Archive for January, 2014

Checking out? Have you left anything behind?

January 31st, 2014 by Judy Horn

Unmade bed

Have you ever left something behind at a hotel or bed & breakfast?  As an innkeeper who has cleaned a lot of guest rooms, I’d guess it was a charger cord, an article of clothing, or a toiletry item. Fortunately, few guests leave things behind, and of those who do, very few follow up in order to retrieve the lost article.

Like most B&Bs, if we locate an item that was left behind at the Troy-Bumpas Inn, we will mail it back to the guest if that guest requests it. We keep items left behind for at least a month. If they are unclaimed, we donate them. If a guests asks that we send the item back to them, we charge the cost of shipping to the guest’s credit card.  The relatively high cost of shipping probably explains why so few guests follow up about a lost item. It usually isn’t worth the expense.

How can you avoid leaving something behind during your next trip? Here are easy tips to follow as you pack up to leave your room:

  • First, collect all your charger cords, computer mice, flash drives, ear buds, etc. These are the most commonly left items, so put them first on your list of things to round up.
  • Check the shower. That’s where many people forget toiletry items. Of course, if you don’t intend to take them home, just toss them in the bathroom waste can.
  • Things hide in a messy bed. Pull up the bed linens and quickly smooth them. If you’ve left something in the bed, you’ll probably notice a lump. Please note: I’m not suggesting you make the bed! That is not necessary!
  • Lastly, take a quick peek under the bed and into any closets or drawers you may have used.

If you follow these easy steps, there’s a good chance you’ll never leave anything behind in your guest room again! And that makes travel less stressful and more fun.

Etiquette at a Bed & Breakfast

January 23rd, 2014 by Judy Horn

Place setting

First-time guests staying at a B&B sometimes are a little unsure what is considered proper. My best advice: Use your common sense. If you’re still unsure, ask the innkeeper. Even if you’re afraid you may be asking a silly question, this is the time to remember that there are no dumb questions and ASK! Chances are good someone else previously has asked the innkeeper the same question.

This video is a helpful guide to B&B etiquette. It gives good tips about booking and ensuring that your dietary needs are met. The video also discusses noise concerns.

At the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast, we are fortunate that none of our guest rooms share common walls. And, since the house was built in 1847, the walls are quite thick. That typically translates to quiet rooms, even when we have a full house.  It’s one of thing many of our guests appreciate and comment on. They like not hearing a bunch of party goers laughing and giggling as they stroll down the hallway outside their hotel room at the wee hours of the night. If you happen to be a night owl and are likely to return to your B&B guest room late or simply like to stay up into the early hours, I recommend asking the innkeeper if you have concerns about noise. Depending upon the date of your stay, you may learn that not all the guest rooms are occupied, thus reducing the likelihood of disturbing others.

Enjoy the video. I’ll discuss more considerations about staying at a B&B in future blog posts. Please stay tuned!

Is a B&B Right for You?

January 15th, 2014 by Judy Horn

B&B Sign

If you have never stayed at a Bed & Breakfast, you might wonder if a B&B is right for you. If so, you may find this independently produced video helpful in making your decision.

The two most valuable tips in this video are to:
1) Book your room once your travel plans are stable, and
2) Contact the B&B with any questions you may have prior to booking.

Before phoning the innkeeper, check the inn’s website. Good websites have an abundance of information including photos of the guest rooms and clearly stated policies. You can usually determine if an inn accepts children and/or pets in a matter of minutes by checking their website. If the website doesn’t answer all your questions, pick up the phone. Innkeepers are happy to provide details about their guest rooms, describe the inn in general, and clarify any policy concerns.  They also can give you advice about nearby restaurants and attractions.

One observation I would add about this video: The dining room shots are taken at extremely large inns. Many B&Bs throughout the United States have five or fewer guest rooms.  At the Troy-Bumpas Inn, we have three guest rooms, so the largest number of guests you’ll ever see in our dining room is eight! The video remarks that the prospect of meeting fellow travelers is a benefit of staying at a B&B. It’s a great way to meet other people and find out what sights they have seen. But don’t let the prospect of a communal breakfast table stop you from booking! Most B&Bs, including the Troy-Bumpas Inn, can easily seat guests at separate tables if they wish to dine on their own.  Guests need only ask!

I’ll discuss other considerations of staying at a B&B in future blog posts. Please stay tuned!

When is a Toboggan Not a Toboggan?

January 6th, 2014 by Judy Horn

tobogganWhen is a toboggan not a toboggan? When it’s on your head. If that sounds confusing, let me explain.

To me, the word “toboggan” has always meant “sled.” If you search Google Images for “toboggan,” you’ll see what I mean. Pictures of long, narrow wooden sleds used for coasting downhill over the snow will appear. Toboggans typically curve upward and backward at the front.

So you can imagine my confusion as a transplant to North Carolina when I started hearing the word “toboggan” used to refer to a knit pull-on hat. I’m not alone. One of our recent guests at the Troy-Bumpas Inn Bed & Breakfast (who had also recently moved to the region) described her utter bewilderment when teachers at her child’s school said that all students going on an upcoming field trip should be sure to pack a toboggan. How, she wondered, were dozens of wooden toboggans going to fit onto the bus?

I’m told you’re most likely to hear “toboggan” used to describe a knit cap in North Carolina, Kentucky, and Tennessee. The origin of this usage is uncertain, but it seems likely that knit hats worn while tobogganing were “toboggan caps.” At some point the word cap was dropped… and the rest is history.

So, the next time you head out into the cold, think of us here in North Carolina and grab your toboggan – it will keep you warm.

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