Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Meet Our New Innkeeper from Ireland

Meet Michael and Nuala our newest innkeepers. Their B&B is located in Curraghlea, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Ireland. Before opening their B&B in Ireland they ran a B&B in America 14 years. It was called The Shamrock House. After returning to Ireland they named their B&B the Pennsylvania House B&B.

Hi Nuala and welcome to So after all of your experience in innkeeping can you tell me why you chose to run a bed and breakfast?

I enjoy meeting interesting people and what better way than with a B&B.

What is the one thing you enjoy most about living in your bed & breakfast in Curraghlea?

It's my own design and decor and I enjoy the spacious rooms. I also love the majestic panoramic views of the countryside, the privacy, and peacefullness.

I know a lot of people dream about owning a b&b. What would you say is your favorite thing about being an innkeeper?

I think my favorite would be being my own boss and sharing my home comforts with the people who enjoy the added extras that my home has to offer and making our guests feel at home.

Have you had an interesting experience with guests sharing your home?

We had two couples from Canada who had never met each other before. While they were having breakfast together and during the course of discussion one of the guests was doing family research discovered that they and the other guest were related. What a small world we live in!

What is the most memorable experience to date?

We were asked to make our B&B totally available to an English family who's daughter was marrying an Irish man. It was always the bride's dream to get married in Ireland so I agreed. What excitement I had in preparing for a bride. It was an early spring wedding, so I gathered wild flowers to make the front door entrance and all around the house nice for the bridal pictures and decorated a garden bench for the bridal groupe to take advantage of the panoramic views. This was my best experience to date.

Do you have any advise for someone looking to start a B&B?

My advice to anyone who was thinking of running a B&B is to make sure you enjoy meeting new people and are willing to share your home and time with total strangers many of which become good friends and return time and time again its very rewarding.

Do you have a spot that you think anyone visiting Donegal should see while staying with you?

If they like castles and gardens, one of Donegal's most mentioned and visited places is Glenveagh National Park which is only 10 miles away from our B&B. I also recommend a drive around Inishowen route 100 for breathtaking scenery.

If you would like to learn more about the Pennsylvania House or check on a reservation, you can contact them at:

Pennsylvania House
Curraghlea, Letterkenny, Co Donegal. Ireland.
WEBSITE: www.accommodationdonegal. com
074 9126808, Int Code: +00353 74
FAX: 074 9128905

Monday, March 10, 2008

Meet Our New Innkeeper from Wayland Orchard

Today's blog introduces David Wayland, innkeeper of Wayland Orchard Bed and Breakfast in Crozet Virginia. We welcome this new
bed and breakfast to our guide.

So David, what made you decide to open a bed and breakfast?

There were several reasons we began the B&B. We always wanted to do something like that, we had the mother-in-law suite which was perfect for a B&B, and we enjoy people and getting to make friends out of strangers. Also, we have a wonderful site with mountains and lakes around us and we are close to Monticello and University of Virginia.

What is the best part about living in Crozet?

We live in my childhood home with wonderful memories and are close to the amazing small city of Charlottesville, ranked the best in the nation!

If you had to name one reason, why would you say you like being an innkeeper?

Our favorite thing about B&Bing is meeting wonderful guests and it is a great way to add to our income!

Do you have a memorable moment while running your bed & breakfast?

I'd say having guest drive up for the night and us not realizing there was a reservation for that date; we sent them to a winery while we made up the bed, cleaning the room, and got food. They had a great time tasting wine and we were forgiven.

Do you have any advice for others thinking of becoming an innkeeper?

Stay in at least six B&B's and take notes. Operate it to reflect your own tastes, not someone else's. Read a good book on the subject, such as How to Open and Operate a Bed and Breakfast. Get as much advertising as you can afford.

Thanks David and welcome International Bed and Breakfast Pages.

You can contact David at:

Wayland Orchard Bed and Breakfast
6474 Apple Green Lane
Crozet Virginia United States 22932-2510

Visiting the Original Starbucks in Seattle

I was recently in Seattle for a few days. I wondered down by the waterfront and visited the original Starbucks. It was interesting in that they still have their original logo and you can get a feel for their humble origins. It is located on Pikes Place across from the famous Pike Street Market. The market is also worth a look. If Starbucks isn't enough caffeine, try the Turkish coffee at the Turkish Cafe.

And of course if you need a place to stay, check out our Seattle and Seattle area inns.

Have fun!


Meet and Innkeeper from Paris, France

Lisa Quin is the innkeeper for Dormouse House Garden Bed and Breakfast located just outside of Paris, France. She shares how she became an innkeeper.

As most people know about Paris or what they want to see here, I will share a few funny stories...

I moved to France nearly 10 years ago just to have a change(!!!) in my life. I was unmarried, no longer teaching high school (English, French, and Spanish) due to some health problems and had just lost my mom. I just decided to 'up stakes' and move here, taking all my stuff (enormous!). This included three animals and even a car. Eventually I found an apartment not too far from Paris. I did not want to live in Paris as it can be noisy, expensive, crowded, and difficult for an elderly dog to negotiate. Plus, it would be impossible to park and no private gardens! Ao i was happy to be NEAR paris instead.

Eventually I met my Scottish husband, got married in 2000, and we built Dormouse house two years later. In 2003 we started offering B&B accommodations so we could share our lovely house and garden and meet interesting people from all over! We love being hosts!

I have had many women guests exchange emails with me and say, you could be my twin!! - as we have so much in common. Ironically, I HAVE a twin (fraternal) and we are totally different!

Here are a few funny stories. We had one nice couple from Texas recently, and as most of you know,Texans can be big people. Don was telling us how he had broken several office chairs in India on his recent trip to his company's office there... He then sat down to dinner at our table...and broke through the seat!!

We had another big American male guest dine here - he ate very well and was very full but did NOT break the chair, but then went to sit on the folding chair outside and broke through THAT, ending up on the ground. no one was hurt and we all laughed! of course, we have replaced all these seats!

Recently we got an email from a woman in California who had seen our site on and she booked for June...later she read her Lowell High School alumni magazine (San Francisco) and saw...ME! With an update telling everyone where I was and what I was doing! This woman, linda, is a teacher (as am i) and decided to bring another woman friend to stay at dormouse house, who ALSO is an alumni! small world!

The first thing I ask myself when a potential guest writes is, what do we have in common? this is always a good opener and way to become friendly, and it is one of the things we love about having 'new friends' in our home!

Lisa Quinn