Sunday, August 18, 2013

How To Select the Right Bed and Breakfast

Confession:  I LOVE watching "Hotel Impossible"!  I pick up all kinds of good do's AND don'ts to improve our Hot Springs Bed and Breakfast.  But the last episode made me wary.  It featured a family of B&B owners who really appeared to not only have no clue about running a lodging property, but they also gave the impression that they just didn't care.  So how does a first time B&B'er....or a regular traveler for that matter...choose a B&B where they will feel welcome and most importantly safe?



Hotel Impossible
1.  Choose a property that is inspected regularly:  The Bed and Breakfast Association of Arkansas (BBAA) inspects all members.  Not only do they check for cleanliness, but more importantly, all Arkansas bed and breakfasts are also inspected for safety.  Smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, safety lighting, proof of insurance, and proper refrigeration are just some of the items reviewed.  Hard boiled eggs sitting out all day would never pass a BBAA inspection!

2.  Look at online review sites and social media:  TripAdvisor, Google, and Facebook are just a few sites you can compare.  One or two bad reviews doesn't always mean there is a problem, but if you read through numerous reviews, you can get a good idea of how happy (or not) past guests have been with a property. Social media can show how the B&B interacts with guests.  If guests note that they NEVER came in contact with the owners, or at least some staff, you might want to investigate further!

3.  If you have questions, ask!  Feel free to call a bed and breakfast and ask questions.  You can get a good sense of the owners' personality just by speaking to them.  Just remember that innkeepers have to be up early in the morning to prepare breakfast, so try not to call too late - or during breakfast!

There are so many excellent bed and breakfasts to choose from that it is sad when a couple "bad eggs" cast  doubt on all the others.  But by doing just a little bit of homework, you can easily find the Better Way to Stay!

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