Walking early in the morning in the woods, the ferns are so high they reach my upper thighs. Chocolat holds her head up, her stick in her mouth, trying to navigate the path. We are a funny pair! It has been an interesting summer, with heavy downpours, hot sunny days and the vegetation growing profusely!
Lately, I have been thinking about the days when we owned an Inn; what was I thinking about becoming involved in the daily operation? Actually, I had never really thought about becoming an Innkeeper!
Cleaning rooms and training staff was eye-opening! Details that I am aware of in my personal life and environment were multiplied by 17 rooms, countless public areas, including two dining rooms. Behaviors that I took for granted, such as greeting guests, looking them in the eyes and smiling throughout, staff needed to be guided in. All that was soon routine, but what I really liked was the challenge to be creative and inventive.
At first, I worked with an architect and fired him! I then found a builder who understood our need for quality (or don’t bother) and I found through my friendship with another Innkeeper an outstanding antiques dealer! Things began to emerge: guests began to leave appreciative notes in the guestbook, complimented us on the warmth of the ambiance, reflected on the artwork on display and the hand-blown vases that accented their tables. (I annoyed our chef each week as I arranged the flowers for all the small vases on each dining table and all the bouquets for the public areas in his kitchen!)
Innkeeping allowed me to experience a side of my personality that I had never before embraced: being creative in the rooms and how I arranged them, deciding (with help) on décor, curtains, bed linens, and duvets. The art on the walls (no prints) came from my connection to the gallery in town and she, the owner, referred many clients to our Four Diamond restaurant. It was a positive, as well as profitable, relationship.
Innkeeping can really open your our own creative process, be it maintaining the integrity of the building, decorating a room, or setting the tone of graciousness with fresh flowers. It is you that is the creator of the Inn and that is deeply rewarding! Your passion in creating and gracious, warm hospitality will bring success to the bottom line. To me that creativity re-energized me despite long hard hours and tedious daily supervision of cleaning rooms and allowed me to be proud what we had achieved.
Enjoy and discover your talents.
All the best,