People are really divided in the hotel versus B&B debate. Some people would never be caught dead in a bed and breakfast, and other people can’t stand the commercial and impersonal feel of a hotel. Fortunately, the debate isn’t a battle royale. Both can win and both can lose, depending on what it is you require from your accommodation. It’s all about finding the perfect fit for your situation.
The Comforts You Prefer
Hotels are very clean and utilitarian, and a lot of people prefer their simplicity. Bed and breakfasts have a tendency to feel more like a home. Some people prefer that homey feeling, while others don’t like feeling like they’re crashing with a stranger for the night.
The biggest difference in comfort between hotels and bed and breakfasts comes from the intimacy of the environment. People have loud parties and blast music at hotels, even though they aren’t supposed to. The nature of B&Bs encourages people to be quieter, and it’s unlikely you’ll be calling for help at 2 AM because you have noisy neighbors.
The Amenities You Need
Hotels try to provide a luxury experience for their guests. They offer pools, hot tubs, and sometimes on-site gyms. They provide room and laundry service. Expensive hotels go above and beyond to make your vacation really feel like a vacation. Bed and breakfasts won’t have full facilities, but they make up for it in other ways. The parking is usually free. The breakfast is more than just plain cereal and pastries the hotel is likely to serve. Since the B&B is smaller, the WiFi is probably free and faster than the WiFi you’d struggle to use at a hotel. In most cases, B&Bs are often a lot less expensive. It’s a little bit of a trade off.
How Much Time You’ll Spend There
Hotels provide living quarters you’ll feel comfortable to use as your home base from the time you wake up until the time you go to sleep. Bed and breakfasts offer up a bed and some breakfast. They’re cozy, but they’re typically not the kind of place you’d want to hang out all day. You show up when you’re ready to unwind for the night and you leave after you’ve gotten ready for the day. If you’re on a business trip or you intend to work while you’re away, a hotel might be more convenient for you.
The Amount of Space You’ll Need
Bed and breakfasts have community areas and private areas. Your bedroom will be private, and your bathroom will sometimes be private. Some bed and breakfasts require guests to share bathrooms with other guests. It’s rare to see bed and breakfasts that offer full suites or adjoining rooms. This is almost exclusively an arrangement you’ll find at hotels.
If you’re just passing through and living out of your backpack as you travel toward life’s next great adventure, you’re probably not going to need a full suite. If you’re travelling with your whole family and you’re abiding by a daily routine, a bed and breakfast might not be ideal. In fact, renting a house on a short term basis might be better than either option.
The Level of Service You Desire
Most people choose hotels because they want the services the hotel provides. The bellboy and concierge are almost invaluable to many travelers. What most people don’t realize is that the person who runs a b&b is both people, and will provide both services without requiring a tip. This is an instance where bed and breakfasts come out ahead. They only fall behind in room service, as they typically don’t serve more than just breakfast. They might stock your room with drinks and snacks to make up for the lack of room service.
The Authenticity of Your Visit
No matter where you go, every major hotel chain is exactly the same. They are rarely focused on what makes a particular region of the world unique. They’re focused on their brand and its consistency and quality. Bed and breakfasts are infinitely more authentic. They’re real houses owned and operated by real locals preparing local food. If authenticity is important to you, bed and breakfasts are the hands-down winner.
No matter where you choose to stay, be sure to look at reviews. It doesn’t matter where you sleep if most people who sleep there don’t have very many good things to stay. When it doubt, stay at the place that comes most highly recommended – whether it’s a hotel or a B&B.
About the author:
Sienna Walker is a blogger and a free spirit with an unquenchable thirst for adventure. Whenever she travels, she prefers choosing the less-famous, more off-the-beaten-path places to really feel the spirit of true adventure. Feel free to reach out to her on @SiennaWalkerS.