You wouldn’t think there could be any reason to be peeved with a stay at a Bed and Breakfast (B&B as we will refer to them from here); but yet, as charming as they are, they do pose some concerns that could develop into grievances and ultimately become a pet peeve!
With many miles of traveling under my belt, I have stayed in a wide variety of Hotels, Motels, Lodges, Resorts, Health Spas, Inns, Cabins, Ship Staterooms, Vacation Rentals and B&Bs throughout various parts of the world. I would like to share just few minor grievances discovered from my own personal experiences, and counter-balance them with a positive antidote.
Peeve: While most B&Bs I have stayed in claim their rooms offer privacy, they don’t mention that walls can be paper-thin and noises and voices carry. This can be uncomfortable for guests wanting tranquil isolation and give you the feeling that you have to “whisper” in your own quarters so as not to be heard by others.
Antidote: Research your B&B choices carefully. Look at room configurations to see if all walls are connected between guest rooms. (Some B&Bs may have separate “cottages” allowing for very private accommodations). If noise is a factor for you, make a call to inquire about the space you’re interested in booking. Most B&Bs will be helpful in trying to satisfy your needs.
Peeve: A couple might choose a B&B to celebrate a special occasion like an anniversary for example, when they prefer to share quality and intimate time together.
It is quite common for a host to introduce other guests for the purpose of “getting acquainted” or encourage socializing at informal gatherings in common areas for the guests. This can be a problem for guests who simply wish to be alone.
Antidote: The average B&B accommodates three to four couples at a time (meaning, there could be only three or four rooms). Of course depending on the size of the B&B property, it could hold more. You can inquire when you check in if all rooms will be occupied and hosts are willing to tell you if there are vacancies or if they are filled up. I would just mention discreetly to the host that you are not interested in participating in any activities with other guests; or further, perhaps a B&B is not for you. You can easily find privacy in larger commercial hotels and hang a DO NOT DISTURB sign on your door!
Peeve: B&Bs, in many cases, offer meals at set times for all guests. I do understand that these small operations don’t have the capacity to serve food at all hours. If that were so, they’d be serving breakfast to early risers at 7:00 a.m. and then start cooking breakfast again for guests that like to sleep in and want breakfast at noon! Even though I understand it, it can still be a bit uncomfortable to be forced to sit and dine with other guests and make idle conversation with strangers that you will never see again. This holds true for dinner as well. I shouldn’t need to feel obligated to sit with other people for an hour or two that I did not choose to dine with. What if the other diners don’t like to drink wine with their meal, and I do? What if the other diner has a “quirk” or a tick that you find annoying! What if the other diners eat meat and you are a vegetarian! These things pose a threat to your comfort. True, some people completely enjoy meeting and getting acquainted with new people, but some do not. I don’t think it’s fair for a B&B to assume ALL guests want to “hang out!” I don’t necessarily want to be put in a position to chitchat if I don’t want to.
Antidote: One of the desired aspects of booking a B&B style accommodation is for the quaintness and charm of a small, family-owned establishment, where you get the feeling you are much like a guest in a country home!
You are bound to run into other guests in this type of setting, which is conducive to informal gatherings and casual dining together. If this doesn’t appeal to you, then perhaps you are looking for a hotel room where you can call room service and get your meal sent up to your room, or you can walk out of your hotel to find a restaurant of your choice and dine quietly, at the time you wish.
Maybe you didn’t find any grievances from your experiences, but over all, B&B lodging does have its limitations. At the same time however, there is something quite special about B&Bs. If you have never stayed at a B&B, I would strongly recommend it for a night or two, so you can form your own views and opinions.
There are so many different styles of B&Bs to choose from worldwide. Do a “google search” for B&Bs and you will be amazed at the wide variety of properties you will find. When you know ahead of time the differences between B&Bs and other lodging choices, there won’t be any surprises when you arrive. Go ahead and give a B&B a try, and I hope you won’t find any grievances to be peeved about!