Archive for the ‘Hospitality Trends’ Category

Our Covid Policies and Practices

August 2nd, 2020 by camdenmotel


Hi 2022 Towne Motel guests! As we enter our third year of living with the Corona virus, we’re happy to note that most travel and everyday life restrictions have been lifted in Maine and most other states, at least for now.  International travelers still need to follow federal guidelines ( which currently include a negative Covid test taken within 24 hours of departure to the US), but no additional rules for Maine or most other states.  Our 2022 season is looking as busy as always and we’re excited that people are eager to travel and come visit Maine! Compared to last year, we’re expecting to welcome back more adventurers from abroad, especially our Canadian neighbors. We have missed our many Canadian repeat guests, and are happy to realize they haven’t forgotten about us!

Like last year, things won‘t  be as quiet here as in 2020, but you will still find lots of ways to escape crowds and enjoy the outdoors that Maine is so famous for. Midcoast Maine has everything from mountains to lakes, beaches, islands, hiking and biking trails, sail boats and harbors, vineyards and farmers markets — but also plenty of cultural activities, which are all back this year, including Lobsterfest! Whether you’re ready to leave the pandemic as far behind as possible, or whether you still want to be cautious and stay away from crowds, Midcoast Maine has something for everyone.

Here at Towne Motel, of course, we want you to stay healthy and safe in and around our property, and we continue to follow or exceed the state‘s guidelines. Immaculately clean rooms have always been a top priority at Towne Motel, but since the start of the pandemic, we have been working hard to make some changes required or recommended by the state, industry standards, and hospitality yaYorganizations, and suitable for our property, guests, and employees.

Here are some of the policies we‘re still following this summer:

Checking in: Our check in process can still be contact free if you’d like it to be. If you prefer not to come into the office, you can let us know by phone or email in response to your reminder email, and we will let you know how and where to get your key and welcome note. Now that all restrictions have been lifted, and the two of us have been fully vaccinated and boosted,  we will not enforce social distancing rules in our office, but are still encouraging people to check in one party at a time, just to make everyone comfortable and be on the safe side. Commonly used items and surfaces are sanitized frequently, and a sign outside the office requests that guests who have not been fully vaccinated continue to wear masks, as in many other businesses in town. If you can’t find your mask(s), we have some for you outside the door, and there are hand sanitizers inside the office.

Common Indoor Areas ( e.g. dining rooms)  and Breakfast: starting Memorial Day weekend or even a bit earlier, we will open our breakfast rooms again, and everyone is welcome to have breakfast there or grab a few things to take to your room or  to an outdoor area (trays are available). The breakfast rooms will look much like last year, with separate tables for food and drink. Windows will usually be open for better ventilation. You do not have to wear a mask if you’ve been fully vaccinated, but of course you’re still welcome to do so as you help yourself to food and beverages. If you haven’t been fully vaccinated, please wear a mask in the dining rooms, except when / if you sit down to eat and drink.

Almost all guest rooms open up to the outdoors; there are only two rooms which share an interior corridor, and that corridor has a window and a door which is open during the daytime. If more than one of these rooms is occupied, please wear a mask as you walk through the corridor if you have not been fully vaccinated. 

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The Boutique Hotel Trend Has Jumped the Shark

January 15th, 2014 by camdenmotel

TIt’s official: the boutique hotel trend has jumped the shark.

We’ve been wondering  when this would happen but never expected that we’d hear the news from a David Brooks column in the The New York Times (nor did we ever think we’d laugh so hard at a Brooks column).  In “The Edamame Economy,” (1/6/14), Brooks announces the arrival of the “mass boutique,” heralded by Marriott’s boutique chain, Edition. (First edition? Limited edition? )

A boutique chain: now there’s an oxymoron.  And a shark-jump.  Food trends are a good example of the shark-jump phenomenon, whereby something is initially perceived as unique/exclusive and then, as its popularity spreads, takes a seemingly-inevitable downwards trajectory to end up, ingloriously, on a McDonald’s menu. Remember (this will reveal your age) when Caesar salads were considered gourmet, mixed tableside at fine restaurants?  When balsamic vinegar was special?  When salted caramel-whatever was a rarity?

But this applies to other mass commodities too, sold as “experiences,” whether sneakers, sodas…or hotels.  As David Brooks notes, the boutiqe hotel experience is all about difference and uniqueness, offering “edginess, art, emotion, and a dollop of pretension.”  Boutique hotel guests, Brooks says, attract travelers who identify as discerning and for whom the hotels “hold up a flattering mirror…they are supposed to feel like they are entering an edgy community of unconventional, discerning people like themselves.”  They want a “happening lobby scene” where they can bring their laptops and sit alongside other people with laptops or mobile devices.

But wait, there’s more: Chip Conley, founder of Joie de Vivre boutique hotels in the Bay Area,  claims that his top hotels offer “identity refreshment” and brings to their guests “an awareness of self-actualization..

When we stopped laughing, we started to imagine a boutique-makeover at Towne Motel.  First order of business: to signal our new “brand” with a cooler, boutique-ish name.  How about T?  Or 68 Elm, like all those restaurants that use their street address in the name—another trend that may be about to jump the shark, if it hasn’t already.  Then room makeovers with mid-century modern furniture.  Breakfast room lighting: minimal, but you’ll be expected to wear sunglasses and bring mobile devices.  Very happening.  And—oh yeah–much more expensive.

What Brooks describes, of course, is the urban version of boutique hotels.  The boutique inns where we’ve stayed in Maine don’t have an edgy lobby scene, and the owners are friendly and welcoming.

But don’t worry, Towne Motel will not be jumping on the boutique wagon anytime soon.   Because we proudly offer the opposite:

–The most affordable lodging option in the village of Camden, with  bright, immaculately clean rooms, a homemade Continental breakfast, and a friendly and decidedly unpretetious vibe.

–Towne Motel’s “no sticker-shock” prices mean that our guests have money  left for fun stuff  like great meals and shopping sprees in Camden.

–Our guests don’t need Towne Motel to hold up a flattering mirror to them so that they can be re-affirmed in their edgy uniqueness.

So what  can we say? Boutique-schmootique! In fact, we think we have discovered a new lodging category.  Come visit us at Towne Motel, the Un-Boutique!


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