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Prospect Hill Bed and Breakfast Inn
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Cherry blossoms here are tracking those in Washington, D.C. Do you have time to come check them out?
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CHAPTER 3:  HOW WE DEVELOPED OUR BUSINESS TRAVELER MARKET

    An inn’s location drives its potential for hosting business travelers.
At our first inn–near downtown Atlanta–we could stand in the street and see the state capitol. The nearby subway traveled under three miles to the World Congress Center (conventions) and CNN Center.
    While we went blindly into open our first B&B, we shortly learned that it attracted business travelers because of its price and convenient location. Opening our second inn just down the street from the county courthouse, in a town with not-so-great motels, also brought us business travelers. But they would not have flocked to us without some work.
OUR FIRST GUEST
     Thinking back, our very first guest was a college friend's brother from Seattle. HE was in town for a job-related meeting at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. After opening, we very shortly got into the AAA book. This may well have been the best 1990s source of business travelers. At that time (1992) there was no internet. Even when we rented housing for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 there was still not a strong online presence, although we did try a few ads and directories.

     We didn't have a plan.   At first, it was who was calling. In Atlanta, I also worked 20 hours/week as a reporter for the daily newspaper and belonged to the local merchant associations. Through that work  and those contacts I knew the local live theater managers, the administrative assistants at several newspapers, the key real estate developers and so on. I also happened to have a small ad agency and was familiar with the local neighborhood newsletters so I was able to quickly inform nearby residents of our property.

   Here at Prospect Hill Bed & Breakfast Inn, in Mountain City, TN,  we sought them out by working our way into the first-ever Leadership Johnson County program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Through that eight-week intro to the key economic and political and social entities in the county, I met the school superintendent, the head of the hospital, the judge, the current and future town mayors, the county executive, the prison warden, the police chief, the golf pro (course manager) and several managers of industrial complexes in the area. The key person in our welcome center was married to the key purchasing manager at the prison.
    The chamber participation also lead to my joining an economic development committee where I met the key players at the electric coop, headquartered in town. I volunteered for then served as representative for the county on the regional tourism committee where I met our state representative who is now lieutenant governor and a key player in developing a very important state park which happens to be right out my back door. DOE MOUNTAIN DESTINATION  My husband serves on the renovation committee for the local theater building. HERITAGE HALL  http://heritagehalltheatreorg

     I also did some leg work and invited ALL the business owners up and down the highway in town to an open house. No one came. In the end, word of mouth works.  These days, business guests also find us online on their own.

NOT THE SAME AS 'TOURISTS'
     Innkeepers accustomed to hosting leisure and getaway travelers have to learn to switch gears. Business travelers  are in town to work in one form or another, not to socialize or enjoy time with their partners. They have schedules and they have tools which need to work (such as lap tops and cell phones).  You need to understand them, embrace their needs and offer them hospitality in the form they require.

     In our first inn, Oakwood House (now a private home), the guest rooms were nearly identical. We got away with not having a whirlpool tub or fireplaces at the Atlanta inn (85% business travelers). At Prospect Hill, female business travelers more often enjoy a tub; a whirlpool IS a nice perk to offer as an unexpected upgrade. On a whole, we place our business travelers in our "standard" rooms which have queen beds, private bath with either a large shower or a large shower plus a claw footed tub. We reserve the right to select a room for them.  When we have a larger group, such as the planners for DOE MOUNTAIN PARK,  someone does get a whirlpool tub room (we have three).
                
    This week's gentleman is typical. He travels 45+ weeks per year. He has lots of frequent flyer points, flies first class, knows how to use a GPS well and has the sense to rent a 4x4 vehicle if a snow storm is predicted. He plans in advance and has a schedule. Since he is doing a week long training session he has to be at work shortly after his client opens each morning and he is gone until well past 5 pm.  He is by himself, he is not focused on a leisurely breakfast or the needs of a partner (he's working solo). He often does homework or classwork in the evening.

