>When I started at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast in Asheville, North Carolina I thought my biggest challenge was going to be getting up, being dressed and ready and serving breakfast pleasantly to guests at an early hour. (I am not a morning person, per se). Well I was wrong. The hardest thing about innkeeping is not the cleaning, the website management, the finances, or the cooking. The hardest thing is answering questions. A good innkeeper should be able to direct her guests to a good meal, interesting things to do and to the best shops. She needs to know about the surrounding area, events and attractions; how to get to them, what to see and what is not really worth doing.
Well, this might be easy if you have lived in a town for a number of years, but it isn’t easy if you just moved there and haven’t been able to get out and around much. The guests are interested that you have just opened the inn but they really need answers and, understandably, the excuse that you are new to town just doesn’t cut it! Fortunately at the Carolina Bed & Breakfast we have Sara, our assistant innkeeper. Not only has Sara lived in this area for a long time, she is articulate and interested in the activities herself. I have listened in awe as she fields questions of all sorts from our guests (all the while taking notes for myself). As a matter of fact, I have perfected the “let me get our specialist” response and no longer look like a deer in the headlights when someone starts to ask me for advice.
What are some of the questions we typically are asked? Is there skiing near Asheville? (Yes). Can you suggest a good restaurant? (Yes, we have all types of food available here in Asheville and the restaurants are very good) Where can I buy original quilts? (Believe it or not, the old Woolworth‘s building has been turned into an artist’s and artisan’s shopping mall. After you buy your quilt, you can get a killer rootbeer float at the lunch counter!) Wood furniture? (Yes) Best florist in town ?(Define “best”! We have many). Something really romantic to do? (Again it depends on your opinion. We have day spas, wine tours, balloon ascensions and more. There are even guests who find it wonderful to just rest in their room or in front of the fire in the parlor).
Some come on down and test us with your questions! (Or rather, test Sara and teach me!)