How Does a Bed and Breakfast Differ From a Hotel?

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Determining the Differences

  • With both bed and breakfasts and hotels possessing appeal for completely different reasons, choosing a type of accommodation for a vacation can be extremely frustrating.

    For completely different reasons, both hotels and bed and breakfasts have vast appeal. Hotels are generally good for offering amenities such as pools or gyms. Whereas bed and breakfasts offer more personalized service. While hotels are ideal for family vacations, bed and breakfasts offer the ideal romantic getaway lodging.

    Though each type provides secure lodging for guests, there are some notable differences between the two which should be considered when choosing your next vacation lodging.

An Assortment of Amenities

  • Both hotels and bed and breakfasts offer general amenities to guests. However, where hotels traditionally offer more mainstream amenities, bed and breakfasts are more likely to offer specialized and personal amenities.

    Hotels offer mainstream amenities such as:
    • room service
    GO
    • pool and/or jacuzzi
    GO
    • maid service
    GO
    • gym
    GO
    • laundry facility
    GO
    • concierge service; and
    • Internet.

    Bed and breakfasts, on the other hand, generally offer customized amenities like:
    • afternoon wine tasting
    GO
    • fresh flowers in all guest rooms
    GO
    • home-baked desserts
    GO
    • boxes of cookies on pillows
    GO
    • picnic lunches for guests staying more than two nights; and
    • homemade chocolate truffles on pillows.
    The amenities at a bed and breakfast can be in addition to some mainstream amenities or instead of them.

Pocketbook Damage

  • Since they offer a more personalized service, an intimate setting, a premier location by tourist destinations and are independently owned, most bed and breakfasts' per night rate is slightly higher than a hotels nightly fee. The majority of bed and breakfasts, unless strategically located in an ideal tourist location, are priced relative to a mid-range hotel chain. If located in a premier travel destination, prices will typically be higher.

    Also, whereas hotels have the ability to offer volume discounts, bed and breakfasts do not and pricing generally fluctuates greater with the tourist seasons where hotels may only slightly differ from month to month.

Other Noteworthy Differences

  • Both hotels and bed and breakfasts offer distinct advantages over the other but it depends upon each individual's needs which type of lodging suits a traveler best. Hotels are designed to accommodate large groups, business travelers and families whereas bed and breakfasts are the preferred accommodations for couples or individuals seeking a \"home away from home\" lodging experience.

    Additionally, hotels are typically part of a chain and, as such, can offer discounted rates but generally only have traditional-looking hotel rooms. Bed and breakfasts, conversely, generally are renovated private houses with different room sizes that are all charmingly decorated. Also, most bed and breakfasts in the U.S. are renovated historical houses possessing astounding charm and culture.

    Due to a bed and breakfasts smaller, quaint size, they offer more personalized service in a more intimate atmosphere. Hotels require far more staff due to their larger scale operation which makes personalized service, except in high-scale luxury hotels for the rich and famous, extremely difficult to come by. Not to mention, if offered at all, a hotels free continental breakfast is slim in choice selection compared the gourmet quality breakfast offered at a bed and breakfast.

    Ultimately, both types of lodging offer benefits over the other. Either choice is a secure lodging choice but make sure to weigh the differences in relation to your vacation plans and needs before deciding which to opt for.

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