Inns and bed and breakfasts are a wonderful type of accommodation for a full fledged vacation or simply a getaway weekend. Understanding how they work and is essential to making sure your stay is pleasant and relaxing.
In New England, inns and bed and breakfasts are a popular choice and often located in historic homes full of
antiques and unique furnishings. In other parts of the country and world the term is more loosely used in describing a place to rest your head for the night and then move on.
In my book, inns are a delightful alternative to hotels and resorts, But they are not for everybody, and here’s the answers to some basic questions to determine if it’s the type of accommodation that’ll work for you…
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INNS AND BED AND BREAKFASTS?
Let’s start by clearing up any confusion on the differences between inns and bed and breakfasts. And it’s not so much in the name as how they advertise themselves.
Firstly, there’s rarely any difference in accommodation. The personality of a bed and breakfast can be every bit as good as the charm of an inn. One difference is in the prepared meals. A bed and breakfast is just that… expect a bed… and a breakfast, but you’re on your own for dinner. But at inns, they’re set-up to provide dinner as well. Also at an Inn you will sit a private table much like a restaurant but at most bed and breakfast’s you will be sitting family style with the other guests. This can be a very lovely experience as you will enjoying getting to know other like minded folks who may also be able to steer you in the right direction of the great restaurant or show they enjoyed the night before.
In many areas of the world inns and bed and breakfasts are also called guesthouses. If at all possible ask to see a picture of the place, or visit their web site, where one should be posted. A lot can be surmised from a picture of your potential accommodation.
ARE THEY RIGHT FOR MY KIDS?
Many inns and bed and breakfasts don’t accommodate young children. Sometimes the age and furnishings of the place are not appropriate for the fingers and playfulness of kids. But when an inn says kids are welcome, then you’d better believe they really mean they’re kid friendly. Now there’s nothing wrong with that (I have three myself), but don’t expect too much peace and quiet and solitude.
Between those inns that ban children, and those that embrace them, you’ll find a number of listings that put age restriction on children. For example they’ll say something like: 12 or older, or above 6-years old. These places are also catering to a single or couple looking for a chance to unwind and free of noise and high activity. If you’ve got high-action kids then bed and breakfasts may not be ideal for your family.
WHAT SERVICE CAN I EXPECT?
Staying in inns is different than staying at a hotel. You shouldn't expect a country inn to be like a Hilton, with hordes of staff at your beck and call, and soundproof walls. Also, having a party and playing loud music after 11:00pm won’t win you any brownie points with your host or the other guests.
Remember… the innkeeper or host is there to provide you, and other guests, with a unique experience in unique surroundings, but to do that they’ll need your understanding.
WHAT’S THE USUAL CHECK-IN CHECK-OUT TIME?
Your host will go out of their way to greet you when you check-in. Usually when you reserve you’ll be told when their normal check-in and check-out times are. But most can accommodate your arrival and departure outside those hours But you need to let them know if you’ll be late arriving so they can arrange for you to get into the house (yes, the doors are locked after a certain hour), and to your room. It’s one thing to show up at midnight at your hotel – they’re staffed round the clock – but it’s entirely another matter to roll-in after 11:00pm at a bed and breakfast, and expect your host to get out of bed and greet you smiling. After all, they’re probably making an early breakfast for everybody in the morning.
CAN YOU NEGOTIATE PRICE?
Just like hotels the room rate for inns is negotiable. The main difference is unlike a hotel, the person on the other end of a phone is usually the owner of the bed and breakfast, and they can make the decision on the spot. All you have to do is ask in a nice way.
Just remember the innkeeper may only have a few rooms to begin with anyway, and if you’re haggling over the last room then don’t be offended if they don’t give you a price reduction. But on the other hand one room of a four-room inn without a paying guest reduces a host’s profit by 25%. So it’s always worth asking for a reduction!
HOW MUCH CAN YOU REALLY SAVE?
Most inns can book their weekends or popular seasonal period’s weeks in advance. For instance, in New England the fall foliage season makes rooms a premium, and most are booked many months in advance.
