A Hot Day in the Life

Wednesday, 22 July 2015 10:56 Written by  Alexandra Grabbe

7222015 Image1First thing in the morning, I pick fresh flowers for the guestrooms.  (Some days I encounter marvelous butterflies like this one.) 


Then I vacuum.  Then I make the beds.  On a hot day like yesterday, it is important to get this work completed as early in the morning as possible.  Of course, if the rooms are occupied, no luck.  Later will have to do.   Which is why Sven and I now leave days open between bookings.  The first few years of innkeeping, Chez Sven was listed on Sawday’s in England, and we had people queuing up for reservations in February.  We were chock-a-block full all summer. Then the owner retired, his son took over, and the United States ceased to be a destination featured on Sawday’s Web site.  How sad we were at that decision!  We advertised on traditional American bed-and-breakfast sites.  Over the past two years, we have witnessed a big change in our industry.  I chose to do little advertising for 2015.  We are on the Wellfleet Chamber site, but it was revamped recently for mobile phone viewing, which is not ideal for innkeepers like us.  Folks who drive down without accommodation often only stay one night.  We do not do one night.  Too strenuous at our age.  Last weekend we had a couple who booked the Green Room through’s Airbnb page. We greeted them.  I gave them orientation. I sent them out into Wellfleet.  That was it.  I did not worry about them the way I do as an innkeeper.  It was clear what we offered was a room and nothing more.  No hot scones, no organic fruit.  No hand-holding about which restaurants would allow our guests to skip lines.  So now I can say that Airbnb hosts and innkeepers are really two different animals.  Our guests were happy, but they did not know what they were missing had they chosen to come to a bed-and-breakfast, rather than a site that offers mere accommodation. 



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