DINE’s looking for a few good inns

DINE members photo 2022Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE) is poised to expand its membership.  One of the oldest and established inn associations in the Eastern United States, DINE celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020, and is now carefully seeking interested inns for membership consideration.  The nine inns that make up DINE membership are all based in New England and are seeking additional New England inns that might be interested in the possibility of membership in this dynamic inn association.

Founded more than 25 years ago as a driving itinerary for international and domestic travelers, DINE inns are intentionally located within a half days drive or less of one another.  While inn to inn tours are still prevalent, the association has evolved to a marketing consortium for the member inns, an excellent referral source for fellow members, plus a sounding board for innkeepers to share and communicate ideas.  DINE maintains an effective website, serving as a referral for all innkeepers, an advertising campaign on VisitNewEngland.com, an active blog and social media presence, sends quarterly newsletters to a 40,000 person mailing list, and recruits PR and promotional partners when appropriate. For all members, DINE is a top referral source for traffic to their websites, and an excellent revenue producer in directly attributable bookings.

The members of Distinctive Inns of New England are seeking innkeepers interested in joining the organization that fit the following membership criteria:

  • Open and operating as a full-service inn for at least 11 months of the year (restaurant optional)
  • Located more than 1.5 hours from other member inns and located in a New England state (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont or Connecticut)
  • Willing to attend two-day twice yearly meetings at member inns
  • Willing to host 10-12 innkeepers (and some guests) at member inns on a rotating basis (about once every 6 years)
  • Supports and participates in all DINE marketing programs and promotions
  • Must be independently owned with a full-time onsite innkeeper throughout the year
  • Well rated and/or members in other inspection-oriented inn associations
  • Willing to pay quarterly dues to cover advertising and marketing costs for the association.

Membership in Distinctive Inns of New England must be approved by all members. Once interest is indicated by a potential member inn, a vetting process continues.  DINE caps membership at 12 inns.

Member innkeepers love to share their confidence in DINE membership. Here’s what they have to say.

Elizabeth-Inn at English MeadowsFrom Elizabeth at Inn at English Meadows

“My Inn is the newest member of Distinctive Inns of New England. We were both honored and excited to receive the invitation to join this wonderful group of inns and innkeepers in 2020, just before the pandemic. The timing couldn’t have been better. As a relatively new innkeeper having the support and expertise of this group of very experienced and caring hospitality professionals was, and continues to be, priceless.  The camaraderie and support are top notch, and not just the group’s level of expertise – you simply couldn’t ask to be associated with a nicer group of people! Financially, it’s valuable as well. Between the Distinctive Inns website and the group’s newsletters, Distinctive Inns of New England has become my top referral source in terms of new visitors to my website and it ranks in my top 4 referral sources in terms of revenue. I’m pleased to be a part of this truly distinctive group!”

From Leslie Mulcahy at Rabbit Hill Inn

Leslie Mulcahy“As founding DINE members since 1995, we continue to recognize so many benefits of our membership.  

It goes beyond the that fact that it has been a consistent revenue, referral, and traffic driver for our business.

Collectively, DINE members share an incredibly sincere camaraderie, wealth of knowledge, and a professional support system as we all continue to grow and strengthen our businesses.

DINE keeps us relevant, vibrant, and forward thinking.  The benefits of our DINE membership are undeniably valuable.“

From Judy Hueber at Chesterfield Inn

Judy Hueber“I am so grateful for our relationship with the Distinctive Inns of New England Innkeepers. These are our trusted friends and colleagues, the people that I go to for advice, who have the same issues as we do and who solve problems with creative ideas and a lot of “thinking outside the box.” 

DINE has been a top referral source for us over the years, both online and through direct personal referrals through the individual inns. We are all familiar with each other’s properties, having stayed at all of the inns for our twice yearly meetings, and send guests back and forth often. The marketing that we do as a group attracts guests who are traveling through New England and are looking for the lodging experience that we all have in common.

The DINE innkeepers have been a fantastic support system especially during the pandemic, as we all struggled to rework the way we serve our guests in a socially distanced world. We connected over the months to discuss all of the issues that we were confronted with, from SBA loans to hand sanitizer. Everyone had a different approach and different solutions, and we all helped each other. 

DINE meetings allow us a chance to meet face to face twice a year, work together on the group’s marketing ideas, and spend time brainstorming on issues and opportunities that we all face as innkeepers.” 

From Brian Shields at Manor on Golden Pond

Brian Shields, Manor On Golden Pond“The Manor On Golden Pond is a founding member of DINE and my wife and I have been the proud owners since 1999.  DINE is the membership group that we receive the most from both in terms of financial benefit and professional development.

The benefits of membership that we feel strongly about are the strong referral traffic we get from the DINE website to our website, the marketing relationships we are able to access like Visit New England and Maynely Marketing that may not be cost effective for an individual inn, and the benefits derived from attending our semi-annual marketing meetings.  Those meetings are a tremendous source of innovative ideas and they help keep members on the leading edge of fresh marketing ideas.  Many long term friendships were frforged over the years as a result of those meetings.”

All innkeepers interested in exploring the possibility of being considered for DINE membership are encouraged to reach out via email to info@DistinctiveInns.com or contact any of the present members to ask questions and explore the breadth and reach of DINE.

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

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

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

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Maine:  Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport

We look forward to hearing from a few good inns/innkeepers about interest in joining DINE!