Most of our guests find us originally by searching on the Internet, using terms like “best B&Bs in Asheville” or “Bed and Breakfasts in Asheville. Their search results will bring up several paid Ads from online travel sites like Expedia, or Airbnb touting the top 20 B&Bs or the Best Deals on B&Bs. Guess What? They’re lying. But I’ll get back to that later! Then, when they scroll down they’ll see a map with inns and hotels listed on the left and little flags with prices on them scattered across the map- Aha! These aren’t paid advertisements, are they? And when you click on the picture of A Bed of Roses, you’ll be directed to my website, right? Yes and no. You’ll go to a Google summary of A Bed of Roses with a big bold Blue button that says “Book a Room”. There’s also a small nondescript white button with a little globe on it that says “Website”. If you click on the prominent Blue “Book a Room” button you’re not going to my website! You’re going to a window that says “check availability” and lists “OTAs” (Online Travel Agencies) with prices for our rooms. If you click on any of them you’ll be on their site and you’ll be paying more. So the first reason to book direct is:
- You get better room rates. What most guests looking for a B&B in Asheville don’t know is that if an inn doesn’t agree to pay Expedia or Booking.com or any of the other online travel sites 15-18% or more of the price of the room they won’t even be on that map. Guess what? That means inns will raise their prices to pay that commission. Small businesses like ours have a tight or non-existing profit margin. They can’t afford to lose 18% of their income. Before the “big boys” moved in we could get our own websites on that 1st page by just getting enough bookings and good reviews. No more.
- If you book direct you get to see prices on ALL of our rooms. When you get to that “Check Availability” window on Google you won’t see prices listed for all of the rooms that are available- just the cheapest. That’s the mind-set of these companies who deal mainly with hotels. They think a room is a room and all you want is the cheapest one available. If you would rather have the Turret Suite to celebrate that big anniversary you won’t see it there. If that’s not the cheapest room available it won’t come up with a price. And on some ads they even say “last room available”. Not true. It’s the last room at that particular rate. At our inn all of our guest rooms have different rates so you only get to see one of them- the least expensive one.
- If you book direct you know which room you’re getting! On the travel sites we can’t even tell you the name of the room. Everything is standardized. All we can do is check boxes. Air conditioned X wifi X shower X… On our website you get a full description of the rooms and multiple high quality pictures of each. At a B&B each room is unique, with different amenities and décor. The fun of choosing a Bed & Breakfast, Inn or boutique hotel is that you get to choose the room that speaks to you. If you love French antiques you’ll love our Revell Room. If you want a first floor room with a luxurious Jacuzzi and German Antiques you’ll want our Carolyn Gray room.
- If you book direct you get to choose from ALL of the available rooms. Most properties will have some rooms that they don’t list with the OTAs. The thinking is that as long as they have SOME rooms listed they get on the map and get seen. When you #BookDirect you see those unlisted rooms too. There are other reasons as well that an inn won’t list a room with the OTAs. Some rooms need more information to ensure a good fit with each guest. Our least expensive room is our cute “nest”, the Oliver Davis Room. Lots of people love that room – it’s tucked away by itself with it’s own staircase and it’s cheerful and bright with a Jacuzzi/shower combo in the bathroom. But we couldn’t explain on the OTAs that the private staircase is steep and it’s hard to get a large suitcase up it. If you’re an older person traveling from Europe for a 3 week tour of the south with all of your luggage you won’t be happy! We have a better room for you! If you’re here from Charlotte for that awesome concert at the Orange Peel or traveling by yourself for a climate change conference at the Collider this is the perfect room for you. We have many repeat guests who chose it every time!
- If you book direct you get to see our “Specials” and extra services. If you book through an OTA you have no idea that we can sell you discounted Biltmore Estate® tickets, get you great special rates at the Grove Park Inn Golf course or a 10% discount on LaZoom Comedy Tours. You won’t know that you can celebrate your special occasion with a sparkling beverage on ice, fresh flowers and chocolates waiting for you in your room.
And you won’t get to meet us! We’re right there on our website waiting to welcome you to our inn. Always check the url on your browser when booking to make sure it says https://abedofroses.com.