Monday, May 21, 2012

Innkeeping At Its Best ...

A lot of Americans miss out on great bed & breakfast experiences because they do not understand the difference between staying at a B&B and spending the night in a hotel or motel. At a hotel, you get accommodation. At a B&B, the innkeeper invites you into his/her home and provides much more than accommodation: you get conversation and a sharing of values and ideas over breakfast as well. I find that when guests understand the full concept, everyone has a more satisfying experience. These thoughts came to mind yesterday as I was saying goodbye to Clara and Michael.

They had stayed with us four nights, the perfect amount for “doing” the Outer Cape. They biked and hiked, walking all the way out to the lighthouse in Provincetown. How cute they were with their backpacks! The couple enjoyed two meals at Mac’s Shack. Michael had done excellent research prior to arrival, so I merely filled in the gaps with my local knowledge, creating an optimal experience.

Over breakfast, we chatted about this and that. Every morning, Clara exclaimed about how much she appreciated the organic fruit, yogurt, and granola. I got to make a green smoothie for her. Michael tasted and pronounced it, "not bad."

Clara and I also shared our concerns about pollution. In fact, she told me her parents, originally from Colombia, were both professional agronomists, and had advocated for organic produce and pesticide-free farming techniques for years.

Michael does PR in New York City and was obviously very good at his job. I asked if he could work from a place like Wellfleet, and we concluded no, that being close to Manhattan allowed him to attend certain impromptu meetings that he might miss were he to choose a more rural lifestyle.

When Clara and Michael left, Clara said she preferred staying at green B&Bs, that it’s important to think how one spends one’s dollars on vacation and supporting green businesses makes her feel happier. I will miss this couple. Guests do not usually affect me this way, but we experienced a real connection, innkeeping at its best!