In one form or another, Select Registry has been around for over 30 years.
The association was founded in the late 1960s by Norman Simpson, the "father of Country Inn travel in America." In his pioneering book, Country Inns and Back Roads, Simpson noted that "each (member) inn is original and unique, a reflection of the personalities and tastes of the individual innkeeper-owners…this was never intended to be a total guide to country inns in the United States and Canada, (but rather) a carefully selected group of inns. The purpose is to encourage travelers to visit…and to experience this unique type of personal hospitality…"
When Norman Simpson first compiled a directory of inns, there were 12 properties, primarily in the New England area. Today, we represent nearly 400 of the "finest country inns, B&Bs, and unique small hotels" from California to Nova Scotia-the very best the travel industry has to offer.
What makes Select Registry different?
Perhaps the most important distinction between a Select Registry member inn and any other is our system of Quality Assurance.
Select Registry carries out a quality assurance inspection for each of its nearly 400 inns. This program involves independent inspectors-not employees of Select Registry-with years of experience in the hospitality industry. The inspectors arrive unidentified, spend the night, and evaluate the inn on a detailed point system, which translates into a pass/fail grade for the inn. Inns applying for membership are inspected, as are existing members on a periodic schedule. Not all inns have what it takes to pass the inspections, and this process provides a guarantee to the traveling public that a Select Registry inn is in a class of its own. A recent Internet directory identified over 20,000 "country inns and B&Bs" in the United States and Canada. A select few of those are members of the Select Registry.
No other online directory or organization of innkeepers has a comparable inspection program. In fact, a recent New York Times article noted that the proliferation of "inns" has resulted in an industry rife with misrepresentation, lack of quality control, and widely varying room rates. With its rigorous inspection program, Select Registry has established quality as a hallmark of its member properties.
Select Registry doesn't rank our members with diamonds or stars-although many of our members carry the high ratings you'd expect from various groups that evaluate inns and B&Bs. If you're a member of Select Registry, you're the cream of the crop. All of our inns are "the best"-and our inspections prove it!
For many years, the symbol of the Association was a lit lantern, symbolizing "the Shining Light of Hospitality." Today, this value continues to be an essential component of who we are. In an increasingly impersonal world, the "personal touch" of a welcoming innkeeper is often what sets apart a lodging experience, and, in conjunction with Quality, is what our properties are known most for. Whether it is the personal greeting by the owner/innkeeper, a convivial meal, solicitous meeting of special needs, or passing along our guidebook as a gift to a new friend-hospitality ultimately continues to define the concept of "traveling the Select Registry way."
A brand you can count on.
In years past, the registry book in the lobby of hotels and inns welcomed guests and provided a connection between innkeepers and travelers. The historical registry "quill"-the original instrument of guest registration-has been incorporated into our association's graphic identity, and the predicates of "preference, distinction, choice, and authenticity" establish our members as "the best of the best" in an industry that has become notorious for its plethora of "inns" and a correspondingly wide range of quality.
Since 1972, millions of our Association guidebooks have been printed and distributed by innkeepers throughout North America. These books have an extended shelf life, and many are still being used by travelers. This year, over 400,000 new guidebooks will be printed and distributed, making ours the largest such referral program and publication of its kind in the travel industry.
Select Registry Membership Criteria.
1. The Inn must be owner-operated, or managed and operated as if it is.
2. The Inn should be the primary business of the owner/operator.
3. The innkeeper must have been an active innkeeper for at least three years (this criteria may be reduced depending on prior experience in the hospitality industry).
4. The Inn must have a minimum of six guestrooms.
5. The Inn must pass Select Registry's Quality Assurance inspection, and be fully licensed according to state requirements.
6. A common room should be provided for guests only. This is not to be a bar, lounge, waiting room for the dining room, pass through lobby, etc.
7. All meals must be pleasant dining experiences. If the evening meal is not provided on the premises, fine dining or quality regional dining must be readily available in the area, preferably within walking distance.
8. Personal hospitality is the touchstone of innkeeping, and this quality will be of the utmost importance in evaluating new members.
9. The overriding objective of Select Registry is to admit inns that will materially enhance the overall quality of the organization.
10. It is required that each member participate in the distribution of the Select Registry guidebook by giving a copy to each guest. Innkeepers must also be willing to attend association meetings and to share their expertise with other members.
Occasions may arise when it is in the best interest of Select Registry to waive one or more of these criteria. Such action would require a 2/3 majority of the Board.
"We are an association of innkeepers dedicated to providing you with a unique hospitality experience. We strive to be the best at what we do, individually and as a group. We work together to educate, promote, and support efforts to set standards for our profession. "