Product Review: The 5 Best Mobile Booking Engines

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Online booking systems have transformed how guests find a place to stay.”Software Advice, an evaluation firm for hotel booking systems, has published an article featuring the top 5 best online booking systems in alphabetical order.”

In this article you will find the noted highlights and pictures of how the software displays on smart phones and tablets.

Check out this informative article today and find the right online reservation system to help you capture even more online bookings.

 

Innkeeping Story – Inn At Riverbend

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Jeanne Jeffers and John Dush, expertly transitioned when they took on ownership of the Inn at Riverbend, located in Pearisburg, Virginia this year. Acquiring an inn at its peak season is not easy yet they have successfully accomplished this feat and made friends along the way. They work well at maintaining the seven exquisitely done rooms. Jeanne gave insightful answers about their innkeeping business.

 

Q: How long have you been in business?

We bought the Inn on May 27, so at this location, really new.  The Inn has just celebrated it’s 11th birthday.  Just like any pre-teen; still has its growing pains!

 

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

I was a very bored accountant.  Hated bean-counting for others but always loved my domestic skills.  Hence, I thought it would be fun to live in a nice place and bake cookies.

 

Q: What is your signature breakfast?a

I love making a summer egg bake that is loaded with farm fresh veggies and lots of cheese.  I am one of those cooks who has to look at the ingredients then the recipe emerges from there.

 

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from? 

Washington DC, the city of Raleigh in North Carolina, and Ohio.

 

Q: What’s the best thing you have done for your business?

So far, being new, most are in the dream stage.

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Q: What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Coming in to cook breakfast with no pots and pans or utensils.  Our kitchen was still in storage from our move and we came in to run the Inn at Riverbend before all our furnishings were delivered.  Talk about being creative!

 

aQ: Biggest lesson learned in the industry? 

Most of our guests are just such fun, interesting people.  You would find it difficult to get to know so many wonderful folks doing anything else. 

 

Q: What motto do you live by?

“I’m only one person”….It will get done, just not right now.

 

Q: What is unique about your inn?

We have the most amazing (truly) views from every guest room.a

 

Q: What would you do all over again if you had a time machine? 

Not come into the business in the busiest season.  We came on for Virginia Tech graduation and haven’t stopped yet.

 

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

Ride my bike more.

 

Q: Any little known facts about your town? 

Pearisburg is located in the most scenic and beautiful valleys in western Virginia.  It’s a region with so much to do (Appalachian Trail, New River) and it is abreathtakingly quiet and relaxing at the same time.

 

Q: Any fun guest stories you want to share? Such as unique guests, crazy situations or celebrity guests.

We had some guests from England arrive after a long day of driving in the mountains to get here. They were hungry but too exhausted to drive to a restaurant for dinner. We really wanted them to enjoy their stay, so we stopped our work, changed into something more presentable and drove them to a restaurant where we ended up having a fabulous dinner together and became good friends. We plan on visiting them in England next fall.

 

Q: Do you have helpful innkeeping tips you would like to share? 

No matter what time check in is, guests will ALWAYS arrive early and say “Hope we’re not disturbing you, we know we’re early.”

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Did You Know?

The Appalachian Trail which is located 2 miles from the Inn at Riverbend has quite a long history on becoming an national trail which is comparable to the time it takes to hike the entire 2,180 miles of the trail. The trail stretches from Georgia up to Maine in which traveling will take you through a total of 14 states.

The story began with a project proposal put in by Benton MacKaye back in October of 1921.  He would die without ever seeing the results of his work. Myron Avery continued the process where Mackaye left off. Along the way, he became the first “2,000 miler” as he measured the trail. Numbers have grown over the years on recorded finishers of the Appalachian Trail which became a national scenic trail in 1968 of October.

 

Innkeeping Story – The Victorian Ladies Inn

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The Victorian Ladies Inn is located on 63 Memorial Boulevard in Newport, Rhode Island. I spoke briefly with Harry Schatmeyer, the owner of the inn. Through email, was how he found the time to answer the questions for our interview as he goes about maintaining the elegance of his inn. He has eleven beautifully done rooms that are encompassed within three separate buildings that have peaceful walkways and breathtaking gardens. Also, a few years ago, he obtained ownership of the Adele Turner Inn. Now, potential guests are offered a more expanded variety of lodging in the Newport area.

Q: How long have you been in business?

A total of twelve years.

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

My wife and I had long and successful careers.  Not wanting to retire, we opted for innkeeping.

Q: What is your signature breakfast?a

We make an Eggs Newport. The breakfast buffet picture has been attached as it is a tantalizing arrangement of some of the delicious foods available during breakfast.

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from?

Most of our guests come from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

Q: What’s the best thing you have done for your business?

We make sure to personally greeted everyone.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

bThe challenge of having the time to get things done.

Q: Biggest lesson learned in the industry?

Having associations are of great importance.

 

Q: What motto do you live by?

