May 2010 Archives

The Value of Inn Travel
"I know in my heart that special experiences like our stay at Inn On SummerHill brought us closer together and left us with precious memories to last a lifetime."

And read these two comments from newly married couples about a Sturgeon Bay Bed and Breakfast,  White Lace Inn. "After seven months of marriage we couldn't resist coming back to the Inn." Shelbina, MO and "This was our first getaway as a married couple and we had a fantastic time." Milwaukee, WI

Do newlyweds who plan romantic getaways, stay together longer and more happily? These three couples seem to say so. This couple attributes their happy marriage to special experiences at Bed & Breakfasts.

"I happened to find your website this evening and browsing through it brought back some very dear memories that I'd like to share. Back in 1989 I found a brochure for your inn on a coffee table in the lunch room at my workplace. My husband and I were married on April 8th, 1989 and I believe that we had been married for about 5 months when I found that brochure. I was 21 at the time and my husband was 24 and like many newlyweds, we didn't have much extra money to spare. But, your inn intrigued and inspired us so we both worked overtime and put away money for our first "getaway" as a married couple.
Sometime in the late fall of 1989 we made our reservations for a two night stay. We were greeted most graciously on arrival and taken to a gorgeous room on the 2nd floor. The room was FAR more luxurious and romantic than we had expected. Everything was simply perfect. My husband sprawled out on the huge canopy bed while I admired the stunning view of the Pacific from our balcony. Any and all worries we had quickly melted from our minds as we surrendered ourselves to the peaceful, pampered ambiance that was filling all of our senses. We felt completely spoiled!! During our stay we enjoyed many walks on the pristine beaches and strolled though the quaint streets of nearby towns. We had quiet dinners in local restaurants and lazy breakfasts in bed. We still talk about the deep, peaceful sleep we had those two nights! We love to travel and we have stayed in many, many B&B's since then, but I don't recall ever sleeping as restfully as we did that weekend.
We have now been married for 21 very happy years. Sadly, we have seen many of our friends divorce over the years, and we are thankful everyday for the deep love that we still feel for each other after all these years. I know in my heart that special experiences like our stay at Inn On SummerHill brought us closer together and left us with precious memories to last a lifetime."
Warm Regards,
Efrain and Shantal Rosales

Today, guest blogger Theresa of Azalea Inn and Gardens in Savannah, shares the process that she and her husband took as they decided to leave their careers and become innkeepers.


I first met Savannah in May of 2001 at the age of 49 when my boyfriend and I stopped to visit my son, who was attending the Savannah College of Art and Design, on our way to Charleston.  We spent the night at the Azalea Inn, a bed and breakfast, and at the suggestion of the owner, took a 90-minute trolley tour of this surprisingly beautiful, charming Southern city. Charleston paled in comparison, and Jake and I knew we would return one day to truly savor this "lady with the dirty face" once used to describe this historic port town.

Less than a year later, on March 17, 2002, we married and flew to Savannah for a seven-day honeymoon, having just missed the infamous St. Patrick's Day Celebration, but in time for the Savannah Music Festival.  We gave Savannah a week, wondering whether we had committed too much time and left knowing that we had not seen nearly enough.

By the end of 2002 we had relocated from San Diego to Jacksonville, Florida and began our quarterly visits to the city that had stolen our hearts, oh, and to see my son.  Graduation came in 2004 and Savannah still held us in fascination.  We celebrated my 52nd birthday in Savannah, at Azalea Inn, which had become our Savannah home, and in a chance conversation with the owners we learned she was for sale. 

The Talk    The entire drive home that weekend was consumed with possibilities: could we, dare we leave our jobs and embark on a new adventure at this stage of our lives?  We were both successful in our lines of work as sales people and had owned our own businesses.  With the right real estate transactions could we own the slightly worn Azalea Inn? We loved to entertain, and I love to cook, and to talk--Lord I love to engage in animated conversations and delight in the appreciation of folks satiated with my culinary excursions.  After long discussions with our CPA, we determined we could move into a new life chapter. 

Months of agony followed with delay after delay as the owners tried to reconcile years of back taxes, we worked to find a bank specializing in Bed and Breakfast financing, and we sold our other real estate.  Finally, all the pieces were in place.  We closed the deal on August 11, 2005 and Azalea Inn was ours!  The night before the closing the previous owners informed me they were leaving town that night and therefore, breakfast was my responsibility!  My first day as an innkeeper was going to start before I officially owned the inn. 

Making it Their Own:  That set the pace for the following five years - we rebranded the inn as Azalea Inn and Gardens, we gave her a much needed facelift, ramped up the menu, pushed her to eco-friendly status two years before our city began curbside recycling, and now we are initiating a plan to expand our gardens to include a vegetable and herb garden on the property next door.  Fresh, local, seasonal - a mantra of our kitchen.

Our five year plan to retire has expanded to ten -there is so much more to do, so much joy to be had in sharing this city and our home with the thousands of visitors we host each year.  Our zest for this life has been rewarded with several prestigious awards from the bed and breakfast community and we are humbled by the praise our guests have shared with us.  With children now grown and grandchildren arriving, we believe our passion for this life will keep us invigorated long after our great-grandchildren arrive.

Every inn normally grows from the personality, skills and unique energies of its innkeeper plus the particular setting and architecture of the inn. Every inn is an expression of that combination of characteristics. It definitely takes a lot of heart and soul to last in offering hospitality year after year in a small inn. How do you prepare for this career and what education will hone your skills? There are a variety of seminars and books on the subject but we wanted to share a unique training course taken by Cliff Cottage's Sandra CH Smith:

"After I had spent 7 years sailing alone in the Pacific (bought a 35-foot sailboat when I was 43 and taught myself how to sail and took off), as my boat was about to sink off the coast of Central America somewhere, I got a "message" to move to Arkansas, limped my boat back to Puerto Vallarta, sold it in a few minutes and ended up in  Eureka Springs, Arkansas. I bought a property with a rare Sears' first kit home (Cliff Cottage) built in the 1880s. Then I designed and built (did a lot of the work myself) a Victorian replica next to it and opened Cliff Cottage Inn in summer 1993 and have been at it ever since."  Sandra CH Smith, Cliff Cottage Inn 

Major Newspapers Promoting Bed & Breakfasts for Mother's Day

Inns and Bed and Breakfasts are being promoted in papers around the United States on full page ads about Mother's Day sponsored by iPhone and AT&T.
InnTouch, the iPhone application is the center piece in the  full page ads.
This application was chosen from among more than 190,000 iPhone applications  
Here's a close up of the writing taken with the camera on my iPhone. 

If you (or a friend) have an iPhone, please download the free application, "InnTouch" (15seconds) and enjoy a great tool for finding B&Bs and Inns.
We are so happy to be included with the other recommended Mother's Day companies - 1 800 Flowers, Martha Stewart Recipes, Ghirardelli, Spa Finder and Zagat because we believe Bed and Breakfasts are a perfect and far more adventurous way to celebrate Mothers.
The iPhone application InnTouch was previously recommended by Travel & Leisure, Fast Company, Top Ten Applications and Sunset Magazine.
When my friend slipped the paper to me this morning in church I was totally surprised. We had no clue that iPhone's ad agency was going to pick InnTouch and we are really impressed that they understand that a Bed and Breakfast is a perfect way to celebrate Mothers Day. 

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2010 is the previous archive.

June 2010 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.