The members of the Indiana Bed and Breakfast Association look forward to hosting you as you travel. If you are new to the Bed and Breakfast experience, we'd like to offer some comments and suggestions to help make your experience the best it can be.
Bed and Breakfast Inns are as wonderfully different from each other as are the innkeepers who are your hosts. Because each Inn offers unique accommodations and a very special kind of hospitality, you will discover a different experience at every B&B you visit. Some first-time guests may be unsure about what is expected when staying at a B&B. Be assured that Innkeepers usually excel at making you feel comfortable and at home, both with the Inn and with the surrounding area.
How to choose the right B&B for you
Spending time visiting the B&B's website or looking in online directories and reviews is a great way to start. Always call the innkeeper to ask unanswered questions BEFORE you book a room.
Because each Inn and innkeeper is different, it is impossible to write an all-inclusive list of things to expect but here are some generalities that should help:
- Reservations are highly recommended. Some establishments require a deposit to secure a reservation. When you make a reservation, remember that you are making a commitment to your hosts just as they are making a commitment to you.
- Cancellations As small businesses with very few rooms, Bed and Breakfasts cannot afford late cancellations. You can expect each B&B to have its own unique cancellation policy which is typically more restrictive than hotels or motels. This policy should be given to you at the time you make your reservation. To avoid misunderstandings, be sure you are aware of what is expected if you must cancel your reservation.
- Check in/check out Most B&B's have scheduled check in and check out times. The innkeeper has prepared for and is awaiting your arrival. If your scheduled arrival time changes, the innkeepers will appreciate your thoughtfulness if you let them know.
- Room rates vary depending on location and season. Most rates are based on double occupancy (2 persons per room). Additional fees may be applied for extra persons in the room. If you are traveling alone, ask about a single occupancy rate. In most cases, state and local taxes are not included in the room rate.
- Breakfast is included in the room rate. Check with the innkeeper to learn what type of breakfast is offered, how and when it is served. Be sure to inform the innkeeper of any special dietary needs you may have.
- Children Many B&B's are decorated with antiques and are not childproofed. Well behaved children are welcome at some B&B's, while some have age restrictions regarding children. Still others do not accept children. If you are traveling with children, always discuss it with the innkeeper. Remember, parents are responsible at all times for the actions of their children.
- Pets Many B&B's do not accept pets due to the effect on other guests with allergies. Those who do, may have special policies regarding the size of the pet and may require damage deposits. If you are traveling with a pet, always discuss it with the innkeeper as you are making your reservation. If you have allergies, you should ask if there are resident pets on site or if the environment is pet-free.
- Smoking If you are allergic to smoke, is the environment smoke-free? If you smoke, are there smoking rooms or a designated place for smoking?
- Beds If you need a king bed, or two beds in a room, be sure to ask if they are available.
- Amenities To meet with your expectations, ask what amenities are available such as robes, hair dryers, TVs phones, internet or computer access. Some B&B's like to provide a place where you can 'get away from it all' by offering guest rooms designed for relaxation without intrusions from the outside world while others offer the business traveler all the technology needed to conduct business from the room.
- Bathrooms While most B & B's have guest rooms with private baths, there are some inns that may have baths next door to the room or down the hall; some inns have shared baths. Please be sure to ask what to expect if it is important to you.
- Tipping is not expected but it is always appreciated.
A few closing comments on Bed and Breakfast etiquette:
Courtesy is the key. Mutual respect between the innkeeper and guests as well as between the guests themselves will enhance your stay. Remember that while you want to relax and enjoy yourself, others may be trying to do the same thing. Please abide by any rules that the innkeeper has established for guests. These rules are there for the safety and comfort of all.
Staying at a B&B is a wonderful experience and great fun. Read the rules, ask a few questions and you'll soon feel at home. During your stay you will enjoy exceptional hospitality, meet new friends, and learn all there is to know about the local area. You are sure to love it so much that you will soon become a regular B&B traveler.