Turn intolerable travel into inspiring adventures featuring fine customer care

Lately, phone, TV and computer screens are exploding with stories of horrendous experiences traveling in the not-so-friendly skies. Over the past months, the traveling public has been plagued with consistent messages that travel (at least via air) is not only unpleasant but dangerous.  Scenes of a 69-year-old doctor being dragged off a flight and strollers being violently snatched by  flight attendants as the mother stands by sobbing certainly don’t lead to gold stars for customer service.  Heck, kids can’t even wear leggings on planes any more without the risk of being thrown off the plane and the whole scene going viral. And lately fights have been breaking out in the airports and on planes.  It’s a sad day when these images put such a blight on the idea of traveling. But it doesn’t have to be that way.  While the skies are increasingly unfriendly, the driveways of DINE shine when it comes to customer service.  Leave all the concern about being treated like a dignified traveler behind when you walk into one of the 12 DINE inns and real customer care begins.

Gone are the days when we’d get dressed up to travel, and enjoy meals on china plates with real silverware.  I suppose that memory dates us, but a there are some among the DINE innkeepers who remember those days.  As much as 25 years ago, flying was an experience to look forward to, and the flight was the part of the journey that everyone looked forward to.  Now, we can barely tolerate airline travel, and all too often, when travelers get to their destination they’re depressed and frustrated.

It’s time to turn the notion of “intolerable travel” into “aspiring adventures”. How?  Simple.  Stay at any of the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) where you’ll find exceptional customer service; the kind of customer service of yesteryear served on china plates with silverware!  Nowhere else in the travel sector will you find the kind of exceptional experiences and amenities that you will at most inns and B&Bs, especially DINE inns.

We asked the DINE innkeepers to offer examples of exceptional everyday customer care they offer their guests.  Their responses tell the story that you’d never find at an Airbnb property or a hotel, motel or condo, nor in the “friendly” skies either.  Innkeepers go so far above and beyond to insure their guests have the best possible experience.  It’s part of the commitment innkeepers make to owning and operating the property. And while a guest may have a frustrating time starting their journey, it’ll always end with a smile and hug after a romantic DINE getaway.

Wedding Ring disaster averted at Manor on Golden Pond

“A Guest arrived on their honeymoon during an intense snow storm.  The husband’s ring had not been sized and fell off his finger in the snow in the parking lot upon his arrival late on his wedding night.  We purchased a metal detector the next morning and after a 60-minute search found the ring.”  – Brian Shields, co-innkeeper/owner

When is the last time the owners of the hotel or vacation rental you stayed at did anything like that for you?

A taste of Cape Cod and money to spend at the gift shop at Captain’s House Inn

amenities at Captain's House Inn“Repeat guests receive $5 coupons to our gift shop each time they stay and coupons can be combined.  Save up for a set of sheets or get a great price on one of our hand thrown pottery mugs! In rooms, we have complimentary bottled water, sparkling cranberry drink, Cape Cod Potato Chips and Kashi bars.”

The same treats would cost upwards of $25 from the mini-bar at the resort down the road! The Captain’s House Inn innkeepers go on to explain the value of the amenities at their inn – something you simply wouldn’t find offered included in a stay at any other lodging choice but an inn in the area.

“Guests often comment that the extra amenities we offer are beyond expectations.  From complimentary breakfast and cream tea to high end bath products (including toothpaste!) to complimentary coffee and tea service and even breakfast in bed, guests feel they are not “nickled and dimed” and see a lot of value at staying at our property.”  -Jill & James Meyer, innkeepers/owners

Expect a compliment at Grafton Inn

Assistant Innkeeper Steven Griffiths says, “I try to find a way to compliment the guest on something about their appearance… It always seems to “brighten” them.”

Chesterfield Inn's innkeeper, Judy, shovelingAbove and Beyond for their guests at Chesterfield Inn

“If someone is at the inn all day and doesn’t feel well, or doesn’t have a car, we’ll make a simple lunch and bring it to their room. We print boarding passes, cash checks, and break $100 bills. We buy special Fage yogurt for a guest who won’t eat anything else. We walk an elderly guest back to her room after dinner because she doesn’t see well after dark. We serve breakfast 45 minutes early for a regular guest who likes an early start to the day. We serve breakfast late to anyone who gets up late. We’re happy to  shovel cars out too.” – Judy Hueber, co-innkeeper/owner.

Innkeepers offer rides at Camden Maine Stay Inn

“We book shows at the local Opera House, book Schooners’ ride, drive them to the Camden Hills State Park and to and from the local Concord Coach Bus station. We also help those who want to go for a kayak day in the ocean or in the lake. We offer them itineraries to the many interesting places around us.” – Claudio Latanza, co-owner/innkeeper

From a simple compliment to extraordinary efforts to help find the most important ring in the world, DINE innkeepers go the extra mile.  Tune in next week for some additional customer service stories that’ll convince you that you’ll “inn-joy” your lodging choice next time you stay at a DINE inn.

Whether it’s a honeymoon or mini-moon, plan your next romantic getaway at the 12 Distinctive Inns of New England by clicking below on links that will take you directly to each of their websites.

In Rhode Island: Cliffside Inn in Newport

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod.

In Maine:  Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport & Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden.