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.
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