Thursday, February 15, 2018

Why B & Bs are the best!

The Fox and The Grapes Bed and Breakfast
overlooking Seneca Lake in Lodi, NY
We've read more and more articles these days by folks who shame the B & B industry. We can't help but wonder where they stayed that left them feeling so bitter. B & Bs have always been near and dear to our hearts, and since owning one, we're finding that we innkeepers need to do a better job at informing travelers about all the benefits we have to offer.  At the end of the day, it really all comes down to matching your needs with the right property. So before you decide that a B & B isn't for you, let us share the reasons why it could be for you.

Bed and breakfasts are ran by folks who are professional innkeepers.  This is our business-- our "paycheck" our "401K", you get the picture.  Since many of us have fewer than 10 rooms, we don't have that property chain cushion to help cover the overhead so good reviews are critical to our success, and the way we obtain good reviews is to actually do a really good job of taking care of our customers.  And contrary to what you've read or seen, we do wash bed linens, blankets, comforters, mattress covers and pillows frequently and between guests. Some of us even iron--ugh!  We clean and disinfect all surfaces even door knobs, railings, keys, etc. and we always clean the bathrooms top to bottom.  Some of us are truly germaphobes, in a good way.

Guinness - inn greeter
at The Fox and The Grapes
When you arrive at a B & B, you'll be greeted by an owner (and perhaps a pet or two) who will do their best to determine your needs while staying with them.  Don't get freaked out by our rambling questions, we're just trying to figure out how we can make your stay most enjoyable. You'll be escorted to a lovely room that will be clean, warm (or cool in the summertime) and homey.

And after a fantastic night's sleep, imagine enjoying that first cup of freshly brewed coffee in the morning while still in your pjs and slippers on an open air deck or covered front porch while listening to the birds sing or maybe in front of a nice warm fireplace on a cold wintry morning. And when the sun starts to fade, you may decide to enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail while watching a sunset with the only noise being the thoughts in your head. That's the beauty of a B & B. You can find properties in a rural setting, in the middle of a bustling city, on a small city street or  in the middle of nowhere! 

Our special Belgian waffles
Of course, I must mention the breakfasts!  Not all innkeepers are gourmet chefs, but most of us can cook and cook VERY well.  Some B & Bs offer multi-course gourmet breakfasts and some stick to the basics.  Some B & Bs offer optional choices for breakfast (The Fox and the Grapes offers full service and continental). Also worth noting, some B & Bs offer dinner, and many of us offer evening snacks, 24 hour coffee/tea service, and sell wine or alcohol on the property in addition to other specialty items. Most have free wi-fi and don't worry about being confined to your room. Like The Fox and The Grapes, many have both indoor and outdoor spaces for you to enjoy.

B & Bs are known for personalized attention. Whether its extra pillows or another blanket or hiking suggestions, spa recommendations or dinner plans, your innkeeper and their staff will know all the hot spots in the area.  We know it's an old cliche but most guests arrive as strangers and do leave us as friends.  Of course, if you don't get into that whole making friends scene, we respect that too.  Contrary to what you see on TV, we don't have required meet and greets or awkward forced socialization.  Remember the Gilmore Girls episode where Rory and her mom stayed in their room all day and night at a B & B to avoid social hour with other guests?  Yeah, it's not like that.  So what are you waiting for?
Kim and Bud Wagner
The Fox and The Grapes Bed and Breakfast

Give us a call to book your stay while visiting the Finger Lakes area.  We look forward to meeting you.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

The Finger Lakes in the Winter!

Cocoa by the fire!
If you've ever wondered what it's like around Seneca Lake in the winter, I'll bet you'd be surprised to hear that it's a wonderful time to visit. Despite the weather channel's constant forecasts of "heavy snow in upstate New York" (and FYI, they refer to everything north of NYC as "upstate) the heaviest of snowfall typically stays up north and west. Mostly due to Lake Ontario.  The biggest challenge is getting here, but  once you do, you'll find cleared roads and lots to do. If we do have snow, we are surrounded by national and state parks that offer beautiful trails for cross country skiing or snowshoeing. The falls also look amazing when they are frozen and take on a bit of a beautiful blue color.  So hit the trails and return to the B & B to warm up by the fire with a steaming mug of hot chocolate.  
 Hector Falls-Frozen Splendor

Of course, many of the wineries, breweries, distilleries and creameries are open. Smaller crowds provide for a more enjoyable experience for serious (or novice) tasters, and you can always find a good spot to eat. So if winter starts getting you down, just look us up, we've got a room and a fire ready and waiting.