A bed and breakfast is typically a private home in which guests are allowed to stay overnight, sometimes referred to as a “homestay”. In some cases the bathroom is shared between guests or with the host, although it’s now expected that a private bathroom en-suite is provided. Breakfast is also usually included in the price of the stay.
Apart from private residences, you have bed and breakfast inns in which the same “bed and a breakfast” rules apply, however, they will have more rooms available than the standard one to four in a typical B&B. Inns also offer meals aside from breakfast, as well as other amenities you may not see in a private home.
Remember though that no two B&B’s are alike. Because they vary so much in what they offer, unlike hotels each one has its own personality so make sure you read reviews thoroughly so you know what you’re getting.
Their difference is usually what makes them such a charming attraction in the first place. Some B&B’s have done such a great job marketing their establishment within the local area, that visitors may actually choose to stay in that area simply because of the bed and breakfast.
Tourists attracted to cultural or historical sites, opt to stay in a B&B due to the fact that they usually have a rich history. Unlike many hotels, bed and breakfasts typically herald from restored houses with an interesting story to tell, just make sure you ask your host and they’ll be happy to tell you about the past of the place.
Bed and Breakfasts, in one form or another, have been around since the beginning. Even monasteries offered a B&B experience for weary travellers, and many still do.
Popular with tourists in Europe for decades, the term “bed and breakfast” was first heard in England, Scotland, and Ireland –Which is where you’ll often find the majority of them. “B&B” isn’t however a term widely used outside of the UK, “paradors”, “gasthaus”, “shukuos”, and “pousados” are some of the foreign equivalents you may hear.
The US also has a history of B&B’s dating all the way back to early settlers. As pioneers travelled across the country, they looked for a place to stay at local inns and taverns, and many of these establishments actually still offer a bed and breakfast experience for guests.
During the Great Depression, it became common for people to open up their homes to tourists in order to try and take in some money for their family, these homes were called “boarding houses” at the time. After the Depression, this trend declined and many people thought that this sort of boarding was reserved only for people of little means. In the fifties, the term “tourist home” was coined before hotels were built on the motorways and B&B’s were largely forgotten.
In recent years, people have started to “discover” them again and today the bed and breakfast is not viewed, simply as a low cost option, but as an attractive, personable alternative to the standard chain of hotels. You can even find amenities in some bed and breakfasts not unlike the kind offered in the most upscale hotels of the world.
And if you want the best? Look no further than Gable End for a warm Irish welcome and a complimentary hot breakfast in the morning