Carriage Corner

Flower Shopping

Guests after their Greenhouse Tour!Many of our guests come up to Lancaster to shop at the local nurseries, many of which just happen to be Amish owned.   It’s interesting to us how many people drive out for the weekend to buy plants – but I will say, our guests come back with beautiful plants and great deals!

So, to help you find your favorite greenhouse/nursery, we reached out to several of our guests who come just to buy annuals, perennials, and sometimes their veggie starts.  These are the places they told us you MUST visit:

 

Must See Greenhouses:

Whispering Willow Greenhouse.  Whispering Willow is located at 1137 Lancaster Avenue, Terre Hill, PA 17581.  Check the link for their hours.

Leids GreenhouseBeautiful Basket at Leid's Greenhouse.  This is a greenhouse we learned about when some Amish Friends of ours asked if we’d take them to the nursery.  I do not garden, and I loved it!  We bought veggie starts for a fantastic price – $1.29 each for 6-packs of broccoli, cauliflower and onions.  The tomatoes already had huge green tomatoes on them and the 4″ pot was less than $5!!  Mr. Carriage Corner also went crazy with the annuals and perennials, buying several beautiful climbers to plant around Carriage Corner to add lots of spring and summer color to the yard.

Riverside Greenhouse (doesn’t have a website).  Our guests say they have unique colors of petunias and that’s why they go.  This greenhouse is also located in Ephrata at 1751 Division Hwy and is open Monday through Friday until 8p and Saturday until 5.

Zimmerman’s Greenhouse.  Zimmerman’s is only open seasonally, from mid-March through July 4th.  BUT they are open Monday through Friday until 8pm and Saturdays until 5pm.  Zimmerman’s Greenhouse is located in Ephrata at 421 Brossman Road.

Greenhouse Tour Map

Route to the Greenhouses listed

I Don’t Flower.

If you’re like me and love flowers but don’t have a green thumb, well, you’ll want to check out Flower and Home Marketplace in East Earl.  This is what one of our guests had to say about the Flower and Home Marketplace:  The selection of artificial flowers is never ending!  They are so lifelike! I’m not an artificial flower person at all but I’ve purchased quite a few from there! Jenn S.; Wayland, NY.

Since you’re headed out to purchase flowers, why not make a weekend of it?  Book into our Dahlia room – named after the quilt pattern, based on the flower.  We look forward to meeting you and hearing about your greenhouse excursions.

Peach Rhubarb Jam

Peach Rhubarb JamIn honor of the Rhubarb Festival at Kitchen Kettle in May, this year I came up with a new recipe.  As so often happens, I am inspired by a thought or a meal we had somewhere.  When we lived in Seattle, we had several rhubarb plants growing in our yard and often gave it away.  After sharing a large bunch with a friend, I asked her what she was going to do with it.  Peach Rhubarb Crisp was her answer.   That’s sound yummy. That summer I added peaches to my family’s favorite Rhubarb Crunch and it was yummy.  So, the peach/rhubarb combo has been bouncing around in my brain for a few years now.  This year, I decided I wanted to make jam – so I started with the google.    I started with a recipe from pipandebby and modified from there for my taste.

Here you go!

Peach Rhubarb Jam

What You Need:

  • 6 cups rhubarb, cut into small pieces
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 T vanilla
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 4 cups chopped peaches (I used frozen)

What You Do:

  1. Combine rhubarb, sugar, vanilla & lemon juice in a large enough pan.  Mix well and let sit for about an hour.  (I made rhubarb crunch and granola while I was waiting).
  2. Add peaches to the mixture.
  3. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat and simmer until jam starts to thicken and sticks to the back of a spoon.
  4. Let cool slightly before pouring into a prepared mason jars.  Seal tightly and water bath.  Peach Rhubarb Parfair

How We Use:

  • Serve jam along side rhubarb scones for a yummy double rhubarb treat;
  • Layer Peach Rhubarb Jam with greek yogurt and your favorite granola for a lovely parfait;
  • Top vanilla ice cream; or
  • Eat with a spoon.

