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What have you liked best about B&B's
Old 08-31-2009, 01:04 AM   #1
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What have you liked best about B&B's

Since I've been 16 or so I've kicked around the idea of running a B&B someday. I have favorite memories of small inns and B&Bs I've stayed in, and am wondering what other people have particularly liked about their experiences in similar types of lodgings.

So I'm asking for your stories, your ideas -- things you just loved about a place you've stayed (and maybe things that definitely were no-nos).

For example, I've loved:

Sleeping between linen sheets that were line-dried;
Going "off-grid" in a B&B with no telephones, no radios, and no televisions;
Doing puzzles with total strangers during milk & cookies time in the evening;
Caroling while drinking mulled wine during a holiday stay.

Any takers?
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Old 08-31-2009, 03:21 AM   #2
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Just stayed in a B&B last month just outside Glacier NP, we try to go to one once a year. One thing to keep in mind is that not everyone likes the same thing you do. I don't really care for line dried sheets, they are too scratchy. The B&B had wireless access, which allowed us to make our plane confirmations, very important if you fly Southwest. It also had a theater room setup which we like. Other things we liked in other B&Bs were fresh cookies and lemonade in the afternoon and a hot tub. To us, mingling with strangers is overrated.

I think what makes a B&B work for us is the personal touch from the host. The B&B we just stayed in the host not only made sure that the breakfast was good but that everyone had plans in Glacier, if they wanted to, and provided recommendations for everyone's activities. The worst B&B we stayed at we never saw the host and the staff were pushy, first banging on the door to clean the room even though we had the do not disturb sign out while other staff members had a tip jar prominently displayed.
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Old 08-31-2009, 06:45 AM   #3
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We stay at hotels and B&B's, the latter has to be differentiated from a hotel since the rates are usually higher in my experience. I would expect:
- a good homemade breakfast. It can be buffet style, but if it was nothing but a continental breakfast I would be disappointed.
- luxurious bedding including a (down) comforter. If it was simple sheets and a conventional bedspread I would be disappointed or at least DW would.
- I won't spend much time at the place so I don't need much from a host. I'd like to be greeted when I check in and see them in the morning during breakfast but that is it. We don't hang out, we'll be out exploring the area as much as possible.
- I would insist on television and AC, although I love to sleep with windows open if it's cool out. I'd like Internet and wireless, but not show stoppers (yet).
- goes without saying that a view or some distinguishing feature is valuable. We often vacation in seaside areas. If we be waterfront or waterview for a reasonable cost, we won't even look at places inland. If waterside is too pricey, we're looking for closest walk to water. Along the same lines, we would rather walk as many places as possible and not have to rely on jumping in a car to go everywhere.

We prefer B&B's over hotels. If the rates are the same or a little higher we'll go for it. But if they are double or more (as many are), I can survive at a Hampton Inn any time.
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:42 AM   #4
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We love B&B's and small boutique hotels .Definitely like a full breakfast served or buffet style , wine & cheese in the late afternoon (we have met so many nice people this way ), walk ability to scenic areas ,porches or patios and no kitsch (especially teddy bears ).
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Old 08-31-2009, 07:45 AM   #5
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I have a friend in New Zealand who has a B& B overlooking the ocean between Waiheke Island and auckland. Its pretty swank, and she charges over USD 800 per night, if you don't use the helicopter pad to get there.

I talked to her a couple months ago, and she has the place up for sale...subject to a pretty high asking price. The reason she is selling is not because business is bad...its great, according to her. Occupancy is relatively high. Problem is that with only 4 rooms, it is hard to make it work because she would need a chef to cook a gourmet breakfast daily (she also offers dinners for a price, and also does weddings), a houskeeper 7 days a week, a manager to market it, etc, etc. It doesn't work out cost-wise with only 4 rooms and even the relatively high occupancy rate she has.

Otherwise she can do all the work except being the chef, which she feels she has to hire out.

Her conclusion is that at her age, and having enjoyed the success she has enjoyed in her career (was the country head for a global megacorp - she reported to me), she no longer wishes to clean up after people, change soiled sheets and towels, when for so many years she was the guest and was pampered like her guests now like to be pampered.

Not trying to discourage you. It could be great fun if you had a nice place and enjoyed dealing with people...but don't forget all the hard and sometimes unpleasant work that goes into it.

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Old 08-31-2009, 07:53 AM   #6
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I don't stay in B&Bs very often. If I'm at a tourist destination or on business and will be busy all day, I don't really see the point of paying extra for the B&B touch, plus I kind of like my privacy, anonymity, and flexibility of coming and going on my schedule. If I'm on more of a relaxing, laid back vacation, a B&B sounds better.

I like a comfy room to do puzzles, play a board game, or sit and read. Maybe a big front or back porch with rocking chairs. If it's on a lake, canoes or kayaks available for use, or other recreational equipment to match the area.

I don't need that much from a host but I expect that they'd be knowledgeable about the area if I do have questions or want suggestions.

I prefer a buffet breakfast so I have choices.

What I don't like are frilly places with vases and stuff all over such that I feel like I have to tiptoe around and don't feel comfortable sitting anywhere.

When I read reviews, one thing that turns me off is inflexibility. I remember reading one review of a place we were considering where the host pestered the guest about what time they'd be down for breakfast, and when they were 20 minutes late, it looked like their breakfast had been sitting there getting cold for 20 minutes. I understand that a B&B can be a lot of work, but if they can't be flexible I'll just stay in a motel.
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Old 08-31-2009, 08:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urchina View Post
So I'm asking for your stories, your ideas -- things you just loved about a place you've stayed (and maybe things that definitely were no-nos).
Are you asking this after doing your "Due Diligence" on owning/operating a Bread & Breakfast establishment? This is an incredibly complex (lots of laws/regulations, for instance), labor-intensive (line-dried sheets? Ha!) way to make a living. I would suspect that something more than a "learner's" permit is needed -- lots of cash or access to, perhaps.

On the other hand, I fully support any entrepreneurial effort such as this. You go, girl.
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Old 08-31-2009, 09:58 AM   #8
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I prefer a more impersonal experience, more like an inn (small hotel) than a B&B where I feel like I'm creeping around in someone's house. But that is just me. If I could stay there without the owners, like in a VRBO or something, I think it would seem less weird.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:08 AM   #9
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I never stayed in a B&B stateside. I stayed in several in Germany and Denmark in small towns, and really enjoyed the experience. These were more like very small hotels than individual B&Bs.
One particular morning in Germany, we overslept to just past the breakfast time slot. So we chalked it up. All of a sudden the room phone rang. It was the lady of the house calling us to get ourselves downstairs to eat, pronto. So we hustled and did exactly that. She fussed (in a good way) over us like errant children.
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Old 08-31-2009, 10:22 AM   #10
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I’ve stayed in only one B&B, called The Cider House. Don’t know if it’s still there, in Grand Junction, CO. They put a copy of “The Cider House Rules” on the bedside table. I was already familiar with “The Pension Grillparzer” but that really got me into reading John Irving’s books. I think the “Cider House Rules” is his best.

Silly us, we had made plans to meet a friend for breakfast and missed the point of a B&B; the hostess gave us a discount because we didn’t eat with her. I so enjoyed staying there, I sent her a Christmas card; the best thing about that B&B: it was like staying with a functional family.

A house I lived in in college is now a B&B:
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:31 AM   #11
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Just returned yesterday from a weekend at a B and B in central Wisconsin. It was our second time at that particular one and we've enjoyed both stays very much.

We had a small house adjacent to the main house which we shared with another couple we were traveling with. (We were all attending the wedding of a third friend's son nearby.)

The house had two bedrooms each with private bath. Then we had a shared living room and kitchen. We did zero cooking, but it was handy having the fridge for wine, cheese, etc. Each bedroom had a private deck and there was a large common deck off the living room which overlooked a lovely river view. The ladies enjoyed the "quaint" decorating themes. We all enjoyed the common living room where the four of us had a place to yak and catch up since we hadn't seen each other for several months.

The price was comparable to what we would have paid for two rooms for two nights at the franchise hotel where most of the out of town wedding guests stayed. We all agreed it was nicer at the B and B.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:41 AM   #12
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I also only stay in fairly large B&B's . The small ones are a bit too intimate for me . We stayed in a B&B in Key West that was a hoot . The owners would have Happy Hour whenever they wanted to . All of a sudden a bell would ring and they would carry out blenders and trays of snacks . One time Happy Hour went from 4 till 11 .
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:59 AM   #13
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Read Rambler's post.... and I will second it...

There is a LOT of difference in spending a night at a B&B and running one.. to me, the trouble of running one 7 days a week, most weeks of the year does not seem like something I would want to do... and if you do not have enough rooms to hire people to do the necessary stuff, then YOU have to do it.. and that is dealing with the customers who want everything to be 'perfect' because they are paying for it...

I stayed in a B&B in Penzance in England... it had about 20 rooms, but there were only 3 or 4 being used... I talked to the owner (run by a husband and wife) and they said they had not been on a vacation in 20 years... not what I would want to do...

The problem is your perfect and my perfect are probably different.... and of course the B&B owner thinks it is another...
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:02 PM   #14
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If you want to run a larger B&B, there is a TV show called Fawlty Towers. The vacation comment by Texas Proud reminded me of it.
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:40 PM   #15
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I've never stayed at a B&B before, but this thread makes me want to give it a whirl. I was traveling down a small 2 lane road south of Stonewall,TX last week and noticed a sign for a B&B not far from Albert,TX. I wonder who would ever want to stay there or how they would even know about it's existence. But you can buy the entire near-by town as-is.


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If you've ever had aspirations of owning your own town but didn't have the means, now might be the perfect time for you. The ghost town of Albert, which encompasses 13 acres nestled in the Texas hill country, 20 miles east of [COLOR=#005497! important][COLOR=#005497! important]Fredericksburg[/COLOR][/COLOR]

, is up for sale. Price: $883,000.


The town's features include an 85-year-old dance hall, an icehouse and beer garden, a creek, a historic limestone schoolhouse (attended by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1920), pecan and peach orchards, and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home.
Own Your Own Town: Albert, Texas, for Sale - Luxe Life (usnews.com)
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Old 08-31-2009, 04:48 PM   #16
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Mickeyd, Albert could turn out to be a great investment. After all, it is located only 10 air miles east of Luckenbach.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:01 PM   #17
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Mickeyd, Albert could turn out to be a great investment. After all, it is located only 10 air miles east of Luckenbach.
Yea, but you'd still have to sell a s**tload of Shiner to get back your $800K+. Of course, if you could get Willie and the boys to come by oncenawile, it may work...
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:24 PM   #18
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Looks like Albert is now on sale for $595K...
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:48 PM   #19
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Probably goes without saying, but I left out private baths as a requirement. I stayed in a B&B that had several community baths (about 3 rooms per) - I'll never make the mistake again. I'll stay in a youth hostel first.
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:43 AM   #20
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Yeah, Midpack's got a point: I've got no problem with the shared bath when I'm in more rugged digs, but if I'm paying good money, I need my own bathroom.

When we were in Mongolia and staying in ger camps, I had no trouble with the communal bathrooms, but was relieved (haha) when we spent our last two nights in a "real hotel" where we had a private bath.
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