Archive for the ‘Bed and Breakfast Vacations’ Category

Travel Industry Catering To Families This Summer

June 16th, 2010 by Mariah

Travel Industry Catering To Families This Summer

Below is a great article taken from the USA Today regarding the efforts by hotels to cater to families this summer season. Innkeepers can get some great ideas from this article, such as making kid goody bags, kid-friendly dining options, and offering gaming systems. Parents may be reluctant to bring their youngsters to a B&B, so if you have anything that caters to kids make sure you ADVERTISE it.

“Hotels try harder to woo travelers on vacation with kids.”
By Roger Yu, USA TODAY

Hotels are stepping up their efforts to woo vacationers and families.
They’re introducing leisure and kid-friendly amenities to deal with a new industry reality that leisure travelers are more important than ever.

Leisure travelers — which include vacationers, honeymooners and wedding attendants — surpassed business travelers as the primary hotel customer segment in the U.S. in 2004. By 2009, leisure traveler volume had risen to 476 million, or 54% of the total, from 399 million in 2000, says D.K. Shifflet & Associates, a travel research and consulting firm. The nights business travelers filled rooms fell during the nine-year period to 411 million.

“Business travel has been slowly declining, says Douglas Shifflet of D.K. Shifflet. And, he says, “It’s not going back.”

Travelers have also gotten younger. Gen X travelers — in their late 20s to early 40s — are replacing Baby Boomers. Gen Xers are more reluctant to travel for business but are showing greater willingness to go on vacations with their families, Shifflet says. “They’re having kids now,” he says. “They try to balance their lives more.”

Among the new leisure traveler enticements:

Family. More kid-friendly programs are offered. Marriott International has started distributing toddler care items, such as fitted slip covers for cribs, squirting bath toys, baby lotion and shampoo and nightlights, at 2,500 hotels throughout most of its brands. “Things people might forget. We’re making sure hotels have these items,” says Peggy Fang Roe of Marriott, adding that the effort is partly to help change its reputation as a business hotel company.

In July, Marriott-operated hotels will begin distributing free activity books and silicone bracelets featuring Nickelodeon characters. For $10, customers can buy a SpongeBob backpack containing a splash ball, paper doll and sunglasses. Customers at full-service hotels — Marriott and JW Marriott brands — can pay $20 for the backpack and a SpongeBob book and pillow cases. Marriott’s partnership with Nickelodeon also features costumed characters and live shows at some of its resorts.

Omni Hotels gives away free bags of goodies for kids (with Twizzlers, flashlight, cup, mini-drum and bookmark), as well as milk and cookies.

Value. With budgets tight, families are looking for deals. Homewood Suites by Hilton says its revamped free meal program has helped draw more leisure travelers in the last year.

Beach Getaway Checklist

June 13th, 2010 by Mariah

Monday June 21 marks the offical first day of summer. In many places however, the summer heat is already very much upon us. Chances are no matter where you live, you will be hitting the beach at some point this summer season. We have put together a few lists of the must-have’s for your beach getaway. Don’t forget that many of our B&B properties are beach front and are the perfect way to extended your summer vacation.

Beach Vacation Must Have’s

The Basics:

Sarong/ Pareo
Flip Flops/ Sandals/ Crocs
Beach Bag/ Dry Bag
Lots of swimsuits
Waterproof hair accessories
Quick Dry Shorts
Anklets/ Toe Rings

Essential Beach Bag Booty:

A sheet/ Beach blanket/ Large towel
Cover-ups/ Loose, light weight shirts
Wide brimmed hats
Sunscreen and lip balm with sunscreen
Small amount of cash
Disposable waterproof camera
Small spray bottle of white vinegar

Extra Beach Bag Booty:

Mask and snorkel (fins optional)
Bug spray (depending on the area)
Inflatable or pop-up playthings
Picnic lunch
Swiss army knife or Leatherman tool
Folding lightweight beach chairs
Boogie board or similar
Aqua shoes
Umbrella or portable pop-up cabana

Beach Bag Booty For The Kids:

A pail and shovel
Beach ball, water wings, other inflatable toys
Snacks like fresh or dried fruit
Portable kid sized tents

Share Your Favorite Beach With Other Beach Lovers

Of all the beaches you’ve visited which do you think is the Best Beach in the World? Tell us where it is and what you love about it. Is it a great walking or tanning beach? Has something special happened to you on YOUR beach? A proposal, a wedding, maybe you met a special person. Write to us and tell us all about, and make sure to include you favorite Bed and Breakfast near your beach!

