Vacationing in a Bed and Breakfast – Part I

Travelers spend a great deal of time looking for the perfect lodging.  Oftentimes, the bed and breakfast option is overlooked.  Do you remember the hotel room you stayed in several years ago?  Probably not.  But if you had stayed at a B&B, you would remember.  Why consider a B&B? Probably the most common reasons are because a B&B offers a quiet, home-type atmosphere with personal attention, awesome breakfasts and a chance to meet the innkeepers and fellow travelers and learn more about the area from locals who live there.  Every B&B is different and each reflects the personality of the owner/innkeeper as chef, waiter, housekeeper, decorator, gardener, historian and tour guide.  In the travel world, it is the last and greatest form of hospitality.

The managers of The Caldwell House often visit and stay in B&Bs around the country to learn about the industry and bring back new ideas and ways of doing things to impress our guests. They have visited B&Bs in North Louisiana, South Louisiana, New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi and Washington, DC.  The B&Bs ranged from 5-star historical establishments to a fishing camp and everything inbetween.  Each had rooms which reflected the owner/innkeepers style and appreciation of their inn and each offered unique amenities and various ways of running a bed and breakfast.  There is always something to bring back to The Caldwell and the managers always blend a little of what they learn into The Caldwell experience.

Many people who come to The Caldwell House have never stayed in a bed and breakfast before.  They are not sure what to expect — what will the accommodations be like, will The Caldwell House have some of the “hotel” conveniences they are used to?  Our trained staff know how to put our guests at ease immediately.  Upon checking in, guests are personally shown to their room, explained the features of each room (luxury bath products, robes, snacks), given a brief tour of the home to point out the 24-hour coffee and tea service, shown where they can have access to beverages, given suggestions on what to see or where to eat, and have any questions answered to help guests enjoy their stay.  To sum it up:  Caldwell guests receive personal service and attention that is simply not available at 5-star hotels.

Before opening and operating a bed and breakfast, innkeepers must be of the mindset that they will be welcoming guests into their home, whether it is actually “their” home or a home that they own or manage while living offsite.

Staying at a B&B adds a memorable touch to a vacation, but B&Bs are not for everyone, nor are they a good fit for every vacation.  With that in mind, we will offer, in a series of newsletter articles beginning with this one, advice on what travelers should consider before deciding on a B&B or other accommodation.

Watch for The Caldwell House July newsletter which will help travelers determine whether or not to choose a B&B or hotel and, if the choice is a B&B, what they should know before making their reservation.


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