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Tuesday, April 18, 2006 

Innkeeping 102 - Making It Your Inn

In this, part two of Innkeeping, the first thing you might note is that I have not proceeded in chronological order with my discussions about innkeeping. It was my intention to do so, however, we just completed redecorating one of The Maine Stay Inn's romantic cottage suites, and I decided to fast forward and write about one of the great parts of innkeeping...the satisfaction of using your creativity and hard work to create something that is spectacular. In this case, as with most, it was Janice's creativity.

It was our intention to begin our restoration and redecorating projects with major work to the first floor of our main building, which we completed within the first year of buying the inn four years ago. Continually maintaining fresh paint and attending to minor repairs, small additions are made to each guest room throughout the year. However, we continue with our plan to upgrade the property by focusing on major changes to at least one guest room each year.

The first guestroom we redecorated was the Garden Room and the results were dramatic. Not only is this room beautiful and inviting, but it has become our most popular room. Talk about the power of the internet, it was about a month after we completed the Garden Room before we had a new photo posted on our website. Prior to posting the new photo it was business as usual. The day the new photo was posted, the telephone began ringing with requests for the Garden Room. In many cases guests have asked when it was available so they could tailor there plans accordingly. The results were very satisfying and exciting.

Our most recent project, Cottage Suite 7 already had many great features that are especially popular with honeymooners or couples looking for some time to relax together and reconnect. Beginning with a spacious bedroom complete with a gas fireplace, this private cottage suite boasts a spacious bathroom with luxurious double whirlpool tub and a breakfast room with a bistro table and chairs, sink, refrigerator, microwave and coffeemaker. We offer our full New England breakfast delivered to the door to guests staying in this suite, and this is a very popular option with couples who have come to Kennebunkport for a romantic getaway!

To update, enrich and enhance the look of this cottage suite, we started with a warm yellow wallpaper and combined it with romantic red fabrics dressing the windows and bedding. Furnished with a traditional cherry queen four poster bed and beautifully carved night stands with brass accents, the room comes alive with warmth and color. A black Bombe chest hand painted in gold accents is enhanced with a crackled finish. Two comfortable chairs upholstered in a gold scroll chenille fabric complement the rich red scrolled window coverings.

Hanging above the Bombe chest is an original European oil painting, chosen for its subject and artistic appeal. Creating a sense of place within this romantic suite, the artwork features an oceanside scene familiar to anyone who has ever spent a sunny day at the shore.

We replaced the TV/VCR with a flat panel LCD television with a built in DVD player. The television hangs over the fireplace and the newly fashioned fireplace mantel - the first one I ever built! Janice tells me that it looks great. I know that it is level, square and firmly attached to the wall.

We are very happy with the outcome. Our staff seems to approve and we've re-opened the suite and welcomed guests three times so far. Comments have been superlative! This is very rewarding on top of all the fun we've had planning, designing, building, wallpapering, painting, etc.) and seeing our idea become a reality!

Seen first at the top of this article, this redo is so new that we don't even have a new picture up on the website yet!


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