Q: How can I choose a Bed and Breakfast?

Every bed and breakfast is different, so even long-time b&b guests should research new bed & breakfast choices to be assured of a satisfying experience. Determine your destination, then use the internet to search for B&Bs in that area. A property's website can be a showcase for the potential guest, with photos and videos of the rooms, breakfast details, and descriptions of amenities included in the room rate. Potential guests can view rates, read about individual room features, learn about the inn's size and location, and get a feel for the individual personality of a particular B&B by shopping online. Packages, specials, gift baskets, and other add-on's might add appeal to one place over another. Many B&B sites have area information also, so guests can discover which are in proximity to activities of interest to them.

Reviews from past guests can be insightful, and designations from industry associations are helpful too. Often B&Bs have links from their websites to these resources. Phoning or emailing the innkeeper to answer additional questions will help provide a realistic level of expectation.

Finally, match the bed & breakfast to your destination choice and to your personal preferences. Ask yourself questions like these:

  • Do you want to be within walking distance to shops, restaurants, and activities?
  • Would you like to stay near a beautiful lake, at the gateway to a national park, or adjacent to a major historic site?
  • Does an opulent decor appeal to you more than access to the local cross-country ski trail network?
  • Do you want to focus on romance, with a fireplace, two-person tub, spa treatments, and maximum privacy?
  • Will you be traveling with another couple, with your pet, or with children?

Some B&Bs offer periodic special events, like cooking classes, quilting weekends, or wine tastings to attract guests, particularly during slower seasons. Planning a bed & breakfast visit in advance may present the future guest with greater room availability, and more time to evaluate the options.

These are criteria which can determine which B&B is best for you and increase the odds that you'll enjoy your stay and want to visit again.