Wednesday, March 10, 2010

B&B Etiquette

How do you get the most out of your B&B Experience?

Do your research. Some B&B's are luxury inns, some are rustic, some cater to different interests such as hiking, bicycling, wine tours, art retreats, romantic get-aways, family destinations, pet friendly, etc. Not all B&Bs have TVs in the guest rooms and while many have WIFi, not all do. Know what you prefer and find the B&B that looks like it will meet your needs. There are many Internet resources to help in your research, such as and The more research you do, the better your chances of having a terrific time.

Your innkeepers know the town, local vendors, restaurants, wineries, etc. Utilize their knowledge and contacts. You might just visit some places and have some adventures you wouldn't have had otherwise.

Respect your innkeepers and their property. While the B&B is a business it is also  someone's home and you are a guest in it.

The best time to call a B&B is between 12 pm and 7 pm. Usually it is the innkeepers who make breakfast, so in the morning they are very busy making/serving breakfast and helping guests plan their day. Also, there is not a 24-hour registration desk. The innkeepers need a bit of time at the end of the day to relax and get a good night's sleep. Please don't call in the middle of the night! Most now have on-line reservations that those of you who are night-owls can use.

When making your reservation, be sure to state if you have any physical disabilities, dietary restrictions, allergies, etc. With advance notice innkeepers can be prepared, ensuring you have a wonderful stay at the inn.

Be aware of check-in/check-out times and arrive and depart accordingly. Early check-ins and late check-outs are difficult because B&Bs don't have a large staff like a hotel so they have to clean the rooms, do grocery shopping, etc. in approximately 4 hours. If you would like to check in early, call in advance to see if it is possible, but please do not just drop by.

Be aware of cancellation policies. Unlike most hotels that let you cancel without penalty up to 24 hours prior to the reservations, B&Bs are small family businesses and can't afford to be that generous, so they generally have at the very least a 7-day cancellation policy.

If you do not plan to have breakfast in the morning, please let the innkeeper know the day before. They need to know how many people to plan for so they don't waste making food for people who aren't coming to breakfast.

If a door has a "Private" sign on it, that is what it means. Please do not enter the innkeepers' private quarters unless invited.

Respect your fellow guests: keep noise to a minimum and please refrain from using your cell phone in the dining room and public areas.

If the B&B has a housekeeper who cleans your room, it is appropriate to leave a tip.

Part of staying at a B&B is the opportunity to meet your fellow guests. Take advantage of breakfast and wine hours, teas, etc. to introduce yourself to others and compare notes on tourist attractions, restaurants, etc. I have met guests who met at a B&B and became life-long friends!

And lastly, to ensure a successful B&B experience: SMILE, RELAX, DISCONNECT, AND LEAVE YOUR CARES AT HOME!