Author Archive for Judy Hotchkiss

How to Get the Most Out of Your B&B Stay

Rocking chairs on front porch with brick arches

Rocking chairs on the front porch, just outside Room 1’s door.

Much of the charm–and the allure–of a stay at a bed and breakfast has to do with the “things” hotels and motels don’t have.  Rockers. Porch swings. Views. Special treats.  Interaction with hosts and guests.  It saddens me when couples miss out, simply because they arrive late or sleep through breakfast or are not comfortable letting the innkeepers “tell them things.

A couple this week arrived about 10 pm after a long, active day. They were tired and the day was almost over so they received the abbreviated “tour” so they could enjoy the rest of their evening.  We were sure we could fill them in at breakfast.

Alas, in the morning– Read More→

How we welcome business travelers

Craftsman style furniture in inn's living room, dining room

Parlor and dining room

A guest can be interesting, self sufficient, well-traveled–Often they are a business traveler. He or she could be YOUR guest.  They are often mine.

An inn’s location drives its potential for hosting business travelers.  At our first inn–near downtown Atlanta–we could stand in the street and see the state capitol. The nearby subway traveled under three miles to the World Congress Center (conventions) and CNN Center. Read More→

How the Best Fans Had the Most Fun

Last Saturday, Amy and Rob got married in Seattle. By Tuesday they were on a cross-country flight to Charlotte and Bristol, TN and a honeymoon at Prospect Hill B&NASCAR checkered flagB Inn.

Amy and Rob are NASCAR fans. In fact, they adore “their man” Dale Earnhardt Jr.  By the time they arrived at Prospect Hill B&B Inn in Mountain City, TN, they had visited the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte and stayed late visiting the home locations of several racing teams. They even blew off a free night in a relative’s mountain cabin so they could stay in a motel closer to the NASCAR sites.

By Thursday they were arrived at my inn where their family bought them a honeymoon stay in our Mountain Sunrise/ Romance Room  while they attended the March Bristol Motor Speedway Food City 500.

Every day they were out the door first (7 a.m.) Read More→

Aspiring: So You Want to be an Innkeeper

Innkeeping is an interesting lifestyle, like almost nothing else you can experience on the job.

Bits remain on wallpaper removal project

Wallpaper removal – Room 3 bath

Just today I was commenting that no matter how much “the business” changes (advent of internet, wireless, steam showers and memory foam beds) the more it stays the same.  Hospitality is still hospitality after all. And the essentials are still (1) the property (2) the hosts (3) the guests (4) the stay.

If you think you’d like to be on the other side of the orange juice pitcher, read on. Read More→

What Brides Don’t Know

I was talking to a friend who has organized and “put on” about as many smaller weddings as I have. The topic was “Brides Don’t Know What They Don’t Know.”wedding ceremonies
So, what do wedding  planners know that brides do not? Let me mention just a few my friend and I put at the top of our list:

Time management Part I

The fact is, a large party couple with a large and important event (a wedding ceremony) requires more structure and understanding of how things work and how people behave than most brides–and most people–understand. We were horrified to hear of a wedding where the bride said “show up when you can get here. We’ll start when all are here.”  They waited unnecessarily for the catering to arrive and layout the food because they were also unable to tell the caterer exactly when to serve dinner. This one was NOT a potluck in a tent in the woods; it was at a fine, upscale property where things should have run elegantly and seamlessly so everyone  was relaxed and enjoying themselves, not wondering when/if dinner would arrive.  The bride may have felt that no time was “relaxing” when, in fact, no schedule is VERY stressful.

Time management Part II

I can do all these things, I can make all these DIY projects. I can do most of it the Friday before the wedding OR I can count on my friends and family to help get it all done.  Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. The week of the wedding is no time to… Read More→