Do Not Let The Oil Spill Affect Your Bookings!

June 12th, 2010 by Mariah

If you own a Bed and Breakfast or Boutique Hotel along the Gulf Coast, you are probably a little concerned about what will become of your beaches following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. And you are not the only ones, millions of travelers are wondering the same thing. On top of everything else, now you also have to worry about this summer’s bookings.

But fear not: the fate of your summer bookings has not yet been sealed. According to a survey commissioned by the Beaches of South Walton, there is still hope for Gulf Coast owners. When we got our hands on this data it really gave us hope, so we wanted to share the info with you.

  • Most repeat Gulf Coast visitors have not discarded their plans of returning this summer. Of the travelers who visited the Gulf Coast in 2009, 62% plan to return again this year. And perhaps even more reassuringly, only 5% excluded the beaches of South Walton explicitly because of the oil spill.
  • As for the first timers, well they might just be waiting a little bit longer before booking – and this should be no surprise. Last-minute bookings have been a trend in travel for quite some time now. About 46% of the travelers planning to come to the area have not yet made their reservations.
  • Let’s say the worst case scenario happens and the oil does reach the beaches. Approximately 30-40% of the Gulf Coast travelers still plan to visit even if the beaches are affected.

Based on the results of this survey, your odds of filling your calendar this summer are still pretty good. Still, you need to take a proactive approach in securing bookings.


Here’s how:

Post current photographs of your beaches. Although we typically do not advocate date stamps on the photos for your listings, now might be the time. Prove to travelers that the beaches are still as pristine as ever.Promote the surrounding area. The beach may be a huge attraction (and likely half the reason you bought your Inn), but think about all the other fun things to do in your area. When you receive an inquiry, be sure to talk up the restaurants, shopping, your community pool, amusement parks, and any other activities available to your guests. This information should also be prominently displayed in your listing.Solicit reviews. If you have guest staying in your Bed and Breakfast now, it’s more important than ever to get reviews from actual guests who can attest to the condition of the beaches and all of the other entertainment options in the area. Offer specials. While we’re always advocates of holding out for the best price, now is the time to really consider offering incentives to your prospective guests. The last-minute nature of these bookings may make the market more competitive. While you don’t have to give away the farm, offering extras like beach service, 7th night free or discount attraction tickets can make the difference to an on-the-fence traveler. Perhaps you already offer these types of specials but haven’t updated your listing to reflect it. It’s your job to make your property and the area as appealing as possible. If you would like to take advantage of our “Specials and Events” Add-On, please contact us at, and we will set that option up for your listing today!Your best approach is to stay proactive. Reach out to past guests, update your listings, and be thorough with your communications to possible guests. Although you can’t control the results of the oil spill, there are plenty of ways to take control of your bookings this summer.

Summer Specials

June 4th, 2010 by Mariah

Summer is a great time to hit the road for an adventure in travel. Bed and Breakfasts and Country Inns can be a great place to relax after a full day of fun in the sun. Here are a few of our favorite Summer Specials that our Bed and Breakfast members are currently offering!




Gramercy Mansion in Baltimore, MD


Last Minute Special

Book any available room after 3 p.m. on the day prior to check-in and take 50% off the regular rate for a mid-week stay or 30% off for a Friday or Saturday night stay. Corporate & government rates available Monday – Thursday for our business travelers (single occupancy only – call for details). All Gramercy rooms have telephone and complimentary high-speed Internet access. Fax and copier services also available.



Wild West Horseback Riding

In the mood for adventure? Make your stay at Gramercy unforgettable by traversing the trails of Patapsco State Park on horseback! Tie up your horse at the hitching posts at Woodstock Inn and enjoy lunch on us! (Your choice of soup or salad, sandwich & fountain soda.) Jump back on your horse for a ride back to Misty Manor Riding Stable to conclude a truly memorable day. The Wild West Horseback Riding Adventure will take about 3 1/2 – 4 hours. Riding experience and equipment not required. By reservation only, 48 hour advance notice required. Package cost: $175 per person. Package charges are additional and do not include the room rate. Add 6% sales tax.


Seduction Basket-Dinner for Two

Enjoy an extraordinary culinary experience delivered in a beautiful flower-enhanced basket by Sascha’s Catering! Menu includes delicious sampling of hors devours, selection of beef or salmon Wellington or stuffed chicken breast and a delectable variety of deserts served with a bottle of red or white wine. Call for a complete menu… Dinner basket must be reserved at least 48 hours in advance: $175. Package charges are additional and do not include the room rate. Add 6% sales tax.






