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B&Bs vs. Hotels

Bed & Breakfast Bonuses
A recent article published by About.com noted: "Checking out of some hotel rooms can give you a serious case of sticker shock. With taxes, room service, phone charges and other "hidden" fees, that $199 deal you booked online can turn into a $379 bill, literally overnight."

It's worth comparing the difference between hotels and B&Bs in what's typically included in the cost of an overnight stay. Although every B&B is different, most of the extra charges you'd encounter at a hotel are free at a bed and breakfast inn.

Telephone Charges
Hotel: Many hotels charge 50 or 75 cents for a local or toll-free call; long-distance rates are astronomical.
B&B: Local and toll-free calls are free at almost every B&B; guests are usually asked to use a calling card for long-distance calls. Some B&Bs have telephones with data ports in every guest room; be sure to check with the innkeeper if an in-room phone is essential to you.

Breakfast
Hotel: At a luxury hotel, breakfast costs $7-30 dollars per person; moderately priced motels often offer a free self-serve breakfast with disposable plates & cutlery
B&B: Most B&Bs provide a free full breakfast, usually including fresh fruit and juice, main dish with breakfast meats, plus home-baked muffins, often served on elegant china and silver.

Room Service
Hotel: Room service meals (with added service & delivery charges) are usually double or triple the cost of eating in a local coffee shop or restaurant.
B&B:: Although B&Bs don't offer room service, some will serve breakfast in your room, usually included in the room rate, or for a small extra charge. A few will serve a special-occasion dinner in your suite. Some will allow you (upon request) to have a meal delivered, to be enjoyed in the inn's common area, or in your room, if an appropriate dining area is available.

Mini-Bar
Hotel: Mini-bars are stocked with tempting treats, from candies to potato chips to soda to little packets of aspirin. While convenient, prices are usually double or triple their costs in a nearby convenience store.
B&B: Many B&Bs stock soft drinks, coffee and tea makings, snacks, fresh fruit, cookies, candies, and evening desserts in a guest pantry, dining room, and occasionally right in guest suites. These treats are usually free, but occasionally guests are asked (on the honor system) to contribute a small amount ($.50-$1) per item to cover costs.

Concierge
Hotel: Concierge services are usually available only at luxury hotels; tips are appropriate and encouraged.
B&B: Innkeepers are generally willing and able to provide concierge services, i.e. restaurant & theater reservations, advice on the best locations for shopping, antiquing, hiking, and so on, plus assistance in renting bicycles, canoes, kayaks, etc. Tips are unnecessary and would not usually be accepted.

Amenities
Hotel: Extras like movies and faxes can quickly add $10-20 to your bill.
B&B: Many B&Bs have a video library that you are welcome to use for free. Innkeepers will typically send or receive a 2-3 page fax for you for free, or at a modest cost.

Bellman
Hotel: Although travelers are often forced to lug their luggage from bus to airport to bus to car unassisted, hotel bellmen are apparently instructed to assume that travelers are incapable of carrying their bags a short distance from the curb to the reception desk to their room. While the assistance may be welcome, the constant tipping can be onerous.
B&B:: The "bellman" at most B&Bs is likely to be the innkeeper, so no tipping is required. Most innkeepers are happy to assist you with luggage, but typically expect guests to lend a hand with the bags. If you can't carry heavy things, don't be shy about asking for help -- but remember to pack light, as well.

Parking
Hotel: Many hotels charge $15-20 (or more) a day for valet parking; the free or reduced rate parking may be a good walk from the lobby.
B&B: Parking is free at B&Bs, although the number of spaces may be limited in some areas.


In conclusion, while luxury B&Bs are not cheap, they are often a far better value than a hotel with the same room rate. If you place a value on all the "free" benefits included in the cost of your stay at a bed & breakfast inn, you'll be surprised how much you're really getting.

bedandbreakfast.com - published with permission from: bedandbreakfast.com

     

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