Everybody has a different story.
That’s what Maureen Snyder has learned after more than a decade of running Ida-Home B&B with her husband, Al, and it’s a lesson that’s served them well. The local business was recently highlighted by Reader’s Digest as one of the “most charming small-town bed and breakfasts” in the country, selected above all others in Idaho.
The couple didn’t set out to own their own bed and breakfast. While they once owned a general contracting business, Ida-Home is their first foray into the hospitality industry — and probably their last.
“Unless we live another hundred years,” Maureen Snyder said with a laugh.
Ida-Home B&B got its start when the Snyders realized they could repurpose their Post Falls home to help meet their financial needs. The house was already well-suited and conveniently located between Spokane and Coeur d’Alene. After a surface remodel, the Snyders opened their doors.
With four well-appointed guest rooms, the bed and breakfast sits on five acres, surrounded by untouched forest. As for the second “B” in the name, Ida-Home serves both gourmet and down-home style meals and accommodates special dietary needs upon request.
After 12 years, Ida-Home B&B is going strong.
“We’re actually doing extremely well,” Snyder said. “We’re enjoying what we have.”
They host locals looking for a romantic weekend or relaxing getaway as often as they do CEOs and Hollywood types who are visiting the area. Now and then, Snyder’s guests surprise her — like the unassuming father from Iran, staying at Ida-Home B&B with his teen children, who casually mentioned that he owned a “modest company” with “only about 3,500 employees.”
Entertaining guests from across the country and around the world means the Snyders are frequently treated to fresh perspectives on life and global events.
“We can read in the newspaper that this is happening, or that’s happening,” she said. “Then we get the guest who stays with us and says, ‘This is the real story.’”
After more than a decade of running a bed and breakfast, most of the wrinkles have been ironed out, Snyder said, though last-minute bookings remain a challenge.
Much of their business comes through booking agents who “really put the word out” in exchange for a percentage of the booking fee, and from — believe it or not, Snyder said — reviews on TripAdvisor.com. Online word of mouth goes a long way, and Ida-Home’s positive reviews on TripAdvisor bring in new guests.
The Reader’s Digest nod is another testament to what the couple has built over the last 12 years.
“It’s wonderful to be noticed,” Snyder said. “We felt honored to be chosen for the whole state.”
Still, she said, even the Reader’s Digest feature doesn’t give a complete sense of the experience guests can expect at Ida-Home B&B, or fully capture the beauty of the area. For that, you’ll have to come and stay.
“The pictures don’t do it justice,” she said.