Importance of smart goals for your business can not be underestimated. Have you set goals to prepare your Inn for the new generation of travelers?
This page of tools to help you transform your Inn from YESTERDAY to MODERN
It is very important that you set smart goals for your lodging business to help guide you to a prosperous future. I have identified several trends for today’s savvy travelers. Once you have clear goals, we can craft decor for your Bed & Breakfast that will attract a new generation of guests, and fill your rooms for years to come.
Transform Your B&B Inn: Easy Ideas * Resources * Support
Your Inn is beautiful, charming and has provided guests many nights of wonderful hospitality. This site is intended to:
- Build and develop your business through modernizing your decor.
- Provide ideas and inspiration through current market trends in the B&B industry.
- Point you to resources that can help you obtain decor and materials to transform your B&B into a modern showcase.
How to Standout In a Crowd
1. Register with any or all of the quality endorsement organizations, such as Select Registry or AAA. Has your Inn received Trip Advisor award of excellence or a Diamond rating based on exceptional guest reviews?
2. Now is the time to freshen up your website. Consider the following:
- Over 90% of website visitors will give up their search due to poor website quality.
- Visitors don’t want to read a lot of text, they want to see pictures.
- Visitors want to be able to locate the booking button easily.
- Leverage the power of social media through Facebook, Tweeter, Instagram, +Google
- Advertise through the various travel websites: TripAdvisor and AAA
- If the pictures of your B&B are dated, small, or load slowly, consider having professional photos taken. A professional photographer is worth the expense. A study done by TripAdvisor showed that photos may have the most influence over the visitor’s decision to book.
- If your B&B Inn has received any special ratings or awards, they should be prominently displayed on the website’s home page.
- When it comes to freshening up your website, consider a company that specializes in the hospitality industry website design. As I have pointed out, the website appearance and user-friendly interface can make or break your bookings.
- Given what we already know about the trends and tastes of today’s traveler, we can apply a few simple design trends to each room.
Bedroom: Start with the bedroom, likely the most important room to your guest.
An over-stuffed cozy bed in a bright modern room.
Walls: Rooms painted with neutral colors are soothing, and will translate into a quiet environment.
1. Bright and bold colors, splashy or flowered wallpapers will not have the same relaxing effect, especially with men and business travelers.
2. Consider a neutral color palette of gray tones, beige, and whites.
PAINT : ARE YOU AT A LOSS WHERE TO TURN
- This reference provides you with cheat sheets to help you with the difficult paint color decisions.
- Click on the BOOK, CLICK HERE, or HOW TO CHOOSE…
- This thoughtful guide puts reason int picking your ideal paint colors.
3. Pictures should be scattered sparingly, be proportional to the wall, add interest and accent color. Avoid frames that are too small, old and out of character for the room (antique portrait in modern decor).
Bed: Comfort PLUS Quality = Repeat Visits
1. “Bed Fit for a King”: The bed size is important to guests. Rooms should have at least a queen size bed. King size beds are also very popular.
2. “Comforts of home” – Today’s traveler wants luxurious comfort in place of the sterile hotel feel. This trend will be sticking around for awhile. Your guests want decor that has that worn-in look, but is actually new and creates a cozy luxuriousness.
Ditch the Bedspread for Fresh Bedding
- Consider adding warm fluffy duvets to the bed between sheets, or a cover that can be washed, to keep the duvet clean and assure a totally clean bed between guests.
Leave a stylish patchwork quilt over a chair. Add a cushioned leather chair next to the bed that one can sink into.
- A pillow library can also allow a guest to pick their favorite pillow for bedtime.
- The trend is to remove bedspreads for crisp modern triple sheeting.
Bedding and sheets can make or break the guest experience. High quality 1000 thread count (or higher ) Egyptian Cotton, should be used. The Egyptian Cotton provides superior comfort and luxury. The benefit to you aside from happy guests is durability. You will pay more for the higher quality bedding and sheets, but in the end, they will last much longer.
Pillows: Provide the guest with a couple options of a pillow, natural fill or synthetic. Alternatively, consider a pillow library where the guest can choose a pillow from your store to their liking.
Bedding Colors: Bedding colors should accent the room, and create a clean modern feel to the decor.
White bedding with accents of blue, black, orange, purple or brown can create a comfortable updated clean feel to the room.
** The bed in this picture is accented with a silver bed scarf and white and orange accent throw pillows.
Trends: Notice, the above picture demonstrates a few major trends that have emerged, and ones you may consider.Here are just a few to think about.
- White bedding – sheets and duvet set, Bed scarf in an accent color – What is this new trend?
- A scarf adds style and color and breaks up the clean white duvet cover.
- The scarf takes the place of a largely printed bedspread.
- Finally, the bed scarf serves as protection for the end of the bed and duvet, which tends to get more of a beating than the rest of the bed.
- Colorful throw pillows – used sparingly
- Comfortable side chair
- Large comfortable bed
- Romantic gas fireplace
- Minimal decor
- Adjustable lighting
- Side tables – including outlets for electronics and mobile devices
- Lamps with built-in mobile device chargers
- Art – sparing, tasteful, accent color
Bathroom: Don’t Under Estimate the Importance!
Shared Bathroom – VS – En-suite Bathroom
Do you still own a B&B that shares bathrooms? You may want to invest in a remodel.
The trend is moving toward an en-suite for every room. Guests are trending toward booking B&Bs with en-suite guestrooms over guest rooms that share bathrooms or a private bathroom that is situated in a hallway. This ties directly into your occupancy rate going up or down!
