I am no expert on Bed and Breakfast but I do have a fair amount of experience since I see and hear a lot as I lounge around our B&B. One of the things I have noticed with guests staying at a B&B for the first time is they are often surprised that they are staying in someone’s home. Yes, our B&B is our home but it is also open to the public to come and stay. This concept is new to many and brings up different issues for people so I thought I would clear up some things and make booking your next, or first, stay at a B&B as easy as possible.
Ask questions. That is first and foremost on my list. Yes, you can book online at most places and websites list, or should list, all the pertinent information you need to make an informed choice. But most people do not read all the small print. So call the innkeeper directly and ask questions. Are rooms on the ground floor or do you need to do stairs? Innkeepers have no idea if you have physical limitations and most old houses do not have elevators.
Private bath or are you going to need to share with other rooms? Do you need to step into a bath to shower or is it just a shower stall? Again, one of the great things about B&B’s is the uniqueness of the rooms and baths so you may encounter an extra deep soaking tub in a room. If you have something preventing you from stepping into this another room should be booked but this only happens when you speak to the innkeeper when making your reservation. Is breakfast included in the price and is it a full or continental breakfast? Can food allergies be accommodated? Give the innkeeper those restrictions when you book the room. Advance notice is always good.
And what about those furry residents? My partner, Lupi, and I are featured prominently on the website so most people realize there are dogs on the premises. But what they don’t know is we do not have the run of the house. We are not allowed in the common areas or guest rooms. Let the innkeeper know if you have allergies or fear of dogs. One of our rooms is up a staircase that Lupi and I use so you will encounter us. If you would rather not, Amy and Mark can direct you to our other guest rooms where you do not need to be around us. Remember each B&B is different so ask about the furry family members so you are comfortable wherever you choose to stay.
When you arrive take time to explore. Walk around the common areas and see all that is offered. When you are greeted at our place, Amy and Mark explain what is open to guests so don’t be afraid to make yourself at home. Sit and enjoy the fire and play a game from the shelf in the library. Grab a book from the lending shelf and sit on the patio with afternoon tea. There is a t.v. in the library to watch your favorite show, lots of brochures and sample menus in the former butler’s pantry, and lots of interesting things to look at throughout the house – take advantage of it. You booked a B&B to get away from the sterile hotel experience so do not waste your time instead dive into this unique opportunity.
And continue to ask questions once you arrive. Most innkeepers enjoy sharing the story of their home and the area where they live. They also know the best places to eat and play to help you create a truly fabulous vacation.
So as you begin planning your next getaway (and we hope it is to stay with us on the beautiful Maine coast) keep these ideas in mind on your way to becoming a veteran B&B guest.
Tille, your B&B guide dog