Lessons learned while innkeeping in a COVID world.

We’re all living in a new, uncharted world, and the travel industry is no exception. At the Mansion we’ve always made sure our guests feel welcome and safe and now more than ever, in our COVID world, that is so important. 

We’ve found guests this summer are so happy to get away from their lockdown situation but at the same time they also are very cautious about entering a new environment. We understand. And we’re trying to be flexible as possible to meet everyone’s comfort level. It is definitely a challenge when the enemy we are all trying to avoid is invisible. 

Certainly, our usual easy-going ways of interacting with each other have gone by the wayside when no hugs or handshakes are allowed. We hope our welcoming attitude shines forth, even if masks and social-distancing makes our interactions more formal and stilted. It’s been a learning curve on our side, as well as for guests. 

Slip-ups inevitably have happened – we’ve had guests arrive without their own masks, an owner arrived on the porch so happy to see guests return he interacted sans mask, breakfast diners chose a favorite table even though it wasn’t socially distanced. All these interactions occurred unintentionally and without malice, but they’re still upsetting for everyone when they occurred. This is a whole new world we’re all navigating.  Who ever thought we’d have brides and grooms wearing masks as they say their I Dos at the Inn?Bride in white dress wearing a white mask and groom in dark suit red tie wearing a black mask.
As we enter the Fall, we feel we’re finally getting the hang of being an innkeeper in the time of COVID.  Initially, we thought the lessons applied only to innkeeping, but the more we discussed them we realize they really apply to all of us, so thought we’d share a few.

  • You can never have enough hand sanitizer. The more this critical amenity is available the more it will be used.  And the safer we’ll all be.
  • Respect others’ apprehension. Our staff with gregarious welcoming personalities are learning to walk softly in this new environment.
  • Cleanliness is the best remedy to assuage reluctant guests. Our ongoing and ever-evolving sanitizing and cleaning routines have become the new normal. 
  • Take the long view – this is actually fairly easy being in a mansion that was lovingly built over 150 years ago and has weathered its share of dramatic times. (During the 1918 pandemic the mansion was converted into a hospital for college students who were enrolled in a wartime training program.) 
  • Social distancing doesn’t mean the end of gatherings – in fact our summer outdoor movie nights were great opportunities to see our community in action.
  • Be kind. While true anytime it’s especially important as we together navigate this new environment.  

We’re privileged, for the past 20 years, to be welcoming guests to this lovely mansion. We look forward to many more years of doing the same – and hopefully with no additional pandemics!  Thanks for your continued support and if you’d like to stay with us simply book online or you can call us at 309-828-8816. 

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