B&B or hotel – are they created equal? Many of you who have never stayed in a B&B before might wonder what this trend is all about. Some of you might be die-hard B&B travellers and swear by them. So I thought perhaps it is time to compare the two options and see which one comes out on top. Who better to help me with the task than Maria? So once more we gathered round the well used dinning table over a steaming cup of java to compare the two…here’s what we came up with.
- Fixed or Flexible Arrival and Departure Times: If you have a fixed itinerary with arrival or departure times that might be outside of normal business hours, you may find the 24 hour capabilities of a hotel are better suited to your needs. While B&B owners try to bend over backwards to meet the needs of their guests, they also have to balance the needs of other guests in their homes. Sometimes noise considerations may limit their ability to accommodate late night arrivals or early morning departures. Having said that, if your arrival and departure times are more flexible – you might like to try the friendly and casual atmosphere offered by B&B’s.
- Anonymity or Looking to Mingle: Sometimes you want a getaway to include a getaway from people. Maybe you are looking for a quiet and intimate couples retreat, or maybe you just need to recharge in isolation. While I wouldn’t suggest B&B’s don’t offer tranquility and the opportunity to recharge, or a beautiful environment for a romantic encounter with that special someone, they don’t provide the anonymity of a hotel. B&B’s are a great environment for a little chit-chat with others who might share similar interests and to get some great tips on how to enhance your getaway as you exchange traveller reviews over breakfast. Certainly the environment is one which fosters a community of travellers and many friendships have formed at the breakfast table.
- Standardized Accommodations or Unique Architecture and Décor: As a former business traveller herself, Maria can appreciate the value of standardized accommodations. When your travel arrangements and business meetings include an ample amount of unexpected change, it is often nice to know when you check in to the hotel brand of your choice the service you receive is one that you are familiar with. When traveling for leisure however, Maria encourages you to try the novelty of a B&B. Given you are staying at the home of your host, B&B’s offer a variety of styles, décor, environments and personal touches that you probably won’t experience at a hotel chain. In fact, getting to know your fellow B&B guests as well as your hosts is probably the most rewarding element of a B&B stay and may become the highlight of your trip!
Of course, like hotels, there is a wide range of accommodation and services offered at B&B’s and Maria encourages you to do a little research in advance to ensure you are selecting a B&B that suits your style and expectations. Speaking to the B&B owner is a great way to learn about the property as well as visiting websites, like Trip Advisor, that allow visitors to post reviews.
We’ve just highlighted a few of the differences between a hotel stay and a stay at a local B&B. Perhaps you have some you would like to share?