Archive for the ‘BC Bed & Breakfast’ Category

Bed & Breakfasts Are Not The Same As Airbnb

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

What is a Bed & Breakfast and what is an Airbnb?  Many people are confused and think that an Airbnb is the same as a Bed & Breakfast.  Recently while planning to attend a concert, my travel companion was talking about staying at a B&B, but what she was actually talking about was an Airbnb, not a true Bed & Breakfast.

A beautiful guest room at Okanagan Oasis Bed & Breakfast

Airbnb is of course only one type of Short Term Rental (STR) accommodation, there are other companies offering the same, but Airbnb has that name recognition pretty much around the world.  Airbnb accommodations have exploded in the last several years and are changing the accommodation landscape dramatically, especially in urban centers.  In fact, the growth in Airbnb properties and other STRs are causing so many issues related to rental availability in communities and competition for hotels, motels, lodges and Bed & Breakfasts, that communities are starting to having to deal with this and are creating bylaws and regulations.  In British Columbia this is only happening at local levels, as provincially the government has not dealt with this issue.

The BC B&B Innkeepers Guild is an association of true Bed & Breakfasts.  Members must meet certain criteria to be able to join, including a business license, insurance showing the operation of a B&B and a recommended 2 million liability coverage, a Foodsafe certificate, and safety features such as smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, emergency exit plans, first aid kits, fire inspections in some cases, sufficient lights for night time safety, etc.  Our members offer a high standard of service, safety, comfort and especially hospitality, as well as breakfast included in the rate.  In the Bed & Breakfast world “Airbnb” stands for “bed no breakfast”.

A Delicious Breakfast at Abbeymoore Manor Bed & Breakfast – always included

At the recent public hearings in Vancouver our President Sue Willis and Board member Clair Oates were both on the speakers list to address STRs from the perspective of true Bed & Breakfasts.  Of the 134 speakers over the 2-day public hearings many speakers were from Airbnb properties, speaking about the costs of living in Vancouver and how they could not afford to live there if they did not have the opportunity to rent out accommodation in their home.  What is happening though in many communities is that many owners are renting out suites or apartments in rental buildings without living on the premises, or having landlord/strata approval for such.  Many rental buildings have multiple Airbnb units which in some cases are causing all sorts of problems for the permanent residents in those buildings.  In some cases, whole apartment buildings are being rented as Airbnb units.  In resort communities, so many units are rented as STRs, that resort companies are having great difficulties in finding staff for the season, because there is no staff accommodation available.

Relax at Quarrystone Bed & Breakfast on Salt Spring Island

Both our President and Board member who spoke at the Vancouver public hearing emphasized the need for regulations to govern short term rental accommodations, regulations that would level the playing field for previously existing accommodations such as Bed & Breakfasts and hotels.  Short term rentals should be licensed, should be paying taxes, and should have proper insurance.  Our B&B innkeepers take great pride in meeting our industry standards but that all comes at a cost of course, a cost that Airbnb type rentals do not have.  These STRs should be licensed so that they are visible and can be regulated and taxed.  They are benefiting from the visitors to our communities, so they should contribute to the funding that markets our communities and brings those visitors, and not have a free ride.  Our members are almost all feeling the impact of Airbnbs in their neighborhoods and the reputation of the true Bed & Breakfast is also being impacted by these short term rentals.  Airbnb is not a Bed & Breakfast and they should not be allowed to advertise as such unless they actually offer an included breakfast and the owner lives on the premises, offering personalized hospitality.

BC Innkeepers will continue to speak on behalf of all true Bed & Breakfasts in BC to preserve and protect this unique type of guest accommodation, by working with the Tourism Industry Association of BC, the Fairbnb Coalition and others .  So no, Bed & Breakfasts are not the same as Airbnb.

