First Timer’s Guide to Bed and Breakfast Etiquette

Warm, personalized service and mingling among guests are part of the appeal of bed and breakfasts. But hospitality goes both ways. Depending on the property, you might be staying in someone’s private home, sharing common rooms, or dining with fellow travelers. At B&Bs, as in life, communication and common courtesy are key.

We asked some innkeepers for advice on basic B&B etiquette. If it’s your first time at a B&B, the following simple tips will help you have a smooth, relaxing stay. Here’s everything you need to know about being the best guest ever.

What are some things that guests should tell hosts in advance?

Many B&Bs offer services and amenities specially tailored to the needs of individual guests. But because policies can vary from inn to inn, it’s crucial to communicate your needs and expectations before your stay.

Tell your hosts about any dietary restrictions, food allergies, room preferences, and special requests you might have. If you have physical limitations, ask if your room is handicap-accessible. When traveling with kids, make sure your B&B is child-friendly. You may want to disclose your arrival and departure times too, especially at smaller properties where innkeepers personally welcome arriving guests.

Do I have to eat breakfast with other guests?

A home-cooked breakfast shared with fellow travelers is a much-loved perk of the B&B experience. It may seem like breakfast is a must—after all, it’s usually included in the price of your stay—but the reality is a lot more flexible. If you want to try a local restaurant, or if you’d like to skip breakfast and sleep until noon (a wonderful idea), go for it. It’s your vacation, and innkeepers understand that.

Is it rude to take breakfast to go or to eat breakfast in my room?

It depends on the property, but many B&B owners are happy to accommodate guests who’d like to grab breakfast and go. For example, at Snow Goose Bed and Breakfast in Keene Valley, New York, the innkeepers are happy to pack a healthy to-go breakfast for guests hoping to hike the Adirondacks trail routes the morning. Not all inns and B&Bs offer takeaway breakfast, of course, so get in touch with your innkeepers first.

What if I’m late for check-in?

Flights get delayed. Traffic jams happen. Busses break down. Innkeepers are well aware of the uncertainties of travel. It’s okay if you’re late for check-in, but the important thing is to touch base with your hosts when there’s a change in plans.

May I bring my pet?

Each B&B has its own rules about pets. Some are perfect for them, while others are strictly humans-only. If you’re traveling with a four-footed companion or two, ask your inn about its pet policy before you book.

Any advice for conversation topics around the breakfast table?

According to Eric Huenneke, owner of Prospect Place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, “Part of the adventure with breakfast conversation is to see what happens with the combination of guests.” Have fun getting to know your fellow travelers—you never know what you might learn. A few of the innkeepers we talked to advised staying away from religion and politics as early-morning conversation topics with strangers.

May I ask my hosts for trip-planning advice or ideas on what to see in the area?

One of the best B&B benefits is the personalized travel advice on offer from extremely knowledgeable innkeepers. Few people know their home base better than B&B owners, and they can provide an insider’s know-how combined with years of experience helping travelers explore their surroundings.

—written by Caroline Costello

Original and Complete Post from BedAndBreakfast.com

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