PRICING IS DIFFERENT
    A leisure guest has a price point he or she would like to meet but rarely a carved-in-stone budget.  A business traveler often has his company paying his way or an expense account or per diem or some sort of set budget. Once the basic criteria--clean room, privacy, and budget--are met, he likes you! 
    Business travelers rarely spend hours agonizing over "which room" or "did I find the best place??"  They also understand checking in means paying up-regulars "belly up to the bar"--to the counter- next to my office, credit card in hand. No pulling it out of them. We offer a flexible cancellation policy for business travelers and rarely see abuse (they are supposed to tell us as soon as their plans change, whether early on or last minute).

CONTRAST WITH LEISURE GUESTS
   A leisure guest, especially these days, is looking for good value in an exceptional experience which they are personally paying for. They are interested in a large, leisurely breakfast. They have activities they plan to participate in but might not have specifics or a schedule (wedding guests excluded here).  They have a number of choices in our region with many kinds of architecture, many price points and many different sorts of amenities--log cabins, whirlpool tubs, views,  proximity to shopping, hiking or skiing. They care about the bathtub, a fireplace and how big the bed is.  They may want to check in early and stay late.  They may not be experienced travelers so they need help with directions, suggestions for places to go and what to see--they rely on the innkeeper for some of this or their research. They have many choices to make and lots of free time to fill.
 
    Meanwhile the business traveler is work-oriented, generally well-traveled, and busy with his own concerns.

ARE THEY EASIER OR MORE DIFFICULT AS GUESTS?
     Business travelers, I think, are far easier for the hosts. For one, there are rarely couples. They generally show up when they say they will or at least rarely get sidetracked on their way to check in.
They like a friendly face and a brief chat but mostly they have their "stuff to do."  They appreciate the assistance but they don't need to be lead by the hand.  On a whole they are self sufficient. They really do like it when lodging is very nice, their needs are met in a superior way and they don't have to "make do" or "improvise.”
      To that end, we have WiFi throughout the inn, televisions in the rooms with CNN, Weather Channel and ESPN essential, always a shower (and perhaps a tub), coffee and tea kettle 24/7, guest refrigerator, a desk if need (folding table at ready), flexible check in times and cancellation policies, take American Express, including third party payment (which is not cheap).   We issue folio/confirmation numbers and can electronically submit receipts. We print zeroed out receipts and carefully staple the credit card slip to them.
     We know where all the local restaurants are, their open times along with the locations and driving times for all local corporations, medical and educational facilities.  We print boarding passes and provide an iron and ironing board as needed.
    We accept state per diem rates (sans breakfast) which is sometimes 50% of leisure rates–for Sunday through Thursdays. We negotiate long term rates, being careful to front load the payments in the event they leave early. We rarely charge cancellation fees and we always provide receipts.  We do charge an up-fee for tag-along spouses and bill that separately.
    We love our business guests. If you want to locate your inn in an urban area or one so far from your  state government state workers MUST stay over night, be prepared to welcome business guests.
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Put a little romance in your life--visit a bed and breakfast.
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We always give our guests a pencil...... Yesterday was National Pencil day AND pencil sales were up 6.3% last year!!! You'd be surprised that, despite the increased use of "devices" and the decreased use of paper, people still welcome pencils into their lives. For the past 5-6 years, Prospect Hill Bed & Breakfast Inn has been offering guests each a pencil to take home.

The pencils have the inn name--in limited space is something like MY B&B PROSPECT-HILL.COM or RELAX AT PROSPECT-HILL.COM. We've made a point of offering many colors (sparkling pink is popular), lady bugs and tie dyed! Least popular is the old classic (see it in the cartoon below): bright yellow!