Check out our instagram video of making the parfait.  Please let me know if you make this.

Fun Events Around Carriage Corner this June

The following is a short list of June events.  Many are close to Carriage Corner and several are free.

Knit In Public Day*

Saturday, Lancaster Yarn Shop at Kitchen Kettle Village.  Bring a chair and your knitting and join other knitters in showing that knitting is a community activity.  (June 9)

Second Saturday at Smucker Village*

Saturday, Smucker Village.  You don’t even have to move your car for this one.  Enjoy a quick stroll into ‘town’ to check out the artisans at Smucker Village, grab a coffee and stay for the live music in the evening.  (June 9)

Heritage Days Fireworks Heritage Days*

Friday- Monday, Intercourse Park.  Share in this exciting celebration that includes everything the community has to offer ~ food, fun and fellowship (June 15 – 18)

 

 

 

 

Makers Market

Saturday, Lancaster Barnstormers Stadium.  Shop from 60+ vendors at this curated pop-up market of talented makers hawking their original creations, unique wares, and beautiful designs. Enjoy your favorite Summertime foods and local brews while listening to talented local musicians. (June 16)

Splash Into Summer*

Saturday, Kitchen Kettle Village.  Take a leisurely walk from Carriage Corner to Kitchen Kettle to enjoy a day of music and summer fun.  (June 16)

Amish Dinner Tour*

Saturdays, Intercourse Bikeworks.  This event is an 8-mile ride through our lovely farmlands.  After the ride, join the other riders around the dinner table with a local Amish Family.  Bike rentals available, space is limited, pre-registration is required. (June 16 and 23)

Full Moon Fundraiser

Saturday, Wolf Sanctuary of PA.  Enjoy a bonfire and live entertainment while touring the Wolf Sanctuary.  We’re happy to help make the reservations for you.  (June 30)

*Close enough you don’t even have to move your car.

Goats!

Best Kept Secrets – Goats

Goats - or kids

Thanks to the recent Best Kept Secrets Tour and some lovely guests we found out about many great places to visit when you are in visiting Lancaster County.

I was so excited when they came back the first day and told us they had been to a goat farm.  Goats!   I love goats – I couldn’t wait to go visit Misty Creek Goat Dairy in Leola.  According to Google Maps – Misty Creek is 5 miles from Carriage Corner – and did I mention they have Goats!!

Visiting:

Thankfully our daughter and son in law came to visit right after the guests had given us this Goats - well hello there!wonderful information!  Based on Little E’s nap and eating scheduled we had a little window to check out a farm.  It was a toss up between heading to Lapp Valley Farm to see the cows and get ice cream or heading over to Misty Creek to the see the goats.  We decided to grab Lapp Valley at Kitchen Kettle and go see the goats!  Misty Creek is open from 8a to 6p Monday through Saturday.  No appointment is necessary.

E was thrilled!  She’s at that stage where everything is a doggy.  But she was reaching out and petting the goats, laughing when they nibbled on my coat, and she sampled all the cheese.  Be advised when you stop at an Amish farm like this one you’ll need to have cash for your purchases.  The cheese was creamy and delicious. The soap smell light and there were some lovely little trinkets available to purchase.  If you’re visiting Kitchen Kettle – add Misty Creek Goats to your places to visit.  You won’t regret it!

Booking Direct

Why It’s Important to be Booking Direct:

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but I do want to talk a little bit more about the importance of booking direct.  Again, I can only speak directly for Carriage Corner.Why Book Direct

Best Rates:

When you book direct with us you get the best rates around.  We know you’ve all seen the commercials for whichever website compares prices – but did you know that they DO NOT include the price for booking directly with you?  And if the rate is significantly lower at one OTA, that most likely the play you are booking at hasn’t authorized that price, but the OTA is offering a special rate to get you to book with them.

