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Archive for the ‘Bed and Breakfasts’ Category

Everything changes. Fashion changes. Laws change. The weather changes (fairly often in some places!). It should be no surprise, then, that bed and breakfasts have changed a great deal since they first began popping up across the U.S.

The first Bed and Breakfasts were patterned after charming homestays travelers experienced while visiting Great Britain and Europe. Once travel became easy and affordable (or perhaps WHEN travel was easy and affordable) Americans backpacked and traveled the rails, many times choosing a cost effective bed and breakfast . Charmed by the warm welcoming hosts, comfortable, home like setting and the exceptional value…many people in the U.S. decided to “retire into innkeeping.

Let’s visit a mythical bed and breakfast, The Charlton House and see how it has changed since it’s first owner in 1970 to now.

Sometime in the late 60′s to early 70′s the Charlton house was opened by a couple, retired school teachers who spent their summers traveling Great Britain. Located in a small, seaside town on the east coast it had 4 guest rooms and 2 baths. Back then, sharing a bath was no problem…after all, that was just part of the experience in a B&B in Europe. The innkeeper had a television room where everyone could gather, visit and watch their favorite shows. The bookshelf would probably have a well used copy of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a few Stephen King thrillers and maybe even a copy of the racy, Valley of the Dolls. Music was vinyl and flipping through the creative album covers was half the fun. When the record “skipped” blowing the dust off the needle usually worked. Perched on the crisp, pressed, snow white doily on the nightstand was a giant clock radio and a lamp with an incandescent bulb. The full size bed was comfortable with fresh, crisp sheets, several warm blankets and a bright green chenille bedspread. (the 70′s were all about color) The innkeeper peppered the room with family photos, favorite books and even a small collection of her favorite porcelain dolls. In the morning guests could peer into the gold/avocado green kitchen and smell muffins baking and hear the bacon crackling. Coffee was Maxwell House or Folgers and OJ might not be OJ, but Tang…a favorite of astronauts. How did the guests find a B&B in the 60′s or 70′s? Guidebooks, almost exclusively. Armed with maps or a AAA triptick, they arrived at the door toting Samsonite. Communication was done by phone or mail. A stamp was 6 cents. Payment was cash or check. Gas prices were an issue and the gas crisis made for some very quiet weekends. It was expensive to fuel the large family sedans or those Dodge Chargers with 8 cylinder engines. Guests expected a charming innkeeper, warm homey surroundings and an ample hot breakfast…all at a bargain price. They were charmed by this alternative to modern, but sterile hotels and motels. Innkeepers loved welcoming new “friends” into their homes. Although the 70′s were all about change, the timeless values of warm hospitality were valued, even then.

Next, the 80′s and 90′s….but that is my next blog!

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We love our pets.  We don’t just walk them, we exercise them.  We feed them a special blend of food created just for the breed, size and age.  They visit the vet, get immunized, tested and x-rayed.  We have them fluffed, buffed and poofed: nails trimmed, teeth cleaned and nary a flea or tick to be found.  Some of our pets have wardrobes, appropriate for the season, a special chair in the sunroom and their very own space in our bed.  So why can’t we travel with our pets?  Why do so many places say no to mans best friend?  Statistically, 39 % of Americans have a dog.  More than 50% of dog owners consider their pet a family member.   Many of those people would like to travel with their pet.  So, what can we as pet owners do to be “good guests” and encourage more innkeepers to allow pets.

I have been an innkeeper/owner and I understand the issues innkeepers face, but  I would love to travel with my pet, so I asked a few innkeepers what we could do to make our dogs more welcome.

First, research the inn and see if they are listed as pet friendly.  If they accept pets, they should list this on their website or in their brochure.

1.        Be honest.  If you want to bring your dog, tell the innkeeper.  Please do not describe your 80 lb. golden retriever as a small, ball of fur that no one will even notice.  There is a big difference between a Labrador retriever and a Chihuahua.  Believe me, people notice. Also, many innkeepers have pets of their own, and those furry friends are definitely “Top Dog” at the property.

2.       Keep your pet well groomed.  Consider a trip to the groomer before you leave to insure that Fido is clean and well brushed. Most dogs shed, but a well groomed dog is less likely to leave fur balls under the bed.  Also, flea and tick treatment is a must.

3.       Do not leave you dog unattended in the room.  No matter how well mannered he is at home, he is much more likely to bark or whine when you leave him in a strange place.  Barking and whining bother other guests and innkeepers are then left to deal with the complaints

4.       Keep your dog leashed and be sensitive to others.  Not everyone likes dogs. In fact, some are either highly allergic or very afraid of dogs.  Keeping your dog with you and leashed is the polite thing to do.

5.       If you dog is not securely and completely house trained, then leave him home with a friend or board him at a reputable kennel.  Cleaning up soiled carpet is not a job anyone wants, especially your innkeeper.

6.       Have Bags on Board.  Carry bags with you at all times and clean up after your pet promptly  Everyone appreciates this.

