My husband and I wrapped up our first season as the innkeepers of our newly constructed, pet-friendly bed and breakfast in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Because we both work full-time and live close to a ski resort, we close for the winter. Like you, we wondered what an innkeeper does in the off-season. Spoiler alert: We scrubbed a lot fewer toilets and spent more Saturdays sleeping in as innkeepers during the off-season.

In 2023, we hosted so many kind and gracious guests for their fun and festive weekends exploring Virginia wine country. It was a treat to meet the many wonderful folks and their kind dogs in our inaugural year.

We wanted a quiet weekend away close to hiking and wine tasting. The hospitality from the host couple was fantastic. We will be using this space again for sure.

Janet

While we were “closed” (I use this term lightly as we still kept up customer communications, wedding tours, and marketing efforts), the question everyone kept asking us is, “What are you doing during your break?”

An innkeeper during the off-season

The most vital activity was spending time with friends and family. During our operating season, we aren’t able to go to a nephew’s birthday party on a Saturday afternoon. We rarely get to do a double date on a Friday night. Our first priority during the off-season was scheduling time with framily- making trips or hosting the people who shape and influence us. Of course, eating nostalgic foods and playing games with siblings and cousins was an added bonus. 

Stephanie loves to explore and found a lot of inspiration for our pet-friendly bed and breakfast over years of travel. In December, she sought out more inspiration for the Indigo House by visiting our old hometown, Charleston, SC, and spending a long weekend in New England for the holidays. 

Stephanie’s also been busy giving some rooms a little refresh. Have you been following along on Instagram? We’re working on the following improvements:

    • Zion is getting a desk and chair to make workcations or getting ready on a wedding day a little more enjoyable.
    • The multi-purpose room is getting a real purpose! We’ve redesigned the space to be a moody lounge where you can work, puzzle, play a game, read, or relax. 
    • We relocated the record player from Zion to the loft so you can play games with Taylor Swift or Fleetwood Mac rolling in the background. 
    • Our merchandise is relocated to the reception area.  
    • Our book swap is relocated upstairs and the honor bar is now downstairs.
    • The vintage picnic baskets for borrowing during your travels are now closer to the front door.
romantic pet friendly bed and breakfast

Lastly, we did a lot of house work. Easily the least exciting part of our break, but necessary nonetheless. We did a deep clean of the whole house, installed the garden fencing, organized the garage (again), cleaned the gutters, washed the windows, touched up painting, repotted plants, and refreshed our bedroom so it felt less like a cave a more like a sanctuary. Kyle chopped a bunch of trees, laid mulch for the closer beds with his dad, and installed a fresh layer of dirt and grass seed for the side yard. 

Based on customer feedback, in many ways, we are going to stay the course in 2024. We’ll continue to offer our most affordable rates early in the year and on weekdays. Our beloved farm-to-fork breakfasts will highlight the best seasonal and local products. Your pets will always stay free. We also enhanced a few things to make your stay extra special and added excursions for your visit, including discounts at some of our favorite places!

Stephanie also worked on some revised marketing items (you probably don’t care about this one as much as the Barkcuterie plate, but know that if things start to look a little different, that’s why).

As working professionals and millennial innkeepers, we’re excited to help you plan a pet-friendly weekend getaway. We are continuing to obsess over every detail so you can have the most relaxing getaway.

Tell us in the comments below. How did you spend your winter?