Well, we had a great response to our online poll. 89% of those who voted confirmed that they do indeed offer their guests extras to increase value for money (you can read Part 1 of this article here). There have also been some fascinating feedback on the topic from B&B owners (mainly viaLinkedIn), as well as lots of useful tips. Thanks to everyone who commented. Here’s a selection:
“Yes, we totally agree with you about offering added value. We wonder though, is it better to keep the basic price as low as possible and charge for the add-ons or to include the extras in a higher price? Does charging for the extras irritate guests? For example, we allow guests to fish on our private stretch of river for free, but those who don’t fish don’t get the benefit.”
Bernadette O’Donnell (Owner at Kilmaneen Farmhouse B&B)
“I have noticed people will ask for a certain amenity but then not take advantage of it. The B&B down the block form me was constantly asked if they had a hot tub. They finally installed one and they are the only ones who use it. People still ask if they have one but they do not take advantage of it – they are too busy […] I get asked about televisions but in 11 years I don’t think more than a handful of people have taken the time to watch it.”
Sunny Matthews (Owner at Sunny’s Roost B&B)
“I’m always thinking of new ways to bring extra value to my guests. A carafe of filtered water with lemon oil to help boost their immune system, because when we travel our sleep patterns are not the same and it is during our sleep that our immune system get replenished. I offer free laundry, ironing and polishing of shoes because most people today never get to experience this type of service. I iron the sheets – by hand – on an ironing board.”
Suella Hanlon (Owner at The Hanlon House B&B)
“Re ironing sheets and other special “innhancements” for your guests: just because they don’t mention every little detail doesn’t mean they don’t notice and appreciate.
There is an inn-mate I know who said re guest robes, “Guests have never complained that we don’t offer them…” and he assumed that meant they would not use them or inn-joy them. Of course that is incorrect. “Absence of proof is not proof of absence.”
Little touches may be the reason a guest chooses a B&B/Inn over a hotel. Good coffee vs service station coffee? A welcoming greeting vs being ignored at a front desk? The little red potted geranium on the porch? If this is your business, these are the things that count! They all make up a very special place to stay. With you.”
Shellie Leet (Owner at The Claiborne House B&B)
“The added value I offer is this: in addition to the flower in a bud vase and basket with apples and bananas in each room, I fresh roast the coffee each night (allowing the guest to choose the country it is from, with several coffee pots so each room can choose). I also allow my guests to choose what time they want breakfast as long as it is between the hours of 4.00 am and 10.00am. Being small, I can do this. And with my horse-riding guests, I provide escort from the Interstate to the stable and then back to my inn.”
Kathleen Panek (Owner at Gillum House B&B)
“We offer a Kurig coffee maker with all the flavored coffees, teas and cocoas, which really makes a difference. The coffee is a little pricey after the initial machine buy, but well worth it in the end. People like their usual cup and then they try something new. Also we have put a continual hot water spout at the kitchen sink which has 190 degree water coming from it on demand, for individual tea pots which we keep sitting around with cups and bags for random use though out the day.”
Holly Cantrell (Owner at Crown B&B)
Do you have any extra thoughts on this? Add a comment at the foot of the page. We’d love to hear from you.