Everyday, we come ready to take on the day. We start out by preparing breakfast for our guests. During this time, we engage with them. We ask them if their stay was comfortable, we ask about their plans for the day, and we get to know about them in the mix. Most of our breakfast conversations are filled with compliments about the room, the garden or even about breakfast itself. They tend to fill us in about what their so-far favorite restaurants are in the area. Or they tend to ask questions about what their next adventure should be. It is honestly our favorite time of the day.
Following the breakfast clean up, we check for new reservations and make sure we book them where it seems best fitting. Before we start handling room service, we check our emails. The other day, I checked my email to find…a bad review on TripAdvisor. My heart sank. What could we have possibly done to deserve a negative review?
Receiving negative reviews can be very disheartening to us, because we truly put our hearts into everything that we do here. We strive in making sure our guests are comfortable, have the information that they need and feel at home while they’re here. Now, we understand that negative comments can often be great constructive criticism. We do consider everything that guests relay to us and take their opinions seriously. For instance, our guests suggested updating our website, so we started a new website. Our guests suggested more outdoor seating, so we got more outdoor seating. Our guests pointed out things that they saw were outdated, so we upgraded our furniture and decor.
However, some negative reviews are based on different expectations and perspectives that our guests may have of Meris Gardens. Some guests may just not be receptive to a nontraditional getaway, and may have wanted to stay somewhere that felt more conservative like a Holiday Inn or a Hampton. Some people rather feel like their on vacation rather than staying at a home like setting, which is understandable and truly okay. However, we don’t portray Meris Gardens to be anything that it is not and we try to stay true to our identity. We are proud of our grounds, rooms, staff and customer service. It is what makes Meris Gardens so great by the many guests that enjoy it here.
Maybe we are not seen as a stereotypical bed and breakfast to some guests, where others may feel we’re too similar to a traditional bed and breakfast. Not every guest will enjoy our garden, even though the name of our business is “Meris Gardens”, or that our buildings have history even though we don’t claim to be new, but remodeled. However we are perceived, we don’t lose focus on those consistent comments claiming that Meris Gardens is a “gem” or their “home away from home“. We remain concrete in the comments claiming that our staff has made their stay more special and welcoming. The compliments about our rooms and garden just make us thrive and stay focused.
We may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we’re going to keep on brewing for those who would like a cup.