Today’s travel industry provides people with an extensive range of accommodations from big chain hotels and boutique inns to bed and breakfasts and Airbnbs. Many people have never experienced a stay in a bed and breakfast, making it a popular item on travelers’ to-do lists. Bed and breakfasts offer many different experiences than the typical hotel or even more unique properties like cabins or manors. While staying in this type of setting is certainly thrilling and different, it may not be for everyone. Learn about some of the pros and cons of staying in a bed and breakfast before making that reservation.
There is an abundance of benefits to staying in a bed and breakfast. Usually built from charming old houses, bed and breakfasts possess an atmosphere intended to make guests feel like they are truly staying in a home. If you’re the kind of traveler who enjoys interacting with new people during your trips, a stay in a bed and breakfast might just be perfect for you. Before you go, brush up on some bed and breakfast etiquette tips.
Bed and breakfasts often offer a list of scheduled events each day, including activities like crafting or tours of the house or nearby attractions. For some, this is a great advantage because it makes filling your days with activities even easier, plus you may try something or visit somewhere you never expected before taking the trip.
One of the best parts about staying in a bed and breakfast is that you have a built-in tour guide to provide all the local insight that you want when traveling to a new place. You can inquire with your innkeepers on everything from restaurant recommendations to the best spots to watch the sunset, and they’ll likely have a long list of suggestions for you.
Depending on the type of traveler you are, meeting the other people staying at the bed and breakfast could be a pro or a con. If you’re a social butterfly who loves to talk to new people any time of the day, then you’ll enjoy the structure of staying in a bed and breakfast. Each morning, guests usually dine together or mingle in the evenings over a cocktail hour. During this time, you’ll have the unique opportunity to connect with other travelers who you can exchange travel tips with or even make plans to embark on an adventure in the area together.
For travelers who shy away from the impersonal nature of hotel rooms, a bed and breakfast stay is exactly what you need. Because you are staying in a house with other guests and the innkeepers, there is less privacy than you would expect at a hotel, but this environment is perfect for a personalized experience. The innkeepers get to know each individual guest better and can provide them with friendly service and individualized suggestions on activities in the area.
Included in the price of the stay, breakfast is served fresh every morning when you stay at a bed and breakfast. While many hotels now offer complimentary breakfast, it’s usually the same few items day after day. At a bed and breakfast, the innkeepers have the resources and the ability to cook up something tasty and new each morning. If you have any allergies or dietary restrictions, you can let your innkeeper know ahead of time, and they will be happy to accommodate you. Typically, breakfast is enjoyed by all travelers at the same time in a common space in the bed and breakfast, but if you’re not interested in chatting with the other guests, some properties offer the option to have your breakfast in your room for an additional fee.
While there are many benefits to staying in a bed and breakfast, some of the elements that certain travelers would find enduring may be less exciting to a different kind of traveler. If you enjoy the detached feel of staying in a hotel without having to talk to other people every day, then you may not enjoy a bed and breakfast stay. Here are some cons to consider before booking your accommodations.
Because of the design of a bed and breakfast, you will run into other guests and the innkeepers often, and you will likely get to the know them at least in passing. If this does not sound appealing to you, and you enjoy the anonymity you get when staying in a towering hotel, then this is a factor you may want to consider before booking. Mingling with other guests is certainly a good way to make new acquaintances or find others to explore with during your trip, but if you prefer to travel alone or just stick with your group, you might enjoy a boutique hotel more.
While some bed and breakfasts offer unique amenities not easily found elsewhere, like on-site spas, a saltwater pool, or a movie theater room, often times a bed and breakfast does not have the space for standard hotel amenities like a fitness center. Most people are willing to sacrifice these items, particularly if the bed and breakfast they’re looking at has additional amenities, but it is something to keep in mind when deciding where to book your stay.
Between the scheduled activities and the strict breakfast times, bed and breakfasts can scare off some people who tend to travel with more of a free spirit. If you don’t like the idea of having a very specific time that you need to eat or be somewhere, then you should consider staying in a different kind of accommodation such as a cabin or lodge, which allows you more freedom to explore and make your own schedule.
After you’ve weighed the pros and cons of staying in a bed and breakfast, you can browse our collection of unique craft lodging properties, which includes an array of bed and breakfasts, inns, and boutique hotels across the U.S.
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