Archive for the ‘Pet Friendly B&B’ Category

SatJan201122

Bed and Breakfast Myths-A better way to stay!

B&B Myth Busters- some facts from the Katy House Bed and Breakfast

Are you shying away from staying at a B&B because you’re not sure what to expect?  Research shows that B&Bs and country inns are sorely misunderstood.  We’re here to explain why B&Bs are a better way to stay.  Younger travelers think B&Bs are for “oldies” and others believe the B in B&B stands for boutique or expensive. Let’s debunk some of those B&B myths and learn more about today’s B&B experience.

“But I’ll have to eat with people I don’t know!”

Today’s B&Bs are split with about half offering private tables for those who’d rather not eat breakfast with others and the other half serving family style so guests can meet one another.  Some innkeepers even serve breakfast in the room. And just to set the record straight, you won’t be eating Cheerios with the owner’s kids either, separate living quarters for the innkeepers and guests are standard at all B&Bs.

“I don’t want to share a bathroom!”

According to the Professional Association of Innkeepers International and BedandBreakfast.com’s innkeeper surveys, more than 97 percent of B&Bs offer private baths in some if not all rooms.  For those looking to economize on rates, a shared bath option is available in approximately 12 percent of B&Bs.

“It’s so expensive!”

Actually, when you add up all the extras including complimentary breakfast, snacks, beverages, wi-fi, movies and parking, then compare prices to local hotels in your travel destination,  chances are you will find as much as a $175 per day savings.   We recently compared Boston B&Bs to hotels, and here’s what we found.  When the hotel’s higher rates were figured in, we realized a daily savings of $175 a day!

“B&Bs are only for couples”

While every B&B has some romantic aspect to it, there are plenty of inns and B&Bs that specialize in other aspects of travel.  You’ll find that inns B&Bs are a better way to stay for families, business travelers, even those traveling with pets.

They’re old buildings and I need my wi-fi connection

Recent surveys of innkeepers conducted by BedandBreakfast.com show that more than 91 percent of inns and B&Bs offer complimentary wi-fi connections.  Innkeepers throughout North America understand that guests travel with a full load of tech-items.  Many are adding iPod docking stations and power strips to rooms to allow plenty of wattage for powering up tech toys.


FriJan201121

Bed and Breakfast Award -Katy House in Smithville,TX

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – January 15, 2011

 Sallie Blalock (512) 237-4262
 
Katy House Bed and Breakfast CHOSEN AS BEST OF THE SOUTHWEST IN THE BEST OF BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM AWARDS

 Smithville, Texas – Katy House Bed and Breakfast in Smithville was selected as Best of the Southwest in the annual Best of BedandBreakfast.com Awards, 2010-2011. The Best of BedandBreakfast.com Awards are based upon a qualitative and quantitative review of the nearly 50,000 independent reviews submitted to BedandBreakfast.com, the leading online B&B directory and reservation network worldwide.
 
“BedandBreakfast.com surveys show that independent reviews are the most important factor when choosing a B&B. In fact, according to BedandBreakfast.com’s most recent survey, 96% of consumers consider reviews to be somewhere between important and essential when selecting a place to stay, and 12% will not make a reservation at a property without them. We’re delighted that inn-goers concur that Katy House is deserving of its accolades from travelers,” explained BedandBreakfast.com’s Sandy Soule, one of the most highly recognized authors and a spokeswoman for the B&B industry. “Clearly, Sallie and Bruce Blalock earned stellar reviews from inn-goers for its quality accommodations, breakfasts, amenities and wonderful hospitality and service,” commented Soule. 

“It’s a true honor to be chosen for a Best of BedandBreakfast.com award, and we thank our guests for the positive reviews that resulted in this award, stated Sallie Blalock, Katy House innkeeper. “It is gratifying that our guests took the time to share their comments about our hospitality, accommodations, breakfasts and attention to the details which set Katy House apart,” commented Blalock. Here’s an excerpt from one of our reviews:” I have rarely felt as relaxed as I did at Katy House Bed and Breakfast. Sallie and Bruce are the perfect hosts and Smithville is a blast to explore.”  1/17/2011

 
About the Katy House: Opened in 1994, in the beautiful old railroad town of Smithville, Texas. This historic home is decorated in American antiques and railroad memorabilia. All guest rooms are on the second floor. Each room offers a queen-sized bed with private bathroom, cable TV and wireless internet. Included are the spacious Texas Special Suite with a private balcony, the Katy Limited and the charming Bluebonnet Room. The Katy’s most private accommodations are separate from the main house: The Katy Tower with rocking chairs and balcony is located in a small building in the back yard. The Conductors’ Quarters also offers a sofa-sleeper to accommodate families and extra guests. The outside rooms are “Pet Friendly.” A delicious full country breakfast is served in the main dining room every morning. For more information, please call 1-(512) 237-4262 or www.KatyHouse.com

 
For a complete list of all winners, including regional and international Best of BedandBreakfast.com Award winners, please visit www.BedandBreakfast.com and click Winners 2010-2011.