We suspect many pencils become gifts to kids or grandkids back home. However, many guests admit they still need a pencil (and not a pen!!) when they work their daily crossword puzzle or write lists. April 15 marks the invention day of the pencil eraser, so rejoice in not only in their ability to write things down but also take them back when you want to!   https://pencils.com/march-30-pencil-day/
Happy National Pencil Day! March 30, 1858, is when Hymen Lipman received a patent for a pencil with an attached eraser.
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HOW YOUR WEDDING FOOD CAN TANK YOUR WEDDING BUDGET--BUT IT DOESN'T HAVE TO
By Judy Hotchkiss

 It is common practice where I live to announce an “open wedding” at your church. Anyone and everyone may show up. We had one such reception; the poor mother of the groom spent the entire three hours making sandwiches as the undetermined number of guests arrived (it was double the estimated guest roster since no one was asked to RSVP).

Over the years we have assisted in creating about 150 weddings at Prospect Hill B&B Inn, many of them taking place in our Wedding Garden with mountain views.
What we've learned is this: 
Unless you are excessively wealthy-or don’t mind us running out of food–an open wedding or any event where RSVPs are not respected is a recipe for disaster, especially IF you plan to offer a full meal where people come hungry.  It reflects badly on everyone when we run out of your food! So, TRY to find out who is coming to the reception so everybody behind the scenes can do their best work while creating your perfect destination wedding weekend.

IF your location is far enough away from your hometown people will make special plans to attend, potentially booking a hotel or B&B room and travel quite a distance. These folks are more likely to accurately RSVP and few will "just show up." (But that does happen!)

Distances to get there should generally keep your "plan for the worst" food costs in line. However, a few more tricks will also help.

Time of day for your wedding/reception makes a difference. There's a new trend for 1 pm weddings and 5 pm receptions. For the budget-conscious, that's a lost opportunity to serve a mid-afternoon "light repast" and not a budget-busting banquet dinner -- unless you can afford to do so.

ON the other hand, now that you've invited people to travel out of town to your destination wedding, what are their expectations?  For local, "open weddings" with travel time of under 30 minutes, the food of choice may be pimento cheese sandwiches and punch. Folks can "just go on home" if they want a meal. However, IF your guests traveled several hours or flew across country to be with you on your special day, the general expectation is that they will have a nice (filling) meal at the end of the event.  Tea sandwiches or chips and dip don't cut it.

A full meal costs some money. I'm not saying this to make my favorite caterer money. I'm telling you straight--you cannot have professional help feeding your friends and family on $3 or $5 per person! For one thing, food costs have doubled or tripled in the past few years. You can't get out of McDonalds for about $5/person (and that isn't "good" food!)  With delivery and serving it, I have caterers who will come in at a base price of $10 (there's tax and service fees usually). That's about as low as we can go (and my inn and wedding venue is not located in an expensive market).

I also have a couple of food providers (restaurants, caterers and such) who will sell pans of food which, while not elegant, can keep the price per person and the waste down. But, you will need to pay someone to tend the food; it is unfair to ask wedding guests to do so, even if they are your favorite aunt.

One groom thought he'd have his grown daughter handle the food service chores. She refused. As innkeeper and event coordinator, I had to "deal." We called in our employee to do it and put the fee on his bill. It would have been better if we'd ironed this out in advance.  The moral is:  "provide for your guests" -- don't expect "work" out of them!

For a nice meal, however, your best bet can be a plated meal straight from the kitchens of my favorite caterer right down the street Frugal Gourmet Catering from Tributary Restaurant in Mountain City, TN. There is far less waste with plated meals compared to a buffet. The trade off is there are fewer choices. Will it work for YOUR family and friends?  Only you know.  It is one way to get higher-end food out of the same budget money.

Why can't my sister-in-law cook for us?  (Asked another way:  Why do venues prohibit non-professionals from providing food for events at their place?)  The venue owner does not know your sister-in-law's skills. We don't know if she knows how to safely handle food for large groups (or will she do something to give everybody food poisoning?)  We don't know if she can get the food out in a timely manner or if she has experience or equipment for preparing food elsewhere then bringing it to the wedding/reception site.  If anything goes wrong, it will always be the venue's fault, even if it was the home cook and not the venue who made the error. And there is the issue of insurance.

