Getting INNspired!!!

Last week Chris and I interrupted our winter sabbatical in California to travel to Las Vegas. Oh yes, Vegas is a vacation in itself, and we hadn’t been there together in well over fifteen years. But our impetus in this case was to attend the annual conference of our industry association PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International). PAII has been an invaluable resource to us as innkeepers, and campaigns to promote bed and breakfasts as “A Better Way To Stay.” Despite the fact that we have been proud members of PAII since the day we opened A Butler’s Manor, this was the first conference we’ve attended.

The conference was held at the Tropicana, and our suite looked out over New York, New York casino across the street…a bit bizarre to see some of the familiar the NYC skyline against a backdrop of golden striated Southwestern mountains! And the weather wasn’t what you normally expect in Vegas either…high temperatures never reached 60 degrees. (Yeah, that’s a DRY heat, hahaha.) It didn’t faze us since we left the casino only twice in the entire week (to have dinner out, of course. And where? NYC steakhouse Smith & Wollensky’s..and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, where we met up with Kim’s sister and brother).
Bookending some wonderful sessions on topics as diverse as green cleaning tips, time management, and Google Analytics, keynote speakers Jeffrey Cufaude of Idea Architects, who opened the conference, and Joe Gerstandt, who closed it, spoke on clarity and authenticity; how and why to focus our time and energy on what matters most to us. The more clarity we have about what matters to us — values, ideals, dreams– the more success we’ll have in our business. And holding ourselves accountable: If what we say is important isn’t showing up in our day to day life, we need an integrity check.
This is a truism that can resonate with anyone. At A Butler’s Manor, one of the things we’ve done to define ourselves is to clarify who will be best served by what we do well. Our job is to make a little tiny difference in the lives of those who stay with us, a little happy difference. We know we can’t be all things to all people, and trying to be, even if we wanted to, would wear us down and dilute the experience we want to create. For example, the physical layout of our property and our B&B style are conducive to an adult couples market–especially those who are looking for a romantic, exploratory or rejuvenating experience–rather than with families vacationing with small children, and we position ourselves accordingly. Chris and I consider ourselves to be ambassadors to those who visit the Hamptons. It is the purpose behind our work that renews us.
We’re excited! What happened in Vegas will definitely not stay in Vegas!! In the coming months, look for new and exciting changes at A Butler’s Manor, ranging from new photography and website tweaks to make navigation easier and more intuitive, to changes in the guest rooms, to new ideas for breakfast. We want to ensure your visit at A Butler’s Manor truly is a Better Way to Stay.
(Hey, you ask, how did we do at the tables? We won a total of $7 on the roulette table. Just about enough for two Starbuck’s lattes. The casinos didn’t make any money on us!)
Quote of the Day: By serving others, we also serve ourselves. — Jeffrey Cufaude

A better way to stay

A Butler’s Manor is a proud member of PAII, the Professional Association of International Innkeepers, an industry group that has lately launched a series of video ads touting bed and breakfasts as “A Better Way To Stay.” Yes, bed and breakfasts are a special type of experience, and this week we were reminded again of yet another way staying at a bed and breakfast such as A Butler’s Manor is not your average hotel experience. If I sound like we’re tooting our own horn, please believe me, we can take no particular credit for the stories below.

Early May, and while the flowers and trees are all in bloom (early! –we had lilacs the last week of April!), the weather can be iffy. Much of this past week has been drizzly. While there are lots of things to do here in the Hamptons and beyond that don’t require the sunshine (wine tasting comes to mind), some definitely do require transportation. And among our five rooms of guests this week was a pair of  German girls who had arrived by train and weren’t planning on hiring a car during their three-day visit.

Now, if you’ve followed this blog for awhile you’ll recall that late last Fall, Chris and I made a pilgrimage to both East Hampton and the North Fork via our public bus just so we could direct such guests. And actually, these girls had done their homework and already had researched the bus and train schedules. But over breakfast — one of those fabulous mornings where the entire table of guests enjoyed hanging out and conversing long past the time we’d cleared their plates — one of the discussions for a rainy day option was a visit to the Tanger Outlet Mall in Riverhead, about a 25 minute drive from Southampton. And the upshot was that another couple, visiting from Australia, offered the German girls a ride up to the outlet mall with them. Sweet!

Throughout this entire week our guests seemed particularly simpatico. A few nights later, several were enjoying some wine before the fire and discussing options for dinner. When two of the couples learned they were both planning on dining at red bar brasserie, they decided to dine together.

We’ve had instances where we drop off a carload of guests at the beach at the same time, and they decide to set up their towels and hang out together. I love things like this.

Granted, that’s not always what you’re looking for when you get away. Often, you just want a little downtime away from the madding crowd. But to unexpectedly meet others whom you enjoy enough to extend your conversation beyond our communal breakfast…well, it takes a certain kind of place. And, if I may say so, one Chris and I are very proud to offer.

Quote of the Day: A man practices the art of adventure when he breaks the chain of routine and renews his life through reading new books, traveling to new places, making new friends, taking up new hobbies and adopting new viewpoints.–Wilfred Peterson