What do innkeepers look for in a vacation? I can tell you that contrary to popular belief, we aren’t as picky as you might think we are. We don’t get away often so we are just glad to get away. But we do have a few items we are picky about. In no particular order, here are my top 5 most important criteria for a great vacation.
1) Good food. As a chef and foodie, I search out restaurants before anything else. I don’t necessarily need to dine at a 3 star restaurant for each meal, but the food should at least be well prepared and even more importantly the service should be impeccable. I can accept ok food with great service, but I don’t care how great your food is, if your service stinks, I’m not returning. An addendum to this is that the food doesn’t have to be fussy or over the top. I often have people tell me they are afraid to invite me to dinner because they don’t know what to cook for me. I tell them that I’m the easiest person to please when it comes to entertaining. I’m just happy to be invited and to spend an evening in the company of friends and loved ones. You could serve me a great burger with sides and I’d be happy as a clam because I didn’t make it and I don’t have to clean it up.
2) Accommodations should be CLEAN. I’m a neat freak. I know what my standards are for my property so that’s how I judge other properties. The accommodations don’t have to be fancy or decked out with luxury items. It can be a simple, but comfortable bed, with decent linens that aren’t threadbare. But it has to be clean. My biggest pet peeve in the clean department??? Hair. I can’t stand little hairs in the bathroom or anywhere else.
3) Friendly staff. I know we all have bad days and sometimes it’s difficult to deal with people when you just aren’t feeling well or are dealing with something challenging, but customers are paying the same whether you are feeling well or not so you have to somehow put on a happy face and present the same quality service to everyone, every time.
4) Somewhere to either walk, bike or do some kind of physical activity. It doesn’t have to be a blatantly out doorsy location, but I do like to get some physical activity in while I’m away. It helps to offset all the food I eat.
5) A movie theater. One of our favorite things to do on vacation is to catch up on movies. We often will do a double or triple feature on one of our vacation days.
Bonus Items: For Jeff it would be a golf course which is his favorite hobby and for me a day spa where I can get a massage and maybe a facial. It’s the only time I pamper myself so it’s nice on occasion to be able to go to a spa.
For us location is irrelevant. We can have fun anywhere we go as long as we are together. Vacation in our eyes is about sleeping in, eating, relaxing and reading books. It is about sharing time together and having a chance to decompress. It’s getting away from our normal routine and not having to worry about anything. And it is about having the chance to have great conversation and discussion that doesn’t revolve around work. When you live together and work together 24/7, it’s really difficult to let go of the daily grind and most conversations tend to revolve around what needs to be done, who is coming, what they need and what I am cooking. Removing ourselves from the inn is really the only time we can let go of all of that and reconnect as a couple and that is the greatest value of all in getting away.