She looked up the street at an approaching rickshaw, a two-wheeled vehicle pulled by a human runner, and there to her amazement, swinging in the ‘hemp hammock’ seat was Woody Harrelson. Just another day in Woodstock. Welcome to The Wild Rose Inn, and meet Marti Ladd!
Her roots in the hospitality industry go back to Russia in the1800‘s making her a ﬁfth generation innkeeper. After a successful career in costume and set design, she began renovating old homes for re-sale and eventually purchased an 1898 Victorian farmhouse that would become the The Wild Rose Inn.
Beginning in 1998, a crew of twelve carpenters labored to restore the glorious Victorian aesthetic. In it’s current incarnation the house is beautifully decorated with porches, pergolas, ﬂowering gardens, koi pond, and vintage craftsmanship throughout.
I asked Marti what the differences are between a typical hotel and a B&B establishment, and what an educated consumer should know.
During one of her rare breaks between house chores and greeting guests, she told me, “Here at The Rose there’s not such a distinction between customer and family member. And, it is much more informal than staying at a chain hotel”.
As an example, Marti shared a story that richly illustrated her approach.
“A young couple was having a bit of an argument in their room. Fortunately, the other guests had already left for the day, but the disturbance echoed though the house.
“When they surfaced, I asked them to sit down for some food. And then asked for a small favor: would they be willing to put their quarrel on hold, and take a walk to the nearby waterfalls. An hour later they returned, hand- in-hand, smiling and disappeared back into their room. Peace and love resumed it’s natural course for the weekend”.
“The intimate space created here allows interactions like this to take place,” she explained.
“At a hotel, that would be considered outside of professional conduct. It’s a sad truth, but being overly professional can keep us from nurturing guests as real people.”
Woodstock, N.Y. is famous as a community of artists. So it’s not surprising that the hallways of The Wild Rose Inn are lined with autographed photos of celebrated guests. Cassandra Wilson, Arlo Guthrie, Jefferson Starship, are regular visitors. Ethan Hawke pops in from time to time. The list is long and colorful. This mix of personalities is part of the fun for all the guests who may just stumble upon a famous face at breakfast. But for Marti the satisfaction comes from offering rest for the weary, and comfort for all. She states, “Every picture on the wall is a story or a song. That’s what keeps me in love with being an innkeeper.”
The reputation of The Wild Rose Inn has grown steadily in fourteen years, and she has established a hard-core clientele of repeat customers. The buuteeq digital marketing system is a new tool that she expects will bring the Inn even greater success and brand identity.
“The website is great, full of content and outstanding photography. buuteeq’s system is really turning lookers into buyers!”