Location, Location, Location!
If you read our last post you had a small introduction to the Mark Addy and myself. Rather than boring you with an autobiography on myself or an essay about the Inn...each week you'll learn something new in fun snippets! Don't worry...I'll cover it all!
On today's agenda....
We're located along the #Nelson151 corridor!
What's that...you ask?
"The destination for Virginia wine, cider, spirits, craft beer, local food, and outdoor recreation lovers!"
Rather than being in competition, the Nelson 151 members and partners are able to take advantage of their close proximity along the same route. The byway on the sunrise side of the Blue Ridge Mountains features breathtaking views and stops along the way. Those traveling to our area can enjoy farmers markets, unique shopping, bed and breakfasts (LIKE OURS!), local restaurants, community centers, orchards, hiking, and other outdoor activities.
It's no wonder the route has become such an attraction... the website boasts that "Nelson 151 is the perfect choice for a day trip or weekend excursion," and based on the variety above...we could not agree more!
The Mark Addy is just one out of 18 lodging partners recognized by #Nelson151. These partners include cabins, cottages, large homes, bed and breakfast's, and even some resort options. As small businesses along the same route as all of these attractions...we are knowledgeable, conveniently located and likely to send you in the right direction! (PLUS--here at the Mark Addy every guest receives a booklet of special offers and discounts to our #localpartners!)
Speaking of our partners, I posted a list of our current ones below!
Their names are all linked to their websites.
We want you to visit #NelsonCounty. We want you to experience every bit our area has to offer, and we want you to be able to do it with EASE!
Remember I noted there are 18 lodging partners listed on the NELSON 151 website? That means there are 18 locations willing to give you any and every bit of information you ask for before and during your stay! These locations are familiar with venues, local business owners and #local events. They can also tell you which of their accommodations is the best fit for you, add on special amenities and answer questions up front.
This leads me to my next topic...
BOOKING DIRECT WILL ALWAYS YIELD A MORE SATISFYING EXPERIENCE!
What if you have a question or need something clarified about your upcoming stay?
Although rooms and amenities are listed on third party websites, a person to person contact may benefit you more than you think. You may come across changes in your itinerary, you may want to know which level a room is on, if you can bring your pet, if a #privatebathroom is included, if there are any additional fees, can you do something special for your spouse on your anniversary, what's going on in the area and so on. These questions and concerns come to a stand still with little to no solution if you are booking through a third party.
We had a woman arrive with her husband, daughter, and daughter's husband a couple of weeks back. She had booked on Expedia. On the surface of the reservation, it was understood that she wanted a room that would fit 4 people. We have a room that fits 4, the one she had booked through a third party. Upon arrival, the woman and her group were shown to their room. The guests were surprised that the room was not a suite with separate space for each couple. In fact, that's the impression booking on Expedia had given them. Although the room fits four comfortably in some instances, two adult couples sharing the space and one bathroom was not going to work. We were able to adjust the reservation and get them a second room at an additional cost...but if we were fully booked or she was not prepared to pay the difference they would have had a very unsatisfactory stay, at NO fault of our own!
If she had booked through us and had an opportunity to explain her situation and what she was looking for she would have been billed one time and known what to expect upon arrival. By speaking to us, the confusion and disappointment (although brief) could have been avoided all together!
Are you really getting a deal?
Online Travel Agents, also known as third party booking sites, pull rates for bookings directly from OUR website. This means that our rates are the same everywhere on the internet! Many people find locations and attempt to search these third parties to find the #bestdeal. Sites like Expedia and Booking.com take around 15%! They do not even grant us permission to send our guests receipts or confirmations because their rates reflect the commission!
The reason behind this-- they want you to continue to book through them! If you found out that you could pay a lodging venue directly, communicate all details in full with the property AND save yourself and the venue some money...why would you continue to book through a third party!?
OKAY OKAY, no third parties...what about an even sweeter deal? (OR NOT)
"Airbnb charges the owner 3% of the total booking price. Airbnb also charges the guest. The guest pays between 6–12% depending on the total cost of the reservation."- www.airbnb.com
(NOT TO MENTION ADDED FEES FOR CLEANING AND EVEN 20% SERVICE CHARGE JUST FOR MAKING YOUR RESERVATION AND PROCESSING THROUGH THEM!)
"We prohibit off-site payments because paying outside of Airbnb makes it harder for us to protect your information and puts you at a greater risk of fraud and other security issues. " -www.airbnb.com
(AND ALSO BECAUSE YOU WOULDNT HAVE TO PAY THEM ALL THOSE FEES IF YOU CONTACTED THE HOST DIRECTLY)
AIRBNB allows tourists to rent out properties that are currently lived in, have been taken off the rental market to be used as short term lodging, or places they may use as vacation homes and allow guests to rent when vacant.
Here in Nelson County, AIRBNB has become very popular. So popular in fact, that it is nearly impossible to find a place to rent monthly if you live and work here. Condo owners and home owners would rather allow guests to come for one or two nights at a seemingly low rate than to rent month to month to tenants.
Many of these "hosts" of "air mattress bed and breakfast's" never come face to face with their guests. Who do you talk to about recommendations for dinner? Can your pet come with you? (We are #petfriendly) What if you blow a fuse at 1a.m.? Some rely on a cleaning crew only and do not visit these houses between guests. This leaves many AIRBNB locations dusty, with dead bugs and cobwebs in the corners. They are able to combat bad reviews by then reviewing you a "high maintenance" guest that was so difficult to please that no one else should allow you to stay at their place.
The platform itself is more HOST friendly than USER friendly. They ask that their hosts be honest about who they are and what their property offers, but do not have any sort of policing to make sure this is being followed.
One man who vacationed in Chicago was able to uncover a rather large AIRBNB scam on the west coast involving worn down properties that were not up to standard, changing guest location last minute and not allowing for a refund because the hosts were "within their right". Upon reading the article I wonder how AIRBNB found it "within the hosts right" to make 5 or 6 fake profiles in eight or more different cities with fake listings, only to direct guests to damaged and abandoned houses that had not been kept up or that they had bought as property managers to flip and sell.
"Airbnb has created a web of more than 7 million listings built largely on trust, easily exploitable by those willing to do so. Maybe it’s not so surprising that the company would rather play a half-assed game of whack-a-mole than answer basic questions about its verification process. For every person who doesn’t receive a complete refund, Airbnb makes money. "
Read that article here!
The point in all of this??
Direct communication builds trust!
You need to know who you're working with to guarantee the quality of your getaway. If you are not satisfied, we will work with you to ensure we come to common ground and find a solution.
Booking with a third party or booking even an AIRBNB eliminates direct communication with us (remember...the #Nelson151 lodging partner). We like to know our guests and provide them with a personal touch. This gives us the ability to communicate directly with you about your upcoming stay and payment arrangements including discounts and current specials! We can also adjust reservations or refund within our polices, where third parties stick to a strict cancellation policy, and AIRBNB does not allow you to make or discuss outside payments.
Where guests think they are getting a better deal booking through a third party or online with AIRBNB, they are actually risking the quality of their trip.
Keep all of this in mind when booking your stay along Nelson 151 and into your continued travels elsewhere! Take me up on this offer under our specials tab and #BOOKDIRECT to save 10% (can also be combined with other offers and discounts!!)
I look forward to posting for you all next week!
Come back and we'll go on another adventure together.