Vacation time is premium time. A time looked forward to all year long much like a drink of water when thirst has turned the back of your throat into something reminiscent of the Sahara. Your body needs it, your mind needs it more. Every creative or energetic juice has left your body and a re-charge is in order.
With so much at stake, one might think that a great deal of investigation would go in to this decision. A thorough investigation, if performed, would render all kinds of meaningful data upon which a traveler would be fully armed, informed and ready to use every tool at their disposal to come up with a great result. An accommodation that is perfect for your needs at the best price available.
We’ve owned At Cumberland Falls Bed and Breakfast Inn for 17 years now. We have carefully cultivated room amenities, extra special elements of comfort throughout our home all designed to offer the very best in creature comforts from our careful selection of the sheets and duvets, to our hand painted in room water bottles and video library. Every single element of environmental contact with our guests are planned to create their very best and most comfortable stay. As a result of this, we have a loyal following of inn guests and we, like most small properties, have developed a loyalty program for previous guests hoping to influence their decision to return to Asheville and our inn.
A small property, regardless of its quality, it’s ever present desire and dedicated effort to render the best guest experience possible will never hatch another 300 rooms. Most innkeepers are not looking to house that many guests. They concentrate on what they do best; creating intimate, personal, quality environs with top quality amenities and great customer service. They consistently seek to help create a guest experience that will be remembered by guests as one of their best vacations ever.
Enter the OTA. For those not working in hospitality, these are companies that warehouse rooms outside the owner’s contact range. Booking.com, Hotels.com, Priceline, Orbitz and a host of others. They promise ease to the customer, in that once you’ve bought a room on these sites, all info is retained delivering a “one stop shopping experience.” One click and you’re done. They also promise the best pricing for travelers but that is not the whole story. These companies pay for their advertising, websites, representatives etc. by the fees they charge the lodging properties they represent.
This becomes a bit easier to understand if I tell you about yourself. We’ll call you Joe. This is how your week went:
Ok, Joe, about your job at the company. I know that last week we paid you X. This week, regretfully, we want to get you out there in front of a lot of people, we want people that will never see all your efforts at this company to know about them. We know your work is solid, it’s awesome. You clearly care and your work a this job shows that. We get that Joe! We do, but this advertising and all the folks necessary to get this information out is gonna cost us big Joe. Really big! Darn it Joe, we so hate to do this~ but someone has to shoulder the burden of getting the word out Joe. It’s business man. So, last week, you got X and this week, well that’s down to X MINUS 15%. Now, Joe is, as stated above, a caring, excellent and dedicated worker working to create excellence. He truly is rendering the best he knows how in his job….But even good old Joe will be dismayed at this deal.
I encourage you to give Joe a chance. Bed and Breakfasts are small accommodations. They do not have 300 or more rooms against which to balance loss. Further, in choosing lodging with a bit more personal flair, perhaps you might enjoy a conversation with your host. They live where you are visiting, they’ll know just the perfect room to offer you for your stated needs, they want to offer you an incredible experience~ not just accommodations and they are worth it. They are no anonymous. Further, if asked, they’ll also offer you the best price. Try it out and you’ll see I’m right.