5 Bed and Breakfasts’ No-Nos
B&Bs and inns are different from hotels. To the uninformed outsider, they appear the same—a room with a bed for the night, but a more seasoned traveler sees the various differences; the most glaring being that while a hotel is often cheaper, a B&B has far more personality, both for better and worse. A few more noted difference: B&Bs—as per their name—often provide many of your meals free (and delicious), saving you the thirty or so bucks you would cough up at a restaurant. This is in addition to other freebies you’ll often find, like snacks and drinks, and sometimes even a complimentary stocked mini fridge in your room.
More often than not, the innkeepers of B&Bs are also the owners, not just a 9-5 manager. B&Bs are often better appointed as well, with better quality linens and unique furnishings and the amenities are often more plentiful. Lastly, the innkeepers at B&Bs are locals and know all sorts of things about the area that won’t be found in a sponsored pamphlet—best local pubs, the music/art scene, what to see and what to avoid. These are only some of the ways that B&Bs and inns differentiate themselves from hotels, and as a customer, there is also a different code of conduct at these establishments. Here are five things unseasoned travelers do at B&Bs and inns that drive the owners crazy:
- Checking In Late. As mentioned previously, the innkeeper and people at the desk are more often than not also the owners. They have an entire inn to run and as such can only be available at the desk for certain hours so they can also provide for the rest of your stay. Make sure you arrive at the designated check-in hours and if you can’t make it, tell them in advance so they can plan around it.
- Being Careless with the Property. B&Bs are small businesses owned and run independently. The furnishings and linens in your room were personally selected and purchased. Don’t throw wet towels on a carved mahogany bedpost; don’t toss the pillows on the floor. Unlike in hotels, your room is often the only one of its kind, treat it thusly.
- Pay Attention to Rules. Some B&Bs don’t allow pets. Some are smoke-free. Make sure you know the rules of the establishment before you book and definitely before you stay.
- Mind the Freebies. B&Bs will often have many free items, but they don’t have unlimited quantities. Make sure that at dinner, you take considerate portions, and don’t empty the communal snack area. When one guest overindulges, other guests are left lacking. Also, since the setting of B&Bs is more often than not a house, the items that are not up for grabs might still be out in the open. Make sure you have permission before going through a cupboard outside your room or going through the pantry and fridge.
- Don’t Bargain. A small inn or B&B doesn’t have a conglomerate fallback for a rough season, which means their prices are far less flexible than a chain hotel’s (and as mentioned before, you more often than not get what you pay for and more with the price difference.) Don’t try to bargain down the price per night or the minimum night stay—sometimes this can be two or three nights, but it’s necessary for the establishment so they can make enough of a profit to stay in business.