A Day In The Life Of A B&B Innkeeper

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

innkeeper Sue at A View to Remember B&B preparing breakfast

6:00 am

The alarm clock goes off for the innkeeper at our Bed & Breakfast.  Guests are having breakfast at 8 o’clock so time to get up, get dressed, put your face on and head to the kitchen.  Fabulous breakfasts are always included at a real B&B.  While we do as much preparation as possible the night before, this morning’s menu is a green fruit salad of honeydew, kiwi and green grapes, and our frittata with turkey, so there’s fruit to be sliced, ground turkey to cook and mix with the eggs, cheese and previously prepared vegetable mix.  Squeeze in some time for your own breakfast and a first look at your e-mail.  Coffee and tea needs to be ready to go for 8 o’clock, followed by a trip to the garden to gather some garnish and flowers to decorate the fruit serving and main course, for that finishing touch that brings that “wow” moment when you bring it out.

8:00 am

breakfast garnish

The guests are arriving for breakfast, all at the same time, although that can vary as we serve breakfast anytime between 7 and 9 am.  So we make one large frittata for them to share, instead of individual ones if people come for breakfast at different times.  Coffee and tea are poured, fruit is served following by a choice of four juices.  When we serve the main course we also put out the basket with croissants we baked the night before.  As an innkeeper you hope to hear lots of conversation and laughter around the dining table while you’re in the kitchen preparing the meal and cleaning up after.  Often you join in the conversation or provide suggestions for the day.  We are ambassadors for our communities and our regions, and we want our guests to have a wonderful stay in our area.

10:15 am

Cleaned off the table and loaded the dishwasher, probably for the first of two loads.  Hopefully there’s time for a short coffee break before the real work starts.  If guests are staying over, you’ll have a relatively easy day of cleaning rooms, but if guests are checking out obviously there are beds to be changed and a complete cleaning of the room to be done.  The start time will depend on when they leave and you can get into the rooms.  Laundry is involved too, and later ironing!  Don’t forget to check your e-mail in between and maybe there are phone calls to answer or sometimes people show up at your door asking about your B&B, or even directions to somewhere in the neighborhood!  It’s all part of the job!

2:00 pm

Breakfast frittata at Cobble House B&B

If there’s time for lunch, you’re having a good day, as with 3 rooms at our B&B, and primarily a one-person operation, and that person not being a fast cleaner, a large part of your day is dealing with the cleaning of rooms and kitchen and obviously at times other parts of your home that are open to your guests.  Carry on with laundry if needed and hopefully grab a quick shower to be ready to welcome new guests starting at 3:00 pm check-in time.  You show them to their room, do a tour of all the public areas, talk about breakfast times and any food allergies they may have, give them a key and find out a little about them and what they may want to do while they’re staying with you.  Some guests have specific events they’re attending, we see lots of wedding guests as we have a popular wedding venue around the corner, others ask for lots of information.  Often European travelers don’t realize our distances in Canada are so much longer than what they are used to in Europe and maybe plan to see and do more than they can realistically do in the few days they are staying with you.

6:00 pm

B&B guests relaxing on the deck

Hopefully new guests have checked in by now, although sometimes they arrive much later.  As long as you’ve had some communications with them so that you know they’ll be late it’s ok, and you don’t have to worry that something has happened to them or they’re not going to show up.  You’ve cleaned up all your dishes from breakfast and have done the first of your prep for the next morning.  It’s your dinner time, and someone arrives just as you sit down for it!   That too is all part of the business.  Time for more kitchen clean-up after dinner, more prep for the next morning’s breakfast, set the table.  Now it’s time for ironing of napkins, pillow cases and top sheets.  In between you may be chatting with your guests, booking a whale watching trip for them or checking if the restaurant down the road has a table for them.

10:00 pm

If things went well, you’ve done most of your work for today, other than dealing with the guest registration system to check in your new guests and check out any guests that left that day.  Have you remembered to book off the rooms for any new reservations, entered them into your system and marked them on the calendar as well?  We have our reservations marked in three different places, just in case we forget something!  Maybe there are some thank you notes to send to guests who left a few days ago (as long as they’ve given you permission to contact them).  Then it’s finally time for a little me-time, to unwind and see what’s happened in the world outside of your B&B bubble, or read a chapter in your book, before heading off to bed at around 11:00.  Only to do it all over again the next day!