We feel that every guest deserves our best.

Q: What is unique about your inn?

We know the names of our guests.

Q: What would you do all over again if you had a time machine?

We cannot turn back time.  We enjoy today.c

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

We enjoy relaxing at our condo.

Q: Any little known facts about your lives?

I owned seven McDonald’s. My wife ran a medical center. What we have done has been fun.

Q: Any fun guest stories you want to share? Such as unique guests, crazy situations or celebrity guests. 

We feel every guest is unique, a little crazy, and would be a celebrity for two or three days of their lives.

Q: Do you have helpful innkeeping tips you would like to share? a

Get to know your guests. Invite them back for your great breakfast.  We have an afternoon tea, which we do in our parlor. It is also important to introduce everyone to everyone.

Did You Know? 

The seaside city of Newport, Rhode Island is home to the Naval Station Newport. Within the station, you will find many naval facilities including the Naval Undersea Warfare Center which carries on there with research and development for underwater systems, weapons, and submarines. Also, present is the Naval War College, started in 1884 and is the oldest war college in the world. The museum on its grounds is a National Historic Landmark. Rumor has it was christened the Naval War College in October of 1884 when Commodore Stephen B. Luce arrived onshore and entered the stone building’s doors.

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Upcoming Tradeshows & Conferences; August-October 2014

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Texas Bed & Breakfast Association (TBBA)

aDates: Sunday,  September 7th through Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Website: http://www.texasbb.org/

Reservations can be made at The Tremont House to stay at during the conference.a

 

Where:
The Tremont House
2300 Ships Mechanic Row
Galveston, TX 77550
409-765-7721

Arkansas Hospitality Association Convention and Trade Show (AHA)

aDates: Wednesday, September 17th through Thursday, September 18, 2014

Website: http://www.arhospitality.org/

Reservations can be made at the Statehouse Convention Center to stay at during the conference.a

 

 

Where:
Statehouse Convention Center
1 Statehouse Plaza
101 E Markham St
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
501-376-4781

 Utah Tourism Conference

aDates: Tuesday, September 23rd through Thursday, September 25, 2014

Website: http://www.visitutah.com/utah-tourism-conference/

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Where:
OGDEN ECCLES CONFERENCE CENTER
2415 Washington Blvd.
Ogden, UT 84401
801-689-8600

FLORIDA BED AND BREAKFAST INNS

aDates: Sunday,September 28th through Monday, September 29, 2014

Website: http://www.florida-inns.com/

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Reservations can be made at The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne to stay at during the conference.

Where:
The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne
211 N Lucerne Circle, NE
Orlando, FL 32801

 

Bed & Breakfast Association of Mississippi & Mississippi Tourism Association

aDates: Sunday, September 28th through Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Website: http://www.missbab.com/

Reservations can be made at the Beau Rivage Hotel to stay at during the conference.b

 

Where:
Beau Rivage Hotel
875 Beach Boulevard
Biloxi, MS 39530
888-567-6667

Federation of Ontario Bed & Breakfast Accommodation

aDates: Sunday, October 26th through Monday, October 27, 2014

Website: http://www.fobba.com/

 

Where:
Elora and Fergus, Ontario

New England Inns & Resorts Association Annual Meeting

aDates: Sunday, October 26th through Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Website: http://www.newenglandinnsandresorts.com/

Reservations can be made at the Samoset Resort to stay at during the conference. a

 

Where:
Samoset Resort
220 Warrenton Street
Rockport, ME 04856
207-594-2511

Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association Innkeeping Conference

Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast AssociationDates: Sunday, October 26th through Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Website: http://www.laketolake.com/

Reservations can be made at the Airport Hilton Inn to stay at during the conference. a

 

 

Where:
Airport Hilton Inn
4747 28th Street SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49512
616-957-0100

Innkeeping Story – A Teton Tree House

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Denny & Sally Becker own and run the A Teton Tree House located by Wilson, Wyoming. Sally Becker and I conversed about how running a bed and breakfast has been an amazing experience with the wonderful people who come to stay with them. The road’s name, Heck of a Hill, leads right up to their delightful place where guests have enjoyed wonderful food and great company.

Q: How long have you been in business?

This will be coming up on my husband’s 30th season. He was born and raised in Thermopolis, Wyoming on a ranch. Denny has lived in the Jackson Hole area for over fifty years.

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

Denny was a river runner. He had the first white water river running business in the area. His first wife wanted to start a family yet he was gone so much taking people on the river plus guiding them through Yellowstone. She thought a bed and breakfast would be a fabulous thing as it was a new idea for their area. They had a piece of property in Wyoming. Instead of building a private home, he built the tree house which they opened in 1985 as he wanted to spend more time at home with his family. Although, he and his first wife parted ways, he is very devoted to his daughters.

Q: What is your signature breakfast?