Ease of Booking:

Multiple ways to book your room.  Not only can you click through to our website to book the Log Cabin Room, but you can also call us at 717-768-3059, text us at 717-768-3059, send a direct message through facebook or instagram, or just leave a comment on a post saying you’d like to book a certain day.  Ever tried getting a hold of a person at one of the OTAs?

Cancellation:

We understand when you have to cancel and will work with you.  Most times, your deposit will be applied toward a future stay within a set time period (generally 3 months).  When you book through an OTA and you need to cancel – we find that’s when guests can find our phone number.  Unfortunately, we cannot cancel a reservation you made through an OTA.  So when you are the midst of a hurricane and you need to cancel your reservation, sadly we are unable to help you. book direct - the owners will do a happy dance

Deposit:

When you call Carriage Corner to book, we rarely take a deposit.  WE do this because we pay credit cards fees every single time we process a credit card.  So if you book and pay a deposit – we pay a fee.  Then when you arrive and pay the balance – guess what?  We pay another fee just for running your card.  This is in addition to the percentage of the fee that the credit card processing company takes.  We try to limit the number of fees we pay on each booking to help keep our costs and thereby our room rates as low as possible.

Availability:

Because we are a bed and breakfast, each of our rooms is different.  They have different names and similar – but different amenities.  So, when they are listed with an OTA – it will always says – book now only one room left.  That doesn’t mean we only have one room left – it means that style of room is the only one of it’s kind, and remember we have 5 styles of rooms.  If you are looking at our website or talking to one of us, you can see exactly what is available for the date you are interested in.

#bookdirectYou will also get all all of the details regarding a specific room.  For example all of our rooms have private baths, but if you are looking at an OTA and you don’t click on the actual room info, you’d never know that the bathroom for Dahlia is across the hall.

Finally – did you know, our website is almost always available for 1 night bookings – even on the weekends.  The except is holiday weekends.  But, we don’t open the weekend up to 1 night booking until much closer to the weekend.

Small Business:

Also – when you book direct – you are supporting a small business who lives and works in the community you are visiting.  We the opportunity to get your food preferences.  We also have a chance to find out if there is a special reason you are coming to visit – a birthday or anniversary – and help you plan something special.

So – regardless of where you are staying – call the bed and breakfast or visit their website.  And don’t be fooled by the “Book Now” button when you google them.  That button will send you directly to an OTA who bid the most on getting it.  I find that many of our guests think they were booking directly with us by clicking that button and were sad to find out they weren’t.  For more information on booking direct – check out this post!

We look forward to meeting you and helping you plan the perfect get away in Amish Country!  Give us a call and book a stay in any one of our quilt themed rooms.

Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Baked French Toast

In this month’s edition of What’s Cooking at Carriage Corner – I’ve been working on something new.  Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Baked French Toast – Whew!  That’s a mouthful.  It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a recipe, so clearly it’s time.  You can ask Mr. Carriage Corner – bit I get bored with my recipes and making the same things all the time.  Part of the ‘fun’ of having a B&B is getting to try out new things all the time.

I love lemon and blueberries.  Put them together and I am one happy camper.  So, while my regular baked french toast recipe {I use Pioneer Woman’s recipe for the custard, but use sweet bread and add fruit and nuts} which is full of custard-y goodness I went in search of a new one.  As is almost always the case, I went looking for recipes to start with by doing a search of the main ingredients I wanted to use:  Lemon Blueberry  Ricotta.  I found a couple {Self Proclaimed Foodie and Well Floured} and combined and adapted to come up with what I’m using.  This is my version.

Carriage Corner RecipesLemon Blueberry Ricotta Baked French Toast

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 tubes Pillsbury crescent dough – baked and cut into cubes
  • 1 cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 eggs
  • 3T sugar
  • 2T vanilla extract
  • juice & zest from 2+ lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries – fresh or frozen

Directions:

Bake the crescent dough according to the directions.  I have found you can just lay it out on parchment paper and bake.  No need to roll into little crescents before you cut.  You can also use store bought croissants or any other fluffy bread.