As the owner of the B&B and Wedding Venue, it is MY goal to make YOUR wedding to go off without a hitch. "Amateur help" is a wild card which adds an undesirable level of unpredictability to a day which is likely to have a few bumps no matter how well planned. Why make it harder?  AND, why make your sister-in-law work? She's your guest, too. Let her enjoy the day!

For more information and help from an experienced wedding planner, contact Prospect Hill B&B Inn's owner/wedding planner Judy Hotchkiss at inn@prospect-hill.com or 423-727-0139.
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As the new year starts, let's review one of the most interesting things we did in late 2013--The Red Chair Project.

The Red Chair was "found" in New England then spent 2013 along with the first half of 2014 being handed from innkeeper to innkeeper down the East Coast and then west to Santa Barbara. Along the way "Red" is shown the local sites, photographed and "interviewed." Along the way it has an amazing ability to cause the "host" to see his/her own area through new eyes.

One of the reasons I volunteered to host the Red Chair in November, 2013,  is because of my love of photography.  I capture sunrises and sunsets, spring flowers and brides marrying at the inn.  I also make the photos of the rooms and the inn building which help inform and sell overnight rooms at our B&B. But the real attraction was the "something different" aspect of this visit.
Along with the chair comes a book where other innkeepers wrote down their experiences with it. Before turning it over to Mast Farm Inn, I read most of the entries from the past summer as the chair visited innkeepers I know in New York and Pennsylvania (including Hamanassett Bed and Breakfast in Media PA) and a multitude of inns I don't know in Virginia.

 It was reading those Virginia entries where the chair made its difference. Each innkeeper took the chair places they think are most interesting in their town, county and surrounding area. They mention pole-powered ferries, a hanging pedestrian bridge of the Hudson  River, views of mountains and quaint country stores and sing-ins--all places I had never head about but, because, of reading how "Red" enjoyed them, I am motivated to visit.
As it turns out, the Red Chair accomplishes what it set out to do--making innkeeper and visitor alike aware of the many many wonderful places which make us the American landscape.
So, in addition to meetingBryan Stevens, managing editor of the   Elizabethton (TN) Star at the bridge in his town, I had the fun of photographically turning the Watauga Lake boat ramp near Hampton into an infinity edge over looking the lake and the dam. I carted it out into a Christmas tree farm with some freshly-created stumps as holiday tree cutting is now going on. There was snow on the mountain, too!  And I made a nod to Doc Watson and the indigenous music of this area by photographing Red by the Doc Watson statue in downtown Boone near the Mast General Store. Yes, these are places I often point out to my B&B guests. They are places we can proudly say 'are like no other.'
While this could have been just another PR project, it really did turn out to be much much more.
 I posted this commentary on my inn website blog at  http://www.prospect-hill.com/red-chair-changes-innkeepers-viewpoint/

See http://www.RedChairTravels.com  for the overall project ( or click the photo)
See Judy's Facebook page for an album with many of my Red Chair photos.
https://www.facebook.com/judy.hotchkiss1/photos_albums
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Have them in circles
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Looks like this is the photo Google attaches to all my Prospect Hill/Google posts. So, thought you might enjoy the front facade. Can't wait to get a shot of the new paint job (approx. the same colors) once the sun moves around there in summer.
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Business Guests Adore B&B Stays
CHAPTER 2 - WHAT MAKES A BUSINESS GUEST HAPPY?


My location is in a small rural town which is the county seat located hours from the state capitol. My typical guest is a middle-aged man (corporate) or woman (education, health care).  Some are working in the private sectors and others are government employees.

Often, the pricing for business guests (corporate rate)  is based on continental breakfast or none at all.   Federal and state workers are on a fixed per diem for guest rooms and have a food budget. The amount is set by some higher authority and varies by market.  Given their per diem is about 50% of our leisure rate for some rooms and 75% of our least expensive room, a meal is NOT included in the room rate.  

We love accepting the per diem, but only Sundays through Thursdays. We have a corporate rate which includes breakfast, often early continental breakfast to match their schedules. All of these rates are currently under $100/night.  Many inns elsewhere refuse this business.  We think it is “good business” during our least busy times.

