They checked-in with a big smile, they loved their room on the third floor with no A/C and bathroom across the hallway, they adored their breakfast, and they checked-out the next morning,  ready to come back soon, they said!

We love when this happens!

But that was a first for a stay in summer time in our cheapest room, that can be a real oven when it is hot outside as there are only fans to cool it down. They were lucky it was a cool weekend, but we couldn’t explain this “I went to heaven” smile on their faces when they left… until we stripped the room during housekeeping : the quilt on top of the bed was stained all over the place by some “organic” matter, and the trash can was literally filled with condoms. What impressed us all the most was that the condoms had all been actually used (well, it looked like)!

Bummer : the smile on their face didn’t come from the room or the breakfast, after all… But we like to think that we provided the atmosphere for their very romantic night, and we are happy that the family room next door was rented that night by adults only ūüėČ

B&B Bandits!

Posted: June 26, 2011 in Bad Habits, humor, people, travel

It all started with an online reservation for a room with 2 double beds, well described online as a room for a maximum of 4 people, with private shower bath, hair dryer, alarm clock, in-room phone, A/C, ceiling fan, a nice view on the backyard and no television. It even precises that if you book it for more than 4, we reserve the right to refuse the reservation.

We should have refused this one…

Upon his arrival, the imposant guy requires immediately an upgrade to a “lobby room”, on the first floor, with 2 queen beds! Hey, you are the one who booked the room online where you have clear photos and even a mini movie showing the rooms we have… and none of them responding to the above description. And even if we had it, why would we upgrade you??? We agreed on a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 children under 10) only because the third kid was 2 and we assumed ¬†you were bringing a pack-and-play. After all, some parents love to sleep with all their kids in a small bed! No kidding, I’ve seen that! And I have to admit, I didn’t refuse the reservation… because I need the money!

Over the evening, going to the dining room to check something, I find the wife, her two daughters and her son, wandering in the dark among the tables. The mom tells me we have a nice place she was just checking out (in the complete darkness?) and starts asking me about a good seafood restaurant or a pizza Hut for dinner. In the meanwhile, I can see her older daughter taking a handful of jams and stuffing those in her pockets! I can’t help but ask her what she just put in her pocket and she answers “nothing”. I then ask her to empty her pocket and put back the jams she stole me, these jams being served for breakfast and not included in the room rates for dinner! The mom doesn’t seem disturbed at all! Maybe she taught her these special skills…

That evening, until they leave for dinner, we are all inspecting constantly the common rooms to make sure the little thief understood her lesson, and not trusting the parents at all we lock all the doors of our office and private quarters for the night.

At breakfast, they specifically asked for no animal fat in their food and no butter, but milk and cheese is OK. They obviously appreciate our breakfast and remain seated in the dining room for more than one hour, ordering first their breakfast and completing later on with hash browns (of course, they read it is Free on our menu!). When breakfast is over, I arrive in the dining room to sweep the floor and meet with the little girl who seems surprised to see me and stays there, watching me. I smell something’s wrong, there. So I pretend to go back to my kitchen and I see she starts to stuff her pockets with my jams again! Needless to say, I made her put them back right away! She is shortly after that caught in the act by one of my housekeepers, stealing something from our game room.

When they finally leave, I read this on our guests’ comment book on our front desk : “I wish you would provide fridge, microwave, iron board in the room and more trash cans. Otherwise excellent!”.

Well, dear guest, I wish you would read thoroughly your room description before giving your credit card information and you would have found out that:

1) your room is for 4 people only. By the way, thanks for teaching me a lesson: I won’t be nice anymore and accept a reservation for 5 people, whatever the age, in a room for 4!

2) For the rooms with no fridge and microwave, we provide one in our kitchen

3) We have plenty of rooms with fridge and microwave, but they cost a bit more than the one you chose to book

4) You are not supposed to have dinner in your room and stain my sheets with curry, especially when we have plenty of space for families in our common rooms, with tables and chairs.

5) There is plenty enough space for trash in one trash can for one night stay, when you take the time to recycle anything that can be recycled, instead of stuffing the empty bottle of milk in a full trash can!

6) You should NEVER stay EVER again in a Bed & Breakfast. Big chain hotels are more anonymous and are probably easier to steal from!

Extra Guests, Unexpected!

Posted: April 10, 2011 in guests, people, travel
Tags: , ,

Nothing is more frustrating for an innkeeper to rent a room for two people, and discover the next morning at breakfast that there are indeed 4 of them!