In a large bowl mix ricotta, eggs, cream, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and zest.  I like things lemony, so I tend to use the zest and juice from at least 2 lemons but will often use up to 4.  {I’m also thinking about adding lemon curd into this mix, or maybe just serving on the side.}  Add the bread and stir to combine.

Spray an 11×13 baking dish with cooking spray, spread half the bread mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle liberally with blueberries.  Top with remaining bread and blueberries.  Make sure you scrape all that yummy ricotta mixture out of the bowl and into the baking pan.

Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, take the casserole out of the fridge to come up to room temperature while the oven is warming up to 350*.  Also, make a streusel topping:

  • 1/2 C flour
  • 1/4 C packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 4T melted butter

combine everything until crumbly.  Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.  Re-cover and pop into your preheated oven for 45 minutes.  I leave the pan covered until the last 5 minutes or so.  Otherwise I find the top gets dried out.  You want it to be golden but not dried.

Let cool for about 5 minutes before cutting into 12 pieces.  Once it’s on the plates, sprinkle with powered sugar and serve with a little dollop of lemon curd.  I think this would also be amazing for dessert served warm with lemon sherbet {told you – I love lemon!}

Try this for your next family gathering or church potluck.  Or if you aren’t a fan of cooking – book a room and ask if it’s on the menu 😉

Sew Camp Spring 2018 ~ In The Books!

CarriageCornerSewCamp Spring 2018 Review:

This was the third CarriageCornerSewCamp that we have held and it was the first time that the B&B was full of women who love to sew!  CarriageCornerSewCamp finally had the vibe that I was after.  There was the feeling that you had known everyone for years and while you might not agree with everything you had more in common than not.

Several of the campers arrived on Thursday.  The sewing space was set up and once the machines and projects had been carted into the house, the first few attendees claimed their spots and sewing started right away.

SewCamp Breakfast On Friday morning – 5 ladies enjoyed breakfast of Cami’s Kentucky Muffins, fruit salad, and Baked Potato Waffles topped with bacon and eggs.  Once the remaining Campers joined us at the dining room table and had a chance to rest from their drive.  While we were getting acquainted, Jay unloaded cars, put luggage into rooms and set up sewing machines.

 

 

FabricMart Shopping:Carriage Corner Sew Camp - FabricMart

– we all loaded up and headed for FabricMart – where Julie gave us a tour of the shop and we literally shopped until we dropped.  I think we were at FabricMart for almost 4 hours!!  Then we headed down the road to a charming coffee shop for a very late lunch which included lots of laughter.

We arrived back at the B&B in the early evening and everyone went to their sewing machines.  There was lots of talk about who bought what fabric and what everyone was making.  One “Camper” didn’t even bring fabric with her because she knew she was going to FabricMart.  She purchased some amazing pieces and set about sewing them up pronto!

There was a light, snacky, appetizer dinner catered and then a deep conversation happened late into Friday night.  A few of the Campers migrated to the sewing space while several stayed in the B&B dining room for the conversation.  THIS, This is what I was hoping for when we decided to host Sew Camps – yes, it’s about the sewing and the fabric shopping, BUT it’s also about the friendships that are made, the similarities we have with each other, the knowledge that is shared.  While there was lots of conversations there was also loads of laughter – the deep belly laughs where you laugh until you cry.  There will now be a couple of ‘secret message’ type comments – that only mean something to you if you were there and will make you smile.

There was sharing of information – if you check out the hashtag #CarriageCornerSewCamp on instagram, you’ll see a video on how to do the burrito method to finish the yoke of a shirt; Cennetta shared her favorite method of doing a full bust adjustment without adding a dart; several people tried on LaQuana’s already altered Ogden Cami to see if it fit them; and there was a lesson in making tailor tacks.  Sewing items and knowledge were shared like candy, there might have even been some tears when new besties left on Sunday.

