Yesterday, we said goodbye to a lovely couple who had stayed with us for 4 nights. They told us how much they enjoyed the quietness and relaxation that came with it at our guest house, and said that they felt rejuvenated after leaving the upheaval of re-fitting their kitchen at home to come away. Then Mike said that we were ‘very modest’ in the description of Blenheim Lodge on our website. I explained to Mike that we wanted to be honest in our room descriptions and were not interested in hyping our place up.
The topic of my post today has some bearing on what Mike said. Although all the photos of our guest house, its rooms and the views from them are unedited photos kindly given us to use by previous guests, there will always be some people who book under the mistaken impression that we are what we are not. For example, despite our descriptions and the pictures of our rooms on the website, some people who arrive at our B&B still expect a boutique hotel with huge rooms, ultra modern furniture rather than antiques, and bling decor. We get telephone calls from enquirers who want spa baths or balconies in their rooms. Others expect us to have large bathrooms even though we make it a point to say that most of our shower en-suites are small.
When guests do not read or listen to what we tell them and conjure in their minds what they wish to see or experience on arrival at our Bed and Breakfast, then there is bound to be some disappointment. A case in point is when we receive calls from people who wish to stay in a hotel with half-board options. We always have to disabuse them of their misconception by telling them we have a guest house and only serve breakfast, although we can arrange a dinner cruise or a lunch cruise if these are available, and we can also certainly help with dinner reservations at local eateries.
So why am I writing on this topic tonight? Well, we received a call on Sunday from someone who wanted to book a room for her relatives for a 4-night stay from Monday night. Although the lady who was doing the booking had seen pictures and read descriptions of the room concerned, her relatives had not and had had no knowledge at all about the room they were booking. Not realising this, I made the mistake of assuming that the relatives had had prior knowledge of the room they were booking and had asked the lady to book on their behalf; thus I proceeded to complete the reservation. Imagine my chagrin when the relatives arrived and told me that they had had no idea about the room they were booked into and that they were after an ultra modern place – not one with antique furnishings!
Thus my point tonight is that one should always ask all pertinent questions of and relay all pertinent information to the accommodation provider when thinking of booking a room or rooms to ensure that you only book a place that fits your criteria. Don’t expect the B&B provider to know that your elderly mother has asthma, 2 stents in her heart, and arthritis if all you tell him or her is that your mother is 85 years old. People age differently; their states of health vary. If your granny cannot manage steps, say so from the outset, so that you can be made aware of this potential hazard right at the start of the enquiry and decided whether it will be a valid concern to you or not.
And don’t book if you have even the tiniest feeling that the accommodation may not be quite right for you or the person you are booking for. It is better to keep searching around for your perfect accommodation than to book what will always be a hopeful second best. Because if it all turns pear-shaped, it will not be a great start to your holiday and the accommodation provider will suffer the brunt of it.
‘Blenheim Lodge . . . panoramic Lake views, peace and tranquillity, nestled against acres of beautiful fields and woodlands, in the heart of the English Lake District National Park.’
Visit our website: www.blenheim-lodge.com