Saturday, September 18, 2004

Your Innkeeper smiling for his favorite yearly photo... Posted by Hello

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Getting Out of Dodge

One of the most important things innkeepers can do for themselves--and for their guests--is to get out of town. That's right, put all those room keys down, unplug the vacuum, back away from the telephone and move slowly out the door. Besides being refreshing and relaxing, getting out on the road offers innkeepers many forgotten benefits, like hideous rest area bathrooms, strange sounds from your car at 70 miles per hour, and traffic.
It is important for innkeepers to get out. I had a chance to leave town recently, and hardly a minute passed without relating something back to my innkeeping experience. First and foremost, traveling is fatiguing. Spending long hours in the car, with children and spouse, is taxing. I got to experience that again for the first time in a long time, and what I discovered was that I was very appreciative for the little amenities I encountered.
Rest areas are a necessity when traveling with kids, and a clean rest area with a friendly attendant can make the journey much more pleasant. Having a clean place to splash water on your face can add miles to your road hours. Other little things I found myself enjoying were good road signage, people who didn't use cell phones while they drove, and having someone at the end of your journey who was genuinely glad to see you when you arrived.
Greeting tired travelers when they arrive at the inn is a simple thing that we understood quickly. As travelers ourselves, we realized that what people want when they arrive isn't an overwhelming menu of distractions. They want someone who is happy to see them, someone who will fuss over them a little and take care of them. They want a clean room with a place to wash up. They want to feel like home.
Being out on the road again was like having a refresher course in innkeeping. Not that we had lost our touch here at the Auberge; quite the contrary, what I discovered was that we were right on the mark with what we offered folks. So make sure your innkeeper gets out of Dodge once in a while. It'll make your stay all the better.