Let me just say – if you get a chance to attend a sewing retreat weekend where there is no teacher and you work on your own projects during the weekend – I would strongly encourage you do it because it’s the things you can’t measure that make you miss the weekend when it’s over.  Yes – going home with 4 beautiful new garments is great – but the friendships you create will last a lifetime.

The next two pictures are grids from Instagram and our #CarriageCornerSewCamp hashtag.  The first one is what comes up at first – top posts.

Most Recent:

Carriage Corner Sew Camp

Upcoming CarriageCornerSewCamp Weekends:

There is one more CarriageCornerSewCamp Weekend scheduled for 2018 and the dates are:  Friday, September 14 through Sunday, September 16, 2018.  I have also set the dates for 2019 and they are:

  • March 29 – 31, 2019
  • June 20 – 24, 2019 – this one is 4.5 days and the rates are double; and
  • September 20 – 22, 2019

If you’d like more information about Carriage Corner and our Sew Camp Weekends please send an email to:  [email protected] and I’ll add you to the mailing list.  Or you can call or text me at 717-768-3059 or send me a direct message through Instagram with your email address.  I look forward to meeting you and sewing with you in the future.

Great Places to Shop for Quilt Fabric in Lancaster County

This is by no means an exhaustive list.  This is a list that was compiled by reaching out to guests who regularly come to Lancaster County to do some serious shopping for quilt fabric.   So, one bright and sunning afternoon last week – Jay and I jumped in the jeep with the list and made a large loop starting and ending at Carriage Corner.   I am not really a quilter, but I do use quilting fabric for making Jay’s bowling shirts.  Because of that, I don’t know what the current fabric lines are so can’t really speak to that in our travels.

Quilt Fabric Route Map

Quilt Fabric Route Map

Here are the shops on the list:

  • Quilt & Fabric Shack
  • Log Cabin Quilts
  • Cedar Lane
  • Family Farm Fabrics
  • Goods

In each shop, I asked the owners if it was okay if I took photos and was careful to only photograph the fabrics and the shop layout.  I did purchase just a few pieces of fabric along the route.

Quilt & Fabric Shack – I have noticed this shop prior to stopping in – they always have beautiful quilts hanging from the front porch.  There were quilts and quillows for sale inside the store.  They stocked a large selection of Mettler thread and had a large selection of quilting cottons that were organized in a pleasing manner.  I thought the prices were very good – most of the fabrics were around $8/yard and the jelly rolls were $27.

Quilt Fabric - backings Quilt Fabric Precuts Bolts of Quilt Fabric

Log Cabin Quilts – Again, this is another shop that I have noticed in our travels up and down The Old Philadelphia Pike.  Log Cabin Quilts is in Bird-in-Hand and in nice weather has beautiful quilts hung up outside.  This shop has the most amazing cotton flannel I have ever seen in my life.  If I could have talked Jay into a flannel button down shirt I would have bought some.  The price was incredibly reasonable and the fabric felt amazing!  This shop also carried mettler thread and had a huge selection of current quilt fabric along with several beautiful Cathedral Windows quilts for purchase.

Huge Room of Quilt Fabric Quilt Fabric Panels

Cedar Lane Dry Goods – This shop is attached to a house.  Be prepared to have dog greet you when you park and you may very well be parked next to an Amish horse & buggy.  I thought Cedar Lane had the best selection of notions that I had ever seen.  Tons of snaps in various colors; a wall of bias binding in solids and prints, buckets of reasonably priced zippers and a large selection of pretty buttons.  Cedar Lane’s fabrics {to me} seemed to be geared toward the Amish Woman who is making her family’s clothing.  There was lots of wide width poly fabrics.  I felt the quilt fabric selection was small – but I would go back just for the snaps and bias binding.

