Dispelling the myths about staying at a bed & breakfast

September 19, 2012 — 17 Comments

When I was a child, my family used to vacation each year on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. We always stayed at the same bed and breakfast, and I have wonderful memories of our stays there. As an adult, I continue to choose this style of lodging when I am on vacation, especially when visiting smaller towns around Colorado.

Over the years, Ryan and I have stayed at bed and breakfasts in the United States, and across Great Britain. We love bed and breakfasts, but I realize that a lot of you are hesitant about this type of vacation lodging.

Here are some of the common fears I hear about bed and breakfast, and my responses to each:

Rose Street B&B Georgetown, Colorado

Rose Street B&B in Georgetown, Colorado. Photo by H.M. Kerr-Schlaefer, all rights reserved.

“I will feel like I’m invading someone’s home.”

Only once have I had the experience of feeling like a nuisance when staying at a bed and breakfast and this took place in England. Sometimes the line between bed and breakfasts and “renting a room in a house” becomes blurred, and this was one of those times. But this was an exception. This had never been our experience before and has never been our experience after at any bed and breakfast in England or stateside.

Typically, we choose a room with our own bathroom and have even had rooms with their own private entrance. Breakfast is usually served in a dining room where you may or may not meet other guests at the establishment. Most bed and breakfasts in the United States take pride in making delicious and memorable meals. Ryan and I still rave about the breakfast we had on the terrace at Hughes Hacienda in Colorado Springs.

“People will get all up in my business.”

I think this is the #1 fear I hear from my friends. They think that a bed and breakfast will lack privacy or that they will be forced into extensive conversations with perfect strangers. I can tell you that a bed and breakfast experience is what YOU make of it. Most proprietors are friendly and enjoy people, otherwise they wouldn’t be in this profession.

However, most proprietors are very intuitive as to their guests’ level of comfort in chatting, and will not push their guests into conversation, especially if a guest appears to be a more private type of person.

arch in Moab

Thanks to the proprietors of Dream Keeper Inn, we were able to find out about this amazing hike in Moab, Utah.

If you do choose to engage the bed and breakfast proprietors, and I suggest that you do, they are a wealth of information about the area in which you are staying. During our stay at Dream Keeper Inn, in Moab, Utah, the owners knew all the best local hikes, and were a big help in assisting us in picking a wonderful hike to see a hidden arch.

You can also choose whether or not to engage the other guests, who you will likely only run into during breakfast service. Many bed and breakfasts have multiple tables, although some seat everyone together. We have met the most interesting people over the years, and have had a blast sharing travel stories with Australians in Bath, England and with New Yorkers during a stay in Georgetown, Colorado.

“B&B’s are too expensive.”

This is a complete misnomer. With the price of hotel lodging today, bed and breakfasts are often competitive when it comes to price. Plus, you get a free, full breakfast every day of your stay, which will easily cost more than $20 at a restaurant.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love staying at a nice hotel, and we do not choose bed and breakfasts on every trip we take. However, they are a nice change up from the traditional hotel room, and can create memorable stories that will last you a lifetime.

17 responses to Dispelling the myths about staying at a bed & breakfast

  1. This is a wonderful post about Bed & Breakfasts Heidi! I’m going to share this with my dear friend Suella Hanlon from Hanlon House Bed & Breakfast in Scottsbluff NE.

    Suella would make breakfasts from around the world and would have a different theme every day. She grew up in the Scottsbluff area so is a wealth of information for those that got to know her.

    She recently had to close down her B&B due to her own health challenges but she continues to be an active campaigner for B&B stays. We’ll see how many NE fans we can get for Heiditown!

    • Thank you Vicki!!!

      I know the B&B business can be tough. I know several wonderful B&Bs we’ve stayed at through the years have shut down for various reasons.

      Thanks for sharing! You are the best!

  2. Stacy and I took a vacation last year to a B+B to go visit her old college.

    It was honestly one of the best stays -EVER-. Our hosts were awesome and had amazing stories, the other guests were interesting, and we had a lot of privacy in a very swanky house with beautiful views.

    Definitely recommended if you want a more “local” experience than a hotel can provide and have a bit of time to wait around for breakfast (depending on the place and the hosts, you may not want to eat and run).

    • Thank you for sharing this story, Nick!!!