7.       Please Please Please do not allow Fido to sleep on the beds, sit in the chairs or bath in the jetted tub.  Innkeepers spend a considerable amount of money to insure that everything is neat, clean and in impeccable shape.  Be considerate of the next person who will enjoy  the room.

8.   Always notify the property that you are bringing a pet when you make your reservation.  Confirm the pet policy of the inn.  Not all inns take, large dogs, some charge a pet fee while others limit the number of pets you can bring.

So, that being said, are there any bed and breakfasts in Washington that will welcome you and your very best friend!  Of course there are.

The Miller Tree Inn, located in Forks, WA and just a short drive from the Olympic National Park and the Hoh Rain Forest accepts pets in their Orchard Suite for a minimal charge. Take your dog for a quiet night of solitude amidst towering pine trees at Manitou Lodge outside Forks.

Four properties in the Seattle Metro area will welcome your pet.    Although, Three Tree Point is located within easy driving distance of SeaTac Airport, it is a quiet, restful getaway that  offers you a beautiful view of the sound, as well as a place for your dog.    The Chambered Nautilus welcomes pets in their University Suites and is within easy walking distance of the University of Washington as well as great dining and shopping.  You and your dog can take long walks in the Capital Hill neighborhood and enjoy Volunteer Park, all surrounding the beautiful Bacon Mansion Bed and Breakfast. Finally, the Inn of Twin Gables, has the 2 bedroom Garden Suite complete with kitchen that will accommodate your family and your pet.

Carson Ridge Luxury Cabins located in Carson, along the Columbia River Gorge offers individual cabins and has one set aside as pet friendly.   Enjoy natural beauty, a great breakfast and luxurious surroundings.

If you are in the San Juans visit Argyle House, a beautiful craftsman style bed and breakfast, conveniently located in downtown Friday Harbor and very very short walk from the ferry or visit the serene Trumpeter Inn located on a five acre country estate.

Charles Nelson House, located on the Long Beach Peninsula enjoy a breakfast featuring fresh local ingredients and take your pet on long walks along Willapa Bay.

So now that you know that your favorite four legged friend is welcome, open that laptop or pick up the phone and reserve a getaway at one of these great inns.  It is time for you to discover Washington, one pet friendly inn at a time!

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Innkeepers, generally are happy people.  Innkeepers in Washington state are happy and thankful people!  Below are 8 reasons why.  (listed in no particular order)

1.  Washington state is a diverse, beautiful place.  From mountain to sound, farmland to islands, vineyards to forest, Seattle to Spokane…Washington is just a beautiful place to live and visit.  Lots of people from all over the world choose to vacation here.  We are just plain thankful that we get to live here….and share it with you.

2. Salmon.  No whimpy  Atlantic East coast salmon here…This is rich, beautiful salmon country.  With names like Chinook, Sockeye and Coho, the salmon here is some of the best in the world.  Guests love it and innkeepers can find it year around.  Thinking about salmon makes us thankful….and hungry.

3.  Seattle.  People from all over the world visit Seattle.  With Pike Place Market, trendy restaurants and a vibrant music scene, Seattle offers something for everyone and we have inns to satisfy the needs of any traveler.  Thank you to all who make up the fabric of this fascinating city.

4.  Cruise Ships.  We especially like cruise ships.  Don’t be surprised.  Innkeepers do not consider those floating hotels competition.  People come from all over the U.S. to cruise from Seattle to Alaska.  Wise travelers spend 2 or 3 days before and after their Alaskan cruise exploring Seattle and the surrounding area.  We like cruise ships and are thankful for all those people who stop by to visit us.

5.  The Washington State Ferry System.  Yes, the ferry system offers a dependable affordable way to travel from urban Seattle to the islands in the sound, but really, innkeepers are also thankful just because riding on a ferry is just so cool…and everyone wants to do it.

6.  Bill Gates and Microsoft  That’s it, Bill Gates and Microsoft.  We are thankful.  Enough said…

7.  Starbucks.  People who live in Seattle  like to think that the coffee culture started here.  This could be true.  The climate and coffee compliment each other.   Generally, innkeepers are thankful for Starbucks.  Starbucks made coffee cool…from Seattle to Miami, people need their daily fix.  With the expansion of a coffee culture, competition ensued.  In Washington state you can find some of the finest purveyors of coffee in the world, and our innkeepers take advantage of that every morning…and so can you.

8.  Lewis and Clark  Seriously, these guys took quite a trip!  Thanks to them, we have an appreciation for the discovery of the Columbia River Gorge.  You can trace their steps all the way to Illwaco and learn about their incredible journey at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center. We are thankful not only for their willingness to journey across the country, but also for the wonderful written history they left behind. ( Travel in Washington is infinitely easier now, and thanks to our innkeepers, no tents, bed rolls or sleeping in the rain for you!)

These are just some of the reasons our Washington innkeepers are happy.  Watch for another Thanksgiving blog this month and discover more things that make us thankful.

Do you really need more reasons to visit a BnB today?  Reserve a room in a local Washington bed and breakfast and meet some of the nicest and most thankful people around!

Discover Washington and some very thankful innkeepers….one inn at a time.

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