Traditionally speaking, bed and breakfast-styled accommodations offered basic amenities at affordable costs. They’d mostly be run by families, letting out the extra rooms in their home to guests, as a means to earn money and enjoy the company of travelers from distant places.
They’ve become more stylized with the passage of time to cater to the challenges of modern tourism. Now, you’ll find these B&Bs have sprung up almost everywhere; some catering to budget travelers, whereas others serving high-end luxury seekers. What were once homely inns, have now become chic boutique hotels. You’ll find some unique B&Bs set up in heritage structures, with most retaining their old-world charm.
So, how do you go about choosing the one that’s best for you? Well, it won’t be much of a hassle after you’ve gone through these handy tips.
How to Choose the Right Bed and Breakfast
Check if their rooms have en-suite bathrooms
In the traditional sense, B&Bs were just a bunch of spare rooms in a family’s house which were let out to guests. Many of these, even today, do not have en-suite facilities. In case you can’t conceive the idea of sharing a bathroom with strangers, do clear up this aspect before you book.
Check if they allow pets
Pet owners mostly tend to find favor with like-minded B&B owners who don’t mind the guests bringing their pets along. This generosity is hard to find in most hotels, and in the rare event that you do, keeping a pet at the hotel ferociously escalates the cost. Pet-friendly B&Bs are a dream come true for animal lovers, so if you are one yourself, it’ll be easy to find the perfect accommodation.
Check if they allow children
Yes, you read that right. There are quite a few B&Bs that aren’t too keen on having young guests below the age of 12 on their property. So, if you plan to travel with young kids, take extra caution with your research.
Check if they provide ‘modern’ amenities
As these are small scale establishments, you may not find some amenities that you’d otherwise take for granted. These include Wi-Fi, televisions, hair dryers, and even room service. Swimming pools, gyms, and coffee shops may also be beyond a mention. There could be some establishments that do not allow smoking on their premises. If you simply can’t live without modern comforts such as these, ensure that the place of your choice provides them.
Check if they have heating/cooling systems
Most B&Bs are set up in heritage structures, and may not have modernized central heating or cooling. This may especially be true of inns in remote, rural areas. Therefore, it would be prudent to make inquiries about the same beforehand.
Questions to Ask Before You Book
Are the check-in/check-out times (at least a little) flexible?
Remember that most B&Bs are houses, so you may not find the detached professionalism of hotels in here. Leaving or entering the establishment at odd hours may not be acceptable to the owner.
Is the building handicap-accessible?
If the inn is set up in a heritage structure, chances are that it may not provide such facilities. However, there are a lot of B&Bs that are sprucing up their infrastructure in order to welcome more and more people.
Is the breakfast charged separately?
Laugh as you want to, but this is a valid question. Some establishments actually have a separate charge for breakfast meals. This is because certain visitors may not wish to adhere to the traditional B&B services. And while you’re at it, also inquire if they have a service that provides other meals during the day as well.
Do you include any promotional sightseeing/tours?
Certain B&Bs are seeped in tradition, with several houses or towns having a rich history. Ask if they also include a tour of the estate grounds (if applicable) or the town.
What are your cancellation policies?
Again, do not expect the swift percentile calculations of the bigger hotels here. Most homegrown B&Bs may not even have a website (especially in rural Europe), so it is better to clarify all doubts related to monetary transactions. Also, do not assume that they will necessarily accept credit cards.
Bed and breakfasts are typically suited for those who appreciate local art and history, mingling with the community, and wish for homely hospitality on their holiday. If you think you’re one such person, reserve a room at a cozy B&B on your next holiday.