Opting for a bed and breakfast over other types of lodging is a great way to personalize your stay, get to know the locals and, in many cases, find a warm, cheerful room for the same price as a major hotel chain.
There are so many varieties of Bed and Breakfast’s that choosing the perfect one may seem overwhelming. In fact, the term has come to describe anything from an upscale, sprawling estate of restored cottages to a room and morning coffee at an unassuming farmhouse. There are plenty of great resources for searching out B&B accommodations, both online and off. Read on for our top bed and breakfast tips.
Is a B&B Right for You?
Bed and breakfasts are a favorite options for many travelers, but they’re not right for everyone. You may want to consider a B&B if:
You prefer smaller, more intimate accommodations than a large hotel. You appreciate rooms that are individually decorated, especially with antiques or period furniture. You enjoy getting to know other travelers over a lavish communal breakfast. You prefer charm over amenities, and don’t mind if your room doesn’t have Internet access or other modern conveniences. (Editor’s Note: More B&B’s are adding such modern amenities every day — so ask your innkeeper!) You like staying in residential neighborhoods or quiet rural settings. You’re looking for adults-only accommodations (many B&B’s do not accept children). You enjoy the experience of a “home away from home” — including quirky touches like the innkeepers’ cat curled up in the corner of the living room. You like having the personal attention and expertise of an innkeeper at your disposal. You appreciate transparent pricing (many B&B’s list nightly rates on their Web sites).
On the other hand, you may want to avoid B&B’s if:
You appreciate amenities like gyms, pools, room service and business centers. You appreciate the privacy and anonymity of a big hotel. You’d rather eat breakfast alone or with your travel companion than make small talk with a bunch of strangers. You’re on a very tight budget (B&B’s tend to be a little bit more expensive than ultra-budget hotels and motels).
You are a slob. It is amazing how a couple can transform their room into a pastiche of Tracey Emin’s infamous bed in just one night. Wet towels, spray perfumes and water bottles soon ruin polished furniture. In the end I stain-proofed every surface with yacht varnish.
You’ll be checking in and out at weird times (very early or very late); unlike a large hotel, B&B’s tend not to have 24-hour front desk service.
What Makes a Perfect B&B?
Even if you decide to book your accommodations online, we recommend that you call the innkeeper at least one time before you go. Here are some topics you should consider discussing.
The best B&B in the world has been named for 2019 and you don’t have to travel far to experience this highly-praised bed and breakfast for yourself… because it’s in Devon.
After a great night’s sleep you’ll be ready to tuck into your complementary cooked Irish breakfast. Breakfasts are prepared to order every morning by our resident chef, using the freshest and best locally sourced ingredients available. We look forward to seeing you soon!
Most B&B’s have fairly strict check-in times. Find out what the policy is, so that you are not (as is often the case) barging into someone’s home after hours.
Most inns have individual in-suite bathrooms for all the guests, some will require that you share a restroom with an adjacent suite and some offer just one bathroom for several rooms. Ask!
Contrary to what you may think, breakfast is not always included in the price of the room. It can also vary from a bagel and coffee to a sumptuous feast, and may be offered in the privacy of your room or in a public dining room. Also inquire when breakfast is served.