Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Glamorous Life of the Innkeeper at Su Casa Bed and Breakfast

Ask any innkeeper what question is most frequently asked by guests and you will get the same answer. "What made you decide to open a bed and breakfast?" We can pretty much guarantee when a guest steps across our threshold that some time before the end of their stay, they will ask this burning question. The answers provided by innkeepers across the world, may vary greatly depending on the individual, the location, and the size of the inn. My own answer actually varies depending on the events of that particular day. :)

Another innkeeper once told me that she was sitting at the computer in her office, part of the house that was private and not designated for guests. She was busily working away when she heard a voice, "What are YOU doing at the computer?" Now granted this was a few years ago, but by that time computers were already being used for pretty much everything. Apparently the guest, who had wandered into the private area and found the innkeeper's office, was amazed that the innkeeper would be doing anything other than cooking or cleaning.

So what exactly do innkeepers do? And why are guests so fascinated with our profession? As I mentioned above, the answer to the first question definitely depends on the size of the inn. My inn is a small one with only three guest rooms. But because it sits on five acres with farm animals and includes an outdoor swimming pool, an in-home movie theater, a guest kitchen and game room, a deck that extends nearly the entire length of the house in back, and a private hot tub room for one of the guest rooms, my responsibilities as innkeeper extend far beyond cooking and cleaning. In addition, I do most of the work myself. When there is something that I cannot or do not have time to do, I hire a contractor.

Here are just a few of my many hats at Su Casa B&B. (note: all titles are strictly self-designated and for your amusement) Welcoming Committee Chair, Executive Chef, Pastry Chef, Chief Housekeeper, Head Purchasing Agent, Contract Officer, Master Gardener, Interior Decorator, Number One Electronics Expert, Social Planner, Pool Supervisor, Fire Marshall, Theater Manager, Computer Operator, Marketing Director, Website Coordinator, Reservations Specialist, Chairperson in Charge of Recycling, Traffic Director, Head Photographer, Tourism & Hospitality Officer, Guest Relations Officer, Food Allergy and We-don't-eat-that Compliance Officer, and most recently Head Blogger and Social Media Marketing Director.

Would I do it all over again? You bet I would. Eleven years and still going strong (some days stronger than others). What is the best part about it? I am the Captain of my ship! Nothing beats that.

Lois Hoover
Su Casa B&B