View from Federal Hill Park

View from Federal Hill Park
The fantastic skyline as seen from just down the street.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Completely booked?  Frequently.

We have been getting many phone calls lately from people who are disappointed that we’re sold out for the dates they  were planning for their vacations, romantic getaways and reunions with friends.  The absolute disappointment in their voices when they call is undeniable.  This is just those that happen to call hoping that our availability calendar on our website at is wrong.  I imagine there are many more that try to book on our site and realize too late that they needed to reserve their say much sooner than they ever anticipated. 

With the bed and breakfast being full once again Thursday, Friday and Saturday of this week, I am reminded how at times we can sell out so very quickly for specific dates and yet be nearly empty for others.  This brings to mind one of the most commonly asked questions we get at Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast: How far ahead should I make my reservation?

When asked this question, I really am at a loss.  There are so many overriding factors that go into why we often sell out so very quickly. 

Unlike most vacation spots, an urban bed and breakfast or inn has many more people trying to stay in the limited number of rooms than say in the country over all and here at Scarborough Fair B&B it is even truer with each passing year.  This is due to a number of factors, including having over 400 perfect scored on, earning us the Certificate of Excellence for the third year in a row.

Our guests are of mainly three groups. 

Group one are those that have no direct ties to Baltimore, and are coming mostly as a tourist or sports enthusiast to experience the city, sample our ever growing gourmet foodie culture and delve into the multitude of historic sites, cultural events and first class museums and theatrical or musical performances.  These wonderful guests tend to come mostly on weekends, but can also be found making reservations nearly anytime as their travel plans usually encompass an event or a particular list of things they want to explore while in the city.  (We have already had several people asking about the Star-Spangled Spectacular Celebration September 6th through 16h, 2014!)

Group two are comprised of business travelers.  They are traveling for a convention or conference or are visiting the home office of any number of the local businesses whom we have worked with to create unique rate plans based upon the number of nights they will be having their employees stay with us per year.  Many times we can be sold out months in advance if a large conference is taking place.  Businesses are learning that bed and breakfasts and inns are a much better value than traditional hotels due to the amazing perks their traveling employees get free of charge while spending time (breakfast, WiFi, parking, snacks, beverages, etc) in the property and the employees feel much more valued by their company when they get to stay in place that seems centered on them and not on as much on their credit card.  And if any issues arise, for the business or the traveler, they can easily talk to a real person that genuinely cares about their experience, often times the owners themselves, face to face!

Lastly, the third group of travelers we get are those coming to Baltimore to visit friends and family. 
Our neighborhood’s homes are highly desirable real estate due to our proximity to nearly everything you could want allowing you to be in walking distance of all the main tourist attractions, great locally owned restaurants & boutiques and many entertainment and sports venues.  However, the homes are also relatively smaller in scale, meaning Scarborough Fair Bed & Breakfast has quickly become Federal Hill’s spare guest room of sorts.  This means that we can quickly fill all six of our rooms with one family when a baby is about to be born or christened, if someone is having a milestone of birthday, or it is in the family rotation to spend Thanksgiving/Christmas/Hanukkah in the city this year.
Thankfully, all of the above means we are very busy most of the year with people staying in our home, literally, from all over the world!

So back to the question:  When should potential guests book their stay with us?  As soon as you have all of your travel details worked out.  The more lead time the better so that you can get not only the dates you need but the room you most want to stay in while you are here as each comfortably luxurious rooms  is as uniquely individual as our guests. 

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