Thinking about sneaking in a spontaneous getaway to somewhere special? Were you considering a bed and breakfast, but dismissed the idea because you weren't sure what to expect or afraid you might not like it? Well, leave your preconceived notions at the door.
While there are plenty of myths about B&Bs floating around, here are 10 worth busting:
Myth #1: Breakfast is only served during a certain time period and with other guests.
While most B&Bs have designated breakfast hours (innkeepers pride themselves on mouthwatering, often cooked-to-order, breakfasts), exceptions usually can be made with advance notice if you like to sleep in or rise early. And, no worries if your getaway is a romantic rendezvous; you and your sweetheart still can enjoy a cozy breakfast for two in any number of restaurant-style dining rooms. Here's an even better idea: Stay in bed and have breakfast brought to you at B&Bs such as the Inn on Summer Hill & Spa located in Summerland, CA.
Myth #2: B&Bs are second-rate and cheap.
On the contrary, B&Bs offer an incredible value with top-notch touches often only found at the most expensive hotels such as fine china, fresh flowers, luxurious linens and complimentary snacks (so forget about mini-bar charges). They also provide ways to pad your wallet including free Wi-Fi, bottomless cookie jars, complimentary parking and, of course, breakfast included in your rate!
Myth #3: All bathrooms are shared.
According to PAII, the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, 94% of all B&Bs have private, en suite bathrooms.
Myth #4: Privacy is limited.
Innkeepers are hospitality experts and they are there to assist. But, it's your getaway, so once you're settled in you can have as much, or as little, interaction as you would like. Most inns also offer plenty of common space where you can find your own hideaway or enjoy the company of others.
Myth #5: The breakfasts are fattening and unhealthy.
Breakfasts are the cornerstone of a B&B, and innkeepers take pride in their creations. From low-fat or low-carb options to dietary restrictions such as gluten-free, they can create a special dish using one of their healthy recipes just for you (with advance notice, of course).
Myth #6: B&Bs are only for older people.
Yes, the older set are frequent guests at B&Bs. But, younger travelers, lured by the uniqueness, personal touch and value, have found B&Bs to be a smart alternative to the big-box, cookie-cutter hotels who nickel and dime their guests with fees.
Myth #7: B&Bs are cluttered with chotchkies, antiques and doilies.
Some B&Bs fit this bill... but not all. With minimal searching, you can find inns with spacious, modern rooms clear of clutter and offering amenities such as docking stations, king-sized beds and flat-screen, high-definition TVs.
Myth #8: B&Bs don't cater to business travelers.
While mainly thought of as a vacation-only destination, B&Bs have added amenities to accommodate the business traveler including in-room desks, business centers with copiers and fax machines, guest rooms with numerous outlets, free Wi-Fi, parcel delivery and pick-up services and business specials for midweek, last-minute and extended stays. And, you won't have to spend on breakfast, snacks and, in many cases, bottled water -- a real cost cutter.
Myth #9: Only breakfast is served.
Breakfast may be in the name, but there's more to a B&B than the morning meal. Dinners are on the menu at some inns with a minimum night stay or à la carte. If you're looking to plan a romantic retreat, inns such as the Veranda House located in Nantucket, MA, will prepare a gourmet picnic basket and help you pick out a secluded spot to spend the day.
Myth #10: B&Bs are just a room. How boring.
Step outside of your room, past the cozy deck and glorious gardens found at many inns, and you'll find a list of great outdoor activities at the inn or around the area to fill up any getaway including scenic cruises along the coast, food and wine tasting tours, nature hikes and more. Think of the innkeeper as a concierge. Not only will they point out the hot spots in town but also the hidden gems only a native would know.
Next time you're considering a B&B getaway, keep this list in mind. And, remember: Myths are meant to be busted.
-- Mary White, Founder & CEO, BnBFinder.com