A Message to our Valued Guests about Your Stay at a Bed & Breakfast
Many of you are experienced "B&B'ers, but for some of you, perhaps this is your first B&B experience. So for those new to the world of bed and breakfasts and in order to help make your stay more enjoyable, we would like to give you some idea of what you can expect while staying at a B&B. And remember - the best way to find out what to expect is to call the owner and ask questions before you book your reservation.
Travelers are seeking new experiences today. Bed and breakfast trends are attracting people who want to completely get away from their rushed and busy daily lives. These people prefer to travel far from the city and out into the country. They prefer to stay where the hospitality is warm and personal. They want quiet and peaceful surroundings. They want to reconnect with land and nature.
Checking into a B&B is similar to staying at a friend or relative's home and sleeping in one of their guest rooms. You become part of "family living" so to speak. Think of staying at a B&B as sharing a private home with the owners and their other guests. It is quite different than staying in a hotel. As a guest at a B&B you receive much more personalized attention. B&B's are considerably smaller than hotels and the feel is homey and very welcoming. Our philosophy is that this personal attention is worth much more than any amenity a large hotel can offer.
B&B's are not for everyone, however. People who are looking for gift shops, concierge service, daily maid service, turn-down service, room service, bars, lounges and entertainment usually are not happy in a B&B. Staying at a bed and breakfast will offer you a quaint, private, and unique atmosphere. However, if an individual is looking for more amenities, a hotel might be wise.
When you check into a B&B, you are usually checking into the innkeeper's personal residence where daily housekeeping services are not available. Also, the state of Vermont is extremely concerned about our environment and water and energy conservation. We, at the Inn at Clearwater Pond, are also concerned. We will provide a daily "Fluff Service", change of towels, linens upon request.
The vast majorities of inns, and all of the good ones, have plenty of privacy. Your room should be quiet and free from interruption. You won't be forced to interact with other guests or the innkeeper. At a small inn, it is possible you may be able to go through your entire stay without ever seeing any other guests!
It is true that sometimes breakfast is served at one or two large tables; therefore, guests who don't know each other may be seated together. I will add that, as an innkeeper, I have observed great camaraderie between my guests - interesting, inspiring, lengthy conversations and best of all, hearty laughter. Many of my guests have exchanged their personal email addresses and have stayed in touch with one another. Most people don't try to force conversation when it becomes apparent that you'd rather enjoy a quiet meal. Innkeepers tend to be very concerned with their guests' privacy and do everything they can to respect it.
Our guests receive exceptionally prepared home cooked breakfasts. Most bed and breakfast owners take great pride in their breakfasts, offering a wide variety of dishes to fit guests' needs or requirements. This usually includes fresh fruit, juices, hot meals, granola or other delicious foods.
In most cases, particularly with inns of less than 10 rooms, the innkeeper/owner is the only person working at the inn and that person is handling everything. If guests are late in checking in, especially at nighttime, innkeepers tend to worry that their guests are lost while driving around our dark, Vermont country roads. So a phone call is most appreciated just to let your innkeeper know that you're ok. Innkeepers often plan their day (including shopping for breakfast foods) around guests' arrival times. Most B&B's plan breakfast days or even weeks in advance, so it's nice to let them know ahead of time if you will be unable to join them for breakfast. Some of the best breakfasts are prepared at B&B's. Usually the innkeeper is not only the cook, but the waiter, dishwasher, housekeeper, concierge and gardener as well.
I know of no B&B that has ever had a curfew or really strange rules. Out of respect for other guests, innkeepers may sometimes request that you try to be as quiet as possible when you return to the inn late at night. Make sure you read all of an inn's policies on their web site before making a reservation. Some important questions to ask - is the B&B really near the places you want to visit and is it located in the type of area you are looking for? What are their pet and child policies? What extras do they offer? Is daily housekeeping provided? What time is breakfast served? What are their cancellation and smoking policies? Is TV, cell phone and wireless internet available? Will you have a private or shared bath? You don't want any surprises so the more informed you are before you arrive, the more pleased you'll be during your stay. Remember that innkeepers want you to have a great time and they want you to come back!
Many B&B's now cater to corporate travelers and offer amenities important to business travelers and many will offer a discount for an extended stay.
One of the best things about staying at a B&B is that each one is unique. But almost all of today's B&B's have one thing in common: they're run by professional, competent innkeepers.
Why stay in a hotel room where you are just another customer? Bed and breakfast owners offer you a unique insight into the local community. They can tell you about places to visit, special events, or just offer you the chance to make a new friend. Bed and breakfast owners appreciate you. They want you to have a good time and will do everything they possibly can to make your stay an enjoyable one!
Tina DeLuca, Innkeeper/Owner