Cat Henry is the owner operator hostess with the mostess Airbnb Superhost who created a petite BnB that is Big on hospitality. She opened rooms2stay in May 2018 and she share’s her story with her blog post.
Rooms2stay is located at 703 9th Street. Check out the cute rooms:
Read more about Cat’s “Baldwin City Hospitality & Customer Service” from Mark Lusky, Lusky Communications
When it comes to hospitality, I’m really picky. If I were a customer experience specialist for a hotel or Bed-and-Breakfast, I would look for all the “little things” that show attention to detail and caring—or lack thereof.
Unfortunately, in today’s institutionalized, bean-counter-obsessed world, talk is cheap. Everyone promotes their great customer service, but most fail to follow through on the level I expect.
Fortunately, there are exceptions. One of them lives in the small burg of Baldwin City, KS. It’s called rooms2stay, an AirBnB property, on the corner of 9thand Grove. Before the owner/operator Cathenry opened, she went through city council approval and sanction which not all AirBnB properties take the time to do.
My longtime friend and colleague Cat has transformed it into a really cool, classy bed-and-breakfast experience. While it’s homey, comfortable and exudes positive energy, it’s those “little things” that most impress me. Cat is a hospitality natural; she gets the care and feeding of guests, and how to make them feel welcome. (She lives on-site and believes in the importance of continuous customer service improvement.)
She gets high marks for creativity in the décor. When I stayed, a tree made entirely of stacked books in the dining room, in front of a bookshelf that covers the wall, wows me. When I stopped by again recently, she was in the middle of some “upgrades.” One of them was installation of a tabletop fire pit on the front porch.
Cat was also in the process of transforming one of those big wooden cable into a backyard table complete with a charcoal grill in the middle. The table(spool) top is tiled in pennies. Now, guests can barbecue their own meat, etc. as desired during their stay creating a special guest experience. What a fun idea! For me, that’s something that would resonate in my BnB selection process, whether or not I wanted to grill.
Fanciful food options abound in the breakfast menu. Cat is continually trying out new recipes for guests, supplanting the rather boring selection of fare found in many hospitality environments. For example, instead of using her muffin-and-egg/sausage/bacon maker for just those items, she keeps trying out new combinations—which is entertainment in its own right.
But, beyond everything else, it’s those little touches in the room that caught my attention and admiration. Although the place is air-conditioned, there’s a fan for those of us who can’t live without it. The beds are comfy and well-appointed. Each room has a creatively appointed desk area for those computer moments, and plenty of outlets. (I can’t tell you how important that’s become. Between cell phones, smartwatch, computers, tablets et al, ample outlets equate to ample appreciation.
The clawfoot tub in the upstairs bathroom has red-painted toenails—a small but very whimsical and fun design touch.
The upstairs common area features a one-cup Keurig with REAL half-and-half, along with the usual assortment of standard BnB items. You mention something to Cat; it typically shows up. A small fridge, on an upstairs landing outside the three rooms she offers, is conveniently loaded with refreshments and there are freshly baked cookies and snacks available.
There is whimsical outdoor art on the house that complements the traditionally decorated home that has its share of eclectic touches.
All in all, it works as an enjoyable, engaging place to stay. I frankly am amazed at how Cat has improved upon a stately, historic house fronted by a red brick road to make it serve as a charming and safe hospitality establishment.
She actively seeks out, and acts upon suggestions—small and large alike—to make the experience even better. If major hotel chains would spend more time and money doing this instead of largely putting their resources into telling us how great they are already, the world would be a better place to stay.
Judging by her reviews, she’s hitting a bullseye.