Different Places, Different Policies
Hosts have different policies for their establishments and it’s always best to ask questions about things important to you before you book. Do you need parking? Does it cost extra? Is there a curfew? Some other things that vary are cancellation policies, if they have internet use for you, laundry facilities, air conditioning as neither you or the host wants a surprise if there is something that you need that they don’t have to offer. Remember, these are their homes and a good host wants to provide all the services you would expect at a hotel, except for the hotel atmosphere. They’re relying on their charm and the warmth of their home to make your stay an exciting, fun, welcoming and comfortable experience for you.
Breakfast Has Many Definitions
The breakfasts themselves differ as much as the decors, locations and house types. The owners normally prepare them so you’ll have a home-made, personal touch to your first meal of the day. I’ve stayed in B & B’s that have a self-serve style, continental breakfast. These can be a tasty variety of homemade breads and jellies and treats, or they could be fruit, cereals, yogurts etc, a common standard for the continental breakfast. Don’t be afraid to ask for details on the phone. I’ve expected a delightful morning meal and sadly had to force down commercially bought, frozen, fattening and salty unfulfilling snacks.
Others make a wonderful morning event, providing a menu of hot breakfast standards including pancakes, french toast, home fries and eggs. These are favorites because you can bet the owner has their unique flair or a family recipe that you’re not going to find anywhere else. In fact, I visited one B & B where they grew their omelet vegetables right outside in the garden, and the jams and jellies were homemade right on site.
What to Expect
I have found that if a B & B has five or more rooms, they usually have staff to help out the owners. Just like a hotel, you’ll get your beds made and plenty of fresh towels. Personally I like the larger establishments because the house is usually more mansion-like and bursting with character, and normally they can then afford to provide a few more amenities. If you like interacting with people from all over the globe, this would be definitely for you.
I’ve met people from North and South America, Europe, Asia, basically the world. Bed and Breakfast travelers tend to be friendlier, happier and easy-going types that seem more extroverted and genuinely glad to meet each other and enjoy good company and conversation. It’s always a pleasure to compare stories and learn new things about people’s homelands. After my first stay in a Bed & Breakfast, I was hooked. If you’ve never stayed in one, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised!