One of the charms that draws guests to a Bed and Breakfast as opposed to a chain hotel or flashy resort is the individuality, the site’s uniqueness. More often than not, what they’re recognizing and favoring is a direct reflection of the owner’s personality, which makes staying at a boutique B&B much more like visiting friends than just renting a bed for the night.
This same quality is what often draws people to the idea of buying or building a B&B in the first place: the opportunity to create a destination that’s a reflection of who you are and sharing that with guests on a daily basis.
But, if that’s your dream, how do you actually accomplish it? How do you turn four walls and a plot of land into a truly unique and captivating hospitality experience?
Focus on design and atmosphere
Chain hotels like your basic Best Western or Holiday Inn are there for one purpose and one purpose only: to provide a convenient, fairly inexpensive place for travelers to rest in between days of doing what they actually came to the area to do. No one travels to a particular Best Western in order to spend a week enjoying the accommodations.
On the other hand, a Bed and Breakfast is often a destination in and of itself. Sure, there needs to be other attractions in the area – like beautiful scenery, an active nightlife, or great shopping – but guests who seek out a B&B for their stay are more than likely going to want to spend at least part of their vacation just relaxing at the house.
To make their stay as comfortable and memorable as possible, start planning your B&B with the guests’ comfort and enjoyment in mind. The home décor, the landscaping around the house, the quality and prevalence of furnishings, and everything else that has an impact on the coziness of the place must all work together to make each guest feel welcome and relaxed.
Create it to reflect your personality, don’t try to change to fit the B&B
One guaranteed recipe for disaster is for a confirmed urbanite to open a B&B in the country hills simply because she thinks that’s what her guests will want.
If you’re not happy where you are, you’re not going to be able to put up a good show for guests for long. Your attitude and behavior are contagious, whether it’s positive or negative. So make sure you don’t put yourself in a position of needing to pretend you like the place yourself just to try and get your guests to like it.
Instead, choose a location, a theme, a design, and every other aspect of the building and arrangements to appeal to yourself and your family (if applicable) first. Then, seek out those guests who agree with your aesthetics and opinions on entertainment. That’s a much more reasonable foundation for success.
Don’t be afraid to be weird
While sleeping in teepees or treehouses may seem odd to some people, it works for others. And there’s no denying it makes for a memorable experience.
So, don’t be afraid to make your B&B a little quirky or strange in a quest to make your guests’ experience something they’ll never forget. Obviously, there’s a professional line you can’t cross; we’re not talking about getting creepy here. But being offbeat and seeking out those guests with similar ideas of what’s normal is a sure way to boost your boutique B&B’s popularity.
In all these cases, the bottom line lesson is the same: to put the boutique into your B&B, express your own personality and make that a differentiator from every other motel, hotel, or B&B out there.
Considering buying a B&B and making it your own? You can take a look at our US listings here - and don't forget to share if you've found this useful!