Founded in 1995, BedandBreakfast.com is highly recommended by The New York Times, Real Simple, Forbes, Travel & Leisure, USA TODAY and many others. To learn about more than 11,000 other perfect choices for your next B&B getaway, visit BedandBreakfast.com, the leading online bed and breakfast directory and reservation network worldwide. A variety of search functions and extensive maps enable inn-goers to find the perfect B&B. Travelers can make reservations online, purchase The Getaway Gift Card from BedandBreakfast.com, welcomed at over 4,000 B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada, read up-to-date trip reports on The BedandBreakfast.com Blog, read and write independent reviews, and post questions on expert-hosted message boards.

BedandBreakfast.com is owned and operated by HomeAway, Inc., the worldwide leader in online vacation rentals, representing more than 475,000 paid vacation rental home listings across 120 countries.

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High resolution photos available upon request (include this if you have high-res photos)

Sallie Blalock
Katy House Bed and Breakfast
201 Ramona Street, Smithville
512) 237-4262
www.Katyhouse.com


ThuApr200930

Katy House and Smithville Gingerbread Video

How exciting! The Katy House is on YouTube.  One of the couples here for their anniversary, in December 2006, took lots of photos.  They stayed with us again, and Al put this slide show together and we uploaded it to YouTube. There are photos of Buddy and William and our Smithville Bed and Breakfast.  There are lots of photos of downtown Smithville, and the baking of the Giant Gingerbread Man.  That Gingerbread Cookie now holds the title of Guinness World Record Largest Gingerbread Man.    The Cookie mold now stands at the end of Main Street, next to the Smithville Chamber.  Click on the link below, or go to youtube and do a search for “Al and Sharron’s Visit”  (Sharron has two ‘r’s)

Are there any previous guests of ours that have videos on YouTube about your visit to Smithville? Please let me know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ro7ubt9tPSc


MonFeb20099

Brits invade Smithville

 

 Our visit to the Friendly Texas Town of Smithville:

We’re still not really sure why we picked Smithville as a night stop during our short trip from Houston to Austin but are we sure glad we did.

We knew we had 24 hours to make the trip as our reservations for Austin were not good until the Monday but we didn’t really fancy a Sunday night in Houston.

Smithville looked kind of in the middle on Google maps and a quick accommodation search pointed us towards the impressive looking Katy House B&B website. The property was situated right in the middle of the small town.

Our initial call to owner/proprietor Sallie left us with a problem though. We were just an hour or so away but she was in Austin running errands and would be at least a couple of hours. She did have a suggestion, “You could park up and head across to Huebel’s Bier Garden. A few scenes of the movie, “Hope Floats”, staring Sandra Bullock, were filmed in that bar.”

This seemed like a plan as we were (well, I was) gasping for some beer and the idea of some accommodation within crawling distance of a bar is always appealing to us Brits.

There was one other point we needed to cover though. Apparently something called the ’Superbowl’ was taking place on this Sunday evening and as most of America would be watching it we felt we should too. “Oh, they do have a large TV screen,” confirmed Sallie.

We reached Smithville at about 5pm, parked outside the beautiful (but empty) Katy House B&B and headed straight over to the bar. I must have looked helpless when asked what beer I wanted but as it was my first visit to Texas I asked for something local. I was passed a ‘Lone Star’.

Jo panicked when all she thought she could see was a beer list but was soon calmed by a cold Chardonnay. There was just one other table in use as we sat there cooling off from the drive and it was soon apparent these were the sort of friendly locals we would never have met in Houston. And that wasn’t just because some of them were dressed in cowboy hats and boots.

I guess English accents aren’t heard too often in Smithville so within a few minutes one of them, Tom, had joined us, within five he had bought us another drink each.

It was at this point I remembered a recommendation in one of our guide books that went something like this – just because somebody in Texas comes up to you and says ’hello’ doesn’t mean they are the local lunatic. Trust me, if this had happened in London we would have already been collecting our coats to make a quick exit.

Within a half hour or so Sallie was on the phone informing us she was home. We finished our second drinks, said a temporary goodbye and headed over to unload our bags into the fabulous Bluebonnet room we had been assigned at the Katy House.

Here we got our second warm Texas welcome, this time from Sallie and her dogs, but hey the ‘Superbowl’ was about to start so having freshened up we soon left her in peace and headed back to see our new friends in Huebel’s.

By now we were invited to join their table and settle down for the ‘Superbowl’. Now to us ‘football’ is normally a game played with ‘feet’ and the last time I remember seeing the Cardinals on TV they were playing out of St.Louis but I think we could just about follow what was going on on the big screen.