As a B&B, doesn’t it bother us to not serve breakfast?   No. These folks are looking for quality lodging. They are not looking for a breakfast “experience.” Government employees almost always have very early meetings and almost never want to PAY for breakfast. On a whole, I don't think they EAT breakfast, either!

I have my recent corporate guest, “Bill from Pennsylvania” in mind as I write this:

Business guests seem to be watching their diets/eating healthy:  For those willing to pay our corporate rate we offer a selection of granola cereals, fresh fruit "in skins" (bananas, apples), juice, yogurt. These items are arrayed on our kitchen island or in the refrigerator. He may eat them at 5 a.m. if he so chooses, although “Bill” preferred 7-7:45. Sometimes he ran later and we worked him in for a hot breakfast.
 
      There are a handful of things which make “Bill” and business guests happy:
       Early coffee available/ beverages - In our dining room we have an electric tea kettle, the one-serve for coffee, hot chocolate, spiced cider packs and tea bags (black tea and herbal). In the adjoining kitchen we have a coffeemaker with a timer. Access is 24/7.
     NEVER buy a coffee maker without a timer or use a Keurig (which we think uses too much plastic so we don't have one)   We have a 7-cup carafe for taking coffee to the room (we prefer to NOT have coffee pots in the guest rooms due to lack of space and messiness).

           A place to work - He needs a desk to spread out his papers --either in his room or in the parlor. We have a portable 2x4-foot folding table with adjustable height (Sam's Club) so it can work in the guest room. This guest chose the parlor because he like's people and hopes to chat a bit in the evening.

    Amenities - Like most other business guests, he must have a TV in the room, loves the individual thermostats and ceiling fans and must have free wifi working throughout the property. Business guests absolutely love having it on the patio in summer where they can work, chat, dine or snack.

      Shower or tub?  Male travelers seem to like a shower; females appreciate a soaking tub.  Be flexible enough to offer a first floor room (even if it is one of your best) IF you end up with a corporate traveler with enough health issues they can’t get up the stairs.

       A flexible cancellation policy. The guest this week was dead set on coming, despite heavy snow. He's OK with snow. Our state workers from the state capital don't know anything about snow and are fearful. They will cancel. You really cannot charge them.  Those coming to work with the school system will not come if the schools are closed. The schools are closed 85-95% of the time in January.  They also announce closures the night before, NOT 7- or 14-days in advance. So, there's a good chance a reservation for them at that time will be canceled at the last minute.
       The factory manager told me he sees nothing wrong with my charging $25 or more when there's a cancellation. They prefer to not pay 100% of it on a late cancel, such as when the president of Toyota North America decided he wanted to go back to Washington DC instead of staying over.

       Iron and ironing board needed-- We have one; we put it out in the hall or sometimes in the room, especially for the female guests.

        Menus and advice on where singles are welcome with diverse, somewhat healthy food choices. Know the hours of restaurants and know who has a salad bar. Know who has home cooking and who has home-style breakfast if they are not eating with you.  Know where the healthy choices are in your town. Add the grocery stores to your list. Have a map of this to hand out.

       Take American Express.

       Have wine glasses in the room. Have a corkscrew available. Know how to direct them to alcoholic beverages as needed.

          Learn to negotiate long-term deals. And learn to like a per day rate that seems ridiculously low.  I make at least $10,000 off one single executive who made many, many trips to my town to oversee a construction project.  His company also hired me/my workers to care for a house full of workers. THAT work kept my employees fed during the worst of the recession.  I don't recommend it as a "first choice" for your inn, but, at the time, it was an opportunity which worked for our staffing, our work flow and our bottom line.


COMING NEXT TIME:   How business guests are different from leisure guests and why we like them so much
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Business Guests Adore Bed & Breakfast Stays
CHAPTER ONE - HOW WE BEGAN

Our story:  Our first inn--in Inman Park, Atlanta--was  located in the commercially-zoned house next door. The building came up for sale.  A methadone clinic would have gone in there had they had the $20,000 down payment. At only 15 feet from OUR house, we said "no way."   Then we bought it and created our first B&B, based mostly on our intuition.

