Ina Flohil Opinion

Annoying guests

Ina Flohil, bed & breakfast owner

Ina Flohil

When people ask me why I ended my ICT-career a couple of years ago, and started a bed and breakfast, I always answer that I like having happy guests. Instead of critical co-workers and clients I now see happy people sitting at breakfast.
After months of being flattered by guests who wrote sweet texts in my guest book, I imagined myself to be in the perfect world. Unfortunately, that idyll fell apart when annoying people found their way to my B&B. These people had never heard of politeness. I was snapped at. The door was opened ajar. I had to shove breakfast through the tiny opening, after which the door was slammed closed again.
When I peeked through the window and saw a terrible mess, I was certain: these people had to go! But how do you say something like that? An incident turned the scale.
At a certain moment, my dash hound sneaked into the guest house. When the guests harshly removed my little dog and shouted that my dog and I had to leave, my line came out, with great conviction: “I’m not going to leave, but you are, right now, and you will never come back!” They left and I don’t wish them as guests on anyone.
It’s been a while, and luckily it was just an exception.  However it is also reality. Unfortunately, annoying guests also come around once in a while. As an owner: set your boundaries and act accordingly. I enjoy running my bed and breakfast, and politeness works both ways. I wish you happy guests.

Ina Flohil is the owner of Bed & Breakfast ‘At the Beach’ in the Dutch town of The Hague. You can regularly read columns about the lock, stock and barrel in her bed & breakfast on this blog.

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  • Breakfast is served at our very large table in the dining room, period. We are very flexible and we really like pampering our guests. However sometimes guests do not get the signals, like now you’re asking too much of us. Or guests are just abusing our generosity and facilities. Yes it is difficult to say no, but sometimes you have to be a psychologist in steering away from a situation that can become quite unpleasant. In my experience it is best to speak out your hart straight away when having a situation like that. No too blunt, but also not too diplomatic. Like last time I just told them straight in their face that what they were about to do I could not allow: getting cutlery, china etc. to eat in their room. They put everything back, and then I offered them to have their lunch in our diner. Much simpler, and convenient I told them. No problem at all, it’s just that it makes a mess in the rooms. Please help your self I said. And pointed out what they could use, combined what they had bought themselves. Made coffee and everything went smoothly from thereon.
    But if you let it simmer, you’ll get really upset and emotions take over. You’ll say things you shouldn’t or do tings you don’t want to.

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