Opening a Bed and Breakfast
What would make your B&B special? A question you should ask yourself when deciding to launch your dream of owning a bed and breakfast. Do you have a special location, high in the mountains or are you at the beach? Maybe it’s less about the location and more about the home itself. Do you own a beautiful victorian mansion or perhaps a large manor home. If you’re not falling into the category of special location or over the top gorgeous home but you simply have a nice home and you enjoy meeting people, well then you have to start looking, thinking, outside the box to make sure your guests have a memorable experience.
Huffman Manor Inn is a historic bed and breakfast located in downtown Minden, LA. it is a beautiful home that was built in 1910 and is the only large red brick house on Broadway. But when Kimberly and I (A.K.A. Huffman Management) decided to transform this former restaurant / event center into our dream we devised a plan to ensure that every guest would have a special experience when choosing our B&B. The majority of these we implemented at Huffman House Bed and Breakfast to rave reviews.
Step 1- for us was to order high end, high thread count sheets. We also took the towels up a notch by adding bathsheets
Step 2- purchase a all-white duvet set. Although a splash of color is always nice having an all-white bed (sheets and duvets) gave our historic rooms a cleaner crisp feeling. My mother shared with me many years ago that the pillows and the sheets on the bed should only be one of three colors, white, ecru or cream and over the years many hotel chains have conducted surveys / focus groups which determined that my mom was absolutely correct.
Step 3- ensure that each room smells fresh means, for us, that we utilize fabric softener, dryer sheets, and even sent beads that are all lavender to induce relaxation. It also means that every room is spotlessly maintained and vigorously inspected between each guest to ensure only the highest cleanliness standards. In 1979 I started working for my first national hotel company and although I was raised to be a tidy person, I never truly understood what clean was until I understood what “hotel clean” is. The bottom line is there can never be evidence of a prior guest, not one hair, not a drink ring, not water in a iron, not even a footprint on the carpet. Every guest should enter a room feeling as if they were the very first person who has inhabited it.
Step 4 – give guests options. for us that meant that we would not dictate what time we would serve breakfast but give our guests multiple options so they could select their own time. To further enhance breakfast, we gave our guests choices. Our breakfast choices are always homemade, sourced locally and rotate throughout the year ensuring that repeat guests get to experience a broad assortment of choices.
Step 5 – anticipate the guests needs by ensuring that staying in a historic building does it feel like they’re having to give up all the modern conveniences they have come to expect in their modern everyday life. Blazing fast Wi-Fi that is strong and available at no cost throughout the home as well as being accessible from the exterior as well. Adding plugs through charging stations that include USB plugs. Having high-definition televisions in every room with the expanded cable and Fire TV Cube’s for streaming.