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Faqs About B&Bs

A bed and breakfast is generally known as a private home where a guest is provided a place to stay for the night. In some cases, the bathroom provided for the guest is shared with the family or another guest -- although the majority of guests now expect (or demand) a private bathroom (usually en suite, or "in the room"). Breakfast is usually included with the price of the room. In addition to converted private residences, some establishments are considered bed and breakfast inns. The same concepts of "room and breakfast" apply. The major difference is that an inn has more rooms available than the usual one to four found in a private home. Inns often provide meals in addition to breakfast, as well as other services not always provided in a private home.

How To Find the Perfect Bed and Breakfast

Some practical tips on finding the perfect bed and breakfast for your next getaway.

Is there a perfect bed and breakfast? Of course -- in fact, there are hundreds, probably even thousands, of them! The trick is sorting through all the options to find the perfect one for you on your next getaway.

First, give yourself enough time to plan. There are tens of thousands of bed and breakfasts in the U.S. alone. The less time you have to choose an inn, the more difficult it is to find a great one. Next, decide the general area you'd like to visit. Then, decide early on what's more important -- the inn, or the inn's location. A great B&B in a sub-par destination might be better than vice versa, but it depends on your tastes. Choose a general price range. Some inns would be perfect if you had unlimited cash. But there's almost always a wonderful inn that can fit your budget.

Email or talk to the innkeepers before making a reservation. If there's anything you're not clear about after visiting their Website, ask more questions- (Do they serve a full or continental breakfast? Is the room's private bath also en suite?) Be sure you're clear about check-in and check-out times, when breakfast is served, and any other features you're interested in. Spend time reading the inn's Website before you make a final decision. Most quality B&Bs have all the information you would want to know on their Websites. If an inn's Website is sub-par, it doesn't mean that the inn will be -- but it should cause you to be extra careful before making a reservation.

Be sure to give yourself enough time to enjoy the inn. Staying at a B&B for just one night isn't always enough time to enjoy its' true intimacy and uniqueness.

Common Myths about Bed and Breakfasts

One of the best things about staying at B&Bs is that each one is unique. But almost all of today's B&Bs have on thing in common: They're run by professional, competent innkeepers. Nonetheless, some outdated myths about bed and breakfasts persist. These myths have their roots in the days before most travelers even knew what a bed and breakfast was. Today, with rare exceptions, they are simply myths. As with hotels, there are good B&Bs and bad B&Bs.

There is no privacy - The vast majority of inns, and all of the good ones, have plenty of privacy. Your room should be quiet and free from interruption. You won't be forced to interact with other guests, nor will you have to sit down with the innkeeper and look at old family photos. At a small inn, you may be able to go through your entire stay without ever seeing any other guests. Innkeepers tend to be very concerned with their guests' privacy and do everything they can to respect it.

You'll sit with strangers at breakfast and have to make small talk - It is true that sometimes breakfast is served at one or two large tables, so guests who don't know each other may sit together. Most people don't try to force conversation when it becomes apparent that you'd rather enjoy a quiet meal. If it does become a problem, you can talk to the innkeeper about it and time your future breakfasts so that you'll almost sure to be alone.

B&Bs are very expensive - There are some expensive B&Bs, but there are also some very affordable ones. It depends on the inn's location, amenities, and other factors. But if you've avoided looking at B&Bs as an option because of the cost, think again. In New York City, for example, high-quality B&Bs are very competitive with hotel prices. In areas less often visited by tourists, B&Bs can be an amazing bargain.

Business travelers can't stay at B&Bs - Many B&Bs have all the amenities important to business travelers, and many will offer a discount for an extended stay. This might have been true 10 or 15 years ago, and is still true to some extent today, but many B&Bs now cater to corporate travelers. In fact, many B&Bs now offer wireless internet service either in their common areas or in private rooms.

There will be strange rules and a curfew - Sometimes an inn will have rules that can be off putting, but they typically just ask for the same respect and courtesies you would have if staying at your friends house. Innkeepers will sometimes ask you to be quiet if you come back to the inn late, out of respect for other guests. To be certain, make sure you read all of an inn's policies on their Website before making a reservation and you should never be staying at a B&B with truly strange rules.
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