Our location was in Atlanta's oldest neighborhood, Inman Park, where we had already lived for 14 years. The house was just two blocks from MARTA, the subway station and 2 miles from downtown Atlanta and the convention center and not much further to Braves Stadium and Olympic Stadium.

Our very first guest--on April 1, 1992, was a doctor from Washington State visiting the CDC.  About 85% of all our guests in that inn (open a total of five years) were in town on business.

Our second inn, Prospect Hill Bed and Breakfast, in Mountain City, TN, hosts numerous business guests compared to other inns in the region.

I think business guests are always very grateful to find us and to get to enjoy B&B hospitality.  Many have never stayed at a B&B. If we make a positive impression they will one day take their spouses/partners to a B&B for leisure travel. Some even return to my inn--not a lot--but a few. So do not fool yourself thinking all of today's guest are tomorrow's tourists. Still,introduction is important to our industry.

 I find our business guests very interesting.   We often learn about their jobs AND their families.  In Atlanta, near the Carter Presidential Library and the Martin Luther King Jr. Tomb,  we hosted soap opera star  Robert Kelker-Kelly (Days of Our Lives), visiting shortly before winning his Day Time TV Emmy.  Also, a Nigerian general visiting President Jimmy Carter and the New York Times reporters covering the 1996 Olympics.

  In the past year, in this very small town in rural Tennessee, we've hosted the planners for the new off-road vehicle park, Doe Mountain Destination. One factory in our town makes night vision goggles so we often get people from the intelligence industry such as retired Navy Seals.  Sadly, we may also host the judge in the trial of three persons who participated in the murder of a couple who unfriended one of them on Facebook!
    Years ago, we asked a leisure guest about her job--because her employees had bought her a weekend at the inn. She burst into tears (it had been a grueling season). These days we do not talk to leisure guests about their jobs!! However, people on the job like to talk about their jobs, their observations, their lives. At some levels they are rehearsing their sales pitch before they go to their sales presentation. Generally, they are very interesting people.  It is very rewarding personally to host them!

NEXT TIME:  What business guests need to be happy at your inn
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Breakfast is served!  This is  Cranberry Stuffed French Toast made from whole cranberries. That is a 3-D bacon swirl on the left.
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gina wright's profile photoProspect Hill Bed and Breakfast Inn's profile photo
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+gina wright
 
Thanks so much. IF you could google "mountain city tn bed and breakfast and find our listing (outside google+), [on the right side under the map] then navigate to REVIEWS.  The magic 5th review will put us on the map.
 We so enjoyed your stay and your guest stories. We're still chuckling!!!!   I will never look at a whirlpool tub the same again!  Have a great season.
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Contact Information
Map of the business location
801 W Main St Mountain City, TN 37683
801 W Main StUSTNMountain City37683
(423) 727-0139prospect-hill.com
Inn, Vacation Home Rental Agency
Inn
Vacation Home Rental Agency
Wedding Planner
Bed & Breakfast
Wedding Chapel
BED AND BREAKFAST - Romantic, relaxing rooms for couples getaways.  Fine, large, comfortable rooms for business travelers midweek. Rooms are large, very private and the beds comfortable. Prices range from $109 (winter) to $179 (October) to $235 (NASCAR weekends).
      Come enjoy the tranquility of a small mountain town, nearby fine dining, gourmet breakfasts at the inn (included) and the time to reconnect with the special person in your life.
   
    WEDDINGS IN A NATURAL SETTING - Perfect place for your outdoor wedding with mountain views and indoor reception (seating up to 60). Our main website offers many photos so you can see how others have used the facility. Intimate elopements and second marriages, commitments also available.
     PRICING - Call the inn for pricing. Elopements start at $750 for a weekend stay and ceremony for two.

