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white bedroom with plants on shelves

Easy Upgrades for a Fresh Look to Your B&B for 2024

running a bed and breakfast Dec 18, 2023

As we move ( very rapidly ) towards the new year, it's the perfect time to think about making small, but impactful, changes to your bed and breakfast.

One set of guests, who visited me every Easter for 10 Years, told me they loved spotting the small changes I’d made each time they visited.

None of the changes were huge or costly, but my guests told me it showed that I was constantly thinking of my customers’ comfort and looking for ways to improve.

In this blog post, I’m going to give some suggestions for some small, practical things you can do that can upgrade your B&B experience and increase guest satisfaction without upsetting your bank manager.

I'll be recommending some products from the UK Hospitality Supplier Out of Eden in this blog post. For more about my collaboration with Out of Eden, read this post >> Where to shop for your hospitality supplies.
The legal bit - this is a paid sponsored post. This blog thrives on the support and trust of readers like you. Collaborating with companies like Out of Eden, and only recommending products I'd actually buy or have been recommended to me by other hospitality providers whom I trust, enables me to continue providing valuable content to you for free.

How to know when to make changes

You’d think after 17 years of running a B&B with 70% repeat business, I’d have got things pretty perfect at my B&B.

But trends, styles, technologies and guests’ expectations are always changing. So I think it’s important not to stand still and be regularly assessing what you’re offering and seeing if there are ways to improve.

At the same time, all those repeat guests came back because they’d found a B&B they loved staying at, so it’s important not to go too over the top with any changes unless you’re hoping to attract a whole new set of guests.

Where to get ideas for changes

I made some changes based on guest feedback, like adding a footstool and nesting tables by the sofas in the room.

Other adjustments were about solving a problem. I used to supply wine glasses and a corkscrew in the guest rooms, but the glasses kept getting knocked over and breaking when guests closed the curtains. So, I installed a floating shelf with a deep ledge. Then I had a place for all the glasses and mugs, freeing up space on the tea tray.

For small upgrade ideas, check your reviews and those of similar B&Bs. Look at both positive and constructive feedback. Can you enhance what guests already like or borrow ideas from other places? 

Here are some more ideas:

1. Add some New Cushions and a Matching Runner

Introducing new scatter cushions is a fast, easy, and budget-friendly method to freshen up your B&B. Out of Eden offers an excellent selection of cost-effective and stylish cushions and runners that can instantly revitalise a room. My personal favourites are these Catriona Runners paired with the hare cushions!

2. Change the lighting

Lighting plays a crucial role in a B&B room. The right lighting has the power to transform the entire feel of your B&B. When guests arrived during the darker months of late autumn and winter, I made it a point to switch on the side lamps, creating a welcoming atmosphere with a warm and cosy glow.

Consider adding adjustable bedside lamps with dimmer switches. This allows guests to set the lighting to a low level for a relaxing mood or turn it up for easy reading. If you have the space, adding a freestanding floor lamp or two can make a significant difference in enhancing the overall feel of the room.

3. Upgrade your tea tray

Is it time to reconsider the offerings on your welcome tea tray? If you currently provide instant coffee, consider upgrading by including a cafetiere along with user-friendly cafetiere coffee sachets. Alternatively, improve the experience for tea lovers by placing a small teapot in the room. This provides a more traditional tea-drinking experience compared to brewing a tea bag in a mug.
My repeat guests particularly appreciate my stubby teapot, perfectly sized to brew tea for two people.

4. Tech-Friendly Touches

As more and more guests travel with their indispensable phones and tablets, is it time to consider adding some more tech-friendly items to your room?

Maybe a charging station with various adapters so that they can charge all of their devices in one go? Or smart speakers so they can listen to their favourite music.

None of these need to be particularly expensive. An online search will provide you with some good value for money options.

5. Thoughtful Bathroom Upgrades

Small changes in the bathroom can make a big impact. Consider adding washable slippers, bathrobes, upgrading your towels, or introducing eco-friendly toiletries. Guests really notice these thoughtful touches.

Karen's Tip: If you offer non-washable slippers, leave a note encouraging guests to take them as a souvenir to reduce waste.

With washable slippers, do the opposite, and make sure guests don't slip them into their suitcase. I placed mine in a cloth bag, hung it next to the bathrobes on the bathroom door, and included a laminated note explaining that we laundered them for the next guests, offering to sell a pair to if they wanted to take them home.

6. Add some Greenery

Adding a few plants to your B&B rooms can help enhance their welcoming and homely feel.

Plants in a room have been linked to stress reduction, creating a more relaxing vibe, as well as acting as natural air purifiers by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
Make sure you choose plants that are fairly hard wearing and don’t need too much attention.

Karen’s Tip : I f you welcome pets and/or children to the B&B, double check that any plants you put in the rooms aren’t toxic.

Check out these websites for more info >>

7. Create a Snack Station

Who doesn't arrive in a B&B or hotel room and immediately look for some goodies? Just me, huh?

Most guests truly appreciate those little extras waiting for them in their room. One idea is to add a small basket filled with sweets, nuts, and mini bottles of water. Out of Eden offers a great variety of miniature treats that can fit the bill perfectly.

Karen’s Tip : Consider putting together a little bag of treats and water to give to guests upon departure for their journey. It's a simple gesture that creates a lovely lasting impression.

As an extra touch, you might want to include a postcard. It could ask for a review, offer a discount for a repeat stay, or encourage guests to join your email list and follow you on social media. It's a small effort that can go a long way in keeping your guests engaged and coming back for more.

8. Change your artwork

Art doesn't have to be extravagant. A few carefully chosen pieces or even local artwork can really add character to your B&B rooms. It's a conversation starter and adds a personal touch.

My dad is an artist, so we have no shortage of paintings, but if you’re not lucky enough to have an artist relative, consider approaching local artists and asking if they’d like to display their art on your walls.

I had a B&B friend who did this and also sold the art work, giving 90% of the sale to the artist and the rest to charity.

But you could also agree with the artist that you'll take a small percentage for yourself.

Improving your B&B doesn't always mean major renovations. Small upgrades, done thoughtfully, can make a significant difference, making guests wanting to come back for more

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