This is the life of an innkeeper, except that every day is different and a time schedule like this often doesn’t work.  During busy season, you go, go, go, all day long.  If you’re a larger property or are in an extremely busy location, you can hire help to take over some of these chores and give you more of a breather in between crazy times.  It’s a unique lifestyle; it’s rewarding, it’s exhausting, it’s exciting and it can be difficult, but it’s a choice you make if you want to be an innkeeper.  All we hope is that guests savor their stay while with us!

 

Green Tourism and B&Bs

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Recently our member A View to Remember in West Kelowna received Gold Level certification from Green Tourism Canada, showing a great commitment to not only outstanding hospitality, but also to outstanding environmental practices.  A View to Remember Bed & Breakfast was the very first B&B to receive Green Tourism Certification and they achieved a silver level previously.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast at A View to Remember in West Kelowna

What is Green Tourism certification?  Green Tourism first started in the UK in 1997 as one of the first sustainable tourism rating programs in the world, and has grown to be one of the most sought-after eco-labels and certification programs.  Applying for a Green Tourism certification shows a real commitment to best environmental practices and reducing your environmental impact, as it includes a one-on-one very detailed assessment and comes at considerable cost.  The program offers continued support and information and has certified hotels, whale watching companies, tourism attractions and others.  Members are assessed on a list of minimum standards plus management and marketing, social and communications, energy, water and effluent, sustainable purchasing, reducing waste, travel, nature and cultural heritage, innovation and tourism experiences.

Green Tourism certification logo

With Bed & Breakfasts being in the innkeepers’ homes, this adds another whole level to the process to get a green tourism rating, as the assessment also includes best practices in the home environment.

While not all BC Bed & Breakfasts have gone to the extent of getting a Green Tourism rating, many do operate with policies to reduce their carbon footprint.  Many innkeepers buy locally sourced and organic products for that delicious breakfast you enjoy in the morning.  Many use environmentally friendly cleaning products, lower energy appliances and bathroom fixtures to name a few, and extensively recycle. People who run B&Bs are ambassadors for their regions or cities and want to preserve that environment to continue to be able to share it.  If you book a B&B and the environment is of concern to you, please feel free to ask your innkeepers what they are doing to reduce their environmental footprint.

BC Innkeepers Win Awards

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

MEDIA RELEASE

BC Innkeepers is proud to announce that several of our members have recently been recognized with awards.  This is awards season after all!

Abbeymoore Manor in Victoria is once again a top B&B in Canada based on TripAdvisor Reviews.  Perennially on the list, Abbeymoore Manor received a Travellers’ Choice Award again for 2017, as they have done every year.  These awards were established in 2002 and are based on consumer reviews.  Abbeymoore Manor is listed as #9 on the list of Top 25 B&Bs and Inns in Canada.

Also receiving a TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Award for 2017 are A View of the Lake and Demonstration Kitchen in West Kelowna, and A Touch of English Bed & Breakfast in Kelowna.  These wonderful Okanagan Bed & Breakfasts are listed at #14 and #16 respectively on the list of Top 25 Canadian B&Bs and Inns.

 

Victoria’s historic Abbeymoore Manor

The fabulous view at A View of the Lake B&B in West Kelowna

One of they stylish guest rooms at Kelowna’s A Touch of English B&B

Relax at Fisher House B&B in Victoria

Meanwile, two Vancouver Island B&Bs were recognized by BedandBreakfast.com with a 2016 BedandBreakfast.com Award.

BedandBreakfast.com, based in Austin, Texas, is the most comprehensive global site for finding Bed and Breakfast properties, with more than 12,000 properties worldwide, representing nearly 80,000 rooms.  Finalists were chosen based on a qualitative and quantitative analysis of traveler reviews on BedandBreakfast.com from the past year, and winners were selected by an independent panel of guest judges.  Recognized as two of the Top 10 B&Bs in Canada were Fisher House Bed & Breakfast in Victoria, and Cobble House Bed & Breakfast in Cobble Hill.

Both A View of the Lake and Demonstration Kitchen and A Touch of English B&B have been recognized with BedandBreakfast.com awards in past years as well.