Some excellent wings and pizza (and some great complimentary cinnamon sticks) came from the ‘Pizza Shack’ opposite and we continued to neck further beer and wine as we were given a fine rundown on the history and economy of our new favourite little town in Texas by our friends. And it seemed there was always another beer or wine on ice waiting for us.

By the end of the evening, after an exciting Superbowl was decided in favour of the Steelers with just a minute or so left on the clock, the bar jukebox was switched on and it wasn’t long before Jo was whisked onto the dance floor by Don (after he politely asked if I minded). Unfortunately his attempts to teach her the two-step were doomed to failure.

At some indeterminable point in the evening we said our goodbyes and headed back to the Katy House, a little the worse for wear but feeling right at home in Texas, for a restful night’s sleep. After an awesome breakfast with Sallie the following morning and an interesting look around Smithville we headed onto Austin.

We won’t forget our night in friendly Smithville in a hurry. Maybe we’ll be back for the 2010 Superbowl. Keep the beers (and wine) on ice.

Matt and Jo, London, England.

P.S. I did go swimming in Barton Springs.  Matt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


FriFeb20096

Smithville Dog picked for film “The Tree of Life”

Terri Krueger, ‘mom’ to Dexter Krueger, explains that Smithville, Tx is more than just a quiet community and home to the M.D.Anderson Science Park.  It’s also become a popular location for movies.  In 1997 it was the setting for “Hope Floats” starring Sandra Bullock, Harry Connick Jr, and Gena Rowlands.   In the Spring of 2008, “The Tree of Life”, began filming in Smithville.   The film features actors Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.  But the real movie star is Smithville is Terri’s dog, Dexter. 

While visiting Galveston one summer, Terri had spotted a puppy lying in the rain outside an appartment complex.  It did not take her long to rescue the six-month-old Heeler, which showed signs of abuse, and bring him back home to Smithville.

Last Spring, Krueger entered Dexter in a casting call for ”The Tree of Life”, and he was selected to play Brad Pitt’s family dog in the movie, which is set in the 1950s. The home used in many of the scenes is just two block from the “Hope Floats” house, and ten blocks from the Katy House Bed and Breakfast.

“I guess you could say that Dexter went from starvaion to stardom,” Terri says.  And yes, she did get to meet Brad Pitt.  “He was very nice, very friendly. I was very impressed how approachable he was…..and he love Dexter.”

After toting Dexter to and from the movie set, Krueger’s next adventure is writing a children’s book about him.  Terri say that “It’s occurred to me that no matter what I may accomplish in my life, it’s entirely possible that I could be known in the future only as Dexter’s ‘mom’.”


ThuJan200929

Why Choose a Bed & Breakfast?

 

Why choose a Bed and Breakfast?

 

Simple answer, because every one is different. Each is a unique and personal expression of the owner/innkeeper’s commitment to the dedication of sharing of one’s home and grounds is the last and greatest form of hospitality.

 

When someone calls and I hear that they only need a place to sleep, I refer them to the motel. I ask questions like: “Do you want to stay in a place, like the Katy House, that will add great memories of your get-a-away?” Want to know where to eat, where to hike, where to shop? Innkeepers are active members of their communities, and are up to date with the area and the activities around them. Smithville is a wonderful small Texas town and we are actively involved here. “Where should we go to dinner for our anniversary?” I’ll give you a different answer to the question than the manager of a local motel.

 

When calling a B&B, you should ask the following questions:

1.                 Do the guest’s rooms have private baths?

2.                 What type of breakfast is served? (Full, or croissants and juice)

3.                 Is smoking allowed?

4.                 Is there adequate parking?

5.                 Can you prepare breakfast for guests with certain food allergies or vegetarian restrictions?

6.                 Are there pets on the property if you have allergies to cats or dogs?

7.                 Is there free Wi-Fi available? (if that is important)

8.                 Are you a member of Hospitality Accommodations of Texas?

 

If making reservations on line, these questions should be answered on the web site.

 

A Bed and Breakfast can be a wonderful part of your get-a-way. Every room is different; you won’t find a “cookie-cutter” bunch of rooms. Years ago, people were worried about the cleanliness and décor of the rooms. The B&B as an institution has become the first line of hospitality. You can see the rooms and read reviews written by other guests. 

 

There is only one state Bed and Breakfast Association in Texas. All members have been inspected and approved, all having met certain standards: Hospitality Accommodations of Texas. It can be found on the web at www.HAT.org . If you choose a HAT property you won’t be disappointed. The Katy House has been a proud member since 1996.

 

Bruce and I welcome guests, show them around and then they are on their own. We might not see them till breakfast, or we may see them when they come into the dining room for tea or coffee. Cookies are baked each afternoon, and the cookie jar in the parlor is a busy place late at night. We live on the third floor of the home, along with Buddy and William, (two Welsh Corgis). We’re always available if anyone needs anything.

 

We’ll have the coffee ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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