A couple of weeks ago we were watching comedian Bill Engvall do stand-up and he came to a section where he was ranting about his awful experience at a bed and breakfast. While obviously he was going for a laugh, he proceeded to outline a list of stereotypes about bed and breakfasts that we as innkeepers fight to debunk constantly. As a result, I felt compelled to write a letter to him. Here it is. Enjoy.
Dear Mr. Bill Engvall.
My husband and I are big fans. We happened to catch one of your stand-up routines recently where you were describing your terrible experience at a bed and breakfast your wife dragged you to. As innkeepers, we felt the need to share a few things with you about bnb’s that you may have not realized. Gone are the days of the home stays where you are surrounded by lace and “antiques” that are more what I’d call old stuff rather than something expensive and historical. Here to stay are properties that want to compete with the top luxury hotels in the world, pampering you in every possible way they can think of. High tech amenities like wi-fi, satellite tv, vast movie libraries and innkeepers who Tweet, Post on Facebook, Pin and make cool videos on Youtube are the new norm. But let me be more specific and address some of your unique qualms.
First, shared bathrooms. While shared bathrooms were common in bnb’s when they first hit the scene, most American bnb’s know that people do not enjoy sharing and most have en suite private baths. Not only that, many offer upgrades like Jacuzzi tubs, heated floors/towel racks, signature spa quality toiletries, fluffy robes, soft water and super fluffy towels. That way you don’t have to worry about who is going to “smell” after you and you won’t have to worry about running into anyone in the hall in the middle of the night in your skivvies.
Second, hard mattresses and uncomfortable bedding. I can assure you that the bedding/mattress industry for bnb’s is big business. Not a conference goes by where numerous vendors don’t appear with the highest quality sheets and newest upgrades in pillows and mattresses. In fact, most bnb’s have upgraded pillow top mattresses that would rival any high end hotel. Sheets are so satiny it is like sleeping on an Indian sari and pillows have been designed to be snore resistant, sweat resistant, crick in the neck resistant, stain resistant, bug resistant and practically perfect in every way like Mary Poppins.
Third, frou frou breakfasts that you have to eat with a bunch of other people you don’t know. Now, as a bnb that specializes in gourmet food, I’m not going to feed you foams on a cloud of egg dust with essence of bacon. I’m going to feed you a hearty yet elegant breakfast that you will feel satiated by and will fuel you for a day of whatever it is you might want to do. And while you can opt to enjoy a meal with others at the bnb, if you make it known you are interested in dining privately, most inns will make it happen. We don’t require you to become best friends with the couple in the room next door as part of the inn’s rules.
Finally, area attractions that are less than attractive. Believe it or not, if you inquire about activities with the innkeepers of any bnb, they will give you a long list of many different kinds of activities geared toward almost any taste. Mancations are big business and if you are looking for fishing, beer, golf or something that doesn’t involve antiques and girly shopping, it’s out there no problem. You just have to ask.
So my point is give bnb’s a chance. I know that in the past things were a little different. But to quote the Professional Association of Innkeepers International bnb’s are the “Better Way to Stay.” Each is unique. Exploring them is exciting and an opportunity to experience intimately the best there is to see of any given area. So please Mr. Engvall, please come stay with us. Let us pamper you and change your mind for good about how great bnb’s can really be. And maybe if we succeed we could score a couple of tix to your next show? Wink wink.
Monika and Jeff Sudakov, Innkeepers
Chestnut Street Inn
Courtesy of the Bureau County Republican