Posts Tagged ‘Bed and Breakfasts’
Recently we had some wonderful guests from Texas that stayed with us right after they attended a B&B Conference in Kennebunk Maine. They attended a conference with The B&B Team. The B&B Team is a diverse group of professionals in the Bed and Breakfast Industry that promote, teach and sell B&B’s. When you meet anyone on the team, you know that they all have a special connection to Bed and Breakfasts and love what they do. For me, as an innkeeper, it is fun to see the B&B Team promote the industry and teach the basics in Bed and Breakfast hospitality. The Bed and Breakfast industry is definitely in a league all its own. Because this niche in the lodging market is primarily small business owners, there are unique facets to the B&B business that a potential innkeeper should consider before entering the market. The B&B Conferences are set up to help you learn what you will need to know if you plan to embark on a B&B venture. I never went to a B&B Conference before I bought our Inn, but I have gone to a few instructional talks with The B&B Team. I enjoyed a lecture about marketing at a Maine Innkeepers Conference a few years ago and before that a talk on managing reviews. As an Innkeeper, there are always trends and issues you should stay on top of. I like to consider the B&B Team lectures and newsletters as my Innkeeper continuing education.
The couple that stayed with us was very polite and enjoyed furthering their experience at the conference with a stay at our Bed and Breakfast. They were curious about our breakfast menu and our rooms. The questions they asked were interesting. I could tell they had been thinking about the information they learned over the weekend at the B&B Conference. Questions about seasonal income and packaging, when can we get a day off and how we got into this business were fun for me to discuss over a hot cup of coffee this morning. It is rare that I take a minute and try to explain all that I do on a day-to-day basis. This couple was anxious to learn and I had fun summarizing my thoughts in clear easy words in order to teach. I think I conveyed to them that I love what I do. I say that because after our conversation, I myself, felt happy and motivated to stay in the business and enjoy it. When you do things day-to-day and do not analyze it, you can not appreciate the fine points of the job. It was nice to reflect on my eight years of Innkeeping and share with a potential new Innkeeper.
I am thankful that those guests came after their conference.
There are no franchise hotels in Camden Maine. There was one lodging franchise over 10 years ago, but franchises just can’t last in Camden. Those that live and travel to Camden want an experience that is not cookie cutter. An experience of being near the ocean and feeling the history of the town. Many beautiful historic homes in this small coastal village offer the Bed and Breakfast experience.
Bed and Breakfasts started popping up in the 1920’s during the Depression Era. Many unemployed workers had to travel around the country to try to find work. People started opening up their homes to these weary travelers, creating a new revenue stream to those that managed to keep their homes. Over the years the Bed and Breakfast business became more defined and regulated. The local governments required lodging to be licensed by the health department and meet standards of safety for the visitors. Although regulations were placed on the small business owners, hospitality endured and Bed and Breakfasts are the friendliest genre of lodging establishments there are.
Camden Windward House is a Greek Revival home that has been in the hospitality business for over 28 years. Windward is originally the home of a sea-captain from Isleboro. The house fortunately or unfortunately is not in the style of the grand sea-captain houses because when Elijah Glover, the sea-captain, came to Camden in the 1850’s he was retired and working on a career as a ship builder and lumberman. His wife had passed away and he lived in the house with his daughter. Since Windward House is older than the houses across the street, it is obvious why Glover chose the location of Windward House on High Street. This historic home was and is near the downtown and the ocean, except in the 1850’s there was a view of the ocean from the front porch. This Bed and Breakfast’s lot is long and was once ideal for a farming lifestyle (still is and we are trying little by little to grow our vegetables on it – but we are city folk, may take us longer to learn). Windward House has a long lodging history. Before Windward House was a Bed and Breakfast, it was a rooming house for lobster men and artists.
Properties like Windward House make ideal Bed and Breakfasts. Those that purchase historic properties with the intention of sharing it with travelers, know the importance of a great, comfortable bed and warm, filling breakfasts. Most people who travel to the Mid Coast of Maine are weary from a long drive up the coast and are instantly de-stressed when they walk into the welcoming foyer of Windward. The smell of cookies and tea eases everyone. Bed and Breakfasts are the way to go in Maine. Learn about the history, see the unique architecture and enjoy the warm hospitality of a charming New England Home.