Inns Magazine Issue 1 Vol. 18 Spring Romance 2014 - Page 22

hen checking in to an inn recently, I was surprised nobody was there to greet me. Surely in today’s best of the best inns

in America, guests should at least be acknowledged on arrival?

It’s an age-old innkeeping conundrum: Do you really have to greet guests in person…especially those who arrive after hours? One innkeeper I know posts a note on the front door directing guests who check in after 11 p.m. to the nearest Holiday Inn if they arrive after 11 p.m. Given innkeeping is a marathon, not a sprint, this is certainly understandable. But is it hospitable? Certainly, there could be an alternative, such as a welcoming note telling guests how to get to their rooms and a telephone number for emergencies like a softer pillow!

I am fortunate enough to spend a considerable amount of time visiting with innkeepers across America and can honestly say that it is a pleasure, for the most part, to experience what true hospitality is all about. But I’m amazed at how often making a good first – and last – impression is overlooked.

Yet reputation is the No. 1 reason guests choose one inn over another. If you don’t believe me, just check out Trip Advisor, Yelp or Facebook. If a guest decides to tell the world they got a lousy first impression (millions do!), it can have far-reaching consequences. So it's worth frequently revisiting your check-in process – and taking a look at what others do.

Recently I visited three inns – in Virginia, West Virginia and New Jersey. Each inn offered the same check-in process that included a wonderful greeting with a glass of bubbly, plus bags placed in accommodations while I was being given a brief tour of the property. lt happened that all three properties shared what they do with each other at a conference for innkeepers (yes, these conferences can have value) and the net result…all three inns received compliments on the Big Gorilla’s website.

So what about check-out? Is it OK to let the guest simply disappear after gobbling up a yummy breakfast? Some innkeepers will tell you that all of their guests prefer it this way and therefore we don’t want to challenge them.

Inside Scoop…

Tales from the Inn Biz

Checking-ins + outs…

The Do’s and Dont's

By Stephen T. Tallon

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Inns E-Magazine / Spring 2014

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