These guests came to visit their family, living in the area, with one of their grandson. They thought the grandson would stay with the rest of the family, but instead not only did he stay with them, but they added a cousin as well! The result is: we had prepared a breakfast for two, and they came all four for breakfast! It’s not a big deal when we have several rooms staying with us, but when they are the only guests, it’s not easy to manage as we prepared all quantities for two!

Anyway, at the end, they were the ones surprised to see that as the extra persons were over the limit of age to stay for free, they had to pay a substantial extra fee!

Every year, for many ¬†years, they come. Always in March. Always in the same room. Always for 4 to 6 nights. Always… They are very nice people, and each time I’m welcoming them with a hug… But each time, I am SO HAPPY when they leave!

Mister is a busy man, climbing the mountains and skiing. But Mrs drives me crazy.

It starts with breakfast: she can’t help but steal every day all my strawberry jam, and bring back into her room her leftovers for her small dog. She doesn’t hesitate to pack it all in her napkin (which is fabric!). But I was so good today, I thought about the disposable plate before she left the dining room. Unfortunately, it doesn’t mean that she got the hint…

Mister doesn’t need housekeeping, but Mrs wants it every day : make her bed, change her towels (Why changing towels every day??? they are not even wet!), vacuum… Sounds easy but :

1- They dine in their room everyday some Chinese food and the smell of it every morning is just killing my stomach.

2- She goes shopping every day. There are clothes and bags and boxes ALL OVER THE PLACE, that I meticulously pile up every day, and she meticulously opens every night.

3- She actually watches soap opera stuff ALL MORNING, so that I can actually do the housekeeping past Noon, when I have tons of other things to do.

4- She leaves the doggie food and water bowl on the carpet (don’t we have a dog policy mentioning that dog food and water bowl shouldn’t be kept on the carpet?).

5- Walking the dog in the street is too far! She leaves little poopies on the driveway!

Today is the 5th day of their stay and they are leaving tomorrow. I feel like I really need a year to be able to welcome them back with a hug… which I will do!

The following behaviors have been observed more than once (unfortunately). Some of them make us laugh, but some of them tend to drive us crazy! Have you ever done one of these during your travels?

AT CHECK-IN:

My rug! : Just coming in by the front door, you wipe your feet with conviction on my braided rug! Didn’t you notice we have mats outside that are meant to be used before you come in? Does my baided rug look like a sweeping feet mat?

When you got to go, you got to go : you just arrived and ring the bell to call us so that you can check-in. When we arrive in the lobby, nobody! You had a long drive and needed to go to the toilets right away.  I quite understand that, but why do you ring the bell BEFORE, as we have to wait and wait (and hear) everything you are doing in there? Were you afraid to loose your turn?

The little bags and totes traveler : You didn’t take the plane so you didn’t have to pack your stuff in a conventional luggage. But why taking 20 totes that we find all over the place in the room during housekeeping, rather than bigger bags? I bet you would have done it differently if you would have thought one second that you had to climb 1 to 2 stories with no elevator, at least 10 times, to bring them all into your room!

How Do I park? : Alright, we don’t have any lines on our parking lot but it doesn’t take a genie to understand how to park your vehicle. It is always funny to observe how people park: if the first car is parked backward, the other ones are going to park the same way. If cars are only parked along the building, they are all going to park along the building, etc… Humans are sheep following the shepherd… And when there are not a lot of cars, you can find all the options : one car is parallel parked, another one is angle parked, and the third one will be on the other far side of the parking lot!

Cell Phone Maniac : You can’t spend a minute without your cell phone. You have this “Bluetooth” attached to your ear at all time, and you make a point that taking that call is more important than listening to us during check-in. And when you come down in the morning for breakfast, your bluetooth is still there. Do you sleep with it? Do you know how rude this is? Can’t you spend your 2-day getaway without it?

IN THE GUESTROOM:

Shaving into the Shower / Tub : Do you have any idea how difficult it is to get rid of tiny little hair stuck everywhere on the walls of the shower or tub? I am not talking about Mrs. Legs Shavings (usually discreet), but rather the manly dark and rough beard of Mr.

Thermostat Control : It’s a comfortable 68 F in your room. Each room has a thermostat so that if you are too cold you can control your own little climate. And because you are in control, you are going to use it, turn the thermostat to 80 F, which is far too hot… so you are going to open the windows! And in summer, your room is never cold enough! Does that make sense?

