Trials and tribulations of running a B&B

Tuesday September 28th, 2010 |Fiona

One of the things I was aware of in running a B&B, but not entirely happy about – was the ironing. Despite having an ironing press, the ironing of sheets and duvet covers is still a trial. A particular nemesis is the superking duvet cover… I am beginning to hate it immensely! The trouble is that we have more requests for that bed to be made a superking than we do for it to be set-up as a twin – something which has surprised me. So, I’d only bought the one superking set – thinking I would only need it occasionally and could wash/iron and it would be available for use… silly me. This meant I had to buy another two sets – one on the beds, one in the wash and one ready for use – that’s the theory anyway! Sadly, because I am not that big a fan of ironing, it tends to be left a bit and I therefore have a marathon of ironing to tackle. I know, I should do it as I go along and then I would not have to do this… Maybe one day I will be organised enough to do that.

Not sure if we have been lucky, or if any statistics would show we are just part of the norm, but accidental damage has only happened to us once (so far!). This was to the towel rail in one of the en-suites. Our guest did “own up”, apparently it was putting a wet towel on it – not sure how, as we’d had lots of guests in that room already without problems – but I was grateful to them for letting me know, but we had to change the set-up in that room and get the filler and paint out… (Thought I’d seen the last of paint for a while!!!). And so far (touch wood) that has been the only damage we’ve had.
I’d say that the biggest thing which has been a trial to me, is trying to remember to say everything that needs to be said, without bombarding guests with information as soon as they arrive. So, we’ve put a lot of things in our bedroom books – a lot we’ve picked up by staying in loads of B&B’s when we were house hunting, but most are from our own experience – when we had to ask our hosts or just found out for ourselves when staying somewhere. An example is the instructions for the showers – I started out by explaining to guests how they worked, but I felt a bit like a schoolmarm doing it. So, I don’t do that now, just try and remember to say that instructions for them are in the book. Also, we have fresh milk available for each room in a small thermos in the fridge on the landing – and I kept forgetting to tell them, so ended up throwing away milk because no-one knew it was there! So, now I have a laminated card on the tea-tray stating this – there’s no way they can miss it. One less thing to remember to say… I hope we’ve struck the happy medium now!
And a bit like the saying – you learn something new every day, we’re learning something with every guest!