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Bed and Breakfast Etiquette and FAQ

We realize that you may have questions about your stay at Puffin Inn Ogunquit, Maine, Bed and Breakfast. We want to make sure your stay is as easy and relaxing as possible, so here are answers to some frequently asked questions.

Bed and Breakfast Etiquette (courtesy of bedandbreakfast.com) and FAQ

First time staying at a bed and breakfast?  It is different than staying at a chain hotel.  Read about proper bed and breakfast etiquette so you know what to expect and also how to act.  Some take kids and pets, some don’t.  Some serve breakfast at one time only, some have a range.  Don’t choose a bed and breakfast that can’t accommodate your needs and expect them to change things for you once you arrive.  Below, we have answered the most common questions about staying at a bed and breakfast.

You are staying in someone’s home.  When staying at a bed and breakfast realize you are staying in someone’s home.  You should treat the house with respect just as you would if staying with good friends.  There are policies to follow that have been set up for a reason.  Would you take a white towel from your friend’s house and use it to wipe off your make up?  Certainly not!  Bed and breakfasts don’t have the budget or staff of a chain hotel and a stained towel takes time to clean and sometimes the towel will not be savable.  This is an expense for a bed and breakfast that will cost them time or money cleaning or replacing the towel.  Common courtesy.  Your innkeepers do want you to have a good time though so don’t hesitate to ask if there is something you need.

Is there a front desk?  Most bed and breakfasts don’t have a front desk.  Again, you are staying in someone’s house.  Would you tell your friends that you’ll be arriving at their home between 4-5pm and then show up at 10pm without calling or texting? Certainly not!  Innkeepers wear many hats and don’t have time to sit behind a front desk.  They are the cook, housekeeper, concierge, marketer, accountant, maintenance person, gardener and much more.  Usually someone can be reached by phone most hours if you need help.

Check in/out times:  Bed and breakfast check in times can vary.  Usually they don’t start until after 3pm.  Realize that the limited staff only has from check out (usually 10:30am) to check in (usually 3pm) to get the house and rooms cleaned, do all the laundry, run errands, prep food, answer phones and emails, maintenance and gardening and much more in a short time frame.  Don’t think that since you arrived into town early, you should be able to check into your room early.   If you didn’t arrange for an early check in ahead of time, don’t just drop by and expect you can get into your room before the normal check in hour.  This can really upset the flow of duties that need to be done to be ready for everyone’s check in at 3pm.  Remember, bed and breakfasts have very limited staff and every minute counts! Check-in time at the Puffin Inn is between 3:00pm and 6:00pm. Check out time is promptly at 10:30 am. If arriving prior to check-in time, you may park your car in the parking area at the Inn and walk into town. It is not necessary to come into the house to let us know that you’ve done this. Unfortunately we do not have public restrooms for guests to use prior to check-in. Reservations will be held until 6:00pm unless notified of a late arrival. Please let us know if you will be arriving after 6pm so we may arrange special late check-in instructions. A $50 late check-in/check-out fee will apply as applicable. For guests arriving late, a “Late Arrival” letter will be left in your room with information about breakfast, along with your guest room key.

How much deposit is required to reserve a guest room and what are your payment methods?    A 50% deposit is required for all reservations. Balance is due upon arrival. We accept Visa, MasterCard, cash and traveler’s checks. Checks are accepted for deposits only. Confirmation of your reservation, and receipt of your deposit, will be forwarded by email.

What happens should I need to cancel my reservation?  Because we are a small bed and breakfast and a seasonal business, cancellations have a considerable impact. We therefore adhere strictly to our cancellation policy. In the unfortunate event that you must change or cancel any part of your reservation, notice of 21 days or greater is required to refund the advanced deposit (less $50 processing fee). Guests will be responsible for all charges as originally booked if changes or cancellations are received less than 21 days of the stated arrival. If cancellation is a possibility we would suggest the purchase of travel insurance. Please note, if a reservation length is decreased inside the cancellation policy, there will be a $50.00 change fee. “No shows” will be charged for the entire reservation. If you do not check in before 6pm and have not made arrangements for a late arrival, you will be considered a “no show”. No refunds for early departure. Guests departing prior to reserved length of time are charged for the entire number of nights reserved. We do not refund for inclement weather.

