For as long as bed & breakfast hotels have been around they have offered their guests lodging at reasonable rates. It used to be that all you expected from a B&B was the basics, a firm bed, a shower and a cooked breakfast in the morning for a good price. Generally coming second to hotel accommodation, B&Bs rarely competed with a hotel for luxury and services offered.
However a new trend for travelers in the 21st century, particularly in North America, is to look at the B&B sector for their accommodation needs. There are various reasons for this turn-around, but the main one is that with the downturn in the economy people still wish to travel but now need to tighten their belts. Looking at bed & breakfast options makes economical sense.
The increase seen in the bed and breakfast occupancy comes from all sectors, the domestic market, international travelers seeking unique holiday accommodation and corporate travelers. As a result, more B&Bs, country inns and bed and breakfast hotels are updating their properties to offer luxury furnishings and provide additional services.
By offering attractive packages and pricing structures to travelers, B&Bs are able to compete with local hotels. Frequent traveler programs are popular with guests and aim to produce business and encourage returning customers. These types of programs generally involve free nights or discounts after a certain number of nights.
Americans often work long hours and time off is cherished, getting away for a few days is a welcome break from routine. A weekend getaway is the perfect way to distance yourself and within most people’s time limits. Business travelers are often encouraged to stay at a particular B&B if it offers a frequency traveler program and has the added advantage of free Wi-Fi. Other business friendly facilities, such as a desk in the room, copy and fax machines, relaxed cancellation policies, and allowed late check-in and early breakfast are also enticements to book at particular bed and breakfast hotels rather than a hotel. Companies also prefer the fact that they are able to hire the whole inn as it means they are likely to get the hotel managements complete attention whereas if they had booked at a large convention hotel they would be competing with lots of other groups.
B&Bs also offer a unique way to experience the customs and daily life of a particular city. Often located right in the city centre they can also provide a higher level of attention to their guests and offer competitively priced rooms. As a guest in a chain hotel you are likely to see the staff when you check in and again when you check out, staying in smaller bed & breakfast hotels enables you to meet the owners and their staff, people who have the time to give you advice and information on the city. There are also possibilities to spend time in communal rooms where you can meet fellow travelers.
Many people prefer the intimate atmosphere of a B&B in comparison to a hotel which can be sterile and noisy, and staff often have less time to interact with their guests. B&Bs offer travelers unique features and stand out by their friendly atmosphere and personal touch. Guests of B&Bs are not just looking for a room to sleep in but the whole experience of staying in a lodging that enables them to meet interesting people and receive all the luxuries they would expect from any accommodation choice.
In general staying in a bed and breakfast offers you more services and options than traditional hotels are able to and is a new and completely different experience to staying in a hotel, it can certainly make your stay in the city a much more pleasurable event. The increase in popularity seen in B&B accommodation is not only experienced in the United States and Canada, but also abroad in European countries and other destinations around the world.
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