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We are Roger and Cecelia, inkeepers of The Blue Door on Baltimore Bed & Breakfast in Butcher's Hill. We love our life as inkeepers and feel our Bed and Breakfast is a natural extension to who we are. We will use the Blue Door on Baltimore Blog to share some of our favorite recipes, tips and experiences.

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Tuesday
Feb212012

Inn Keeping looks like it may be fun but it sure looks like a lot of work. So what is it like? (Part 1)

The most common question we get from our guests is, “Inn Keeping looks like it may be fun but it sure looks like a lot of work. So what is it like?”

The short answer to the question–like any profession there is a balance. It’s not all dirty dishes, mountains of laundry, scrubbing, and maintenance as our photos may imply. There is a lot to be said about setting your own schedule in a beautiful place you call home, taking up residence in a small hotel, playing with your passion for cooking, and getting to meet and share a space with new and interesting people every day. So there is work and there is fun. A job with fun is not necessarily WORK!

Of course, there is something to do all of the time. The balance is not letting a pre-occupation of thinking everything must be done today, get to you. It is not like we have to leave our home for 8-10 hours and then return to do everything. Our usual 6 loads of laundry, three rooms with common rooms needing cleaning, fixing that broken thing, and attending to an unsightly mark on the wall would surely be a nightmare if they needed to be done at the end of hard day of the office. The Blue Door is our office and they are manageable with a little creativity.

All in a Day–Long before our first guests are down for breakfast we already have two loads of laundry (from the previous day!) in the machine. The email from overnight is getting answered. The table and kitchen are set for the menu of the day. Our guests arrive and breakfast is served from 7:00 -10:00 AM with the dishes cleared and washed shortly after. A little quiet time. Guests Check out. More email is read, more loads of laundry. Rooms are attended to. More Email, a little marketing and some R&R time (mixed with fixing that broken thing, more laundry, playing with Leopold, escaping to the sailboat, answering some reservation questions). Check-in–greet visit with more of our wonderful guests. Turn down rooms for the evening with special treat. Relax and enjoy some more guest conversation… There you have it...

Innkeeping is more about pacing throughout the day with high degrees of flexibility for the interruptions that are bound to happen. Any experienced innkeeper will say, if you like having a structure to your day this may not the job for you. What you plan for is rarely accomplished in the order hoped and often things that were supposed to be addressed in the future become the center of attention. A guest arrival time significantly altered, a broken gadget in the kitchen necessary for the day’s breakfast prep, a contractor saying today is the day to make the repair requested with guests checking in that evening are all in a day’s activity. They give the appearance of us never taking a break, or seamlessly taking things in stride as chaos reigns, as we go about making your stay with us special. We can assure you there is some breathing time.

Of course there is always more to it than just the few short paragraphs you have read so far and we do not want to take all of your time. So while we go about our daily tasks making stays special at the Blue Door we would like to give our loyal followers a small task. Your Task: 2011 brought us 403 checked in reservations. We would love to have you venture and post your guesses on any of the following  statistics. 

How close can you guess?

  • Number of room nights served up
  • Breakfasts Served
  • Sheets Washed
  • Cookies served at turndown

Post your guesses in the comments section and have fun in our online community.

We will report back with the numbers when “Inn Keeping looks like it may be fun but it sure looks like a lot of work. So what is it like? (Part 2)” hits the Blogwaves in two weeks.

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