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#066: From Anthropology to High-Quality American Made Bedding and Linens with Janet Wischnia of American Blossom Linens

#066: From Anthropology to High-Quality American Made Bedding and Linens with Janet Wischnia of American Blossom Linens

Providing high-quality bedding and linens is a critical part of elevating the guest experience to ensure a dream-worthy stay.

With a storied history in U.S.-based manufacturing since 1889, American Blossom Linens, a brand of bedding made by Thomaston Mills, is a pioneer in providing American-made bedding and linens for independent lodging.

We are very thankful to Janet for sharing her insights with us. You can learn more about American Blossom Linens at americanblossomlinens.com.

#065: Designing Your Property to Maximize the Guest Experience with James Kuester of Küster Design

#065: Designing Your Property to Maximize the Guest Experience with James Kuester of Küster Design

Often overlooked, having a professionally designed interior can make your property truly stand out, reflect your brand and maximize the guest experience.

Starting out as a designer of home furnishings, James Kuester of Küster Design, transitioned his business to focus on interior design for the independent lodging sector. His firm’s focus is on interior branding in a way that enhances how guests interact with all aspects of a property. 

We are very thankful to James Kuester for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about Küster Design at kusterdesign.com.

#064: Elevate the Coffee Experience for Your Guests with Small Batch Roasting with Ann Brownell and Jeff Raybourn, Owners of the Cozy Cup Coffee Company

#064: Elevate the Coffee Experience for Your Guests with Small Batch Roasting with Ann Brownell and Jeff Raybourn, Owners of the Cozy Cup Coffee Company

When it comes to elevating the guest experience, serving high-quality coffee can really make a difference.

When Ann Brownell and Jeff Raybourn purchased the Cozy Cup Coffee Company in 2023, they had a vision of expanding their small batch roasted coffee beyond the walls of their coffee shop and into the innkeeping arena. They now have a customized innkeepers package that allows any property owner to provide the highest quality coffee to guests.

We are very thankful to Ann and Jeff for sharing their insights with us. You can learn more about the Cozy Cup Coffee Company at cozycupcoffee.com.

Frictionless TIP #12: Create Unique On-Property Guest Experiences

Frictionless TIP #12: Create Unique On-Property Guest Experiences

Attracting new guests and keeping them coming back has always been an ongoing challenge for the independent lodging industry. This was especially true during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it remains true today.

Property owners and managers have to get creative to survive and thrive. One way to do this is by developing unique experiences for their guests that standout from other lodging properties and B&Bs in their area.

For example, Doug Bagnasco and Jim DeBlasi, the co-owners of the Devonfield Inn, have successfully put this kind of practice into place at their charming inn nestled in the beautiful hills of the Berkshires. By partnering with local businesses, here’s what they offered:

  • Created a guided horseback trail ride package that provides stunning views of the Berkshire Mountains.
  • Brought in local musicians to perform lawn concerts.
  • Offered private yoga sessions from instructors from the Kripalu Center For Yoga & Health.
  • Hosted kayaking tour down the Housatonic River.
  • Created a fun ziplining package that has become quite popular.

Here are some other creative ideas for creating unique on-property experiences from innkeepers we’ve interviewed:

  • Christine Boeke, former owner of the Westcott House Bed & Breakfast, would invite people who work at local attractions to have breakfast with her guests, so they could have an intimate conversation about the area.
  • Share your passions with guests, and create an offering around it. For example, beer is the central attraction at WildManDan’s Beercentric B&B.

Much of this hard work does pay off. For example, The Devonfield Inn has been a repeated top-rated bed and breakfast by TripAdvisor and Expedia.

To learn more from Doug and Jim on how to create unique guest experiences that will attract and keep your guests coming back, listen to their podcast here.

#063: Money and Water-Saving Shower Heads from an Aerospace Engineer Turned Solopreneur with Craig Steele, President and CEO of Samson Shower Systems

#063: Money and Water-Saving Shower Heads from an Aerospace Engineer Turned Solopreneur with Craig Steele, President and CEO of Samson Shower Systems

A number of years ago, aerospace engineer Craig Steele’s frustration over a malfunctioning hotel shower head led him on a journey to design a better version of a device typically taken for granted.

This quest led Craig to bootstrap Samson Shower Systems, which offers high pressure, water-saving shower heads that are made from quality, aerospace-grade materials and expected to outlast most products on the market. His offering can provide great value to lodging properties and his story should resonate with independent lodging professionals who will likely relate to his high level of commitment and persistence.

We are very thankful to Craig for sharing his insights with us. You can learn more about Samson Shower Systems at samsonshower.com.