Posts Tagged ‘Bed and Breakfast’

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!


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!

Peak of Christmas Returns to Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, BC

Saturday, December 1st, 2012
Grouse Mountain, Vancouver BC logo

View of Vancouver from Grouse Mountain Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver, BC is a majestic setting for Christmas celebrations.

The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain celebrates the holiday season in North Vancouver, BC with a variety of events that run through December 24.

The events at this year’s Peak of Christmas cover the spectrum of the coming winter holidays in this beautiful area of British Columbia.  From visits with Santa and real life reindeer, to sleigh rides, musical entertainment, ice skating lessons and sessions with a skate champion, holiday meals and more, you’re sure to have treasured memories of your time at Grouse Mountain.

To make the most of your time in the area, we recommend that you match your magical visit to Grouse Mountain with the unique North Vancouver lodging options of our member bed and breakfast inns. (more…)

Relive BC’s Gold Rush at Historic Barkerville

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

When Billy Barker “struck pay” on Williams Creek in 1862, British Columbia’s gold rush town was born.  Today, the Cariboo Gold Rush is in full swing and Barkerville is still teeming with fortune seekers from all over the world.  See the blacksmith and miners at work, ride the stagecoach, take in some live theatre, tour Barkerville’s main street and Chinatown……

Every spring,when the indian paintbrushes and pink fireweed began to bloom along the walls of the Valley of Flags, The Cariboo Sentinel Newspaper published a paper. Compiled from the archives of the original Cariboo Sentinel (published from 1865-75) and from other periodicals, manuscripts and relevant sources, the paper was designed to be a window into that period of our history to which Barkerville and the Cariboo Gold Rush were so important.  As part of your visit to amazing Barkerville you can study the archives of this old time newspaper and it’s photographs!

Visit historic Barkerville in British Columbia


Get Ready… Get Set… Taste!

Friday, March 19th, 2010

The Okanagan Spring Wine Festival runs from April 30 to May 9 and promises to be the best ever.   If you love fabulous wine and fine food this is an experience to be savored and remembered.  What better way to welcome the new grape growing season than with a festival at its start?  Over 100 events throughout the Okanagan Wine Country are set to be enjoyed in the warm spring sunshine.  Culinary delights range from light lunches to sumptous dinners, with superb wine parings, at fine locations throughout the area.  The Okanagan Spring Wine Festival is often described as “one of Canada’s best small festivals” and it is clear why it continues to grow.

When you plan your visit be sure to take adavantage of our local BC Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers Guild members for their expertise in choosing events and for the excellent accommodations offered.  Our members offer Bed & Breakfast accommodation throughout the Okanagan region in Kelowna, Vernon, Lake Country, Peachland, Summerland, Osoyoos, Pentiction and West Kelowna