Are You Sleeping IN The Bed? : We make the bed the traditional way : fitted sheet, flat sheet, blanket, comforter or quilt. Apparently, a few of you do not know that you should sleep between the sheets and not between the blanket and the comforter!

Dirty Underwear : Do you know how disgusting it is for a housekeeper to make your bed and find you little dirty lingerie between the sheets? Or find your boxers behind the bathroom door? In the first case, there is a big chance you will find ¬†your bed done with your lingerie on top of your pillow. I’ve never received any complaint about this, and noticed that the next day, your underwear is nowhere to be found.

The Clothes Hoarder : You are staying with us only 2 nights but you brought enough changes for 2 weeks. As you probably packed in a hurry, you couldn’t find ¬†your sweater this morning and unpacked EVERYTHING on the bed, before leaving for the day. How do you want us to make a bed with your closet standing on it? Simple: you will find your pile of clothes on top of your bags tonight, with your bed perfectly done! We clean the rooms, we are housekeepers and not maids!

Floating Candles – So Romantic : You booked our suite with a nice two-people jacuzzi tub. You’ve always dreamed of relaxing in a warm bath, with a glass of wine and candles floating on the water, just as you’ve seen on TV. More easy to watch than to do. Do you know that candle wax melts and stick on the walls of the jacuzzi and it takes more than 30 minutes with soft tools (we don’t want to chirp the jacuzzi, do we?) to scratch off this wax?

Environmentally Careless : This really enrages me! Despite signs that you can reuse your towels, why do you want to change them everyday, all of them, even though they are not dirty and barely wet? Why throwing in the trash can our signs asking you to bring back home your soap so that there will be less waste? Why do you use our white face cloth to wash up your make up while we provide you with a BLACK face cloth, clearly stitched “Make Up”? What’s your point?

Let’s Eat In : If you want to eat in your room, I usually have no objection if you keep it away from our bed linens. But when you bring in your own crockpot to slowly cook a stew while you are out for the day, I might have my word to say, especially when the hallways are invaded by a smell of onions and carrots!

My Toe Nails Need a Clip : Don’t you think your toe nails could have been clipped before or after your stay with us? And if you really have to do it now, can you pick them up and put them in the trash can, instead of leaving ugly nails clipping stuck into my rug?

Some Basic Hygiene Mrs., please ? : We really don’t need to know that you are at that moment of the month Mrs. Period. So please dispose of your bloody tampons by wrapping them first in one of the paper bags that you will find on top of the toilet and throwing the whole thing in the trash. Just don’t leave it on top of the toilet tank! And by the way, when you take it off, would you please wipe off the blood that splashed on the toilet seat?

Aim First, Then Shoot, Mr. ! : This is particularly true for European men, curiously! I think our toilet bowls are large enough for you to pee in it and not behind or beside it!

How Should You Use a Boot Tray? : In winter, considering the snowy conditions we have, each guest room is equipped with one or more boot trays so that your wet boots do not drip onto our wooden floor. Apparently, some of you do not know what it is for, and use it as a tray on top of the luggage racks. I’m not sure what for, I just hope (for your health) this is not to eat on it!

You Forgot Your Teeth in The Cup! : I don’t know how many times I found dentures or sleep guards dipping in one of our bathroom cups during housekeeping, but this is really giving me a big time nausea each time!

Vanishing Batteries : This one happens quite a lot in our family rooms and suites. You need new batteries for your Nintendo game or something else, and you forgot to bring some. And, smart as you are, you know that the remote control for the TV in your room has the ones that you need…

Have You Ever Seen a Microwave Lid ? : One thing I hate to clean are microwaves. Your snacks or dinners tend to burst while cooking on high. This is why we provide with a microwave lid which is in the microwave. This lid is supposed to get over your food during the cooking process (so that it can be cleaned much more easier than the microwave itself), and is not a fancy dish to use to cook your dinner in it!

OOps! I Think I Blew the Fuses! : Guess what is going to happen if you plug your own heater (why bringing a heater on vacation, by the way ???), your own air filter device, your computer, your kids’ game consols and Mrs. hair dryer, all at the same time?

COMMON ROOMS:

I’m Home! : OK, sometimes you got to go and can’t take the time to go back into your room, so you go in the common bathroom by the lobby, and that’s alright! When you are done, why do you leave the door wide open and the lights on? It’s comforting you are feeling like you’re at home, but remember you are not?

