Hotels vs. Bed & Breakfasts

Key distinctions exist between bed & breakfasts and hotels.

Although hotels are still far more common, bed and breakfasts have certain qualities that most hotels cannot or do not offer. However, if you’re used to the typical hotel experience, trying something new may seem scary.

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We’ll contrast hotels with bed & breakfasts in this guide.

Once I’ve defined each, I’ll contrast their ambiances, costs, privacy, safety, and facilities before offering my thoughts on the kinds of travelers who ought to think about either. Finally, I’ll draw comparisons between bed and breakfasts and hostels, guest homes, inns, hotels, and lodges. Click here to see how B&Bs and Airbnb compare.

What a Bed & Breakfast Is

A bed and breakfast, sometimes known as a “B&B,” is a kind of lodging where breakfast is included in the nightly price. Family-run B&Bs typically have fewer rooms than hotels. A cozy atmosphere is produced since hosts frequently reside on or close to the same property as their guests. Go here for further information on B&Bs.

What A Hotel Is.

Most likely, you’ve had hotel stays in the past. Expect a conventional check-in procedure (show ID to receive a room key), standard facilities (breakfast, lobby/common area), and regular check-out times (between 9 am and 12 pm) when staying at this hotel. Hotel types vary, ranging from low-cost to high-end (7-star). The types of rooms available vary from cozy studios to opulent suites, and from private forest bungalows to contemporary metropolitan skyscrapers.

Comparison of Atmospheres

Bed & Breakfasts: A better option for a cozy atmosphere

Hotels: A better option for seclusion and confidentiality

Compared to hotels, bed & breakfasts often offer a more casual, laid-back ambiance. Intimate, cozy, and stress-free environments are created for guests to enjoy the local way of life and socialize with their host and/or other visitors, as B&B hosts sometimes reside on or close to the same property as their guests.

Booking a B&B is mostly done for the hospitality. Among all the many kinds of housing, bed and breakfasts provide the coziest, most intimate hospitality. But don’t anticipate the same level of efficiency or quickness of service as you would at a major hotel. B&Bs are best enjoyed when your day is leisurely rather than hurried. Compared to hotels, bed and breakfasts usually have a smaller common space and fewer guest rooms. They can also have one or more options for room styles, including layout, number of beds, furnishings, and other characteristics. A local theme or unique design is common in rooms.

B&Bs are great for weekend vacations and “staycations” because they prioritize comfort and service, which lets visitors escape the everyday grind in a laid-back atmosphere. A reception room is typically absent from bed and breakfasts, and some owners even lock their front door overnight (11 pm to 6 am, for example).

Compared to hotels, B&Bs frequently have more flexible schedules and policies. For instance, the host can inquire as to when you would want breakfast served rather than setting a time for you, and the host might provide flexible check-in and checkout times. Click here to view the 13 categories of bed and breakfasts, along with five examples of each. In areas with low tourism, a bed and breakfast may be the only place to stay in the community.

For those looking for seclusion, solitude, and space, large hotels are perfect. The ambience of a hotel is typically more appropriate for groups traveling together, families traveling with kids (as some bed and breakfasts don’t allow them), and people looking for convenient amenities like airport pickup or room service. Hotels have personnel, however apart from the host, many B&Bs have little or no staff.

Homemade breakfasts at B&Bs are usually provided at big tables where large groups of visitors sit together or at smaller tables where guests can sit separately. During their visitors’ stay, some B&B owners set up a “treats table” with finger snacks, tea, water, and other amenities for them to pick from at their leisure.

Comparing Prices

B&Bs: Most rooms don’t cost a lot of money.

Hotels: Provide a greater variety of pricing choices.

Do bed & breakfasts cost less than hotels, then? Based on my observations, the nightly costs for B&Bs are often comparable to those of nearby 3- and 4-star hotels. If you usually stay in 5-star hotels, B&B rates could appear reasonable to you, while if you usually book budget hotels (1 or 2-star), they might seem exorbitant. Bed and breakfasts are not regarded as “budget accommodations.”

The overnight costs for bed and breakfast are often more affordable than those of hotels. For instance, in a certain region, bed and breakfast accommodations may range from $50 to $300 per night, and hotel rooms may cost from $20 to $5,000 or more. However, don’t anticipate the same standard of luxury (in terms of amenities) as 5-star hotels, even if you reserve a more upscale B&B. Click here to find out more about the 13 different kinds of bed and breakfasts, along with five examples of each.

A hotel’s or bed and breakfast’s cost is determined by a number of variables, such as location and time of year. In the local shoulder seasons and off-seasons, you may discover weekly, monthly, or package prices (such as accommodation, breakfast, supper, and ski instruction), as well as savings.

Hotel rooms may or may not include breakfast in the nightly fee; B&Bs usually do. For the tourist on a tight budget, this implies that $120 for a bed and breakfast for two would ultimately come out to be less expensive than a $100 hotel room for two, even if you still had to spend an additional $40 for breakfast off-site.

Comparison of Safety

Safety varies according on the specific attribute.

B&Bs cannot or do not give the same degree of safety that many hotels do. Hotels are more likely to have security personnel on duty, a round-the-clock front desk, electronic room key cards, and security cameras. Because hiring security and overnight reception personnel can be expensive (most B&Bs are tiny companies), they are less inclined to do so.

A curfew for the nighttime may exist since B&B hosts frequently lock the front entrance of the property from late evening to early morning (e.g., 11 pm to 6 am). While B&Bs usually forbid it, many hotels permit guests to invite non-guest visitors into the room. Customers who are not staying at the hotel or bed and breakfast are usually not allowed to enter the guest-only sections. Click here to read up on B&B safety in its entirety.

Choose B&Bs and hosts based on positive reviews left by previous visitors on reputable websites such as Vrbo and Before making a reservation, investigate the surrounding areas, read the most current reviews left by previous visitors, and go at the pictures of the rooms. Click here for a detailed tutorial on how to locate and reserve high-quality hotel rooms at a discount. Use our B&B Booking Guide to select a B&B that suits your preferences and price range.

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