A Bed & Breakfast is a private home whose owners welcome visitors to stay as an alternative to hotels or motels. It could be described as the next best thing to staying with friends or relatives - but hosts are aware of guests' need for privacy.
If you have never stayed in a bed and breakfast inn before, here are a few thoughts to help in your planning. Many B&Bs are homes converted to public inns because the house’s charm, size, geographic location, or a combination of all three, make it suited to welcoming the traveling public. What you probably won’t find are large wing additions, elevators, large check-in desks in the lobby, room service or a porter to carry your bags. However, the feel and comfort of the B&B or inn is maintained and often enhanced with niceties and amenities not found in institutional hotels or motels. Innkeepers encourage guests to take advantage of all the comforts and amenities provided.
Bed and breakfast inns provide private and very individually decorated quarters for their guests and usually common areas for the use of all guests at the inn. Innkeepers can be a great resource on the area you are visiting, and are available to assist you with whatever your particular needs might be, be it sightseeing tours or diet restrictions, since many B&Bs serve breakfast as part of the room rate. Any allergies (cats, dogs, goose down quilts) are very important items to mention in advance also.
Often, the inn’s owner will be your personal host throughout your stay. As such, it is helpful to ask at the time you make your reservation if there are particular check-in and check-out times. Most B&B inns do not have 24-hour check-in staff, so, if your travels delay you, call to arrange check-in, if that is possible. Some inns have both shared baths and private baths, and rates vary accordingly. Some allow children, pets or smoking, however many do not. Most require advance reservations and have a cancellation policy.
Many people travel to B&Bs for their individuality, the opportunity to interact with fellow travelers, and for the more home-like feeling. In recent years many travelers have enjoyed a measure of security and safety in the home of a local B&B InnKeeper; Hotel security is often regarded as a poor substitute. Each bed and breakfast is different, depending on the character of each innkeeper, so policies are different. If you book a B&B through a travel agent, be sure to provide the agent with any special needs or requests and to have the agent provide you with the needed check-in and cancellation information, plus any special details you should know in advance.
Birds of a Feather Victoria Ocean-Front B&B is an internationally-acclaimed in Victoria on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.