The charm of a Bed and Breakfast is the one-of-a-kind atmosphere, the attention to detail, and the unrivaled hospitality. Here are some facts about the B&B; experience that will make your stay even more enjoyable. Of course, because every inn is unique, consider each of these guidelines as general principles!
Many B&Bs offer Romance packages, great for Weddings, Honeymoons, Anniversaries, or just because!
Plan on making a reservation for your stay
Although some inns welcome “walk-ins,” most will require advance reservations and a deposit or guarantee via credit card. Also, make reservations early, as most inns only have a few rooms and can fill up quickly.
Check about Private/Shared Baths
Most establishments have guest rooms with private baths, but some locations, such as some guest houses, have baths down the hall, or shared baths. It is wise to inquire ahead of time if you have a preference.
No hidden fees… except taxes, of course!
Unlike many hotels, an excellent breakfast is normally included in the room rate at most inns. But, just like you will at any lodging establishment, there will be a number of taxes to pay along with your room rate, including city, state, and possible sales/lodging taxes. Be sure to ask about these when booking.
Call during normal human hours
If making your reservation by phone, call during hours that you wouldn’t mind being called yourself. B&Bs usually don’t have 24-hour desk clerks! Of course, if requesting a reservation online or via email, do it any old time.
Breakfast is usually “chef’s choice” with either a designated serving time or your choice of a serving time.
Alert your host about allergy concerns
It is wise to notify the innkeeper in advance of your arrival if you have dietary restrictions or allergies affected by feathers, certain pets, etc., since the inn may have feather pillows, and some innkeepers have pets of their own. Innkeepers will try to accommodate your situation whenever possible, especially if there is sufficient lead time to make the necessary preparations.
Take advantage of your innkeepers’ local knowledge
The innkeeper or owner serves as a friendly, helpful, personal host while you are the guest. Feel free to ask them about restaurants, things to see and do, directions to places you want to go, etc.
Some inns offer additional meals
While breakfast is always included in the room rate, some inns serve other meals regularly, or for special events or occasions, so you may want to ask about this or notify the innkeeper if you are interested in arranging extra meals. Some B&Bs offer complimentary snacks also.
Check the smoking policy
Most inns do not permit guests to smoke inside. However, most facilities will allow smoking outside. It is good to clarify the inn’s policy ahead of time regarding these matters if you are not sure.
Check about accessibility
Because many inns are converted homes or historic buildings, most will not be handicap accessible. Some may have rooms that are, so definitely inquire ahead of time if this is a necessity. If stairs would be a problem, this should also be addressed, since ground floor rooms may not always be available.
Be courteous should you need to cancel
Should you need to cancel, do so as early as possible, and be sensitive to the inn’s cancellation policy. Remember that your room may represent 25% or more of the innkeeper’s income, and it may be difficult to fill the room at the last minute. While a B&B may have stricter policies than a generic hotel, the trade-off is a personalized experience you will not experience anywhere else.
Check about bringing the kiddos
B&Bs tend to be individually decorated by their owners with quality furniture, artwork, and antiques, and they usually are not child proof. Well-behaved children are nevertheless welcome at many B&Bs, though some have certain age restrictions. If you are traveling with children, it is always wise to ask about any reservations that involve more than the usual “double occupancy” standard. Parents are responsible at all times for the actions of their children.
Check about bringing Fido
Most B&Bs do not accept pets. Those that do may have special policies regarding the size of the pet and the rooms in which pets are welcome. Please notify the management at the time you make the reservation if you are traveling with a pet. REMEMBER: Never leave a pet unattended in a strange place.
Some inns will have definite check-in and check-out times while others will allow more flexibility. If you are unable to meet the posted check-in time, be sure to call the inn to make special arrangements.