Lazy Recycling : We talk to you about our recycling practices, it is written on a flyer in the lobby, it is written on signs in your room, we explained you we have a “recycling tower” in our kitchen (you are MORE than welcome to use)… still, you can’t help it but throw away plastic bottles, newspapers… stuffing them in any small trash can you can find!

Some Civility Please! : In the lobby, we have a basket full of menus from local restaurants. Guests are welcome to read them, seating on a comfortable leather couch, and decide right there where they want to dine. Do you know that this basket is here for everyone? Why do you take the menus up to your room and don’t bring them back for the other guests?

Parents, Those Role Models : we have a large game room with lots of board games for all age, DVD/VHS, books and a train table with lots of toys for little ones. There is a very clear sign saying that for everybody’s enjoyment, please clean up your kids toys or any games after use. You can’t read or you don’t care, but you are going to leave this room in a terrible mess, thinking that we won’t know it’s you! When I come knock on your door reminding you about the “please help your kids clean up their stuff” thing (it’s the third time today we are cleaning up after you!), you dare telling me your kids are not responsible for this mess! Really? You are the only family with kids staying with us today!

The Self-Help Guest : At the entrance of our kitchen, where we put all our silverware, glasses, chargers… used to set up the dining tables, we had to put signs so that guests wouldn’t help themselves (or we don’t have enough to reset the tables at the end of the service)! So when you read “Please do not help yourself” and you are so kind you don’t want to bother us, what do you do ? Take the silverware that is set up on the breakfast tables of course! And when ¬†you want to help yourself with some ice in the guest refrigerator, why not take this stainless steel bowl that is right there, by the big white prep table, ¬†to bring more ice into your room. Did it occur to you that the stainless steel bowl that you just borrowed is one of the utensils I use to make breakfast and that I’m going to look for all morning?

IN THE DINING ROOM:

Early Riser : You perfectly know that breakfast is served between 7:30 and 9 am, and that coffee is usually out by 7 am but you are an early riser who need coffee earlier! 1) Why didn’t you book a room with a coffee maker, so that you can have a coffee as early as you wish? 2) Do you have any idea how annoying it is to know that a guest is sitting here, in the lobby (and eventually passing his head in the kitchen to check if it’s almost done), for half an hour waiting for his coffee? Sorry, but I won’t feel guilty not to be up at 5:30 am to help you with a cup!

The Seat Keeper : We have 20 rooms, and 10 tables in the dining room, so it is obviously not possible for all the guests to seat all at once when we have a full house. But you are smarter than the others, wake up first and seat on a big table of 4 in the dining room as early as 7:30 am but don’t want to order now as you are waiting for the rest of the family to get ready! Or, you are going to order right away and start eating before the rest of the family. Then your 10 year old is going to join you and order as well, followed 15 minutes later by your little 5 year old and all the family is going to wait for Mrs who will arrive 45 minutes after you! In the meantime, some families that were ready all at once have to wait to be seated…

Spoons Are No Toys : We are family friendly and welcome children of any age. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to hear an infant hitting my glass table top with the spoon you gave him while I’m cooking your breakfast? Sometimes, I can’t help it, leave the kitchen, go to the game room where I pick a small soft toy, go back to the dining room, and ¬†with a smile I take the spoon off the little demon, explaining the parents that I have many more soft toys in the game room that they are welcome to use to amuse their child while he is waiting for his breakfast. Not sure the message is always understood though!

Maple Syrup is Sticky : We serve your maple syrup in syrup dispensers on a saucer, so that they don’t stick on the table. Once you helped yourself with some syrup, would you please put the syrup dispenser back on the saucer and not directly on the table?

Table Trash : In the middle of the table, there is a little basket containing jams and ketchup. These baskets are NOT your table trash where you get rid of the butter chips you didn’t use!

Is It on The Menu? : We have a pretty nice cooked-to-order breakfast, offering lots of choices… As a start, we’ll ask you if you would like some orange juice, grapefruit juice, apple juice, cranberry juice? your answer : “May I have some tomato juice?”! Did I propose tomato juice? – What do you want in your omelet? Red peppers, green peppers, onion, ham, mushrooms? your answer “some tomato and potatoes in it would be fine”! Did I propose tomato and potatoes? – It’s a “country breakfast” with French toasts, pancakes, omelets… ¬†and you ask for a bowl of fresh fruits! Is there anywhere written on the menu mentioning that we have a “fresh fruit bowl”?

