I was talking to Ozzy, our newest concierge the other day. He came to us from a large hotel over in the Napa Valley. He asked me the one question that comes up over and over..."How did you get into innkeeping?" (My business partner would reply "Temporary insanity!) What type of person wants to be an innkeeper anyway? It is extremely hard work day in and day out but we all love it! I had a conversation with a fellow innkeeper yesterday and she was frustrated with trying to keep up with the new marketing possibilities, keeping the website current, getting our arms around this whole social media thing, and now we have to go mobile too?! Geez- we used to just have to worry about what to fix for breakfast.
So I threw the question back at Ozzy...why does he want to be a concierge? There is a certain quality that we look for in a concierge and most of the innkeepers I have met have that same quality. There is an innate open hearted hospitality present; this quality cannot be purchased or trained. Ozzy said what he likes about the staff at Farmhouse is that we are so genuine, honest, and just real people with a real desire to please. (Makes you wonder about his co-workers at the other place.) The best concierges (and innkeepers) find joy in going above and beyond everyday just for the pleasure of making every guest feel welcome, special, and like they are visiting with friends.
We get a lot of reviews on Tripadvisor and many mention our concierge team (almost always by name). Our guests notice what we do and those reviews are like our report card. What makes this little country inn different from any other property offering accommodations in the California Wine Country? It is because we don't offer "accommodations"- we offer hospitality. It comes from our people...we find our employees have an absolute passion for what they do and work here for the love of it.
Hospitality is not a financial transaction. It is an attitude of the heart. It is what you offer old friends in your own home. It is welcoming, generous, personal, and FUN! It leaves you wanting to come back to visit again. We have some guests who have stayed with us 35 times over the last 10 years -they have watched us grow (sometimes a painful process) and now feel like part of the family. What makes them come back again and again? What makes a guest to your own home want to come back?
How do you entertain guests in your home? I am guessing you do it the same way we do...
We send you an invitation to visit...that would be our Farmhouse Inn website.
We make sure everything is ready for your visit- clean, fluffed, polished and all ready for company.
We go Shopping- supplies all purchased and menu prepared. Flowers, special requests, itineraries complete and confirmed.
We so look forward to your coming- we greet you with real warmth, affection, and excitement. We look forward to seeing you - whether it is your first visit or your 20th.
We get you all checked in and settled. We feed you, talk and laugh with you, introduce you around to some of our other friends in the wine country. We will swap travel tips and experiences- we want to hear your story.
We offer insights and suggestions to ensure you get maximum enjoyment from your visit to our home here in Sonoma County. We answer all your questions. How to get around? Where to eat? What to do? We are happy to help you relax and enjoy our little slice of heaven.
We will help you solve any problem that arises. Sometimes lost credit cards, lost luggage, emergency doctors, transportation disasters...whatever you need. It is our pleasure!
Isn't this how you entertain guests in your home? It is the only way we know how to do it. You are a guest- and by the time you leave - we hope you are a friend.