Or, I suppose the question is: have you ever stayed at a bed and breakfast? Most people, when planning their vacation, start out by choosing their destination, closely followed by their mode of transportation and then their accommodation. And this is where most of your research comes in.
Stay in the city or out in the country? All-inclusive or come what may? A place just to sleep and change your clothes or do you want to add to your experience? Well, I’m here to ask you to consider a bed and breakfast the next time you travel.
Now, keep in mind, that it’s important to look for B&Bs that are rated either by a regulatory board (here in Newfoundland, it’s Tourism Quality Assurance of NL Inc.), or a recognized organization that looks out for the interest of the traveller (AAA, Trip Advisor, etc.). And remember, when you’re reading reviews by fellow travellers or paid critics, everyone is entitled to an opinion and you can’t please everyone! But, research on your part will ensure a pleasurable experience, where ever you may choose to stay.
An Economical Alternative
At first glance, you may think that staying in a B&B costs more than your stay at a hotel. But, don’t forget, your stay includes your breakfast, sometimes extras such as coffee, tea, bottled water, and at times, evening snacks. So, forget about sitting at a table in a restaurant, waiting to make eye contact with your waitress, and then wondering if you should leave a tip even after she forgot to refill that coffee cup.
No extra fees—free parking, WiFi access—NO EXTRA FEES
Let’s Talk About Breakfast
Ever gone down to the buffet at your hotel and took the top off that chafing dish and discovered scrambled eggs that look like they were made with powdered eggs? Well, B&Bs serve REAL breakfast. It’s real food, made on the premises and not prepared hours earlier. In our case, I get up nice and early and make sure my guests get something freshly baked. I chop up all my ingredients, shred that cheese, get the toaster ready and set all my tables. I won’t even make coffee until I hear them coming down the stairs. My guests deserve fresh coffee, fresh fruit and a hot breakfast. And don’t let me hear you say you’re still hungry! I’ve even given out baggies so that they can pack away those muffins or scones that they couldn’t finish so they can have a snack later on that morning. Breakfast is the first, and most important meal my guests will have so I want to make sure they remember it. Vegan? Gluten-free? Lactose intolerant? Just let us know in advance. No problem!
We Work Around Your Schedule
Arriving early? If your room is ready, please come in! Arriving late? Give us a call and we’ll make sure that we’re here to greet you or provide you with instructions on how you can gain access and get to your room without disturbing others. No waiting in line at the desk to check in or out. We’re ready when you are.
Is your flight leaving early? I’ve gotten up extra early to make sure my guests have a breakfast or at least have a breakfast-to-go to take with them to the airport. Perfect for those who can’t eat too early but would like a bite for later. It usually includes a couple of egg muffins, juice, fruit, yogurt and something yummy to have with their coffee or tea. We’re here to take care of you!
Comforts of Home (Or Better)
If you own a B&B, one of the best compliments a guest can pay you is that they had a great night’s sleep. Usually great bedding, extra pillows, comfortable mattress, and extra blankets are provided for guests. Fluffy towels—extra, if you need them, toiletries, bathrobes and more. No need to try and find housekeeping or call the front desk, just ask! We try and make sure you have good lighting if you like to read in bed, a TV in your room and even a DVD player. Some B&Bs will provide you with a small fridge or your own and even stock it with bottled water.
You’re Personally Dealing with the CEO
When you check into a B&B, you’re dealing with a small business owner and in many cases, a woman entrepreneur who spends money in the community and cares what you think about her establishment. We’re not a chain. Most of the time, it’s run by one or two people; sometimes with a small seasonal staff. We do everything ourselves—cook, clean, do the laundry, look after the landscaping, answer the phone, handle the reservations and we still take the time to talk and get to know you. Often, we’ve moved to the location of the B&B because we’ve fallen in love with the area and want to share our experiences with others. You can find us in locations where you won’t find large, concrete buildings but quiet areas with beautiful views and quiet decks.
Personally speaking, I want you to leave feeling that you’ve stayed in the best Bed and Breakfast you’ve ever stayed in. I think that most B&B owners feel the same. Our guests aren’t staying in faceless, generic boxes, but unique, comfortable surroundings that we ensure are safe, clean and affordable. We go out of our way to make sure that your stay is memorable and that you want to share that memory with family and friends.
So, the next time you plan your vacation getaway, why don’t you consider staying at a bed and breakfast? Relax or use one as your base for touring the area. You can be sure that it will be the best decision of your vacation.
Judy Bickford operates The Bayside Bed and Breakfast in Bareneed, Newfoundland and can be reached at 709.786.1500, The Bayside Bed and Breakfast or you can follow at The Bayside’s Facebook Page, @bytheBayside, or her blog My View From Up Here.
She is a member of NLOWE, BBCanada, Legendary Coasts and Tourism Quality Assurance of NL Inc.