April and May are very slow months for us. This is what is called the “mud season” here. Barely any tourists are showing up downtown. That’s why we were so happy when a guest contacted us in April to book a Golf weekend with his friends, two nights, 4 rooms, 12 people, ¬†for a stay at the beginning of May. After many emails and telephone conversations, we were ready to welcome them in 3 of our regular “family rooms” and one big suite.

At check-in, the guys were nice and polite, but when we showed them the suite we had booked for them, informing them that they were just above our owners’ quarters, they asked if we had another unit that wouldn’t be so close to us. They didn’t want to bother us, they said, with constant visits from the other people in the group. We moved them to another big unit (the one with the confetti!), too happy to have nobody staying above us!

Around midnight, we received a call from one of our returning guests staying with us that same weekend, saying that the guys were drinking, smoking, playing games on the driveway and speaking loud. I came out in my PJs, not expecting to see that they were completely drunk, took chairs out of our dining room and put them on the driveway to play some games… When I finally spoke to the guest responsible for the party, he admitted it was in fact a bachelor party!!!! After a polite conversation, as polite can be with a drunk man, I asked them to keep the party in their suite, at least, and went back to my place where I stayed half an hour looking out the window to make sure they were calming down.

Thinking I was back to my room, they finally came out again and started to speak loud and smoke…. again! Furious, I decided to call the room and when the guest answered, I firmly required him to stop immediately or I would call the cops… not knowing that I had called the wrong room and woke up my poor returning guest who was trying the sleep (he was very nice and said that at least he knew we were taking care of the problem!).

The next morning, after a breakfast service totally normal, as if nothing happened, the group of very polite men left for their day on the golf course, leaving us with housekeeping… I am a bit naive I must say, and had never heard of the game “beer pong” until that day. The carpet was wet and stained with alcohol in the living room, and you can easily imagine the rest of the suite after a wild night with 12 drunk guys…

When they came back from their afternoon on the green, I announced them I was charging them an extra cleaning fee, and it was out of the question that they would party at my place the second night. I would have been rich and full of guests, I would have probably asked them to leave immediately. But after a rough season, we needed the business! So we managed to speak politely to each other, trying to find the best way to “celebrate” without disturbing the other guests.

The father of the groom actually joined the group and promised me that he would make sure my other guests wouldn’t be bothered. The group left for one of the local pub that evening and we actually thought that the night would be calm. But came back around 11 pm. When the father of the groom went to bed, they started again. One guy was actually so drunk, he fell on the ramp of the porch and broke it (daring to tell us the next morning that this ramp was dangerous) ! We managed to keep it as quiet as possible but we had a rough night, once again. Fortunately, none of them showed up for breakfast (I had lost my temper over the night and was not a gracious host anymore).

Check out was very tensed as I presented the bill though…

It was New Year’s Eve and we were fully booked, twenty rooms and 50 something guests. Long time friends were visiting us for this occasion and staying in one of our suite, next to a large unit where a family of 6, coming from Columbia, was staying. Two parents, the uncle, the grandma and two kids : we thought there was little risks that they were going to party…

The next morning, during breakfast, our friends told us that they indeed had partied hard , past midnight, but they didn’t complain as it was New Year’s Eve. They could hear them counting up to 10 and “pop” noises, laughs… and counting again!

After breakfast, my two housekeepers (we had extra help considering the number of people!) and I started cleaning up the rooms. After 4 hours of intense housekeeping, ¬†came the last room to do : this big unit. My housekeepers were ahead of me and entered the suite first… then came out as white as ghosts and told me to have a pick myself : My eyes probably popped out of their socket when I saw that the ground was covered, and when I say covered I mean at least 1 inch, with confetti, strings of confetti hanging from the sprinkler system, confetti EVERYWHERE, including in the bathtub where it didn’t really matter to them to take showers over the confetti! It took more than 1 hour and 3 vacuums to get rid of these confetti, a scrubbing sponge to scrub the bathtub where the colorful confetti had literally melted with the showers and left only patches of blue, pink, yellow…

I can’t understand why people would trash a B&B room that way, why they would actually ask for housekeeping, thinking that we wouldn’t mind their party leftovers??? Needless to say these guests were charged with an extra cleaning fee and will never stay with us again!

And two years later, even though the unit has been rented many times, vacuumed and thoroughly cleaned many times, we still find a confetti or two, here and there!