Saturday, August 27, 2011

Calm before the Storm

It's the calm before the storm - Irene is on her way! We're put away all the chairs, covered the motel windows, removed the plants, and brought the extra water, food, and candles into the house. We're ready for the storm - as ready as we can be. Of course by the time it reaches us the winds will only be 65-70 mph but they can still bring down trees, power lines, and cause havoc. We have no guests at present - everyone heading "home" where ever that might be.
Some neighbors may come stay with us as they fear being isolated in their homes with downed power lines. I reminded them we'll also be without power if they are without power but they are welcome to ride the storm out here if they wish. Being more "open" I suppose is appealing to those living in the woods. However, we have some mighty big trees on the property - who knows what's going to happen. Luckily we had everything pruned last year and most of the dead limbs are long gone. No power means no water so we'll be filling the tub up tonight so we can "flush" the toilet as needed. This is where having guests during a storm is problematic and this is why all of our signage is down. My only fear is that we'll lose the tops of our new lights. Aren't they pretty with the leaves? (If it would only right itself - hmmm). More after the storm! No lobster dinners tonight!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#1 on Trip Advisor for Top 5 Special Offers (world-wide)

Yes, it's true! Bay Leaf's special offer on Trip Advisor (2 nights = 2 lobsters) ranked #1 in the top 5 special offers viewed online by travelers! Well - take us up on it - stay two weekday nights and get two lobsters (cooked or uncooked). Coupon (required) available on Trip Advisor!
Or, go to the New England Inns and Resorts Association and see our special offer there: Stay two nights get one free (when you stay M-T-W or T-W-TH).

And if those aren't enough incentives.... try these Labor Day Weekend Specials on NEIRA for Bay Leaf Cottages:

Family Reunion Special - book 3 nights in a cottage for your family and get a motel room for the grandparents for three nights absolutely free! Continental breakfast included daily for all.

Stay 3 nights Receive $50 Gas Special (TH-F-S, F-S-S, or S-S-M) in either a cottage or motel room and receive a $50 Visa Travel Card to pay for your gas.

Dog Friendly Considerations

What does "Dog Friendly" mean to a lodging establishment? and You?
Yes, for resort properties welcoming travelers with their dogs, being "Dog Friendly" can mean an increase in clients and revenue. For those traveling with pet allergies, it can be a nightmare. Many establishments will designate a small portion of their rooms/cottages for those traveling with their dogs. A real "Dog Friendly" establishment will have the majority of rooms/cottages for clients with canines and fewer rooms/cottages for those who have allergies. By checking the property's website, you can determine a lot about the true "friendliness" of the lodging facility and management.
  1. How many rooms/cottages/units are designated as "Dog Friendly" as compared to the total available?
  2. Do you find the style and size of the rooms/cottages needed for you and/or your family?
  3. What are the nightly pet fees? - typical rates range from $10-$25 per night but can go as high as $150-250 in deposit fees.
  4. How far in advance does this property book up? check on high season availability early.
  5. Are there a minimum number of nights required during high season versus off-season?
  6. Are the grounds suitable for walking your dog and playing with your dog?
  7. Is there a dog-run or suitable place your dog can stay if you need to leave the property - say for a dinner or a wedding? Is the run shaded or does it have a dog house or a water source?
  8. Is there a clean dog crate that can accommodate your dog? Can it be used in the room or on the premises in a designated location?
  9. Is there someone available to walk the dog, feed or provide water for the dog? If so, what is the cost for such services? Like babysitting, guests should expect to pay for such help.
  10. What dog-friendly activities are nearby? - hiking trails, beaches, dog parks, etc.
  11. What human-friendly activities are nearby that will be suitable for a pet to accompany you? Will they allow dog entry to shops/museums/restaurants, for example, or will there be a place for your dog to be on a leash, etc.??
  12. Is the place clean and free of debris that could harm your pet?
  13. Are suitable "pet friendly" chemicals used by the housekeeping staff and yard maintenance?
  14. Will your dog be welcomed as part of the "family" by staff and management - is there a dog living there?
  15. Will dog food and treats be available on-site should there be a need (you ran out, stores are closed, there aren't any stores around selling dog food, etc.)?
  16. Is there a suitable Veterinarian and emergency care facility nearby in case of need?
  17. Are there wild animals in the vicinity that you should be aware of?

What property owners think about but may/may not ask you... this should be your pre-travel check-list:

  1. Is your dog registered in your community? (wearing a color with dog tags or micro-chipped)
  2. How old is your dog - puppies chew and bark and generally aren't as welcome as well-behaved older dogs. However, older dogs may have incontinence issues that should be planned for.
  3. How big is your dog as compared to the space you wish to book for you or your family?
  4. Does your breed of dog have a "bad reputation"? Lodging owners/managers will be concerned about liability issues in terms of how your dog might interact with others staying at the resort. Consider that the "media" has made owning a pit bull "negative" as compared to a cockier spaniel.
  5. Does your dog shed excessively and could this shedding create an added cleaning fee? Should you have your dog groomed before your trip to reduce this possibility?
  6. Is your dog free of fleas, ticks and other parasites?
  7. Has your dog had all of the major vaccinations (to protect others staying on-site and their pets) - Rabies, Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza, Corona, Bordetella, Lyme, etc.?
  8. Do you have issues of worms or other parasites under control?
  9. Do you regularly use flea control with your dog? (topical or oral)
  10. Do you regularly wash/groom your dog?
  11. Has your dog been spayed or neutered?
  12. How many dogs are you traveling with?
  13. Do you understand that dogs will not be allowed to stay in the room/cottage unattended?
  14. Will you walk your dog on a leash and pick up any excrement (pooper scoop)?
  15. Will you use the "doggie cover" provided (for bed or sofa) so that your dog's hair doesn't get all over the linens or that wet paws don't soil bedspreads, cushions, pillows?
  16. Will you bring bowls for food for your dog instead of using those dishes for humans in the kitchenettes?
  17. Will you bring doggie toys?
  18. Will you ask for suitable towels from housekeeping to use with your dog (in case of rain, beach play, etc.)?

While the above list may seem exhaustive, it reminds us as pet owners that, just like ourselves, there are welcome visitors and unwelcome ones. When pet owners take the responsibility of having a healthy pet, resort owners are happy to welcome such dogs to their premises and into their rooms.

Bay Leaf Cottages & Bistro welcomes your dog to stay along with you and your family in our pet-friendly cottages and motel rooms.