AAA Guidelines

I was just reviewing the AAA rating guidelines and I think we have a shot at a 4-diamond rating. That’s pretty exciting (at least for me) but it also means we need to rethink some of our choices:

Facility AAA requires We offer

Decor “An abundant variety of live plants or dried floral arrangements” These are not appropriate for a Colonial mansion — indoor plants were a Victorian thing, and dried flowers would kill my sinuses. Cut flowers are ok, and I plan to have a flower garden.

Floor coverings “Unique area rugs” My great-aunt hand-wove a number of large floor rugs. Is that unique enough? My mother can even identify specific clothes from her childhood.

Guest arrival “A guest key may not be left unsecured for a guest’s pending arrival” Then guests better arrive by 9pm.

Common areas “Multiple common areas; refreshments available” Parlor, library, and game room (with pool table) for guest use; coffee and tea available all day.

Meeting rooms “Variety of well-appointed meeting rooms; state-of-the-art audivisual equipment available” Uh-oh, the closest thing we have to a meeting room is the barn. Watch out for the swallows.

Public restrooms “Number appropriate for the number of meeting rooms” 0 meeting rooms, 1 public restroom — I guess that’s an appropriate number.

Breakfast “Full breakfast with flexibility in times; excellent quality tableware” 3-course breakfast from 8-9am with excellent quality tableware. (We’ll have good food, too, but AAA doesn’t seem to care about that.)

Sundries “Upscale gift shop” There’s enough gift shops in Lancaster County without me adding one.

Keys “Each room must have a keyed locked and a non-keyed deadbolt for guest privacy.” I think a deadbolt is a little overkill for “privacy” but I can get some iron rim locks that are appropriate for a Colonial house. (Well, they’re not appropriate for Colonialbedrooms.)

Clothes “Two luggage racks and 8 wooden hangers” A 5-diamond property has to have10 wooden hangers.

Phones “24-hour access to incoming messages and outgoing calls” VoIP phones in every room.

Smoke detectors “A smoke detector inside each guest room” Ours are outside each guest room (per local fire code).

Bedding “Excellent quality, high thread count, triple sheeting and choice of pillow fills” I got the first three covered, but all the pillows are hypoallergenic. There is no other choice.

Furniture “Excellent quality furnishings” We’re spending $20,000 just to restore Dawn’s grandparents’ antique furniture.

Seating “Two comfortable upholstered chairs, one with arms; a desk chair” OK, but Bill’s room is going to beawfully crowded…

Television “Television with remote; TV guide; VCR” Portable television on request

Amenities “Insulated vinyl ice bucket with lid, two robes, fresh-cut flowers” I can provide the ice bucket, but there’s no ice machine. I just added “16 large robes” and “5 small vases” to my shopping list.

Guest bathroom “Upscale with style, some artwork” It’s a bathroom, not a gallery!

Fixtures “Enhanced faucets; upgraded showerheads” All showers got Moen pressure-balanced valves to prevent “shower shock.”

Soap “Two bars of soap, a 5-piece ‘amenity’ set” We’re going to install soap dispensers, rather than throw away all those little bars of soap. I certainly don’t want to be throwing away 5-piece amenity sets as well!

Bathroom “Make-up mirror and electrical outlet near the sink” I hope the architect thought of electrical outlets, because I didn’t. And what the heck is a makeup mirror? I have a vanity mirror in each bath–is this different?

Reservations “Accepted 24 hours a day” Answering machine after 9pm

Phone “Promptly answered and warm and sincere greeting offered” Depends on my mood

Parking “Uniformed attendant promptly opens the car door” Hahahahahaha

Turndown “Service available on request” I’ve heard stories of B&B owners going into guest rooms to turn down the sheets and finding…well, let’s just say the sheets didn’t need to be turned down. No, thank you.

Wake-up call “Available 24 hours a day, seven days a week” All rooms have a clock radio.

Room service Available Not available

Express check-out “Available 24/7” After you’ve settled the bill, you can leave anytime you like.

Laundry “Overnight valet and laundry available” You’re welcome to use the washing machine (except 10am-2pm).

Swearing “All associates exhibit a professional vocabulary” I will use my indoor voice.

Courtesy “All associates consistently maintain eye contact with guests” Really, that’s a AAA requirement!

Attire “All associates are appropriately attired; name tags” No name tag. I’ll answer to anything you want to call me, but no name tag.