Allow me to start by saying that I design sites for bed and breakfast suppliers. I’ve been inside many institutions, photographed them from all angles, sampled the food, experienced the difficulty of finding them if they are off the beaten trail and spent time with their owners.
Sometimes I’ve felt like The Hotel Inspector. Sometimes I’ve buttoned my lip and said nothing, occasionally I have politely voiced my concerns. If I’ve seen something amiss it’s a fairly certain bet that guests will too and will be only too keen to say so on Trip Advisor or social websites.
There’s a clue in that previous sentence if you’re researching Bed and Breakfast providers. Look them up on Trip Advisor. What experiences have previous guests had?
Were the owners friendly and helpful, or did they act like they didn’t want guests in their house?
Were the rooms and facilities clean and tidy? Was the location peaceful or were you looking onto a main road and a building site? Was the breakfast freshly cooked and generous?
Have a look at how owners react to negative comments. Remember, disgruntled guests and those who need to complain about the smallest thing would be those most likely to post. Did their complaints appear valid and how did the owner respond?
I always tell my website clients that bed and breakfast clients shop with their eyes. Guests want to find out what the place they are coming to looks like.
If those photos are not on a provider’s site, or they’re grainy and out of focus, ask yourself why that might be? If the website hasn’t been updated in years, might that tell you something.
In general, you get what you pay for. A B&B that prices #45 per night for 2 people probably will not be as smart or as spacious as a person that charges #145 a night. Lower pricing doesn’t have to imply that rooms are dirty and facilities don’t work.
Look to determine if the area (s) you’re booking have their own en-suite amenities or have shared facilities. There seems to be a growing trend in the UK to get a roll top bath to be placed in the bedroom. If you are young and in love, you may be very pleased to bathe together or to have your partner watching. But are you so keen if you’re two buddies using the space as a double room?
If you have pets – check that dogs are welcome. If in doubt, phone the owners and ask.
If you’ve got young children, check the B&B is kid friendly. You don’t want to discover that the establishment does not accept kids and have your holiday ruined. Respect those that don’t accept kids – they’ve had a bad experience, they may have elderly owners, they may especially run a kid free institution.
Some establishments will offer a”Port St. Lucie Wildlife Removal” rate. This could be what you need if you are staying just 1 night and have an early start. Or maybe you’re one of those individuals who just doesn’t eat breakfast.
Be sure that you know what size the bed is. For some couples this isn’t an issue, but if one or both of you’re tall, or a little on the wide side, you may prefer a larger size double bed – king or super king size.
Check what facilities are offered in the bathroom. Some will have a bath with over bath shower. If you have mobility problems you may prefer a separate, walk-in shower. Be sure you read the owner’s description and if in doubt, phone or email to check.
Most B&Bs are happy to cater to special dietary requirements. Not telling the owner your particular requirements until you sit down to breakfast contributes to embarrassment. Most owners will want to fulfill your requirements and will feel angry and embarrassed if they can’t – advance notice helps to ensure that the food your demand will be available when you want it.
Examine the location of this B&B. Or you might choose to stay somewhere that is more easily accessible to the regional sights and doesn’t demand a 10 mile drive up and down the valley to reach it every day. An online mapping service will usually give you a pretty accurate location and there might even be Street View so you can see the place where you’re planning to stay.
In the UK there’s 1 site that lists most of the accommodation local to a selection of small cities – B&Bs, self catering and hotels. Unlike other sites that list hotels nationwide, or self catering nationally, this website focuses on listing all of the accommodation in a specified local area.