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Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a relaxing spa experience, or staying in a historic home, there is a bed and breakfast (B&B) to meet your needs. So if you’ve been hesitant before or don’t know what to expect at a bed and breakfast, here are some tips to help you out. I recently enjoyed my first bed and breakfast stay at Whitehaven Hotel in Wicomico County, MD, and I had so many questions! These bed and breakfast etiquette for first-timers should put you at ease — and don’t forget to check out the Whitehaven Hotel!
What is it like to stay at a B&B?
A bed and breakfast is like staying at a friend’s house as a guest. You will be spoiled rotten. Innkeepers frequently live on the premises or nearby, sharing their homes with others.
Depending on the B&B, you may have your bathroom or share with other guests. Take this into consideration when making your booking.
B&Bs create intimate settings where you are pampered and catered to (within reason!). Explore the public rooms, find your nook and cranny where you can sit with a good book, or engage in conversation with other guests.
What is the deal with breakfast?
Breakfast is included, and it is usually absolutely to die for! Freshly made each morning, most B&B have a set time at which they serve breakfast. It is your opportunity to sit with other guests and meet exciting people.
Prefer to sleep in or not a breakfast eater? That’s okay – but let the innkeeper know as far in advance as you can. Let the innkeeper know about food allergies or preferences. Let the innkeeper know well in advance of your travel.
It is usually okay to eat your breakfast somewhere other than the dining room – such as on the porch, patio, or even your room. Just let them know in advance.
What should I tell the innkeepers?
Way in advance of your check-in, let innkeepers know about any allergies, any special requirements you may have (such as needing a noise machine), whether you have difficulties with stairs, etc., or if you have a room preference.
Innkeepers want to give you the best experience they can. They cannot do that if they don’t know what you need.
If you arrive and find something missing, ask whether it is available. And if you spill or damage something in your room, let the staff know as soon as possible so they can try to fix it. A spill is easier to clean up if caught while it is still fresh.
Do I have to hang out with other guests?
If you are an introvert and don’t want to, you do not have to spend time with other guests. It is not unusual for guests to converge for a happy hour or after-dinner drink in the living room. You may also want to enjoy sitting on the porch or in a reading nook.
Feel free to either mingle or not; just be courteous.
What happens if I arrive after hours?
Staff at most B&B is limited, so it is imperative to be conscientious of their check-in times. If you are arriving late for one reason or another, let the innkeeper know as soon as possible. A courteous call ahead of time will save you and the innkeeper some significant aggravation!
Can innkeepers help me with activities?
Innkeepers and hosts are the ultimate concierges. They share their favorite spots, even those secret local attractions, with you. If you need reservations or ideas on what to do, your innkeeper should be your first source of information. You can even email them in advance!
Can my pet come with me?
Whether a pet is welcome to stay at the B&B depends on each property. Likewise, if you have an allergy to animals, you should ask your innkeeper whether pets are permitted and make efforts to keep them separated from your space.
Can my children stay?
Most B&Bs have a policy about whether children can stay or not. Typically, most B&Bs are not equipped to handle children and require all children to be 12 and older. Keep in mind that these homes have antiques and unique decor that should not be touched and played with by children.
Use the B&B experience to enjoy some quiet couple or solo time.
Should I tip?
Innkeepers create a unique experience, and you can see this in all the details that went into your stay. Tip as usual for daily housekeeping, valets, and restaurant servers. If you opt for a spa or other service, tip the provider.
What is the main difference between a hotel and a B&B?
At a B&B, you are the guest, while hotels view you as customers. The cozy environment, the top-notch service, and my stay at the Whitehaven Hotel have convinced me that I’ve been missing out by not taking advantage of bed and breakfasts in the past.
What was my first experience at a B&B like?
I was lucky enough to spend overnight at the Whitehaven Hotel, a beautiful bed and breakfast in historic Whitehaven, Maryland.
Upon arrival, I was greeted like a long-lost friend or a friend of a friend. I chit-chatted with the innkeeper, Cindy, about my background and what I wanted to see and do. Once I got into my room, I was greeted with a welcoming note and coffee and sweet treats.
The Garden Room, where I stayed, had a shared screened-in porch with the next room. It was a wonderful place to sit and sip a drink. Instead, I went downstairs and enjoyed the swing and Adirondack chairs facing the Whitehaven Ferry.
When I came back from dinner and my baseball game, other guests were happily chatting in the living room. Wine and cheese were available all night.
Breakfast was served at 9:00 am. Early risers had coffee to greet them. The breakfast was marvelous, consisting of a Dutch Baby with syrup made by Cindy. I can’t remember the last time I was so full from breakfast!
My overnight stay was simply not enough for me to enjoy all the wonderful offerings at the Whitehaven Hotel. With kayaks available to explore the nearby estuaries, and bicycles to explore historic Whitehaven, I look forward to the day that I can return and spend more time! If you stop by the Whitehaven Hotel, please tell Cindy I said hi!
Have you stayed at a bed and breakfast? Share any additional tips below!
I’d like to thank Wicomico County for sponsoring my weekend in Salisbury and Wicomico County. As always, my posts are an accurate reflection of the experiences I had.
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Annick, The Common Traveler
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