2008. Each guest has their own unique story and that, in part, is why we got into this business.
That said, there is one category of guest that we take more seriously than any others. They are
the "first-timers"; the B&B rookies; the ones reluctant to help themselves to coffee. If we screw
up their stay, they may never return to us or any other B&B, for that matter.
Most seasoned B&B travelers remember their first B&B experience. Clearly, it must have been
mostly positive or they wouldn’t be “seasoned” now. For instance, my first B&B experience was
in Inverness, Scotland in 1976. I was a 17 year-old high school kid off exploring the world with
two other friends. I don’t recall a whole lot about the house but I remember our hostess was a
sweet, caring lady that could have been my grandmother based on how she took care of us. I
distinctly remember the huge, home-cooked breakfast she prepared. Thinking back, I am certain,
the B&B business was probably necessary for her to supplement whatever retirement or pension
income she had, if any. That of course is how the industry began before being exported to
About twenty years later, our first B&B experience as a couple was in Culpepper, VA along with
our daughter who was about 11 or 12 years old at the time. We stayed there over the 4 th of July
holiday and I remember the owner directing us to one of the most extensive fireworks displays I
had seen. I also remember the old, antebellum-era house that we stayed in. Both Inverness and
Culpepper were memorable, enjoyable experiences.
So our message to our guests and “first-timers”, in particular, is remember, we realize you are not just interested in the bed or even the breakfast. If you have decided to spend a night in our B&B rather than an unaccompanied local lodging facility, you want a unique experience. It is our goal to make that experience as enjoyable as possible. So, when we (or any inn-keeper) ask if you have any food allergies, or are you cold, or where are you having dinner; we’re not prying, we want your experience to be completely enjoyable and memorable (for the right reasons).
Also remember, it was us that decided to get into this goofy business. We are blessed with a
beautiful home, in a remarkable community, and have been given the opportunity to share it with
our guests. So, take advantage! Use the common space, ask questions, get food referrals! All of
that will help you enjoy your stay with us and, hopefully, bring you back to us and the thousands
of other B&B’s across the country.
One last thought: If you are a B&B first-timer, we know you’re anxious as you reach for
the doorbell. We know you’re thinking, “Why did we do this?” and “I wonder what the owners
are like?” How do we know? First, we were in your shoes once. Second, we are on the other side
of the door thinking, “Why did we do this?” and “I wonder what these guests are like?”