The first telephone call is made to Pamela Whitney now living in the DC area. Pamela is the decorator who worked with Kathleen on all the rooms in the addition. (www.pamelawhitneydesigns.com) She designed all the furniture and had it made in a factory in Mexico. Television armoires that also serve as dressers, desks that double as nightstands and headboards high enough on the wall that you can lean against them to read without being bothered by mouldings. Pamela has an instant and excellent understanding of what is needed. Kathleen has a formula for fabric in a room. One hundred yards of the principal fabric for quilt, drapes, shower curtain and pillow shams: thirty yards of a stripe or nubby solid for dust ruffle, pillows and trim; and ten yards of an upholstery fabric for easy chair and cushion on the straight chair. Off the two ladies go to Springfield, Massachusetts, to a shop that bills itself as the largest fabric store in America.
Stay tuned for the next installment of “A Room Redo”…
White paint on woodwork around windows in Room 201 is peeling in large patches. Why, the wall feels a little damp. The best roofer in America (Sam Design) looks it over. We will need a carpentry crew, metal bender, and of course, his team. And he knows a place in Granville, up on the Vermont border, that will be able to duplicate the purple gray fish scale slates that we will need to replace across the front of the building. All the workmen used Room 201 as a staging area. When the outside is fixed, and all the contractors have gone home, we look at the room. Peeling paint on the woodwork, dated colors, a quilt that no longer fits the new thicker mattress, a stain on the rug. It’s time for a complete redo.
Stay tuned for the next installment of “A Room Redo”…
The calendar affirms what our minds and hearts have been longing for… Spring has arrived in Saratoga Springs! The waist high snow banks are melting, giving way to brown grass and winter debris. It’s not yet green, but it is a welcome sight to see landscaping crews raking and cleaning up. Soon the crocus, daffodils and tulips will line the sidewalks and the trees will begin to shade the boulevard.
Saratoga Arms is getting a little spring spruce-up. A few rooms in “the old” section are getting a make-over…new room arrangements, a few coats of paint and beautiful new décor. The halls in the “new section” will be lined with historic photos of old Saratoga from the Bolster Collection of the Historical Society.
Kathleen is enjoying her waning days in Florida, returning home in mid-April. Noel is still in charge of the kitchen churning out those mouthwatering omelets for the hearty wintertime guests.
Amy and Kathleen will be attending the Innkeeping Conference presented by PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) in Atlanta at the end of the month. It is a time of socialization, exchange of ideas and learning. They always return with some fresh thoughts and renewed enthusiasm.
With the worst of this very long winter behind us and the arrival of the vernal equinox, we welcome the busy sidewalks filled with visitors to Saratoga Springs.
Will you be one of them?
A lady telephoned on Monday (December 10, 2007). She stayed at Saratoga Arms in early November but couldn’t remember which room. She is packing for a Christmas trip to Mexico and cannot locate her charger. Did she leave it here? Tech-savvy daughter asked what brand. “No idea”, says she. “It’s very different looking” was the only clue she could give. The computer told T/S daughter what room she had stayed in. T/S daughter went to the Lost and Found Log and found something that might have been left around the first part of November.
Now here’s where it gets to be amazing. Tech-savvy daughter takes a picture of the missing equipment and emails it off to woman packing for Mexico from her iPhone. “Is this yours?” Two minutes later woman packing for Mexico emails back with her Fedex number. And now that it is Wednesday, the charger is in the Mexico bound suitcase.
I just want to keep up.
As I said in my previous blog, people leave lots of their life behind in their hotel rooms. Years ago, the housekeepers turned in an engagement ring found in the corner on the carpet. It held an unusually small diamond, and the office staff theorized that its size was no doubt a surprise to the bride to be. It was probably tossed across the room and each must have thought the other retrieved it. No one has ever telephoned for its return, and you know my rule.
There has been a book left behind many times this fall. Eat, Pray, Love. All of these copies have been left with bookmarks about one hundred pages into it. No one has ever telephoned for its return either. Apologies to Oprah, but I think many ladies are getting stuck.
Based on these “in house” reviews, I have chosen not to attempt to read it.
We have just finished another busy weekend at Saratoga Arms. That means on Monday morning the telephone calls start. “Did I leave my phone charger in Room 218?” “Did you find my thyroid medicine in Room 103?” “Oh…I left my favorite pillow there!” We start shipping on Tuesdays…but only after we receive an email or a call requesting that whatever was left behind be sent back. It wasn’t always this way, but life teaches many lessons.
Our first foray into the lodging industry was in 1984 when we purchased an old motel on five acres on the outskirts of Saratoga Springs. We moved our family there. The only paved area on the property was the 135 feet of concrete in front of the motel, and it was in this area that our six year old rode her bike up and down the sidewalk with our wonderful yellow Lab named Bates Motel trailing behind her. Shortly after we refurbished and opened for business, a lovely couple from western New York State checked in for a few days. The husband had business in the area and the wife stayed at the motel during the day waiting for her husband’s return. She was especially kind to little Ann and Bates as they rode up and down. She fulfilled all requirements to be a pleasant guest. When they checked out, the gentleman left behind a sports coat hanging in the motel room closet. I was so efficient and organized in those days that without being asked, I packed it up and sent it back to Syracuse. Three days later I received a telephone call from a woman who asked me exactly when her husband was at our motel.
I don’t return anything now unless someone requests that it be sent back.