Top Five Innkeeper Pet Peeves…
I absolutely love the B&B/Inn experience, some might argue that I’ve become quite the authority after reviewing so many of them. Because I’m keenly aware that staying at a bed and breakfast is different than a hotel, I felt compelled to try and educate newbies as to some of the nuances of B&B lodging.
Let me begin by saying that if you’ve never stayed at a B&B or Inn, you’re really missing out on a remarkable lodging experience. Trust me, I’m fully aware of some of the common misconceptions, but let me tell you that most of them are not true. Of course, each bed and breakfast is completely different…some might thrive in particular categories, where others may fall short. Do your homework by checking online guest reviews and travel sites like Mike’s Road Trip and you won’t go wrong.
Before I tell you about the “Five things NOT to do at a B&B,” let me describe how a B&B differs from a hotel:
- Most B&B’s are 3-5 rooms. An “Inn” is often larger, maybe 8-12 rooms, however that’s not always the case as the term “Inn” and “B&B” are basically synonymous.
- Most of the time the Innkeeper is the owner, you’re not dealing with some large corporation.
- While the price of a B&B might seem higher than a hotel at times, the actual value is much greater. Most B&B’s I’ve stayed serve a wonderful breakfast, so when you figure you won’t have to spend $30+ dining out, it’s a pretty good deal. Many B&B’s offer evening snacks, free refreshments and many other items. I’ve stayed at a few B&B’s where the in-room fridge is stocked with goodies…some even have a wine hour with appetizers, while others serve light dinner fare.
- The accommodations at a B&B are almost always superior to that of a hotel…better linens, bedding, furniture, etc.
- Amenities are also often more plentiful at a B&B, from better shampoo, lotions and grooming items, to games and libraries of books/DVD’s.
- Innkeepers are usually excited to share with you all the wonderful places to visit, explore and experience while in their neck of the woods. They are a wealth of knowledge, from great restaurants to wineries and tourist attractions—a built-in concierge if you will.
Again, bear in mind that each Bed and Breakfast is completely unique, which is part of the charm and excitement of the experience. Unless you’re staying in a really high-end resort, a hotel room is often pretty standard and boring. At a B&B, each room is usually distinctly decorated, and most today have private bathrooms and entrances.
Now that you know some of the items that make a B&B special and unique, here are the top five things NOT to do while staying at one. I asked over 100 innkeepers to tell me what their top pet peeves are with guests. Surprisingly, many had nothing but good things to say about their guests, but as you can imagine, many were willing to dish on their biggest guest aggravations.
- Unlike a hotel where there is usually someone at the reservations desk, a B&B is run by a small business owner who has to juggle many things in order to make your stay as comfortable as possible, so the #1 biggest gripe innkeepers have with their guests is not arriving during the designated check-in time (that includes initial arrival, and the breakfast service). Most B&B’s have a check-in time between 4-6pm, if you can’t arrive within the posted time, just give them a call to let them know so that they may plan their day. While a late arrival may be acceptable, don’t ever expect an early check-in…the innkeepers are probably at the store or cleaning rooms.
- The next biggest pet peeve are guests who do not respect the property. It would be much appreciated if you treated the places you stay as if they where your own. Don’t place throw-pillows on the floor, or not wipe your feet thoroughly before entering ,or shine your shoes with the expensive towels, or hang wet towels on finely crafted wood furniture.
- Be mindful of the rules and regulations, some B&B’s are kid-free, pet-free and/or smoke-free zones. Read the rules prior to booking your reservation, that way your expectations will be met and so will that of the innkeeper.
- Some people feel that if there are complimentary things available, i.e. cookies, snacks, wine, etc that they are entitled to over-consume, which often leaves other guests unsatisfied. The “rule of two (which I think I just made up)” is probably a good one to abide by…no more than two of anything in a given day. Also, unless you’ve been given permission, don’t raid the cupboards or refrigerator.
- An Inn or Bed and Breakfast is typically a mom & pop small business, they simply do not have the resources or margins that a larger hotel might have. You will frequently see discounted prices during off-peak periods and often a B&B will require a two/three-night minimum stay…the reason for this is that the expenses involved in running the property do not scale well for short stays. It’s customary not to negotiate prices with an innkeeper, unless maybe you’re staying for a longer duration. It’s not inexpensive to run an B&B, so be mindful that they do not have the same flexibility as a larger lodging property.
I hope this overview will help manage your expectations the next time you consider staying at a bed and breakfast…it can be a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
If you have any additional tips or suggestions of what not to do when staying at a B&B, please leave a comment below. If you found this post to be helpful, please “like” it and share with your friends and family.