One of the most exciting things the Walworth County Visitors Bureau gets to do is welcome new members. Today we are excited to welcome Humble BnB! New to Lake Geneva, Humble BnB is excited to be opening their NEW bed and breakfast on Madison Street. We had an exclusive tour of the new BnB and chatted with Beth and Jeff, and all we can say is that you will love them both, you will love their mascot Zeus, and you will LOVE Humble BnB!
Q: How was the name chosen for the Humble BnB?
A: The Name is a play on words ie: Bumble Bee – When you come to the house you will see a Bee Theme subtly carried throughout, from the Logo to the décor. The reference is two-fold in that we also want to stress that this is a relaxed atmosphere with a casual attitude and no pretense. It’s all about enjoying the town and surrounding areas.
Q: What history (if any) is behind the Humble BnB?
A: The house was built in 1880, we heard from a neighbor that a long time ago it used to be a bed and breakfast, but we haven’t found anything to support that yet. When we bought it it was being used as an investment whole house rental by it’s owner. We loved the location and layout and decided it would suite our needs and décor.
Q: How did you come to acquire a bed and breakfast?
A: My husband and I have had it as our long term goal for almost as long as we’ve been married (35 years this April). We started looking in earnest after our youngest daughter graduated college, bought a town home and started her career. It had to be the right combination of house, location and price point, but we both said it had to be near water. It doesn’t hurt that we are still 1 ½ hours away from our two daughters and grandson, even though we considered as far away as Maine.
Q: What makes Humble BnB unique?
A: It will be an ever evolving work–in–progress to improve on what is already here. We have phases of projects to create an overall facelift and create places to enjoy within and without the building such as bringing back some of the 1880 house feel, with up to date conveniences. We feel that our décor is eclectic but in keeping with the feel of the house and has an appeal to all ages. The biggest draw is that it is with in walking distance to almost everything downtown with out the hassle of limited, paid parking and yet a 5 minute drive takes you to beautiful rural areas as well.
Q: What is your favorite part about being a local business in southeastern Wisconsin?
A: We are centrally located between two major cities, with an airport less than an hour away. We already have guests that will be joining us from Kansas, California, New York and even the UK. We have vacationed in this area for years as our girls grew up, and coming from Illinois we can feel the stress level diminish as soon as we cross the state line into Wisconsin.
Q: What is favorite part of being a bed and breakfast owner?
A: Both my husband and I have been in the customer service industry all of our careers. The best part of that has been building a rapport with our customers that has weathered the test of time. We look forward to establishing a repeat client business that can confidently expect consistent level of service every time they come. We are self disciplined to be our own bosses and can choose the direction we wish to go. I have always wanted to put the skills I honed in my career to use with my own flair and ideas. Being a business owner allows me to do just that.
Q: If someone would like to visit Humble BnB, is there anything they should know before coming?
A: We do let guests know that we have a dog. He is very gentle and well behaved and so far has been a hit with all of our guests. We do however stress that if anyone is not comfortable with the dog present, we will adjust accordingly. Our house is your house while you are here and if you let us know what you need, we will try our best to help facilitate it for you.
Q: What kind of breakfasts are offered? Can dietary restrictions be met?
A: We always ask about any dietary, allergy or just plain dislikes at the time they make the reservation so we can accommodate special needs and requests. Unless they specify, we serve up a full fare breakfast that usually involves some kind of egg dish, pancakes or French toast, breakfast meats, fruit, juice and baked goods. We try to switch it up if they are here for more than one day. We love to try out new recipes. Coffee and baked goods or snacks are available throughout the day for guests to help themselves.
Q: Are the bathrooms private or shared?
A: The downstairs Master Suite has it’s own newly renovated bathroom attached to the room. The two upstairs rooms share a hall bath on the same floor. Eventually one of the upgrades will be to renovate that bathroom (probably next spring) and possibly add a sink and toilet in each room for convenience during the night. Eventually we will move into the currently rented studio apartment attached to the back upstairs of the house giving us a third upstairs bedroom to rent as well.
Q: Are pets allowed?
A: Unfortunately, not knowing how they will react to ours or other guests, we do not.
Q: Is there a whirlpool?
Q: Is there a fireplace? If yes, please describe.
A: Alas, no there is not, but we have a simulated fireplace in our living room below the TV for ambiance, and it heats the room as well on those chilly nights.
Q: May guests come and go as they please, or are there certain times they are asked to be at the bed and breakfast?
A: Guests are given a key to their room and the house. They may come and go as they please. We simply ask them to choose a breakfast time so we can be ready for them, and prefer it be before 10:00am.
Q: Is Humble BnB child-friendly or adult-only?
A: Families are welcome with small children, again they are made aware of the dog. Adults must be present and available for children ages 6 and under.
Q: Can the entire Humble BnB be rented out to a single family for a stay?
A: Yes, however we do live in the home and make ourselves scarce. They are welcome to the common areas of the house, but kitchen, office and laundry facilities are not part of the rental, though we will make exceptions for special circumstances. The rooms accommodate two guests per bed. We do charge an additional $20 per person/ per night for additional guests in the rooms (max 2 per room). They must provide their own bed/ bedding but we will provide breakfast. We do not include children 5 and under in the guest count.
Q: What are the check in/check out times?
A: Check-in is at 3:00pm / Check-out is at 11:00am. If we don’t have guest leaving from the night before we are more than willing to be flexible. Same for checking out. Often guests will eat breakfast, settle up their bill, put their luggage in their car and walk back downtown for a bit before departing.
Q: Is the Humble BnB handicapped accessible?
A: The downstairs suite is ADA accessible though there is a slight step to get in the front door. The upstairs rooms are not.
Q: Can you book your stay online?
A: Yes, the website has a request form to fill out that gets sent to our e-mail, which we make every effort to respond the same day. We are also listed on Home Away, Air BnB and Bed & Breakfast.com. The process is the same, however the availability is most accurate on our own website.
Q: Where can we find Humble BnB?
A: 421 Madison Street lake Geneva, WI 53147 We are located just two blocks up from the lake at the public library directly behind Central Denison School.
Please tell us about the innkeepers.
Proprietors Beth and Jeff Iverson are not strangers to the Wisconsin area, having traveled and vacationed here for many years. We most recently moved to Lake Geneva from IL to realize a lifetime dream of owning and operating a Bed & Breakfast and felt that Lake Geneva has so much to offer it’s visitors. Having spent the majority of our careers in customer service in both retail, restaurant and lodging industries, we feel that we have a great understanding for what our guests need and want and will go out of our way to provide the best experience without being intrusive.
Allow us to introduce our Humble BnB mascot Zeus.
He loves company, attention, taking naps, long walks, leftovers and is very well behaved. We understand however that not everyone is an animal lover and will accommodate accordingly.
In celebration of their new BnB, Jeff and Beth are hosting an Open House on April 9th from 3 – 8 pm. Stop by for a tour, enjoy some delicious appetizers and refreshments, enter to win an amazing raffle prize, and help them revel in the excitement of their new adventure!