While the comparisons made between bed and breakfasts and hotels are very much dependent on who is making the comparison, one thing is certain: The world is simply filled with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. The great playwright, Henry Miller, said this. And, when it comes to the notion of why you're traveling in the first place, Miller's words give us pause for thought regarding reasons why traveler's should consider staying at a B&B on their next journey.
First, let's talk a bit about hotels. Surely, everything has its place and the chief attribute for many (though a deficit for others) is their predictability. That is to say, some travelers desire the commonness of hotels - all the rooms the same from location to location, and very little difference from their home environment. For some - particularly overnight business travelers - this sort of predictability is a convenience that fits in well with the purpose of their visit. Where they stay has little importance in the scheme of things.
However, for many travelers where they stay is of considerable importance. For them, it is the world of Miller's rich treasures they are seeking. The escape from the common is not only a desire, it's a goal, and the cookie-cutter sterility of a hotel room is not for them. It is for those who want unique experiences in their travel that the B&B experience is the perfect fit. Folks who've stayed at B&B's while on a trip know this, and it's the reason why B&B stays are in and of themselves an important part of the trip.
Why stay at B&B instead of a hotel?
- Each B&B is a unique lodging experience - no two B&B's are alike.
- B&B hosts are excellent concierges at no extra charge (hotel concierge service usually costs quite a bit in gratuity). They are able to steer you to well-known attractions and restaurants, as well as the local gems found off the beaten path.
- The decorations are charming, the environments comfortable, the linens fine, and the breakfasts homemade. Some B&B's will have wine and cheese in the early evening, or a special tea-time included during your stay.
- A B&B is an experience, a part of that rich pageantry of the world. An atmosphere that keeps your spirit of travel alive throughout your stay. A hotel simply cannot be these things.
Again, there are reasons why some travelers choose hotels, and it is for these reasons that hotels do have their place. However, if the reason you are traveling is to escape the common, to discover beautiful places, beautiful souls, interesting people - then a B&B stay is the fit for you.
Remember, just like choice hotels, choice B&B's often book many months in advance. It's good to plan ahead by visiting the websites of B&B's in the places you are traveling to. Unlike hotels, though, you will be able to get a good look at pictures of the very room you choose to stay in. Make your selection, book your room. The experience of staying in a B&B is one you will want to have over and over again.
Victor Viser, Ph.D., is a corporate and political communications consultant, web content producer, and photographer.
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