Bed and Breakfast or Hotel?

While hotels may be the best choice for business travelers because of the predictability of the rooms and amenities offered, a bed & breakfast may offer a unique and personalized environment for guests.  This alone makes a bed & breakfast a good choice for family vacations.  Hotels generally offer a sterile environment, while a bed & breakfast provides a more intimate atmosphere.

In a hotel, the only staff person you may come into contact with is the person who checks you in.  After that, you are just a number – “guests in Room 203”.  No one knows your name – no one cares to know you.  For bed & breakfast owners, however, their number one priority is taking care of their guests and getting to know them.  They realize that the experience they provide at their B&B is what will make guests want to return again and again.  Many B&B’s are family-owned and offer personalized service, available only in upscale hotels.

Unlike chain hotels, each and every bed & breakfast is unique in many respects.  In the same town, on the same street, each bed & breakfast will have a personality of its own.  They are unique depending on the location as well as the  personality of the innkeeper or owner. They are often located in historic homes, near landmarks or museums.  Getting to know the owner or innkeeper is an important part of the B&B experience and, oftentimes, this is what keeps guests coming again and again.

The many advantages of staying in a B&B include a friendly atmosphere in a home-type environment.  Most B&B’s offer guests a quiet parlor for enjoying conversation and front porches with rockers or swings for reading and relaxing.  Typical amenities offered by a B&B for no additional charge (unlike most hotels) are free wireless internet, free drinks and snacks, freshly baked items, luxury bathrobes, etc.

Breakfast is one of the most delightful experiences for choosing a bed & breakfast over a hotel.  A hotel may offer a large breakfast buffet, but these foods will normally be relatively the same from one hotel to another; the main difference will be in the amount of selection guests have.  Additionally, the cost of a hotel breakfast is usually not included in the price of the room.  Breakfast is included with the room rental of a bed & breakfast and it is a very important part of the experience – after all, it is half the name!  In a bed & breakfast, food is usually served plated, and in a leisurely and relaxed manner.  Guests can meet other guests and, oftentimes, breakfast can last an hour or more as guests share their experiences and get to know each other.

If you’re celebrating an important event, a bed & breakfast is the perfect choice.  Many innkeepers of  bed & breakfasts offer personalized service to help create a memorable experience for a guest.  Some bed & breakfasts offer “packages” which allow guests to add special items to their room rentals, such as cheese platters and chocolate-covered strawberries, gift certificates to a restaurant, flowers, etc.  Most innkeepers are happy to go out of their way to create these packages for guests.  Innkeepers know it is in helping to create these special events that assure guests a memorable experience that may make them want to return again and again.

Room rates vary significantly depending on the style of the bed & breakfast, the location, and the size of the B&B.  To find a bed & breakfast in an area where you intend to visit, you can go online and research bed & breakfasts, and oftentimes states have associations of bed & breakfasts listed with descriptions, pictures and rates.  Local chambers of commerce and tourist centers can also give you this information.

Try staying in a bed & breakfast on your next vacation, and you may discover it can be your “home away from home”.


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