By Patti owner/operator of Abigail’s Bed & Breakfast – Ashland, OR
Hands down the question we get asked the most often is, “When you travel do you stay at B&B’s?” We always smile and answer, “No,” which of course leads to the second most often asked question, “Why not?” Well, because it’s kind of like being at work. And that’s the truth. We’ve stayed in many a B&B over the years but we haven’t stayed in nary a one since we became innkeepers. Add in the fact that neither of us are big breakfast eaters and well, there you go.
The interesting thing about a B&B is that there are a lot of misconceptions out there. One misconception is the expense; the rooms are pricier than a hotel room. While there are exceptions to every rule, generally, this is not the case at all. Most B&B’s room rates are comparable to a hotel room, but the same rate at a B&B is going to include a 2-course homemade breakfast, usually valued at around $17/person. And innkeepers pride themselves on their breakfast service. Are you allergic to peanuts or you’re a vegetarian? Just let the innkeeper know at the time of booking your room and they’re more than willing to accommodate food allergies and/or dietary restrictions.
Another misconception is that all B&B’s feel like grandma’s house. I’m the first one to get that ick feeling when I see way too many knick-knacks and dried flower wreaths, ugh. I can’t tell you how much of that stuff I got rid of when we bought our inn. Ick!
Gone are the days of the inn and guest rooms looking (and feeling) like a page out of great-grandma’s scrapbook. Many of today’s B&B’s offer complimentary WiFi, flat screen televisions, a computer desk for guest use and many other upgraded amenities such as individually climate-controlled rooms with luxurious bedding and private bathrooms. And you won’t find a vending machine at a B&B!
Instead you’ll most often find something homemade and deliciously yummy offered to you in the afternoon with a cup of tea or other beverage of your choice; quite often an evening glass of wine as well.
If all of this sounds great, but you’re a little on the shy side, or you’re looking for some quiet time, no worries there either. A good innkeeper is in tune with his/her guests and they know within a few moments of meeting which guests want to engage in conversation, and a bit of witty repartee, and who’s comfortable with just a good-morning smile.
However, if you are a people person and you enjoy meeting others who like you landed in that B&B for a reason, then by not opting to stay at a B&B, you just might be missing out on an important piece of what makes your trip that much more enjoyable; meeting other people. What makes a B&B experience special is the level of personal service, the historical significance of the home, the unique charm of the guest suites and of course, the breakfast! Guests tend to linger long after breakfast chatting and laughing with each other, having just met an hour earlier. The feeling of comfort and safety in a home away from home is what the personal side of lodging is all about. When a guest leaves a B&B there are often kind words of gratitude, the exchange of addresses between guests and the exchange of big hugs with the innkeeper. When was the last time you hugged the desk clerk at your favorite hotel?