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We also run a small B&B and had this problem with a guest booking at 9pm saying they would arrive after 11pm. By the time they arrived we'd been on Booking.com and changed our settings so reservations can't be made for the same day (go to the Calendar, click on 'Standard Rate' and then edit the 'Minimum Advance Notice'). This way, when people make reservations and say they will be arriving later than your check-in time, you have a day to contact them and point out the error of their ways.
It’s sad to hear that you are close to giving up on what should be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. We opened a small B&B about a year ago and had the advantage of setting it up from scratch so didn’t have to deal with any previous owners ‘quirks’. We love what we do and have some great guests – also the odd awkward one.
It’s difficult to give advice without knowing more about your business, i.e. size, where you’re located, etc. I understand when you take over a business, it makes sense to carry-on with the established routine until you get a feel for the place, but you’re now 18 months in and it sounds like you have a very clear idea how you want your business to run. You should go for it and make the changes you want. If people compare you to the previous owner, use the ‘Under New Management’ banner to explain the changes.
It seems part of the problem is managing your guests expectations. If people turn up and there are facilities for them to make themselves meals, they will use them. Remove any confusion by getting rid of the facilities. Think about putting a list of places you’d recommend for evening meals in the Guest Information pack in the rooms and tell them it’s there when you show them in.
As for people wandering into areas you don’t want them to, the only way to stop them is to put locks on those doors.
Finally, it’s easy to say, but be brave and make the B&B yours by making it the establishment you originally dreamed of running.
Hope this helps.