Quintet is one year old!

Our B&B is turning 1 on September 6!  In the last week or so, I have been reflecting on how the first year went and thought I should write about it to remember-

Good friends from all over the world

Last year at this time, we had just put up our website and listed Quintet on several websites, but weren’t sure who was going to find out about our place.  Luckily, we soon got our first guest Patrick, a Shanghai expat who booked our entire house to celebrate his 40th birthday.  As guests began to roll in, we got busy tuning the rooms, service, etc. and there hasn’t been a boring day since!

We have received 300 groups of guests over the year.  Pouring over our booking records, I can still remember a lot of the faces and conversations.  We have about a third of the guests coming from Europe, a third from the US and Canada, and the remaining third from Australia and New Zealand.  We also have occasional guests from Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Japan.  Our guests for the most part are very cool and laid back.  They understand the B&B environment and really appreciate the casualness and coziness that they don’t get at big, fancy hotels.  Many are working in the design or fashion industries (yes, we get quite a few attractive gay men coming through, sigh).  There also many couples on their romantic getaway (or rendezvous) for whom we arranged for in-room massages, bubble baths… But what we enjoyed the most were the chats with guests.  Always curious about what they experienced in Shanghai/China, what do they do back home — we treasure the “yuan” of meeting everyone in our little house.

Learn to deal with challenges

The year was also spent in fixing things.  Given the house is 70 years old and has its limitations, we knew from the beginning that it needed a lot of maintanence.  We also put in a lot of equipment for the first time and weren’t sure how well they’d work.  So in the last year, we have had pretty much everything breaking at least once.. AC, Satellite TV, phone PBX, water leaks, plugged toilets, cracked walls… I’m the inquisitive type who likes to get to the root causes, and I really learned a lot (I feel like I’m ready to build a house from scratch)  Ultimately, I also learned to accept imperfections- this is not an excuse or cop out and I hope our guests will understand!

Future plans

In the coming year, we’re looking to beef up on staffing so we can provide longer office hours and more services (tours and activities referrals and organization).  We are also looking into a second location so you might see a Quintet II sometime down the road~