Zippers - Quilt Fabric Bias Binding - Quilt Fabric Snaps - Quilt Fabric

Family Farm Fabrics – Honestly, this was probably one of my favorite stops of the day – and I have to say it was because the woman working there was so incredibly nice.  We just happened to stop in on the random “if you name starts with M – get a 15% discount” day – and we did take advantage of it.  Jay picked out a conversation print for year round bowling shirt and I got some knitting themed fabric for project bags.  This shop also had a large selection of current quilt fabrics, lots of precuts – but my favorite was the selection of soft books and dolls panels that they had.  They were very neat and the prices were reasonable at right around $8 a panel.  I passed on them – which I’m sure I’ll regret as Eleanor gets older.  Also – attached and connected to Family Farm Fabrics in Martin’s Sewing Machine repair.  I took my serger to them and they did a wonderful job with it.  I believe they also do long arm quilting.

Doll Panel Quilt Fabric Table of Precut Quilt Fabric

Goods – Goods was our last stop of the day and while I wandered around the fabric section – Jay wandered around the entire store.  See Goods is an “everything but food” store.  Goods carries the Moda line of quilt fabric and it’s priced at just under $8/yard.  They also have a large selection of good quality, reasonably priced elastic, as well as other notions.

Beautiful Display of Quilt Fabric Quilt Fabric - selection of precuts

So – If you are a quilter – why not plan your Quilt Fabric Route as part of your trip.  If you have a favorite shop that sells quilt fabric that isn’t on the list – let me know, I’ll check it out and add it to the next round up.

Just a few reminders – We have the following specials happening – through the end of March get one night free when you book 3 using the code LUCK.  In April, book a 3 night stay and get double loyalty nights toward your free night.  Give us a call at 717-768-3059 or to book your stay in one of our quilt themed rooms!  You can always book your room directly through our website.  We look forward to meeting you and seeing what gorgeous quilt fabric you come back with.

We’re Getting Green-er All the Time

So, if you’ve stayed at Carriage Corner anytime since mid-October, 2016 you know we are originally from Seattle.  Which means we are tree hugging hippies!    Okay, not really, but we are very environmentally conscious, always have been.  Since day one, we’ve been changing what we could to keep Carriage Corner Going Green.  So, imagine my surprise when we got here and found out the local garbage company didn’t offer recycling.  ::thehorror::

So, for the past 15 months, we’ve done everything we could continue going green and help reduce our carbon foot print, including:

Cloth Napkins - the environmentally friendly option

  • We compost as much as we can and use that beautiful, rich soil in our gardens;
  • We keep the thermostats set low in both the summer and the winter;
  • We added energy efficient fireplaces in all of the guest rooms;
  • We’ve eliminated the need for auxiliary window air conditioning units in the guest rooms;
  • We updated the washer and dryer to more energy efficient models;
  • We changed all the shower heads to be more water friendly;
  • We stock refillable, environmentally friendly luxury bath products in all of our guest rooms;
  • We keep a britta pitcher full in the fridge at all times and encourage guests to fill their water bottles; and
  • We’ve been loading up the recycling to recycle it ourselves.

For Christmas 2017, we got the best gift ever!  A garbage company that wasn’t servicing our area expanded.  They now service our area – so no more taking the recycling in ourselves.  Now, we just take it to the curb and they pick it up!

What does this mean for you, our guests?  Nothing really.  The garbage is all sorted for you – so all you need to do is what you have been.  But we’ve also added garbage can in the garage specifically for recycling if you want go green and take care of it yourself.

What other things do we do that benefit our guests, the environment and keep us moving forward on the going green path?

Vintage Finds available - yard art rather than landfil?