While Bed & Breakfast innkeepers are generally pretty humble and do not tend to toot their own horn, it gives us great pleasure to recognize the great hospitality

Cobble House B&B in the Cowichan wine region

that our B&B members are famous for.

About BC Innkeepers

BC Innkeepers is a province wide professional Association of B&B innkeepers formed for education, marketing and representation purposes.  Our members are independent B&B innkeepers of British Columbia, Canada who must adhere to the standards of our quality assurance program with regards to guests’ comfort and security.  Look for our members and our signs around the province.  For more information, please visit our website. To learn more, please contact Administrator Ingrid Vermegen

Celebrate the Holidays at a Bed & Breakfast

Monday, December 5th, 2016

Want to get away for the holidays?  A great choice for celebrating the festive season if you’re not spending it with family and friends is to book a stay at a BC Bed & Breakfast.

Many B&Bs are festively decorated of course, but being a Bed & Breakfast, you’ll experience not only a great place to relax and rejuvenate and be pampered, but you’ll still get that personal touch of a home-like environment.  Personalized hospitality is what Bed & Breakfasts are all about, and innkeepers know the fine line between interacting with their guests and leaving them to enjoy their privacy.

Look who wants to celebrate Christmas at this B&B!

Look who wants to celebrate Christmas at this B&B!

If you’re a skier, we know a great B&B in Pemberton that puts you right near the slopes at Whistler/Blackcombe. Our North Vancouver B&Bs are a great place to stay if you’re tackling the local ski hills at Cypress, Grouse or Seymour.  Our members in Revelstoke and Golden are situated in great ski resorts, and don’t forget the Okanagan with its great powder!

a Christmas corner at Misty Meadows Bed & Breakfast

a Christmas corner at Misty Meadows Bed & Breakfast

Want to spend time in the city instead?  There is no shortage of things to do even at Christmas time, starting with enjoying the Christmas light displays at the new maze in Vancouver (the world’s largest) and Van Dusen Botanical Garden, or the Twelve Days of Christmas at Butchart Gardens in Victoria.  Or take a day trip up Island to see the Ladysmith Festival of Lights with stops along the way. Walk the seawall in Stanley Park, along the oceanfront at Dallas Road in Victoria, or the Kelowna Boardwalk to get some exercise and fresh air in between the mulled wine and Christmas cookies!  Your B&B innkeepers will surely have some to share with you and offer some special touches when you’re staying over the holidays.

Christmas at Clair's Bed & Breakfast in Ladner

Christmas at Clair’s Bed & Breakfast in Ladner

Or maybe you’re looking for some quiet time together to cuddle up and watch a movie or grab that book you’ve been waiting to read uninterrupted.  You can do that too at a B&B as we try to  make your stay just as you would like it.  Escape from the busyness of this crazy, hectic time of year and just BE.  Find your favorite B&B for all holiday activities right here.

Of course if you are visiting family or friends, B&Bs are still a great place to stay if their house is already full.  Enjoy the days with your family and then come back to your peaceful B&B at the end of the day, and start the next morning with a delicious, relaxed, and beautifully presented breakfast.  We want you to feel special and enjoy the holiday season!  If you do, you might like to give a B&B get-away to someone special in your life for another special occasion, so they can enjoy that same great BC Bed & Breakfast experience!

We wish all our guests, past and future, a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, and a healthy and happy 2017!  We hope to see you next year!

Fall Colors in British Columbia? You Bet!

Saturday, October 8th, 2016

Yes, BC is not generally known for great fall colors like eastern parts of Canada are, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have any colors at all!  If you can’t travel to Quebec’s Eastern Townships, or Ontario’s Algonquin Provincial Park for example, check out these colorful locations in British Columbia.

If you want to see some great fall colors in BC, start in Vancouver and walk the seawall in Stanley Park; you’ll see some awesome colors all around you.  Other great fall colors around the city can be found at Vancouver’s highest point, Queen Elizabeth Park, the Laburnum Walk at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens for some rich yellows, and both the campus at the University of BC as well as the UBC Botanical Garden.  Our Vancouver area Bed & Breakfast innkeepers will have their own favorite spots for fall color viewing close to home.

