Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Ideal Type of Guest

Lots of whales visiting Cape Cod waters this month. When I was downtown yesterday, I ran into Mac Hay, outside Mac's Shack, and we exchanged a few words about Summer, 2009: lousy weather, great whale-watching, decent numbers of tourists still choosing Wellfleet despite the recession. I found myself telling him that most of our guests have been a delight, except for the few who would do better at a hotel. He nodded, recognizing the type of tourist. On the way home, I thought about how much I have enjoyed so many of our guests. We had a charming couple from Scotland a couple weeks ago, folks who declared they had "barely scratched the surface" of all the things there are to do here, after a full week's stay. They sent these two photos with the recommendation, "Please feel free to use them on your blog as I think when people see how beautiful Cape Cod is they will definitely want to come. One is of the 'Moon Rise at Cahoon Hollow' and the other is 'Whale Watching off Provincetown'." Such people make the ideal type of guest. They understand that Sven and I are inviting them into our home, as if they were, in fact, family friends, and will treat them as such on condition that they behave with due respect. We may be innkeepers but we are not housemaids. Once guests have taken possession of their rooms, we do not enter, which is exactly how we receive personal friends. If B&B guests stay more than three nights, we will change sheets upon request, as it says on the Web site. Often cottage guests prefer to do the change themselves. Some green guests do not want sheets changed at all, nor towels, and look askance at the whole idea. Everyone is different. Guests from abroad, especially from the UK, have more experience with bed & breakfast stays and get our concept right away. Mac reminded me that unfortunately we cannot satisfy everyone. So true!