The internet is always entertaining. I recently came across an article that badmouthed bed and breakfasts. Essentially, the author contended that on a rainy day, you might have to stay in and be bored because your room didn't have a TV - whereas every Motel 6 room out there had it's very own television set. So there!
When on a tight budget, I have stayed in some Motel 6s and they do have their place in the marketplace - near the bottom and beside the interstate. I also enjoyed a long career that involved a lot of business travel and being put up in luxury hotels around the world. One thing both motels and hotels had in common, was that TV as your only company.
Here are 10 reasons to pick a B & B over a hotel anyday, anywhere and on on any budget:
- Money. B & Bs, like motels and hotels, come in a wide price range. B & Bs may not always be cheaper but they always give you better bang for the buck. No add on fees for parking or internet use or outrageous charges for telephone calls or room service breakfast. At a hotel, you may be charged a dozen different rates for the same kind of room depending on who, how or when you call. Not so at a bed and breakfast. B & B rates are honest, straightforward and since they include the amenities, facilities and services for a comfortable stay, they are even better value.
- Personal Attention. B & B owners are self-employed. It's their own livelihood that is on the line. As a guest, isn't it really nice to know you are talking to the Boss? You can be sure that the boss realizes the importance of your satisfaction, your repeat business and your positive opinion. With only a handful of guests, you are bound to have more individual attention and a much higher level of service. You are not just Room # 1604.
- The Personal Touch. When you stay in a B & B, you are a house guest and honoured as such. The house, the garden, the decor, the books in the bookcase, everything reflects the style, life and history of your host. The innkeeper is not just a concierge but someone with whom you can swap stories. Your fellow guests are not strangers on the elevator but potential new friends over coffee.
- Personal Security. How many guests are victims of crime in hotels very year? Terrible to think about but there are good reasons that you might need to double-lock yourself into your hotel room and stare sleeplessly at CNN. At a B & B, with just a small number of guests to look after, owners are much more aware of what's going on in their property. Criminal issues that cause big headaches for hotels are almost non-existent in B &Bs. For single travellers, especially women, that one reason might be enough to choose a B & B.
- Ubiquity. That's a big word that tells you that B & Bs can be found everywhere. Anywhere that people live, even places where no hotel could survive, you will find friendly people willing to open their homes to visitors.
- Living like a local. Staying in a bed and breakfast gives you the oppportunity to actually get to know a local. Instead of following the beaten tourist track to the one big star attraction, you can learn an insider's secrets, all the sights, sounds, customs, tastes and colour that make every corner of this world such an interesting place.
- Relaxation, rest and respect. B & B innkeepers develop a sixth sense when to check on your well-being and when to leave you to do your own thing. Whether you need to catch up on sleep or catch up on romance, your host will always respect your alone time. No hotel maids will demand entry for an unwanted turndown service or to restock your mini-bar. No drunken parties will crowd the hall outside your door. Rowdyism is hardly ever heard or seen at a B & B. Indeed, a B & B will encourage you to relax and unwind with comfy chairs by the fireplace or a sunny garden nook.
- Real Exclusivity. Sometimes exclusivity is the opposite of expensive pretensions, snob appeal or separation. At a B & B, with only a few rooms, it may be your chance to include everyone in a group get together. You can book the entire property for a family reunion, an intimate wedding, an anniversary, the sewing club or Jane Austen Society. Imagine your own holiday home where someone else cooks breakfast and does the dishes.
- Breakfast with a capital B. The morning meal is an innkeeper's chance to show you down-home hospitality with grandma's best recipes, fresh baking, local, healthy and organic ingredients. Unlike a hotel dining room or buffet, your innkeeper is your personal chef and with a little forewarning can usually cope with almost any dietary restriction. The happy result when people share a good breakfast together is that they chat about the day to come and share something of themselves too.
- Every B & B is unique. No matter how many stars awarded to a hotel, to wake up in one hotel room is very much like waking up in any other hotel room. They will never feel like home. Only the owners of a house, cottage, chalet or castle can make it a home. To me, the sense of waking up in someone's home - a place that is loved and cared for - is one of the great joys of travel.
My thanks to an article on www.bedandbreakfastworld.com that inspired this list.