Whether you're on a journey, a staycation, or a weekend of self-care, a B&B is about the whole experience, not just the space.
If you've never tried a B&B, here are a few reasons to make the switch:
1. The people who own and operate these establishments care that we are spending time with them.We can all recall hotel stays where we had a hard time getting anyone’s attention, especially if the request is out of the ordinary. Most of the time we simply give up if we need a different pillow, a knowledgeable restaurant recommendation, or a warm sticky bun before bed. Innkeepers at bed & breakfasts view travelers as their houseguests and are available to ensure that a visit to their establishment is superior. Many visitors become long-time guests over time due to this kind of attention.
2. The small touches that make the stay superior are included in the cost of the room.Guests are often assigned parking space, some establishments provide car service, and Wi-Fi is free throughout the B&B. There are sometimes discounts and special offers for local attractions. Owners are often long-time residents of the area themselves and can offer a wealth of behind-the-scenes information about their town. Many inns allow pets so the whole family can enjoy the time away from home. Guests won’t be charged for local or toll-free phone calls, either, compared to hotels that charge just to pick up the phone in the room. How about complimentary drinks and snacks? Many B&Bs offer goodies to tide over their guests. Check for luxury items like fluffy bathrobes and high-quality linens provided to guests during their stay.
3. Personalization!Going hand-in-hand with all these small touches is the willingness of innkeepers to personalize a stay in many ways. Honeymoons, anniversaries, wedding parties, birthdays, reunions, and other special events provide opportunities for the B&B owner and staff to pamper and cater to guests to create the experience of a lifetime.
4. A B&B stay can be as private or as social as guests wish.In a typical hotel, customers come and go with little interaction, travelers passing in the hallways. If privacy is desired, a B&B can provide that, but guests more often become a small community. A social hour, complete with warm cookies or wine and hors d'oeuvres, is the norm. This provides a time when guests can mingle and get to know each other and share information.
5. Many inns are historic or otherwise unique buildings.There are inns that were previously the homes of famous figures or an important piece of the area's history. Often, the buildings are unique designs, such as plantation homes or castles and palaces in Europe. Each has a character of its own, unlike most hotels that are built in cookie-cutter fashion. The owners of these buildings are proud to share the history and information about the architecture with their guests.
6. The rooms are also unique.Many B&B’s are themed and offer rooms that reflect the theme in various ways. Some transport guests to cultures around the globe through the use of artifacts and art displayed in each room. Or picture a room with a claw-foot tub overlooking a relaxing ocean or majestic mountain view. To take it one step further, some inns revel in singular experiences like sleeping in a teepee or log cabin. Over time, guests may come to prefer one room over another and can request that specific room when they return, and owners are happy to accommodate these requests.
7. The food!Even a B&Bs “breakfast buffet” will far exceed the typical hotel complimentary breakfast fare. The food is sometimes the most well-known attraction at a bed and breakfast, and it often starts the moment guests check in. Freshly baked cookies or other sweet treats can be available throughout the day, and breakfast is a full, home-cooked meal to send guests off on a day of relaxation or sightseeing. Many B&Bs offer a guest pantry, open 24/7, stocked with everything from wine and sherry, an assortment of sodas, coffee and teas, snacks, and fruit. Along with those items, the thoughtful owner may provide candles so guests can create their own romantic evening on the veranda or in their room. Some inns are owned and operated by classically-trained chefs who stand ready to create a personalized meal for guests. Many B&Bs pride themselves on using only locally-sourced, fresh foods, whether that is veggies and fruit or the catch of the day.
8. Security is better in a B&B.This is an issue that is a growing concern for travelers. The inns are smaller and often contained in one building with few entrances, especially in out-of-the-way locations on the property. Many are located away from busy highways (although some are in urban areas). Overall, there are fewer people on the grounds at any one time and innkeepers are more familiar with all guests than would a front-desk person in a hotel. The owner is often the same person that cleans the rooms, so there are a limited number of people with access to personal belongings of guests.
9. Value.Many travelers have the mistaken idea that a B&B is much more expensive than a hotel in a similar location. However, once all the amenities that are part of the B&B experience are taken into account, the value becomes apparent. Remember the free phone calls, the sodas (and other goodies) that don’t show up on the bill, the parking, the expert concierge service provided by the owners, and the superb food? The comfy robe and high-thread-count linens, along with all the other luxuries, create an experience that far exceeds the price quoted by most hotel chains.
The next time a trip is in your future, or you’re looking for a quick getaway, consider a B&B. Inquire about the amenities important to you and then book your experience.