2011 is shaping up to be a year of ups and downs. Many things are going up in price, including gas and groceries. Airfare rates and fees are also looking to increase. On the bright side, the economy appears to be inching slowly into a recovery and people can afford to take vacations this year. As a small B&B owner and local resident of Asheville, I am doing my part to help our guests maintain a reasonable vacation budget.
Room rates at Blake House are not going up this year and all rooms in the main house are $150/night or less (double occupancy). PLUS, a full gourmet breakfast is included in the nightly rate.
While you can find cheaper places to stay like an area motel or hotel, if you are looking for a complete experience, why not stay at an Asheville B&B? Blake House is pet- and child-friendly. The perception that B&Bs are exclusive and too expensive is just not true. Let me list just a few of the things about a B&B that recommend it as an accommodation people need to consider:
- Uniqueness – Every B&B is different from every other B&B. In other words, no two B&Bs are alike and no 2 rooms within a B&B are alike. That’s because the majority of B&Bs are in historic homes where the craftsmanship and quality of construction tend to be better (thus, the reason they are still standing after hundreds of years), making each room a study in history. I have nothing against hotels, but if the walls could talk in a hotel, what do you think they’d say? In a historic B&B, you may very well find out what the walls have said because many are on National and/or Local Historical Registers and much of the historical information has been researched and provided for guests’ entertainment. Also part of the character of an historic house are the quirks and creaks that make it unique. Some houses may even be haunted by past occupants (if you’re into that kind of thing).
- Personal Service & Area Knowledge – Some of the best tour guides and keepers of knowledge about all things Asheville are your local innkeepers. Innkeepers are fantastic resources of information on where to go to eat and experience this wonderful city. They have intimate knowledge of the good, the great, and the avoidable places and they are more than willing to share their opinions and experiences with their guests. This is an often overlooked benefit for guests, but its priceless when you consider your overall experience. The average hotel concierge may or may not even live around the hotel where they work and, therefore, may or may not have intimate knowledge of the area. Hotels tend to refer guests to the big attractions and places where the hotel has a financial interest. If you really want to have a great time in Asheville, trust your innkeeper to provide personal service with a strong desire for you to enjoy your entire trip.
- Home-made Gourmet Breakfasts – While breakfast is also offered at hotels, most are offering breakfast buffets for hundreds of guests. The average B&B is serving breakfast to a much, much smaller group of guests and you know it was made fresh and brought to you straight from the oven and had not been sitting under heat lamps for extended periods of time. Innkeepers are quite adept at working around dietary restrictions (with advance notice) and in a city like Asheville, it is not uncommon to have guests with food restrictions. When you look at breakfast in the context of the overall B&B experience, it becomes a more personal experience as well. Guests get to meet and chat with other guests, sharing their experiences in the city thus far and trading information about where they live, what brought them to Asheville, etc., etc. Do you ever speak to anyone at a hotel breakfast other than your server? I have seen so many guests make new acquaintances/friends during breakfast and exchange contact information afterwards. How cool is that? Yeah, MacDonald’s and Denny’s are cheaper, but can they really compare to the B&B breakfast experience?
- The Best in Amenities – While historical houses suggest that everything inside is antiquated, that couldn’t be further from the truth. The majority of B&Bs have been retrofitted and renovated with modern conveniences, including individual bathrooms for each guestroom, central heat and air conditioning, wi-fi, TVs and DVD players, ipod/cd docking stations, and so on. Yeah, some do it better than others, but in some cases, it’s not possible to totally modernize a centuries-old house without defiling the integrity of the original structure. So, we work around those inconveniences as best as possible. B&Bs also include many freebies that the average hotel/motel does not, including snacks and homemade goodies for the guests, free movies for guests to watch and games for guests to amuse themselves with. Think any of these things are free or even offered at hotels?
So when you consider your next trip, be it for business or pleasure, consider the B&B. They may not be out of your price range. Call and speak to the innkeeper before making your reservation so you can “meet” first and you can get a feel for that particular B&B and whether or not it fits with what you are looking for. Remember that every B&B is different so if one is not to your liking, there are many more to choose from. Figure out what is most important to you in your stay and find out from the innkeeper if they can fill your needs.
Blake House is located in the city limits of Asheville, but we are not in downtown and while a 15-minute drive to downtown from the Inn doesn’t seem like a lot of time, for some it is and I understand that. What’s great about South Asheville is that it is building up quickly, having added the Biltmore Square Town Center with a modern movie theater, a handful of restaurants, and boutiques. South Asheville also has several fabulous independent restaurants and some of the downtown restaurants are opening South Asheville locations (Tupelo Honey Cafe and Fiore’s Ristorante Toscana is coming soon). Before long, South Asheville will be as big as downtown and guests will have to think of reasons to leave our south location. This South Asheville B&B plans to keep its room rates affordable and our guests as happy and comfortable as possible.
Mention this blog post when making your reservation and receive $10 off your total, in addition to any other special/discount you may qualify for.