What great publicity for an inn to be written up in The Washington Post. An article profiles a weekend visit that a reporter took with her husband to the Kilmarnock Inn.
The review was very complimentary about the inn’s theme and ‘X Factor’ which is U.S. Presidents. She raved about the decor, loved the fact that she could reserve one of the inn’s pet friendly rooms, and was amused by her husband’s excitement about the amaretto scented shampoo.
Just as I was smiling about the very positive article and thinking that this would be a wonderful addition to the press page on their web site, I was stopped in my tracks. Due to the cold temperatures, the reporter was lamenting that they couldn’t take advantages of the lovely porch on the cottage or take a ride on one of the inn’s bicycles. Instead, she decided to relax on the bed, where a ‘caked on stain’ caught her eye. She called for a replacement comforter and was promptly given a new one, however it too was ‘less than pristine’.
The rest of the article was very positive, from discussion of the inn’s presidential themed breakfast items, to the convenient location of the inn in the center of town, and their putting green. Had it not been for that one sour note of the dirty comforter, it would have been a five star review.
It’s clear from the rest of the article that this is a wonderful inn with great amenities and so why am I making a big deal about this one issue? Three reasons:
- Today’s guests start their trip research on the web. After I read the article, I did a web search on the inn’s name to see if this article would show up. Sure enough, it’s number five in the search results after the inn’s own website and reviews from Trip Advisor. A guest is likely to click on a link from a source they would consider as a reputable, objective, third party.
- According to research, 70 percent of guests say that cleanliness and hygiene are most important when forming an opinion about a property. In bedrooms, the three most important factors were clean linen, no evidence of previous guests, and absence of bad smells or odors.
- The problem has an easy fix. Kudos to the inn for immediately responding to the guest’s complaint, however, extra attention should have been made to ensure that the replacement comforter was in pristine condition.