Inns and B&Bs: Are They
Right for You?

Click here to get your
FREE subscription to
The Heart of New England
weekly newsletter (and get
your free desktop

Bring the heart of
New England into your
home with beautiful,
affordable, high-quality
New England prints.
Visit our
New England Art Gallery

Click here for more about
Life in New England
Inns and Bed and Breakfasts - Are They Right for You?
By Cliff Calderwood

Inns are a delightful alternative to hotels and resorts. They can be just the right
ticket for your vacation, providing you understand how they work and function

Are they for everybody?

No, they're not. But here’s the answers to some basic questions to determine if it’
s the type of accommodation that’ll work for you…

What's the Difference Between an Inn and Bed & Breakfast?

Let's start by clearing up any confusion on the differences between inns and
bed and breakfasts. And it's not so much in the name as how they advertise

Firstly, there's no difference in accommodation. The charm of a bed and
breakfast can be every bit as good as the personality of an inn. The difference is
the prepared meals. A bed and breakfast is just that: Expect a bed and a
breakfast, but you're on your own for dinner. But at inns, they're set-up to
provide dinner as well, although it's usually an option, and not included in the
quoted price. The listing will be very clear if dinner is offered. But assume its
just bed and breakfast if nothing is mentioned.

In many areas of the world inns and bed and breakfasts are also called

Are B&Bs or Inns Right for My Kids?

When an inn says kids are welcome, then you'd better believe they really mean
they're kid friendly. Now there's nothing wrong with that (I have three myself),
but don't expect too much peace and quiet and solitude.

You'll find a number of listings that put age restriction on children. For
example they'll say something like: 12 or older, or above 6-years old. They're
not being mean. It's just these places are also catering to a single or couple
looking for a chance to unwind and free of noise and high activity. If you've got
high-action kids then bed and breakfasts may not be ideal for your family.

What Service Can I Expect?

Staying in inns is very different than staying at a hotel. You shouldn't expect a
country inn to be like a Sheraton, with hordes of staff at your beck and call, and
soundproof walls. Also, having a party and playing loud music after 11:00pm
won't win you any brownie points with your host or the other guests.

Remember, the innkeeper or host is there to provide you, and other guests,
with a unique experience in unique surroundings, but to do that they'll need
your understanding.

What is the Usual Check-in Time?

Your host will go out of their way to greet you when you check-in. Usually
when you reserve you’ll be told when their normal check-in period is. But most
can accommodate you arrivals outside those hours.

But you need to let them know if you’ll be late so they can arrange for you to
get into the house (yes, the doors are locked after a certain hour), and to your
room. It’s one thing to show up at midnight at your hotel – they’re staffed
round the clock -- but it’s entirely another matter to roll-in after 11:00 pm at an
inn, and expect your host to get out of bed and greet you smiling.

Can You Negotiate Price at a B&B or Inn?

You bet you can!

Just like hotels the room rate for inns is negotiable. The main difference is
unlike a hotel, the person on the other end of a phone is usually the owner of
the bed and breakfast, and they can make the decision on the spot. All you have
to do is ask in a nice way.

Just remember the innkeeper may only have a few rooms to begin with anyway,
and if your haggling over the last room then don't be offended if it’s no dice on
a price reduction. But on the other hand one room of a four-room inn without a
paying guest reduces a host's profit by 25%. So it's always worth asking for a

How Much Can You Really Save?

Off-peak travel will save you a bundle.

Most inns can book their weekend's months in advance. But filling the rooms
during the week, particularly off-season, is much more difficult. You'll get the
best deals for bed and breakfasts traveling mid-week and out of season. Now
contrast this with hotels that have the opposite problem, because they cater to
the mid-week business traveler, but can't get people in rooms at the weekends.

I love staying in inns. They've a lot going for them. Inns are usually very
affordable, offer tons more variety than a bland hotel room, and are a great way
to meet fellow travelers or vacationers. You’ll find web sites devoted to inn and
bed and breakfast listings now – so crank up Yahoo or Google and get
searching… and saving!

Click here for The Heart of New England's B&B/Inns Page

About the author:
Cliff Calderwood is the owner and contributing writer of the
New England vacations guide . You can read more about New England inns
and get a free travel report at his
New England vacation site.
Subscribe Today -- It's Free!
The Heart of New England
Celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine ~ New Hampshire ~ Vermont
LimeRock Inn, Rockland, Maine
©The Heart of New England online magazine
...celebrating the unique character & culture of Maine, New Hampshire & Vermont!
Contact| The Heart of New England HOME | Search

Click Here to Get Your FREE Weekly Newsletter Today!
Start Your Own Bed And Breakfast. Complete Business Package To Help You Start And Operate Your Own Successful Bed And Breakfast Business! Click Here!