Here I sit in the dining room of the Highland Lake Inn in Andover, NH, reflecting on why I love B&Bs so much. (disclosure, the Highland Lake Inn is one of my inns I work with and yes I was not bribed to mention it aside from the fact that I have a comfortably full stomach and Pecco and Gail and their two boys who own the inn, are awesome people, both to work with and as friends, yes I am posting a link to their site because it would be kind of rude not to. )
Over the many years I have traveled around the country, I have stayed at 100s of Bed and Breakfasts and probably almost an equal number of hotels and motel chains. The hotels/motels primarily because in larger populated areas (like major cities) B&B’s are not as prevalent and if they are, they are generally not located close enough to any of the seminars or conventions that I was attending at the time to be convenient places to stay. So staying at bigger places was a matter of necessity, not personal choice.
While I work with many B&Bs and several B&B associations, I admit I may be a bit biased in their favor, not only because they are great people to work with but because B&Bs seem to attract a certain breed of people to run them. Friendly, hardworking, bend over backwards to help you, with great big hearts and great cooks to boot.
I would say of the 100s of larger places (hotels/motels) I have stayed in (unless I was staying in a very high end place and also paying the price for it) I ended up with impersonal, shoddy customer service, noisy nights, uncomfortable beds, dirty rooms, boring mass produced breakfasts (unless you are paying extra for an actual sit down meal) and in general, its just a place to sleep and then move on. I would chose to stay there on a vacation or business trip why?
In comparison (for similar prices per night) I can stay at a B&B and get a comfortable bed, clean sheets, quiet surroundings at night, a clean bathroom, happy warm people to talk to that give a rats patootie about you as a person and a wonderful breakfast in the bargain. What’s not to like?
Of all the B&Bs I have ever stayed in, I have had a grand total of two bad experiences, one was more of the irritating variety then bad. One was a case of the people upstairs apparently re-experiencing their college days with practicing the theory of gliding B&B furniture all night long and the other was a noise issue being located on a major road, the earplugs in the bathroom labeled with “for your convenience should your better half snore” should have been a tip off.
When I compare that to all the times I have stayed in a hotel or motel and asked myself the next day, “why oh why did we stay there?” It’s not hard to do a comparison of which places we prefer and why.
I think there are misconceptions that many travelers have about B&Bs. One major one, is that they are pricier than a hotel or motel.
I think this is actually a fallacy because when you compare rates between hotels/motels and B&Bs, many of the rates are comparable. Add in the cost of an actually edible and well cooked breakfast, more and better quality amenities and better customer service, makes staying at a B&B a better choice price wise, if that’s all you are looking for as a bottom line. If you add in as well many B&Bs do 2 for 3 nights or stay 1 night get the second 1/2 off, the price becomes even less expensive for a weekend away.
In addition, the majority of B&Bs offer free WIFI (unlike many hotels that charge for the service), they are quieter, so a business traveler can get more concentrated work done. I find it almost impossible to get work done in a hotel room or hotel lounge, constant noise in the hallways, the sound of people’s TV coming through the wall and other ongoing noise make it impossible to concentrate.
Regardless of whether I continue to work with B&Bs in the future, I remain a loyal B&B stayer forever more. (and that’s not Poe’s raven talking 🙂