How do I make a reservation if I have a gift certificate to use? Please call or email us the dates that you are interested in if you’d like to make a reservation using a gift certificate. 207-646-5496 or innkeeper@puffininn.com

Breakfast:  Staying at a bed and breakfast includes of course, breakfast!  Be sure to ask or look at the website to see what kind of breakfast they serve.  Some are just continental (pastries, coffee and juice), some are continental plus (pastries, coffee, juice, cereal and milk, fruit), and some include a hot entree.  If you have any dietary restrictions, be sure to let the innkeeper know before you arrive.  They are always willing to try to accommodate but it is more difficult without any warning.  Most bed and breakfasts don’t have a restaurant and make the same thing for everyone, so last minute adjustments can be more difficult.  The breakfast menu at the Puffin Inn changes daily. Each morning guests will be treated to fresh cut fruit and choice of juice, homemade sweet bread and a sweet entrée or savory entrée. Additionally, we always offer a variety of teas, and fresh brewed coffee. Breakfast is served in the breakfast room or out on our open porch (seasonally). We serve breakfast between 8:30 and 9:30am. Coffee is generally available by 7:00am.

Do I have to eat breakfast with everyone else?  At The Puffin Inn, we offer private tables, inside and outside, for dining.  You can talk to other people if you wish, or you can enjoy the views and privacy (like a restaurant) at your private table.

Can I invite others to join me for breakfast?  At The Puffin Inn, yes you can.  There is an additional charge and we do require at least 48 hours notice.  Please ask for details.

Can you accommodate our vegetarian and gluten free diets? With notice, we can accommodate both vegetarian and gluten free diets. When making your reservation using our online system, please make a note of this under the dietary restrictions area.

I choose not to eat certain things such as milk, cheese and carbohydrates; can you make me a special meal? Please be aware that we are not a restaurant and because of the number of guests for whom we provide breakfast, we may not be able to accommodate special requests beyond vegetarian and gluten free. Before making a reservation, please email us regarding your dietary needs/special request to determine if we can accommodate you. If we are unable to do so, we can offer you breakfast vouchers to the restaurant located next door to the Inn.

Do you allow children or pets?  Some bed and breakfasts allow pets or children or both, some do not.  Be sure to ask when booking.  The Puffin Inn is pet free but does allow children over the age of 10 in certain rooms with prior notice.

How many people can sleep in your guest rooms? All guest rooms, with the exception of room 10, accommodate only two people. We do not have cots, cribs or pullout sofas. More than two guests in one bed, or sleeping on the guest room floor, is not permitted. There is a twin size sleeper loveseat in room 10. A maximum of 3 guests are allowed to stay in this room. Room 10 is the only room on property where more than 2 guests are allowed. An additional charge of $40 per night will apply for a 3rd person regardless of age.

Are the rooms cleaned daily?  At The Puffin Inn, we offer daily housekeeping much like a hotel.  We make the bed, empty the trash, and replace used towels.  If staying multiple days, the sheets will be changed on the third day.

Do your guest rooms have private baths?  Most bed and breakfasts these days offer private baths. All of our guest rooms at the Puffin Inn have their own private bathroom. We do not have any shared bathrooms.

Do the innkeepers live onsite?  Yes they do. At The Puffin Inn you can reach someone 24/7 for anything you need.  Running a bed and breakfast is a tiring job with long days.  We appreciate if you call for something between the hours of 11am and 8pm unless it is an emergency.

Are the guest rooms air-conditioned? Yes, all of our guest rooms have guest-controlled window unit air conditioners or wall-mounted ductless heating and cooling units.

Do the rooms have irons, hair dryers and bath amenities?  Yes, The Puffin Inn’s rooms are comparable to a hotel room.  All of our guest rooms have a flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, wine glasses, corkscrew, hair dryer, iron and ironing board.

Do you have free parking and Complimentary Wi-Fi?  Yes we do. There is free on-site parking for one car per room. Unfortunately we do not have extra parking available for visitors of registered guests. Because we have limited parking, guests checking out must remove their cars from the parking area by10:30 am to allow for incoming guests.

Are there phones in the guest rooms? Knowing almost everyone travels with their cell phones today, we do not have phones in our guest rooms.

Can I come and go as I please?  Yes.  At The Puffin Inn, you have your own key to the house and your room. You can come and go 24/7, just like a hotel, however we do ask you to keep noise levels to a minimum during quiet hours.

Are you handicap accessible?  No, unfortunately we don’t have any ADA rooms.

Do you have a restaurant?  The Puffin Inn does not have a restaurant.  There are many restaurants within a couple of minutes though and hundreds within 20 minutes.  There is a list of restaurants on our website under dining to choose from.

