Photo by IvyLodge
Since I just did a post on a B&B, I think I will stick with this theme this week.
For the longest time one of my own dreams was to have my own Bed and Breakfast. I imagined all of these different scenarios of where it would be, what it would look like and who would do all of the various tasks associated with it – the decorating of it, the paperwork of it, the cleaning and the cooking, even having a little organic garden of veggies and herbs. In my minds eye it was really fun and things ran seemingly flawlessly. I realized with having that dream that owning a bed and breakfast was a really personal extension of what I would consider my home that I would be opening to invite guests to share with me.
Well, that never happened and that dream will just remain a dream. But when I think about the reality of owning and running a successful Bed and Breakfast, I realize what a lot of work it must be for those who do own one. For that reason, I have decided to give some of what I think are things to think about first for the traveler going to a bed and breakfast, and then for us also to remember what could be important to the owners. Each, the guest and the innkeeper, have certain responsibilities to the other.
We would expect good, prompt service that lives up to the advertising to be sure. Bed and Breakfasts are not all the same though. If you are after a gourmet breakfast, be sure that the one you select advertises that. Some just have a continental type breakfast – maybe homemade muffins and jams set out as a serve yourself. Same goes if you are expecting afternoon tea or sherry. Or antiques and fine linens. Make sure you do a little research so that you won’t be disappointed. While most times these days reservations can be made on the internet, I would suggest a call to the innkeeper just to have some personal contact. Just remember that if you do call, the owner would likely be tied up in the morning with breakfast. While you are at it, in discussing your particular needs, you could ask if you need to bring a specific item or if it will be supplied. And you may as well find out what local events or activities are in the area.
Many times the innkeeper may be able to accommodate a special request.I have heard of a bride who bookied a whole B&B for her family. Or if you have a very small child, an advance call could help you find out if there is an age minimum. If they do allow babies, a call will help them get ready for your visit to make it perfect for you. Most would likely go all out to make your stay memorable.
Which brings us to the other part. Unlike hotels, these are usually privately owned homes. Those antiques you sit on or sleep on and the china you eat your gourmet breakfast on are special to the owners. So in return for allowing us to share them, we have the responsibility being good stewards of their B&B and to treat it and its furnishings gently.