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Bed and Breakfast

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Bed and Breakfast

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    This article is a travel topic

See also the Travel accommodation article.

A Bed and Breakfast (often referred to as "B&B") is an accommodation that really just modernizes the age-old, world-wide practice of travelers staying at a private residence or boarding house, with a full breakfast included. Local knowledge of the host family is a tremendous asset as typically there are just a few rooms and personal contact is greater than in a hotel setting. Often the bed and breakfast is a converted old stately residence with the owner's family acting as staff. Bed and breakfast traveling has a loyal following as many find that they get a "home away from home" experience, often with better value than with hotel stays.

Choosing a bed and breakfast

Some considerations when choosing are:

  • What are you getting? While many B&Bs are luxurious, they range all the way to sub-bargain. Find out what you can expect. What bed sizes are available? Are the pillows foam or down? Is the bathroom shared? What is the breakfast selection like and is it included in the price.
  • Location, location, location. Research the area first. Is the location convenient to the attractions of the area? If you will be using public transportation, is it nearby? Is the neighborhood safe and aesthetically pleasing?
  • Pets. Do the hosts have pets? Dogs and cats are not uncommon. Are guest pets welcome?
  • Children. If you are bringing any, make sure they are welcome. If you don't want any around, make sure they are not.
  • Non-smoking (or smoking) rooms? Is it a smoke free environment?
  • Ask if your special dietary needs can be accommodated.
  • Are advance reservations required? What is the cancellation policy?
  • What are the check-in/check-out times? Typically B&Bs have a stricter policy than a hotel.
  • Is there a minimum stay?


In developed countries today, providing deluxe bed and breakfasts has been raised to a sort of art-form. At the top end, B&Bs obviously compete mainly on two main things: bedding and breakfast. Accordingly, at the finest such establishments one is apt to find the most luxurious bedding, maybe a handmade quilt or an antique bed. Breakfast may include seasonal delights of the region or the host's specialty dish. Breakfast might be served in bed. The setting might be an historic old building with antique furnishings, manicured grounds and a swimming pool.

On the other hand, almost anyone can set up a spare room and provide a breakfast. Especially where lodging is not regulated, anything is possible. Indeed, some travelers might find an inexpensive basic, clean room and bed to be the best value for them. Many of the same advantages could apply--such as convenient location and good hosts sharing knowledge of the locale.

A wide range amenities may be provided. B&Bs may offer workshops on cooking, crafts, or wellness. Packages for theatre, golf, dinner, tours or adventure tours are sometimes offered.

Bathrooms may be shared with other guests or "en-suite"--directly accessed from the room and private.

Regional differences



  • Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII), 207 White Horse Pike, Haddon Heights, NJ 08035, toll free: 800-468-PAII (7244), 856-310-1102, (fax: 856-310-1105), [1].
  • Select Registry, 501 East Michigan Av., PO Box 150, Marshall, MI 49068, toll free: 800-344-5244, 269-789-0393, fax: 269-789-0970, (email: [email protected]), [2].