By Martin Vernon
"The Bed and Breakfast Experience" describes the differencesoffered by bed and breakfasts compared to hotels. Essentiallyyou enjoy the amenities of a hotel with added personal touches.Someone once described a bed and breakfast as the next bestthing to staying with friends. You are even greeted by name!There are no "cookie-cutter" aspects to a stay in a bed andbreakfast - each home is as individual as its owners.
There's somewhere for everyone to stay: you can choose from adowntown heritage home, waterfront guest house, country manorhouse, elegant inn, country cottage, contemporary home, farm ora woodland retreat.
It can be a daunting task to find reliably good qualityaccommodation when browsing through websites. Look forprofessional-looking sites: these reflect the qualities of theB&B. They should offer a website availability calendar with easyonline reservations as well as a toll-free telephone service.Further, reputable bed and breakfasts often subscribe toorganisations with inspection and approval standards. If youbook with a bed and breakfast which meets these requirements youshould be assured that you will not be disappointed. Forexample, in Canada the national ratings system, Canada Select,assesses amenities and quality of décor. 4, 4.5 or 5 Starsindicate the best quality.
Business travellers have traditionally sought theiraccommodation in hotels catering to their requirements. Butthings are changing with many bed and breakfasts now offeringall their business needs free of charge: high-speed wirelessinternet, desks, telephone, computer and printer. The provisionof free local telephone calls, free parking, free movies, freenewspaper and free beverages make for savings - and that is notto mention an inclusive memorable breakfast. Themed uniquefurnishings and comfortable décor help to make the staypleasingly memorable. There is, or should be, no sense oftrespassing in someone's home; privacy is paramount. The daysare long gone when staying at a bed and breakfast entailedsleeping in someone's spare room with basic amenities (possiblyincluding a tired shag carpet) and a shared bathroom "down thehall"!
The B&B is typically a private residence whose owners choose tohave this business lifestyle because they enjoy meeting people.A high level of service with an attention to detailed is almostguaranteed; after all, their livelihood depends on it. Somewelcome families, others pets, whilst others are adult oriented.Your hosts gladly provide insights into the areas touristattractions and activities, restaurant recommendations as wellas tips and local secrets. The inclusive breakfast has localproduce, fresh jams, delicious baked goods and mouth-wateringspecialties.
Many bed and breakfasts are in attractive older homes oozingcharm furnished by antiques, while others offer modern crispelegance and contemporary art. Luxuriate in fine linens on acomfortable bed, soak in a two-person bubbling whirlpool bathtuband snuggle up in armchairs to enjoy the ambience of a fireplace- just the place for a romantic or quiet break. Beautifulgardens are often a feature too for quiet relaxation. Smallerboutique hotels are now incorporating some of the successfulqualities of bed and breakfasts into their renovations.
If this is to be your first bed and breakfast experience itvery likely will not be your last.
About the Author: About the author: Martin Vernon, and his wifeLinda, have operated Gazebo Bed and Breakfast in Victoria,British Columbia, Canada for over ten years: see http://www.gazebo-victoria.com/
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