Adding up the elements of experience

In New England, the topic of hauntings is a familiar one, undoubtedly because we have 400+ years of colonial history and millennia of stories from the Wabanaki whose woods these were. Each sunset looks back across an ancient natural and built landscape; across a sea of stories.

We were remembering the matter-of-fact observations of a friend convinced that she and her family shared a house with a colonial ghost. Trying to recall the spirit’s name, we thought, “Patience? Prudence? Charity?” None seemed right. And then we remembered: “Experience.”

We are constantly reminded of our own history here at Spruce Point. “Rusticators” came to the fairly non-rustic lodge in the 1800s. Celebrities tie up at our dock. Families have guided the property (and filled the landscape with laughter and not a few tears) and guests have made the inn their own (sometimes through multiple generations). Thinking about the evolution of our story we recognize that patience, prudence and charity are exactly the elements that have contributed to the experience that makes us better innkeepers and Spruce Point a better place.

In the ongoing ‘total quality management’ sessions we hold here at the inn, the emphasis is on everyone sharing the responsibility for the experience our guests enjoy. We’ve all learned how to do each other’s jobs (you should see Joe and me folding napkins!), not just so we can all pitch in when it’s busy, but to understand how the process works, how all the steps need to be accomplished, in their proper order, to get to the desired result.

We also learn how to work together better because we’ve gotten to know each member of the team and appreciate the individual efforts each takes to get the job done. If we don’t care for each other, we can’t take the best care of guests.

Patience + Prudence + Charity. Those are the elements that add up to the sort of Experience that lets us deliver on our promise to build exceptional “oceanside memories, made in Maine.” It’s the chart we think all of our hospitality partners follow — a good invisible companion to remind us of our principles.


Photo Credit – Lorna Andrews