A smiling innkeeper opens the front door, and I smell the aroma of something wonderful wafting from an unseen kitchen. Minding my manners, I return the innkeeper's smile and exchange pleasantries. But, it isn't long before I ask: "What's cooking? It smells divine." It's a sneaky way of finding out if I will receive a sampling of the mystery dish later.
As I am escorted to my room, I am soothed by soft music I hear playing in the background. Once unpacked, I settle into a comfortable chair situated beneath an overhead fan. I feel caressed by the soft circulation of air generated by revolving blades. The attention-to-detail I see, throughout my room, delights me. I spot a plate of goodies, and I yield to temptation. Taking a bite of an irresistible treat, I taste home-baked goodness all the way down to my toes. I have only been a guest at the inn for less than an hour, yet each of my senses has been stimulated either individually or concurrently. At this point, my sixth sense becomes aroused and speaks for the other five: "This place is going to be an all-time favorite!"
Whether consciously or unconsciously, we are in a constant state of perceiving our environment through our five senses: sight, smell, sound, taste, touch. By becoming ever mindful of the powerful impact these vibes impart, innkeepers benefit by incorporating as many of them as possible into the atmosphere of their inn. It makes good sense to stir the senses in a variety of creative ways.
In this article, the first of a two-part series, I address ways innkeepers may "inn-hance" the sense through which the most options are available: the sense of sight. Consider some of the ideas listed below through which sight may be enticed. Devise new approaches guests will identify exclusively with your inn. The novelty touches suggested are primarily ones I have seen used by innovative innkeepers of inns I have experienced and enjoyed. The other sharings come directly from "yours truly."
Ideas for continuing this inntriguing dance through sweet smells, soothing sounds, tantalizing tastes, and titillating touch will be presented in the Winter 2002 edition of The B & B and Country Inn Market-place Guide. If you have related ideas you would like to share, please e-mail them to me. In the meanwhile, try guessing which of these four senses has the most enduring impact. The answer will be revealed in the next commentary.
Maxine Pinson is publisher/editor of The INNside Scoop, a bi-annual B & B newsletter. The on-line edition of the newsletter may be accessed at www.the-innside-scoop.com/marketguide.html A resident of Savannah, Georgia, Maxine may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Claude or Mariette Gagne
The B&B and Country Inn MarketPlace
926 Lenoir Rhyne Blvd., SE,
Hickory, NC 28602
Email us at email@example.com
Toll free 877-828-2323, Office: 828-324-7291