Fabulous Fall!

Fabulous Fall!

Fall color in BC's Kootenay region

Fall color in BC’s Kootenay region

A day trip away from Vancouver takes you through Whistler to Pemberton.  The Pemberton valley offers some wonderful views of the surrounding mountains, rivers and the valley, with the gorgeous yellow colors of maples, aspen, cottonwood and birch mixed in with the evergreens.  Just ask Pemberton innkeeper Margit at the Greenwood Country Inn! Continue to BC’s interior and take Highway 97C from Merritt to Ashcroft and stop to enjoy some great views of fall colors along the way.  If you’re taking Highway 3 in southern BC, going from Vancouver to Calgary, stop at the Cascades Lookout in Manning Park to view the beautiful larches. Fernie also offers some great colors and fabulous views of the surrounding mountains, and we’ve heard that the Kootenays around Golden and Cranbrook are pretty impressive as well.  Our innkeepers in Golden can direct you to the best spots in the area!

Victoria on Vancouver Island has some lovely parks where you just know there’ll be some great fall colors to enjoy as well.  And maybe surprisingly, Tofino on Vancouver Island’s we(s)t coast, more known for its rainforest, also showcases some pretty spectacular colors in the fall.  Make it a trip to include Ucluelet and the fabulous Wild Pacific Trail and stay at one of our great Ucluelet B&Bs.

Can’t get away this fall?  Don’t forget to enjoy the colors you’ll find in your own neighborhood or during your daily commute.  They won’t last long and you know winter will be coming!

Red Celebrates the holidays!

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

The Red Chair spent the Christmas and New Year’s holidays in the Thompson Okanagan region 0f BC.  He shared Christmas celebrations with Sue and Dann and their family at A View to Remember in West Kelowna and then was handed over to innkeepers Tanya and Rocky at Pineacre on the Lake in Peachland to ring in the New Year.  With lots of snow on the ground in the Okanagan, Red had a wonderful White Christmas, and boy does he look good on white!

Outdoor ice hockey at Big White Ski Resort

Outdoor ice hockey at Big White Ski Resort

Red is contemplating how to get up the 60 ft. ice-climbing tower at Big White

Red is contemplating how to get up the 60 ft. ice-climbing tower at Big White

Handing over the Red Chair from West Kelowna to Peachland

Handing over the Red Chair from West Kelowna to Peachland

After the Christmas celebrations at A View to Remember B&B, Sue took Red to Big White Ski Resort for an awesome day of fresh air and Okanagan powder!  Red enjoyed a snowmobile tour and a horse drawn carriage ride, checked out the gondola and the ice climbing wall, and laced up a pair of skates to take part in that quintessential Canadian winter sport, outdoor ice hockey, his own version of the Winter Classic!  He showed a real aptitude for hockey, so maybe we’ve got another Wayne Gretzky in the making (with a little more practice)!

Red loved his week at A View to Remember and all the great things he saw in the West Kelowna area, but it was time to meet some new innkeepers at Pineacre on the Lake in Peachland.  Sue got together with Tanya for the handover.  Pineacre on the Lake B&B is located right on

Making many friends at the Peachland Polar Bear Swim on New Year's Day 2016

Making many friends at the Peachland Polar Bear Swim on New Year’s Day 2016

Lake Okanagan, and guests, including Red, staying in any of their three self-contained suites enjoy stunning views of the lake year round.  Their own private dock offers great opportunities for watersports and soaking up some of the great Okanagan sunshine. Peachland is a small and charming lakefront community with beautiful level beaches, great golf, vineyards, summer time Craft and Farmers Markets, and lots of water activities of course. Tanya took Red to check out the Peachland Museum, a unique 8-sided BC heritage building, and he was reminded of his school days.  Red and Tanya walked the Peachland waterfront and enjoyed the fabulous views of the lake and stopped by at the Peachland Bell Clock. Peachland’s other claim to fame is its bats. Yes, bats!  In fact, the town has one of the largest bat colonies in the province and they’ve found a home in a heritage school house.  As a result of the bats, Peachland has very few problems with mosquitoes, and their droppings, or guano, is sold locally as fertilizer.

