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Bed and Breakfast Vs. Hotel: Which One to Go For

Bed and Breakfast Vs. Hotel
Both bed and breakfasts and hotels are popular forms of tourist accommodations; however, people often end up getting confused between the two. Here's how they differ from each other.
Sucheta Pradhan
Last Updated: Jul 25, 2017
To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.
― Freya Stark
Finding an appropriate, comfortable, and safe accommodation is extremely vital, whenever you decide to go for an overnight trip or extended holiday. There are ample choices for getting such accommodations, and sometimes it might get a little confusing as to what and how to choose. Depending on where we travel, the kind of accommodations available tend to vary. However, there are two kinds of accommodations available almost unanimously worldwide―bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) and hotels. These are, by far, the most popular types of holiday accommodations, and people who opt to stay at these places have their own set of reasons. This Vacayholics write-up will tell you the exact difference between B&Bs and hotels, thus, trying to make things a bit easier for you.
Difference Between B&Bs and Hotels
The most important thing that we look for, while booking a place to stay away from our home, is whether that place can serve as our temporary home for whatever period of time we may stay there. Owing to this, our first and foremost concern is that it should be cost-effective and bring a good value for our money. Both these can serve this purpose, but it depends largely on what our needs are.
The Property
B&Bs are essentially homes of the city's/town's local residents. These facilities are operated by the house owners themselves, who also stay within the house along with the guests.
Bed and breakfast
Hotels are completely commercial facilities, most of which are owned by more than two people. Often, they have numerous branches within the country or all over the world called 'chains.'
Friendly hotel staff
The Rooms
In the B&Bs, some of the rooms of the house are converted into guest quarters. Owing to this, more often than not, there are variations between two rooms of the same B&B with respect to the décor, furnishings, bedding, etc. Moreover, there is often no choice between the rooms, as the vacancies are limited, and one has to book well in advance to acquire a room.
Family bedroom
In case of hotels, the rooms, décor, furnishings, bedding, etc., in each room are uniform. Moreover, many times, the standard rooms are smaller than those in the B&Bs however, in larger hotels, people can choose the type of room they want―standard room, suite, and so on.
Hotel room
In most B&Bs, breakfast is provided free of cost. While there is no or limited choice with regards to the breakfast menu, the guests get a full breakfast that includes a main dish (often with fresh meats), a dish of fresh fruits and/or juice, etc.
Breakfast in bed and breakfast
On the other hand, if you are staying at a hotel, you will be offered a big breakfast menu. However, each item will have a fixed price that you will have to pay.
Hotel breakfast
Room Service
B&Bs do not offer room service. However, some of them serve breakfast in the room, the cost of which is included in the room rate. Even if they charge, it is a very moderate amount.
Room service is offered by almost all hotels, no matter whether they are luxury or not. This often adds extravagant costs to the final bill.
Cleaning hotel room
Telephone Charges
If you are staying at a B&B, you will be allowed to dial local and toll-free numbers, free of cost. However, you might be charged a moderate amount for long-distance calls.
Women talking on phone
If you are staying at a hotel, local and toll-free numbers will be charged, though moderately. However, charges for long-distance calls are astronomical.
Business women talking on phone
Parking Charges
Because B&Bs are local households, they will not usually charge you for parking. However, the parking spaces may be very limited, and at times, you may have to run around searching for one.
Guest parking board
On the other hand, hotels will charge you on a per-day basis for valet parking. If there is no valet parking, you might be charged moderately to park your vehicle. However, sometimes this kind of parking may also be free.
Valet parking board
B&Bs enable the guests to get social by interacting with other guests and house owners. Therefore, it is a very good option for people, who love to socialize and meet new people.
Family and friends relaxing
Hotels emphasize on respecting the privacy of their guests, who are always confined to their rooms. So, if you are looking for a private, silent, and calm place, a hotel may be the right accommodation for you.
Family breakfast in restaurant
Interaction with the Owners
In B&Bs, owing to the fact that the owners also stay in the same property, the guests get many opportunities to interact with them. Many times, the owners are more than happy to share knowledge about their city and culture with the guests, thus, making the stay easier and more comforting for them.
Family breakfast
The hotel guests will very rarely get to have a small glimpse of the owners, who obviously stay elsewhere and not in the property. Moreover, if the guests wish to know about the city and the like, the receptionist will perhaps, very politely direct them towards stacks of informative pamphlets.
Couple checking in at hotel
B&Bs are family-owned businesses, and hence, there are very rare instances in which the guests may have to tip certain people. For instance, if a B&B has a bellman, the guests may have to tip him for his services, but there is no fixed amount. Most B&Bs usually do not accept tips.
Businessman giving tip
In hotels, tipping the staff is considered to be appropriate, and is generally encouraged. In most luxury hotels, the tip amount is generally fixed at some percentage of the total bill.
B&Bs will have a very limited staff, if at all. All the services are generally provided by the owners themselves. Most B&Bs will never have a specialized staff for anything. Even cooking for the guests is done in an open kitchen, usually by the lady of the house.
Lady cooking food
Hotels will have a specialized, trained staff in order to undertake various jobs. For instance, a hotel will hire qualified chefs for its kitchen to ensure that the quality and hygiene of the food can be maintained.
As you can see, both these facilities have a set of their own positives and negatives. Some people often prefer to stay in a B&B rather than a hotel, as they think that the former is cheaper; however, such is not the case. B&Bs are not always cheap, but what sometimes gives them an upper edge over hotels is that they often tend to be more cost-effective. Nevertheless, it is very difficult to say which one is better than the other as it all depends on personal preferences.