Jetted tubs are a highly desired feature, especially for leisure guests. The jetted tubs provide massage and relaxation. There are two types to consider:
Considerations for you as an Innkeeper when choosing these tubs
#1 – Traditional Water Jets Tubs
Water jets: Just as the name suggests, these tubs circulate the water by forcefully pumping water through the jets.
- Pro: These tubs tend to provide more forceful jet massage. Great for massage and relaxation.
- Con: You can not run jets without the tub filled with water. A cleaning solution needs to be added to the tub to clean the jets between guests, as water remains in the jets. Can be a guest perception concern.
#2 Newer Air Jet Tubs
Air jets: These tubs use jets of air to provide massage. The degree of massage is not as powerful as water jets but your guests will still find them highly relaxing.
- Pro: Less maintenance and no concern of possible contamination between guests. Can use bath salts and oils.
- Con: Decreased massage power.
Consider hand and bath towels for general use near the sink and shower. You may want to consider a bath sheet near the jetted tub. Bath sheets are larger than bath towels and can be wrapped around the body. The towels should be high quality and absorbent.
What makes a B&B Inn so great – amenities are FREE!
So what is included: This will depend on your B&B or Inn, the type of service you provide and the mix of guests you receive.
Bottled water (in-room), bottled water or other refreshments chilled in a guest common area, mini fridge provided for guests use coffee/tea maker, microwave, in-room music, movies, widescreen TV, WiFi, toiletries, hair dryer, wine, corkscrew, healthy snacks.
Additional amenities that some Innkeepers are adding
- Complimentary iPad for use during stay
- Multiple choices for pillow style
- Luxurious monograph robes
Common Area Setup
Keep this area updated and classy. This is an easy area to forget. Equipment becomes stale and outdated. Decor should be minimal and modern.
- Lounge chairs that are cushioned and inviting.
- Reading material on a table
- Mini refrigerator stocked with water, soda, juice (consider refrigerator space for guests who return from dinner with leftovers)
- Single cup coffee/tea maker
- Put out fresh baked goods only if they are used, and can be kept fresh.
- Nutrition bars, other healthy snacks
Personalize Your Goals
This is an area that B&B Inns can tap into in a way that no other industry can. The B&B can provide personalized service to the business traveler that others in hospitality can not, e.g. hotel, budget lodging.
If this is not a segment you have capitalized on, consider adding business into your new lodging goals. Here are a few ideas to incorporate that will please this group of travelers.
A Few Characteristics of the room for a Business Traveler
- The room’s design should be conducive to the productivity of the individual there on business.
- This will mean a desk that is the right height, width, depth and has a comfortable chair.
- Provide adequate lighting at the desk and in the room, include bedside.
- In-room connectivity, both wired and WiFi is a requirement.
- There should be adequate outlets for recharging, and these should be readily accessible, not behind furniture.
- The color of the room should be neutral with a few accents. Bright, bold, splashy colors and flowered wallpapers should be avoided.
Fitness and Travel
Okay, Innkeepers listen up, fitness, is very important to today’s traveler, regardless of age. Don’t underestimate the importance of health and wellness even well traveling. Some travelers will search for lodging based on the availability of a fitness room and access to equipment.
You have an opportunity to anticipate guest’s needs, and in many cases, you can provide basic fitness supplies with reasonable expense. This will add a real “wow factor” for guests looking to get a little workout in during their stay.
Some guests will stay with you for the sole purpose of relaxation. However, there are those who will not want to give up their exercise routine, even while there for leisure and many business travelers will want some place to get a quick workout in. If you accommodate these guests you will win many points, repeat visits, and hopefully referrals.
What to Provide:
Multi-colored Yoga Mats
If you don’t have space or the budget for a fitness room, you can still make available a few basic fitness items that guests can use during their stay. These items can be made available for guests who ask for them. As you expand in popularity you can place a few items in each room so they are there for each guest to use.
Yoga mats can be provided complimentary during a guest’s stay. Leave one mat in every room, along with an exercise towel, bottle of water and yoga or exercise DVDs. Just remember mats need to be cleaned between guests. The following includes a partial list of simple exercise items you may consider providing your guests.
- Resistance bands
- Yoga mats
- Exercise ball
- Exercise DVDs, or direct guests to cable TV channels provided
Co-OP With a Local Gym:
Alternatively, if you have a Fitness Gym in your area, you may consider partnering with that gym to provide your guest’s fitness needs during their stay. Rather than have fitness equipment, simply provide your guest with a day pass to the local fitness club.
If your Inn provides a dedicated spa room, why not provide dedicated space for a fitness room. You may be concerned about underutilization of this space. Maybe it’s thinking forward to a great marketing tool, and gradually it may increase in popularity. A fitness room should be equipped with basics, such as an elliptical or treadmill, fitness mat, exercise ball, cork floor, resistance bands, etc.
Walking and Hiking Trails:
It does not cost a dime to provide your guests with the map of favorite walking or jogging paths, hiking trails, bike rentals, and parks. If there are rivers or lakes in the area, provide information about canoe and boating or swimming areas. These are a few recreational ideas that can be provided to your guests with minimal expense and effort.
Finally, have plenty of bottled water, or a water cooler available for your guests. Offer a few healthy snacks or fresh fruit, either to take with or upon return to the Inn. We acknowledge that the trend is for a healthy lifestyle, and you will be ahead of the curve when you support these healthy choices at your Inn.