When you have some time off from work and you’re planning where to go, one of the first pieces of the puzzle is where to stay. Your accommodations for your trip may be the single most important factor, and can make or break your trip! These days, the average tourist has quite a number of options available to them, depending on where their destination may be. All of the options have their pros and cons, and within each category you will find a wide range of prices, depending on the level of service and amenities you prefer, and the specific location may play an important role in your decision.
With our natural bias towards Bed and Breakfasts, and to keep this post concise, we’re going to present some of the many reasons a Bed and Breakfast may be the best choice of all. In no particular order, here are some of the benefits:
- It’s personal. By their very nature B&Bs are not run by a corporation, but by people who have chosen to open their home to travelers because they genuinely want to provide you, the traveler, with a great experience and help you to explore their community or region.
- It’s comfortable. In many B&Bs you not only have your private guest room, and these days a private bath is commonplace, but you have access to other common spaces within the house. This could mean a common “Living Room” type space, or outdoor patio, or even a “Dining Room.” In some of the larger homes, there will often be several common areas available to guests. The goal is to create a home away from home for you, the guest, but without any of the responsibilities of your day-to-day life. We want you to feel like you’re staying with friends and, no, we won’t make you do the dishes.
- It’s part of the local community. Your B&B hosts live there too, and are part of the local community. What this means for you is that they are connected to the other tourism business, and can help you create an itinerary for your trip based on the activities you would like to do. The B&Bs will often have an area where they keep cards and brochures from a wide range of local businesses, ranging from the well known to some that may be off the beaten path. Your hosts will also be able to offer insight into the type of experience you may get at any of the local spots, based on feedback from other guests. They don’t want to send you to a place that won’t be fun or friendly. They are a treasure trove of information ready to help you make it the best vacation ever!
- It’s not “Grandma’s House”. Contrary to what some of the old sit-coms might have you believe, today’s Bed and Breakfast is not full of lace, porcelain dolls, and dried flowers. Many B&Bs have integrated modern technology, (and modern bathrooms too), into their establishments. You will find complimentary Wi-Fi just about everywhere, and with your phone or tablet, the world is at your fingertips, even in an old house from 1859.
- It’s for the breakfast. One of the best reasons to choose a Bed and Breakfast is right there in the name, the breakfast. Some places offer a rotation of standard breakfast fare, but most B&Bs do a lot better than that. In many cases, the hosts will be up early preparing something special for you each and every day, utilizing local ingredients, intricate recipes and a strong desire to make it memorable for you.
- It’s really about the people. Over the years, both as B&B hosts and as B&B guests, we have had the pleasure to meet some truly fascinating and spectacular people. The stories that they have shared, about places they lived or experiences they had, have left us with a sense of gratitude that our paths had crossed and we had the opportunity to get to know them, even if only for a short time. It’s not to say you can’t meet people like this anywhere, it just seems that a B&B is the perfect, unassuming setting for such encounters. Don’t think, though, that as a guest at a B&B that you are required to socialize with the hosts or the other guests, that’s not the case. The real beauty of the B&B setting is that you have the opportunity to meet others if you choose, or you can keep to yourself and enjoy some solitude individually or as a couple. In fact, many B&Bs can offer special arrangements if you prefer to have breakfast on your own.
- It’s about choices. There are an endless number of variations on the Bed and Breakfast theme, from simple to fancy, and from 2 rooms to 10 rooms. Some may have a Hot Tub, or a pool. Many have off-street parking. They all have their own set of amenities and attributes. Unlike branded hotels, every B&B is different, and reflects the personality of its owners. This is why we recommend doing your online research before you choose one, but before you make your reservation, give them a call and you’ll get a sense from the brief conversation if that B&B will be a good fit for you.
If you haven’t tried a Bed and Breakfast, or haven’t stayed in one recently, we encourage you to give it a try. You may never go back to Marriott again.