Red visits the Peachland museum and is reminded of his school days.

Red visits the Peachland museum and is reminded of his school days.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

at the end of the dock in Peachland

at the end of the dock in Peachland

New Year’s Eve brought bubbly and hats and noisemakers and congenial company.  To celebrate New Year’s Day and the start of another great year of the Red Chair Travels, Red took a brave dip into Lake Okanagan at the Polar Bear Swim!  Now he’s a REAL Canadian!

Soon it was time to say goodbye again and Red hopped on another bus to travel through the snow covered mountains all the way to the Kootenay Rockies region in eastern BC. Here he’ll find his next “home away from home” at Courthouse Inn Revelstoke, just like regular B&B guests do when touring BC with B&B!

The Red Chair visits Port Moody and West Kelowna!

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

The Red Chair Travels second stop on its first ever trip to Canada was in the Metro Vancouver community of Port Moody.  As innkeepers Mary Ellen and Barry at Port Moody’s Mainstay Oasis B&B welcomed him, Red was starting to get into the Christmas spirit.  From their waterfront dock on Burrard Inlet, Mainstay Oasis guests and Red were able to enjoy the carol ships.  Red also enjoyed one of Mainstay’s afternoon tea parties by the Christmas tree.  And of course Mary Ellen took Red to show him all the special places in her community: they walked the trails in the rainforest at Buntzen Lake and caught some sunshine and a break in the rain; they stopped at the Moody Station Museum and the Port Moody Arts Centre; they admired the engine sculpture at Port Moody City Hall and then returned to Mainstay to relax on the dock with a friend.

Red relaxing on the dock at Mainstay Oasis after a day of touring the Port Moody area.

Red relaxing on the dock at Mainstay Oasis after a day of touring the Port Moody area.

Red enjoying a Christmas Tea Party

To get to his next friendly B&B destination, Red had to hop a bus to get through the Coastal mountains to West Kelowna, as there was quite a bit of snow on the roads to the BC interior.  Sue and Dann at West Kelowna’s A View to Remember B&B were Red’s next hosts and he would be staying with them through Christmas. And boy, did they have a busy schedule planned for Red!  West Kelowna is in the Thompson Okanagan region of BC, known for its many wineries and fruit orchards.  The southern Okanagan has Canada’s only true desert at Osoyoos.  Red ‘s first breakfast at A View to Remember included some local mapleapple syrup on his french toast!  Then they were off to explore the shores of Okanagan Lake, the old CPR Wharf, the Gellatly Heritage Nut Farm and the Fur Brigade Trail.  To celebrate the holidays Sue took Red to see the Christmas light display at Candy Cane Lane and they rode the famous Kettle Valley Steam Train Christmas Train.  Of course this being wine country, winery visits were not forgotten and fortunately Red (and the innkeepers!) had a designated driver when they visited Bottleneck Drive and the Westside Wine Trail!  To top off this visit in the Kelowna area Sue took Red to meet the folks at the Green Tourism Canada office, as a View to Remember is a Green Tourism designated property.

at the entrance to Mission Hill Winery

at the entrance to Mission Hill Winery

Red is the featured attraction at Little Straw Vineyard in West Kelowna

Red is the featured attraction at Little Straw Vineyard in West Kelowna

Kettle Valley Steam Railway Christmas Train - best seat on the train!

Kettle Valley Steam Railway Christmas Train – best seat on the train!

Even though winter travel is a bit of a challenge here in BC, especially in the interior where Red will be traveling most of the next two months, his innkeeper hosts will get Red safely from one Bed & Breakfast to the next. Not as many visitors to our province get to see BC in the winter time so the Red Chair Travels is getting a a pretty special tour!

The Red Chair Has Arrived in BC!

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Red Chair has arrived in BC and has started its journey around our beautiful province and some of our great BC Bed & Breakfasts.