MOUNTAIN CITY, TN (1889)  --Col. Joseph Wagner (late of both the Confederate and the Union Army of America) has built a "retirement" home on 30 acres on the edge of town. A fine home with five bedrooms, it stands on a hill with Appalachian Mountain views. all around.
     TODAY -- Still named Prospect Hill,  Col. Wagner's Shingle style Victorian home is now a five-guest-room bed and breakfast enjoyed by people visiting the area for hiking, biking, scenery, Watauga Lake, the Virginia Creeper Trail, Appalachian Trail or to visit family.
     The building has been invisibly updated so all rooms have private baths, TVs and wifi  plus modern baths and heat/air/fans while keeping the feel of an historic home.
   


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People talk about whirlpool tubs, virginia creeper trail, rose romance room, bubble bath and gas log fireplace
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Innkeeper Seely
reviewed a week ago
I'm an innkeeper so I like to stay at B&Bs even if the owners don't know I am "in the trade." I confess I took the road from near Bristol that Judy calls "the snake" and warns people to avoid. It is extremely curvy, steep and slow but also goes through beautiful country. I thoroughly enjoyed the views. My room was clean and lovely. The bed was comfy. The only thing it lacked was a hook near the shower. Breakfast was yummy and freshly made. Judy and Robert made me feel at home. I wouldn't hesitate to stay with them again.
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Michael Pollack
reviewed a week ago
I loved the house and the surrounding community. I saw the most amazing crafts at local stores. The Inn was extremely comfortable and the hosts are like family. I would go back again.
Matt Kessenich
reviewed a year ago
My wife and I are frequent visitors to Prospect Hill and it is simply the best B&B experience we have ever had. Excellent inn, friendly innkeepers, and a fantastic location!
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Yvonne Martin
reviewed a week ago
What a great old house, sitting high on a hill with fantastic mountain views. It's right on the edge of Mountain City. Not a lot going on in that town, but it's a convenient location to go out and explore some of the surrounding towns, or just get out and enjoy nature. It's a lovely scenic drive to either Boone or Blowing Rock, NC, or a pretty jaunt to Elizabethtown. If cycling or hiking is your thing there are lots of choices. Innkeepers Judy and Robert have lots of information and suggestions for things to see and do in the area. We've stayed twice, both times in the Hideaway Room. We've also peeked in the other rooms - each one has something unique and interesting, specially the Rose Romance room which has a curved iron staircase going up to the bathroom. Most of the rooms are a generous size, nicely decorated, and have whirlpool tubs or oversize showers, and fireplaces. Unfortunately not a lot of choices for fine dining in town, and it's a dry town so you can't get liquor or even wine with dinner, but both are available in Boone. It's just a nice quiet place to get away and relax.
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Lee Carmen
reviewed 5 months ago
I had my wedding here with 50 guests. After checking with other destination venues, this was the best package and truly the nicest place! I had mountain views with easy access, hard to find! We had a simple Hors D'oeuvre menu, and the food matched my venue. Tributary Restaurant did the catering, and coupled with Prospect Hill, out did themselves! Highly recommend!
A Google User
reviewed 2 years ago
DO NOT COME HERE! It might be a nice place but the people there rip you off they have no sympathty for you i had a loss in my family and we didnt need one of the rooms we rented for 2 night only one nights. but she didnt have the heart to give us just the one night she made us pay for both nights. I FEEL BAD FOR EVERYONE WHO STAYS THERE!!!! after we rented the entire place out they still were not welcoming .... FYI it was a funeral home before it was a B&B soo just watch out before you go to bed at night...they say that it is haunted and they say one of rooms smells like muffins nooo it smells like old people and crap...so have fun
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Disliked: Breakfast, Rooms, Location
Response from the owner - 2 years ago
This review was posted by someone who did not stay at the inn. The property was always a private home until we turned it into a high-end bed and breakfast. Commercial businesses such as funeral homes are not allowed in our zoning area. We are not sure what prompted this review--we have actually never rented the entire inn for a funeral group. We are always sympathetic to the passing of a loved one and generally try to make our rooms as affordable as possible when people come to town for that purpose.. We do rent the entire inn for events such as destination weddings--more than a dozen weekends in 2011! --Owner/manager