We see that you have a wine and beer list available. What is the best way to arrange to order something from the list? Notifying us in the notes section when you are making your reservation on-line or emailing us directly at least a few business days prior to arrival, are the best ways to ensure that the selections you are interested in will be available. This way we can have your wine and/or beer waiting for you in your room upon arrival. Copies of the wine and beer list will also be listed in the Puffin Inn Guest Books located in each guest room.

Can we walk to restaurants, shopping and the beach? Puffin Inn is a short walk to our charming town center (less than half a mile from the Inn). The entrance to the ‘Marginal Way’, the scenic coastal walking path, is about 3/4 of a mile from the Inn. And our beautiful white sandy beach is approximately 3/4 mile from the Inn. Beach chairs, umbrellas, towels and beach buggy push carts are provided for guests to use. If you prefer not to walk, Puffin Inn is located on a trolley line. A trolley stop is located just outside the Inn, and the trolley will take you anywhere in town for $2.00 per person.

Can we bring our bikes? Absolutely, although, Ogunquit streets are very narrow and traffic can be quite busy during the peak summer season. Therefore, biking can be very difficult. Biking is not allowed on the beach or Marginal Way.

What sort of public transportation is available in Ogunquit? During peak season (Memorial Day Weekend – Columbus Day) there is a trolley bus service that will take you to the beaches, Perkins Cove, and to the center of town. There are also trolley buses that connect the seasonal towns of York, Ogunquit, Wells, Kennebunk and Kennebunkport, as well as the Wells Amtrak’s Down-easter line. Check out http://www.ogunquittrolley.com/our-schedule/ for more information on the bus. The trolley stop is to the right and directly across the street from our house.

Do you have a pool, hot tub, or whirlpool bathtubs? We do not have a pool or hot tub. Some of the bathrooms have a standard bathtub, but do not have whirlpool bathtubs.

How far are you from the airport?  45 minutes from PWM (Portland, ME) and 90 minutes from BOS (Boston, MA).

Damage:  If something gets damaged, broken or otherwise, don’t hide it.  Let your innkeeper know what happened soon as you can.  Especially if a spill, like a glass of red wine, so they can minimize damage and get things cleaned up quickly as possible so there aren’t any permanent stains.  If you broke something accidentally, let them know that also.  Just like you would if you were at a friends’ house. Innkeepers know that accidents happen.  That being said, try to use some common sense in trying to prevent damage to their home or property.  Leaving a dripping bottle on the antique table or using one of their white towels to wipe off your car would not be appreciated. Your innkeeper would be more than happy to provide you with a coaster or a rag.  Just ask.

Courtesy:  It is our responsibility to clearly communicate what we expect of and offer our guests.  We also expect that our guests will be clear in asking for what they need to make their stay the most enjoyable.  Neither of us are mind readers!  For instance, if you know you will be arriving late, make a courtesy call to the B&B and find out what you should do.  Don’t just show up late expecting someone on staff to be available to show you around.  Many bed and breakfast tasks are scheduled around when they expect their guests to arrive.  Remember, you are staying in someone’s house. They don’t have the 24-hour staff of a chain hotel.  Think of it more like you are staying with friends. We ask that if something isn’t right, that you let us know so we have the opportunity to make it right. That may not always be possible, but we will do our best.  If you haven’t given the innkeeper the chance to address your concerns, it is truly the worst etiquette to later leave a bad review of the property.

Is a bed and breakfast for everyone?  Most, but not all.  Some people have the impression that the B&B is in someone’s house and that the bath is not in the room.  Some B&B’s don’t have TV’s.  At the Puffin Inn, all of our rooms have private baths, locking doors, 32″ or larger TV’s, Wi-Fi, and offer complete privacy for our guests.  If you are not sure a B&B is right for you or your guests, call us and we can answer any questions over the phone.  It is not the same as staying at a chain hotel.

Why should we stay at The Puffin Inn?  Our B&B is friendlier, more comfortable and includes a highly rated full, hot, three-course breakfast.  As a small family owned business, we are grateful for the guests that stay here.  We are constantly updating the property to keep it fresh for new or returning guests.

 

 

 

 

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A Historic-Chic Bed & Breakfast in the seaside town of Ogunquit

Puffin Inn Bed and Breakfast

433 Main Street
P.O. Box 2232
Ogunquit, Maine 03907
(207) 646-5496
innkeeper@puffininn.com
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