7 Common Misconceptions About B&Bs
by Alice on 09 April 2012
B&Bs in England don’t have the best reputation. But these 7 myths about B&Bs aren’t true in 2013 – a new generation of stylish British B&Bs proves they've had a makeover!
1. You think it’s all net curtains and patterned carpets
It’s really all elegance and style
The old fashioned style of bed and breakfasts has changed in the last few years. Gone are the net curtains and hideous nylon carpets that remind you of your great-grandmother’s bungalow – and in their place exists sleek décor choices, luxury linen and designer wallpaper.
In urban areas, cool and colourful B&Bs like Snooze Brighton are as sophisticated as many design hotels. At Frog Street Farmhouse, meanwhile, the country style meets luxury and glamour with freestanding bathtubs and antique beds. You don’t have to check into an exclusive hotel to find beauty, style and the coolest rooms in Britain.
In fact, we hope that the B&Bs in our Best of British Collection can put this myth about ugly décor to rest once and for all…
2. You think B&Bs are too expensive
They’re actually better value for money
If your budget is a big priority, you might think chain hotels offer better value for money. But whilst the base rate for a room might be cheap, these hotels tend to charge for every extra like Wi-Fi access, fresh towels and breakfasts. On the other hand, B&Bs usually include everything with the room – including a high quality full English in the morning – that often offers better value in the long run.
B&Bs certainly aren’t prohibitively expensive and, when you compare the facilities, personal service and extras that they provide, the price is often very competitive with luxury hotels that offer the same amenities. The elegant Black Rock House in Hastings offers 5 star luxury, a two course breakfast and Egyptian cotton linen – all for just £80 for a double room.
3. You think B&Bs have strange rules and curfews
They’re really more relaxed and informal than hotels
That outdated image of a list of house rules tacked to the bedroom door is what springs to mind here. But aside from understandable policies about respecting the property and other guests, bed and breakfast owners don’t have weird rules that they expect you to follow.
More often than not, the host will give you your own front door and room key so you can come and go as you please and not have to worry about curfews or rules. Staying at a B&B can feel more like staying at a friend’s house – and actually less constricted by rules than a hotel.
4. You think owners run their B&B as a hobby
But running a B&B is a serious - and difficult - business
Whilst it’s true that many bed and breakfasts in England are run from family homes, B&Bs owners don’t simply do this for fun or to make a few extra pounds. This is a serious business that takes hard work to be successful and faces modern challenges like marketing and the role of the internet – the same as any other company.
Although they might be passionate about their job, B&B hosts will typically have a lot of relevant experience in the catering and hospitality industry, or perhaps a background in fashion and design. Most have only a small (if any at all) team of staff and will work hands on in every facet of the business.
5. You think you’ll be forced to face strangers at breakfast
But informal breakfasts and sound advice are the perfect start to the day
Whilst some bed and breakfasts do have a sociable atmosphere at breakfast and one large family table for seating, it’s much more common for dining rooms to be set up like restaurants. You can sit at a private table and enjoy a meal quietly surrounded by luxury and unique design, like at Strete Barton House.
The best thing about B&Bs, though, is the option to have a conversation in the morning and get an insight into the local area. Your hosts won’t force it on you if it’s apparent you wouldn’t like a chat with breakfast, but they’re often a goldmine of local information and advice, from a quaint pub for lunch to the best route to a nearby attraction.
6. You think B&Bs aren’t suitable for business travellers
Business travellers have all the amenities they need
It might have been all about family weekends at the seaside years ago, but modern bed and breakfasts in the UK welcome corporate guests. They’ll have all the amenities important to business travellers, such as high speed internet connections in every room – and often for free – and helpful extras like a takeout breakfast if you have an early meeting.
Guest living rooms are another unique feature of bed and breakfasts and a welcome sight after a long day at a conference. You can put your feet up with a coffee or a drink and unwind in a homely setting that you won’t find at a chain hotel.
7. You think the facilities are outdated
B&Bs often have state of the art technology
Far from a single black and white telly in the corner, contemporary B&Bs equip their guest rooms with every available technology. From free Wi-Fi access, Flatscreen plasma TVs and iPod docks to Jacuzzi baths and rainfall showers, this new breed of UK bed and breakfasts is anything but outdated.
Modern luxuries sit alongside period charm and antiques to provide the best of both worlds - character and comfort - just like in the cosy double rooms at Bayards Cove Inn.