The Art of Apology


Karen’s Column, Jan 2021, written by the Founder of the B and B Academy

In over 16 years of running a B&B I’ve done an awful lot of apologising to my guests. Looking back, it’s usually been dog, plumbing or smoke alarm related. My old dog, Murphy, loved people a little too much…

There was the time when I opened the door to arriving guests; an elderly man and his wife, who, within seconds of me opening the front door, was standing on our doorstep dressed in just her pants and shoes from the waist down.

With Murphy at her feet, trying to untangle himself from her elasticated skirt, which he’d pulled down in his enthusiasm.

And then the night when the smoke alarms were triggered in error at 2.30am and my husband had to climb a ladder to reset them, with the female guest still under the covers peering upwards. My husband, wearing just his dressing gown.

“Please tell me you put some boxer shorts on” I said, when he returned to our bedroom….silence.

I have one set of repeat guests, for whom something always goes wrong. Last time it was the toilet cistern that wouldn’t stop filling. I spent the 2 hours they were out at dinner in their bathroom, watching “How to fix a toilet” youtube videos on the ipad.

I eventually solved it with a carefully placed rock from the garden.

One thing I’ve learned from this is the importance of a well timed apology, appropriate compensation and a plumber on speed dial.

Read Karen’s full blog post online at

This article was first published in Issue 45 of the Digital Luxury BnB Magazine in January 2021:

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About Karen Thorne 20 Articles
Karen is the owner of Bed and Breakfast Academy. She has run her own successful B&B in Shropshire, England, for 17 years and supporting and guiding aspiring and existing B&B owners through B&B academy for the last 15 years. If your dream is to run your own amazing bed and breakfast... I will support you to create a business you'll love owning, and which guests will love staying at.