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We are known for Heart Healthy breakfasts which means no meat or eggs. We rotate through a series of hot cereals and all kinds of fresh fruit. We are well known for our deliciously, “infamous” homemade granola. I make a sweet bread & yeast bread every day. It is a full and complete breakfast. We do have other items available depending on the guests who are staying with us. Denny’s stories of the area make the breakfast table conversation come alive. Also, he likes to say, “If you can’t come to breakfast, why bother coming at all.” Breakfast time is such an enjoyable time with our guests.

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from?

We get an equal amount of guests at the very edges of the east and west coast. They come to see the national parks. Our second largest majority would be Utah and Texas is big, too. Also, we get a lot of Europeans who learned about us through well used tourist books. Many of our international guests come from France and Italy.

Q: What’s the best thing you have done for your business?

Our business is built on a foundation of return guests as we develop a relationship with them while they stay with us. We have such a high return rate that we don’t do much advertising. We really get to know our guests while they stay with us. We explain to people how to get around with a personal touch. They have successful vacations as we help them plan their days with our local tips. We know how to direct our guests to the wildlife through our personal knowledge of where to find the animals. Denny knows the where to go, the how to go, and he knows how to help different kinds of groups from the honeymooners to the families with children. Developing an “at home” feeling with our guests while they stay with us is very important to us.

Our most popular change came when we put in a fire pit. Our summer guests love to sit out under the stars by the fire; where they enjoy storytelling, star sighting, and sharing life stories.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Recently, a reality television show about tree houses contacted us but we turned them down. The show caused people to call us and expect us to be in a tree by asking if our place is built into trees. Our trees are very close to our place so people feel like they are in the trees but we are a lodge.

The other challenge we have is the ninety-five stairs to our front door. It is a definite test the first time people climb up the stairs with luggage. We would like to be more accessible to host a wider variety of people. We miss out on a lot of amazing people.

Q: Biggest lesson learned in the industry?

People are wonderful and we enjoy their company. We have become friends with many people and don’t like to think when they will be leaving us. We have a niche of healthy people because of the climb up the ninety-five stairs and our healthy breakfast. Our breakfast table conversations is vibrate among our guests.

Q: What motto do you live by?a

Treat them like family. We have many people including four young men that Denny has mentored that consider him to be their best friend.

Q: What is unique about your inn?

Denny’s vision when he built the tree house was of the Old Faithful Inn. It’s an open beam construction. He built most of the tree house himself with help from his brothers. Our tree house sprawls out of our isolated hillside. Most of the house is built from trees taken from the property. We have unique staircases which lead to each room as there are no hallways. Every door on the exterior opens to a deck. It is definitely a western setting. Woodcraft, antique furnishings, and rockers add to the comfort of our bed and breakfast. A total of four floors are in our tree house. We were in the centerfold of a 1997 edition of National Geographic. They talked about the inside being kind of elaborate as they described “you can lose yourself” in looking for your room.

The bed and breakfast is only open during the summer through September as this was my compromise retirement plan after I met Denny since I had retired from Utah’s education system.

Q: What would you do all over again if you had a time machine?

Access. We would like a more comfortable access to our bed and breakfast with the road and the ninety-five stairs. The difficulty would be needing to cut into the hillside to create a better route yet we are opposed to changing the hillside. The beauty of the isolation would be the trade off.

Q: Any interesting facts about your lives and/or your town?

Jackson Hole is the entire valley. We are right by the city of Wilson. We are eight miles from the city of Jackson. Denny has a story for every tree that became a beam in the house. He is a “legend of the snake” because of everything he has done in the area such as being a white river water guide here. He was nineteen years old when he started working in Jackson. He made a living doing a lot of different things. His stories make the west come alive and has guided many people through Yellowstone.

Q: Any fun guest stories you want to share? Such as unique guests, crazy situations or celebrity guests.

We had Molly Ringwald stay here. She walked in the door one day and we recognized her when she came in.

We have many grandparents traveling with grandchildren come stay with us. They bring their grandchildren on a certain birthday such as the year the child will graduate from school. We have mothers and daughters going on trips together who stay with us. Also, honeymooners love to come here.

I stood in the bushes with a camera one day to take pictures at the request of one anticipating guest. During the afternoon he proposed to his girlfriend after they had returned from a nice hike. It was a little awkward to listen to the proposal but wonderful to pop out and take their picture at the end.

We have a wonderful spiral staircase which comes down to the Great room is perfect for romantic weddings. The justice of peace comes to perform the ceremony and he is dressed in western styled attire with the long dark coat, cowboy hat, and boots. He performs the weddings in front of our grand fireplace.c

Did You Know?

Although, Jackson is a name of a city in Wyoming. Jackson Hole is a valley in Wyoming. It is possibly named after David Edward Jackson, who was a beaver trapper in the ninteenth century. Origins of the word “hole” comes from the early trappers and mountain men who came down steep slopes to enter the valley. Within the valley, Grand Teton National Park, the Snake River, and more can be found in Jackson Hole.

 

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