size and larger Inns have Board Rooms with audio-visual equipment to accommodate business conferences and meetings.
Customized Business Services
Tailored accommodations and specials can be challenging to negotiate with large hotels. B&Bs pride themselves on their ability to provide custom services. Spas and exercise equipment are a few of the amenities that are a real hit with stressed business travelers. While many B&Bs don't have space and resources for a full-blown exercise room, some will provide day passes to a local gym, maps of local hiking trails, bikes for borrow, or in-room yoga mats and weights. B&Bs are also catching on to the healthy food options and lighter diets demanded by a business traveler. They also work to accommodate the early morning meetings and late check-ins busy business guest experience.
Transportation is a major hassle for many business travelers. Don't take this service on yourself. Transportation is a service lodging will set up for you. Larger Inns and hotels work with local taxi and UBER services to provide reduced rates or courtesy transportation in many areas, and these options should be checked out before booking. You should inquire about corporate rates, flat-rate taxi fares to the airport, car rental information, and flexible breakfast serving schedule to accommodate flight times. Your Innkeeper or hotel managers are the area expert. Utilize them for these valuable services and remove it as a hassle while you travel.Example:
The Forgotten Necessities
Call the lodging before you arrive to ensure that you will be provided with these items and save yourself time and frustration. The B&B should be able to supply many of these items if they are equipped to accommodate a business traveler.
Take a look at suggestions for a few great packing travel essentials
- Appropriate size work desk. The establishment may boast about having common rooms for work. When you need to work in a quiet private space, a common area is not a suitable substitute for an appropriate work area and desk. Common areas and porches also provide too many distractions and chatting visitors. Don't be talked into accepting this offer. Working across a flowery bedspread is also not an acceptable substitute for a desk. Savvy Innkeeper will replace the large bulky antique furniture with smaller furniture that better accommodates business guests. For example, replacing a large antique dresser with a more modest business desk and table.
- Inquire about the power sources to the room to assure they are adequate. Throwing an extra charger and surge protector into your luggage bag or laptop bag never hurts, especially when it comes to protection of your valuable electronics. There is value staying at a B&B, but some of the older establishments may not have as many outlets as you need, be prepared.
- Business travelers are typically impeccable dressers all the while living out of a suitcase. An iron and ironing board are tools of survival. Not all B&Bs supply individual access to irons. Request an iron and ironing board or arrange to have your clothes taken out to dry-cleaners for pressing.
- Have adequate luggage racks delivered to your room? Now is the time to request extra if you need one for your garments and one laptop. Unfortunately, some spaces get cluttered with decorative pillows, dolls, over-sized planters, fur rugs, and books. Requests that unnecessary clutter items be removed from your room if you know you will need extra space for your work area.
- Ask your hospitality (B&B or hotel) what technology they provided. Do they have WiFi, room connectivity, laptop or desktop computer if your computer should suddenly die, printer and paper, and is there a conference room with connectivity? Technology may seem like a tall order, but you may be surprised at how many establishments provided most, if not all, of your needs.
- Larger Inns going high volume corporate business are going the extra mile for their traveling guests. They have created a Business Center for their guests that include the following supplies: hole punch, scotch tape, white erase board and markers, ink pens, staplers, paper clips, notepads, and, a smart idea, free flash drives with the Inns name branded on the side. The extra perks are a tremendous value to the business traveler, and it is worth booking future travel and meetings at a venue that provides this level of service.
Health & Wellness
At one time this was the single most neglected area for the traveling business person. Today it is getting more attention. The business traveler will be pleased to know that many Innkeepers are ahead of the curve in the nutritious food arena. Bed & Breakfasts take pride in producing healthy wholesome meals and snacks. These may consist of whole grain bread, granola and cereals, fresh fruit and preserves, and home baked dishes.
See additional exciting ideas for Wellness While Traveling
An increasingly important amenity for business travelers is fitness. While many B&Bs either can't afford a fitness room or do not have space for one, there are perks they are offering in its place to satisfy their guests need for some exercise. Some Innkeepers are providing colorful yoga mats and weights to use in-room. Others make available complimentary day-passes to a nearby gym. Still, some Innkeepers have maps of local walking, hiking/biking, or jogging trails. Some of the larger Inns provide a sunny room and a quiet time in the early morning for meditation.