Once travelers took pictures of “flat Stanley” in unusual places and situations, now it is the turn of The Red Chair.  This ordinary wooden chair has become a new celebrity and has traveled from Bed & Breakfast to Bed & Breakfast on the US East Coast, through southern states and up the West Coast, to here, its first appearance in Canada.

Canada Place at night

Canada Place at night

It’s all part of a multi-year B&B awareness program that focuses on a traveling red porch chair to highlight the comfort, uniqueness, hospitality and friendliness of Bed and Breakfasts. Since its start in New England in 2012, B&Bs and inns have taken inspiring photos of the Red Chair from beaches to bandstands.

Viewing the Christmas lights at Canuck Place

Viewing the Christmas lights at Canuck Place

“Red” arrived in Vancouver from his adventures at the Camano Island Inn in Washington State (he went zip lining!) to Granville House B&B in Vancouver on December 4th.  The weather wasn’t very co-operative, but intrepid innkeepers Randy & Pam from Granville House took Red around their city.  You can’t visit Vancouver without visiting Stanley Park, so off they went to see the totem poles, the horsedrawn carriages, the mermaid, and the famous Lions Gate Bridge.

Red enjoys the view of the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, even in the rain

Red enjoys the view of the Lions Gate Bridge in Vancouver, even in the rain

Being busy innkeepers, some of Pam and Randy and Red’s adventures took place in the evening, such as a visit to Canada Place, a landmark in Vancouver harbor and the original Canada Pavilion at Expo 86. Now it is home to the cruise ship terminal, World Trade Centre, FlyOver Canada and the Pan Pacific Hotel.  It being December, Red then enjoyed the Christmas lights at Canuck Place, North America’s first free-standing children’s hospice located in the historic Glen Brae Manor.  A major supporter of the facility is the NHL Vancouver Canucks hockey team.

Red has now checked out of Granville House B&B, its first Canadian and BC Bed & Breakfast host.  After visiting the great city of Vancouver, the rest of his trip will have a lot to live up to!

Do You Know Your Innkeepers?

Monday, November 10th, 2014

As guests at a BC Bed & Breakfast, do you know your innkeepers? Of course they introduce themselves when you arrive, but have you ever wondered how they came to be B&B Innkeepers and operate a Bed & Breakfast?  A Bed & Breakfast or Bed & Breakfast Inn provides accommodation in a private residence, so the accommodation style and hospitality very much reflect the personalities of the innkeepers.

Innkeeping is very often a second career for your hosts, maybe something they have always dreamed about doing, or have arrived at after a major change in career or lifestyle.  Maybe they’ve always wanted to be their own boss, or maybe they’ve wanted to leave the city behind and move to a quieter location.  Often innkeepers have a particular skill set that they want to use in a more meaningful and satisfying way.  Innkeepers come from a wide variety of backgrounds, and not all include hospitality as a component of that previous life.  There are innkeepers who were teachers, IT professionals, historians, flight attendants, architects, professors, management professionals, chefs, advertising experts, lawyers, photographers, shopkeepers and the list goes on and on. Yet all seem to discover a passion for sharing their homes and their lives to enhance the lives of those who stay with them as guests.

Innkeepers gather at a regional meeting

Innkeepers gather at a regional meeting

Innkeepers are of course self-employed and work mostly on their own, especially at small two or three room B&Bs, so it’s particularly important to belong to their provincial and/or professional association.  This is where they network with their colleagues, the way most people network at their place of work, exchange ideas, products and practices that work for them and could be helpful to others in the business, or new innkeepers just starting out. Annual conferences or regional meetings provide these networking opportunities as well as a focus on continuing education.  As marketers of their own businesses, innkeepers need to stay current on the continuing changes in the online world of websites and social media for example, and their professional association can provide these opportunities.

So the next time you enjoy the hospitality of the innkeepers at a great B&B, whether you are there on a golfing holiday, a weekend get-away, a culinary or wine-tasting trip, or any other reason you’ve chosen a BC Bed & Breakfast, get to know your innkeeper a little bit!