  • Indoor lights in public spaces are on timers; outdoor floodlights are on motion sensors
  • Use LED bulbs
  • Grow our own herbs, edible flowers and small vegetable garden
  • planted loads of fruits – figs, raspberries, strawberries & kiwi, researching the hardiest varieties for the area
  • Freeze or preserve food so it doesn’t go to waste
  • Recycle large glass bottles into craft projects – herb planters and candles to name a few
  • Shop at and support locally owned retailers
  • Use Energy Star appliances
  • Re-use furniture – all of our antiques have been lovingly used by other generations
  • Donate to Goodwill and utilize services such as Craigslist and Freecycle. See www.freecycle.org and www.craigslist.com
  • Take re-usable bags to the grocery store
  • Pay bills online and receive e-statements
  • UL-certified power strips provided in guest rooms where needed
  • Windows and screens kept in good working order so we can open them on days when the temperatures are moderate
  • Guest rooms are individually cooled, therefore eliminating the need to cool rooms that are not in use
  • Ask guests to partner with us in our green efforts by re-using towels and sheets
  • We are currently looking into installing a rain barrel to collect runoff water for outdoor watering
  • Cloth napkins are used at the breakfast table

quilt line drying - doesn't get much greener than thatOur Green efforts continue as we find ways to reduce our carbon footprint and be more environmentally friendly.  My personal favorite is using the clothesline – which I do with our personal laundry but am a bit hesitant to do with Carriage Corner’s laundry.  I’m worried about allergies and line dried sheets and towels.  So talk to me – how do you feel about freshly laundered linens blowing in the breeze?

#BookDirect

#BookDirect with Carriage Corner

Gazebo at night

Wanna Get Away?  #BookDirect

So, you’re thinking about getting away – maybe for a weekend or even longer.  Or maybe you have to travel for business.  When you’re searching for a place to stay – whether it’s a bed and breakfast, a hotel or a guest house, where do you start your search?  Google? Bing? Yahoo?  #BookDirect for the best deal.

Here’s the scoop, it really doesn’t matter how you find the place you want to stay.  Most likely you will see the same results or very, very similar results everywhere you look. Why?

Expedia, Bookingdotcom, Tripadviser, AirBnB, Travelocity, the list goes on are all fighting for your lodging dollars. Why?

They make their money by charging a commission to the hotels, bed and breakfasts and guest houses that are listed on their websites. So the more rooms you (the guest)  book through Expedia, booking, travelocity, etc. the more money they make.

As a consumer, what does this mean for you when you book through one of these travel agencies?

  1. Best price?
  2. Wide variety?
  3. Easy to book and cancel?
  4. That’s what their ads all say, but are you sure?

Hotels, bed and breakfasts and Guest Houses want you to know that you will be getting the best lodging, in your ideal location at the best price by booking directly with the property.

#BookDirect. What does that mean for you? I can only speak for Carriage Corner, but these generally apply across the board:

  1. you will get the lowest available rates;
  2. you get perks, like loyalty nights with us and extras, like freshly baked cookies on arrival;
  3. special offers;
  4. your dietary concerns with be honored; and
  5. you will actually be communicating with us – the people who will check you in and fix your food.

#BookDirect Search ResultsSo, you’ve done your search and found your ideal place.  Now what?  #BookDirect  

You can make a reservation right where you are or #BookDirect with your ideal place by going to their website.  

Once you’ve found your ideal accommodation, simply type the name of the bed and breakfast, hotel or guest house into the search box to find THEIR website. Sounds easy enough, right?  However, what you will find is a list with the name of the hotel but with a link to expedia, bookingdotcom,etc.

Scroll down below all of those ads to find the name of the hotel. There may even be more places listed who do not use the travel sites.  And, if we’re doing things right, well, hopefully, we’ll be at the top of the list.

Why should you care?

Book on a travel site and you are their customer.  Need to cancel? It can be a challenge because the travel site is the middle man.  Our cancellation policy with the travel sites is basically – no cancellation.  Their policies are very limited and their options don’t align well with what we offer to our guests.  Want a refund? Well, you’re going to have to deal with the travel agency.  Change dates? if you can find your reservation, you might be able to change your dates.  But, if you are my guest, all you have to do is give me a call, send a text or email and if the dates are available, they’ll get moved.

#BookDirect with a property and you are their customer. Any changes are easily handled because you are their guest. You will find a place that values your business and wants you to return again and again.