      It proves that taking a chance on a B&B will likely pay off in more ways than people realize. And you are so right about the “local” experience.

      Breakfast is always Ryan’s favorite part of staying at a bed and breakfast. We’ve had some fairly amazing meals over the years. Although, I must admit, they are usually sweeter types of breakfasts like fancy french toast, pancakes or waffles. I’m more of a savory gal, but I still enjoy it!

  3. This post just may have inspired me to book a B&B next time we travel. I have always worried it would be weird and creepy, and lacking in privacy. Really tho, when I think about it, hotels are typically a disappointing and creepy experience BECAUSE of the impersonal anonymity they offer.

    • Yeah, Ellen! That makes me so happy. If I can inspire just one person to try out a bed and breakfast on their next trip, this blog post will be well worth it. :-)

      I have suggestions for some great B&Bs around Colorado, if you ever need a tip. :-)

  4. My husband and I are opening our own B&B this Friday in the midwest (Franklin, Indiana). After staying almost exclusively in B&B’s every time we have traveled the last 20 years and enjoying them so much we decided to open our own. We hope we will give our guests the same memorable experiences as described in this thread. Thanks for posting and I will be sharing it on our Facebook page. I love the idea of fixing breakfast of a different country occasionally. I may incorporate that idea into our breakfast menus.

    • Thanks for stopping by HeidiTown! Best of luck on your new adventure of B&B ownership. I’ve just LIKED your page on Facebook. :-)

      Thank you for sharing the article… I love spreading the word about the wonderful world of bed and breakfasts.

      ~Heidi, the Mayor

  5. Very good post!

    We’ve had a B&B in the wine country of Northern Italy for 8 years and I think that people sometimes climb our long driveway very apprehensive as to what they are actually going to find (fear of real life not resembling website). When they realize that they have plenty of private space, a great bed, gorgeous views and that they’re not expected to sit at the same table as other guests at breakfast you can often hear a palpable sigh of relief! I firmly believe that consistency and high standards have kept our great clientele coming back year after year from all over the world – but also that we’ll help them with ideas of what to do, but we don’t get up in their face – ever. :)

  6. Hi Heidi,

    I am the President of the Bed and Breakfast Innkeepers of Colorado (BBIC) and truly enjoyed this article. Dispelling the myths is a great way to inform future guests about the great bed and breakfasts of Colorado. I have visited a lot of the B&B’s across Colorado and there are so many great places to stay. I know Carol & Wayne from Hughes Hacienda and I had a wonderful lunch and great view from their terrace. See http://www.innsofcolorado.org for beautiful inspected inns across Colorado.

    Wanted to add that Bed & Breakfast owners are the concierge for Colorado and the best people to ask for local attractions and restaurants. I am sure you will find a hidden treasure.

    Thanks again for the great article. If ever in Woodland Park, come see the BEST secluded panoramic view I have of Pikes Peak at Pikes Peak Paradise Bed & Breakfast, 719-687-6656 or see http://www.pikespeakparadise.com. Ron of Pikes Peak Paradise.

    • Thank you for stopping by HeidiTown, Ron, and thanks for the comment. Great additional information! It’s so true that B&B proprietors provide a concierge service. We’ve found them helpful on many stays. Once, in Moab, Utah the owners of Dream Catchers B&B helped us find local hikes that were hidden. We also find them as a great resource for restaurants and other local, insider information.

      We will have to check out Pikes Peak Paradise one day!!! I have LIKED your B&B on Facebook and will follow you there!

      ~Heidi, the Mayor

  7. Your father and I were just talking about the wonderful B&B we always stayed at when we would visit Victoria, Canada. We wondered if you remembered it and the wonderful German lady that ran it. B&B’s really can make your holiday go from wonderful to FANTASTIC!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. A Colorado Valentine’s Day Guide | - January 23, 2013

    [...] If you have reservations about staying at a bed and breakfast, I encourage you to read my article, “Dispelling the myths about staying at a bed & breakfast.” [...]

  2. A stay at the Berthoud Inn in Berthoud, Colorado | - March 13, 2013

    [...] those of you who may have hesitations about staying at a bed and breakfast, please read my post, Dispelling Myths about Staying at a Bed & Breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are one of my favorite lodging options when I travel, and I think you’ll love [...]

Leave a Reply