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Unplanned Cancellations and Silver Linings…Nantucket Serendipity

People tend to make their reservations for a Nantucket getaway well in advance – especially when their reservations are for one of Nantucket’s most popular festivals, Christmas Stroll, which takes place the first weekend after Thanksgiving.

Our location, 30 miles out to sea, and our identity as a destination resort, require a considerable amount of planning and a significant commitment of time and money, and, for our more distant guests, several layers of ‘trains and boats and planes’.

Brass Lantern After Snow

In August, one of our guests reserved three rooms for the three day Christmas Stroll festival and was eagerly looking forward to bringing his whole family out for Stroll.

But, as we know, sometimes life just gets in the way of the best made plans… Sadly, a the illness of a family member forced our guest to call just a week before their scheduled arrival to reluctantly cancel his reservations.

A word about late cancellations – On Nantucket, inns and hotels need to receive notice of cancellations anywhere from 14 to 21 day prior to arrival – because of our remote location, it may not be possible to quickly fill cancelled room nights at the last minute.  At the Brass Lantern, we encourage guests to explore trip insurance to protect their Nantucket travel investment.

In the case of our guest, we opened up his room nights to enable online booking, posted the unexpected availability on our Specials page and our Face Book page, and contacted Island based referral agencies – but, the room nights were not immediately re-booked.  At the last minute, all his room nights were re-booked and we were able to refund most of his (significant) deposit – just in time for Christmas!

Now, the silver linings – our guest completely understood our cancellation policy and was very gracious – though hopeful that he would have at least a portion of his deposit refunded.  When we spoke about the very good outcome and his refund, he asked what was the Brass Lantern’s favorite Nantucket non-profit because he wanted to make a donation in the name of the Brass Lantern, a lovely and generous gesture.  True to his word, he soon made an online donation to A Safe Place, Nantucket’s agency for domestic violence and sexual assault services.  Having served on the Board of A Safe Place for thirteen years, I know the value of this small non-profit well.

This wonderful and unexpected outcome on all fronts is what I like to think of as pure Nantucket serendipity!

See you on Island – Michelle Langlois, the Nantucket Bed and Breakfast Inn accidental innkeeper.

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