The Captain Stannard House in Westbrook, CT


Good Life All About Me Package

Run away for a relaxing stay in one of our tempting guest rooms. Take the train, we’ll pick you up. Enjoy a delicious candlelit 2/course breakfast in our warm & inviting Dining Room. Then, off to shop. We have coupon vouchers for two premium outlets within minutes of the Inn. On to a wine tour and tasting at Chamard Vineyards ~ be sure to sample their award-winning Chardonnay. Return in anticipation of a full hour massage in the privacy of your room. 2/nts.. an all about you blissful day. Give us a call when you’re ready. We look forward to welcoming you to our secret garden, your home away from home. Massage $100/hr in addition to your room.

All Inclusive Wedding Package

Congratulations! Come to us. The Captain Stannard House is a romantic, historic Inn in quaint Westbrook on the CT shoreline ~ one block from the beach. We will provide a stress-free special day that you will never forget. The Inn will be yours ~ lodging (all nine guest rooms) ~ our beautiful Great Room & Captain’s Room ~ our 80′x16′ South Porch ~ and so much more… please visit our website: for complete details for our 2/hour all inclusive wedding package. Please call the Inn at 860.399.4634 for your personal tour & consultation or for more information.






The Mast Farm Inn in Valle Crucis, NC


Flannel Nightshirts Reunion

Is any clothing more cozy than a flannel nightshirt from days of old? Is any lodging more cozy than a log cabin tucked in a pine forest with a real fireplace and a real kitchen? Is anything more fun than a girls reunion? When you bring those three things together you have a post-college sorority type “girls night in” reunion party sure to provide relaxation and plenty of hoots and hollers. We provide the embroidered flannel nightshirts to commemorate the party, fluffy slippers, Raspberry Hill, dining room, 4 beds, 2 bedrooms, a loft and a couch, 2 bathrooms, some oldies but goodies, yes even 3 pizzas and a case of beer or 6 bottles of North Carolina wine, a mountain farmer storyteller to scare the bejesus out of you, a bluegrass group the next night to square things off, and then we toss in a Farm-Opoly game the third night the winner of the farm gets to take home, and Mast Farm Inn Coffee Mugs stuffed with kisses for the other winners from the weekend. This three day “girls night out” extravaganza for 4-7 ladies (depending exclusively on your capability to rough it for 7, or not at all, for 4), does not include breakfast at the inn (the cabin has a full kitchen and dining room), is available for booking for any three consecutive days and nights, in or out of season, excluding holidays, where check-in is on a Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday after 2:00PM. You can offer your friends this reunion package and seem uppity or go Dutch treat. Sometimes uppity works. Especially if you want the master bedroom and bath rather than having to pull straws. He, he, he… This offer can only be purchased here at this all inclusive, taxes and gratuities included, special package price. Round up the ladies for a memorable once in a lifetime, and well-deserved few days of high-jinx. A $2470 Value for $1970.

Memorial Day Specials

May 13th, 2010 by Mariah

Memorial Day Weekend Specials

Summer spells B-B-Q! Ok, so it really doesn’t, but who doesn’t love a good cookout! Our Inns love treating their guests like family. See what fun Summer Specials are available now!


Foley House Inn in Savannah, GA

Paula Deen’s Food Extravaganza

This includes lunch at Paula Deen’s brother’s restaurant, Uncle Bubba’s, a copy of Paula Deen’s cookbook, two tickets to Savannah Walks Ghost Tour, two tickets to Owens Thomas House Museum/Telfair Museum/Jepson Art Center, and a $50 Lady & Sons Gift Certificate. Package is $240 Plus Lodging.


Lost Creek in Chandler, OK

Dinner & Entertainment with Cabin for Weekday

This summer if you are thinking Entertainment on Dinner…..Lost Creek is bringing in Live Entertainment and having chuck wagon (Cookout) dinners for folks looking for something fun during the Week. Stay a night in a Country Cabin right here at Lost Creek.


Gracehill in Townsend, TN


Packed in coolers, backpacks, or packages to go if eating on the road home, $20 each or $30 for two. In most cases we need to know ahead of time so we can have your choices like fruit and lunch meat, (turkey, beef, or ham) bought fresh. We always have a choice of several different kinds of cheeses on hand.