But outside these constraints filling the rooms at an inn during the week, particularly off-season, is much more difficult. You’ll get the best deals for bed and breakfasts traveling mid-week and out of season. Now contrast this with hotels that have the opposite problem, because they cater to the mid-week business traveler, but can’t get people in rooms at the weekends.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED TO KNOW?
Here’s a few extra tips once you’ve decided an inn or bed and breakfast is the right choice for you…
Be sure to get detailed directions to the inn as many are converted homes and blend in with the surroundings, and don’t have neon advertising signs like hotels. When you call make sure you understand the cancellation polices as they are usually much more restrictive than hotels. And don’t forget your host is familiar with the area and can point you to attractions and restaurants not on any tour guide or map.
I love staying in inns. They’ve a lot going for them. Inns are usually very affordable, offer tons more variety than a bland hotel room, and are a great way to meet fellow travelers or
For your Bed and Breakfast needs while in Williamsburg VA call 800-886-9715 for the Colonial Gardens B&B.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Kelly and Brad Said their "I'do's" Under the Dogwoods and Red buds surrounded by roses in the Rose Garden here at the Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast in Williamsburg Virginia.
The Marriage was preformed by Mrs. Eunice Fenwick, A local Williamsburg Marriage Commissioner. They signified there coming together in matrimony with a unity candle ceremony as well is a set of beautiful rings.
The couple went on to Opus 9 Steakhouse in New Town for dinner before returning to a bottle of chilled Champagne and a chocolate wedding cake.
Congratulations Kelly and Brad!
Remember when lodging in Williamsburg Virginia call the Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast 800-886-9715 for
Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast in Williamsburg VA. Specializes in Weddings, Honeymoons, Vow Renewals and Elopements.
Monday, May 10, 2010
The first annual Williamsburg Wine and Food Festival is coming to Colonial Heritage on May 22 and 23, 2010. And if you enjoy fine wine, gourmet food and incredible entertainment then you are not going to want to miss this special event.
More than 30 Virginia wineries and several gourmet food vendors have been selected to participate in this two-day extravaganza and will offer food and wine demonstrations throughout the weekend.
The Williamsburg Wine And Food Festival is bringing “Star Power” to its inaugural event including five-time Grammy and Academy Award winning recording artist, Christopher Cross and Kevin Zraly, one of the foremost wine educators in the world.
Best know for his hit songs, Sailing, Ride Like The Wind, Arthur’s Theme and Think of Laura, Christopher Cross is one of two solo artists to win all “Big Four” Grammy Awards for Record, Song, Album and New Artist in the same year. Cross will host a special concert at the Festival on Saturday, May 22 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Kevin Zraly, founder and teacher of Windows On The World Wine School is also a best-selling author. His book, Windows On The World Complete Wine Course has sold more than three million copies. Zraly will share his knowledge with Festival guests on Saturday, May 22 during his signature wine appreciation seminar.
Guests attending the Williamsburg Wine And Food Festival will have the opportunity to purchase the event's official poster designed by world renowned artist, Romero Britto.
Profits from the Williamsburg Wine and Food Festival will be donated to the Colonial Heritage Community Foundation. The Colonial Heritage Community Foundation is a new non-profit organization that supports family caregivers, promotes active aging and strengthens the community through the enrichment of quality of life for all residents of Colonial Heritage and the greater Williamsburg area.
While in Williamsburg, make sure to book yu luxury accomadations here at the Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast 800-886-9715
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Andy and Sharon celebrated their nuptials here at the Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast on May 8th 2010.
It was a wonderful day for a wedding! With the Roses and Rhododendron in bloom and the sun shining.
After the Ceremony which was preformed by James Gilley after which a luncheon was provided by Linda’s Touch of Class Catering.
After all the festivities the coupe went to the Williamsburg Inn for dinner and Dancing.
Anytime you need luxury accommodations or a garden setting for your wedding consider Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast. 800-886-9715
Pretty in Purple!
Brandon and Angela said their“ I DO’S” on the front lawn of the Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast here is Williamsburg VA. They married on the 23rd of April which turned out to be the to be an amazingly beautiful day! Warm sunny and perfect.
Brandon is stationed at Fort Hood TX and Angela could not wait to be out there with him as a family.
They were married surrounded by there families and friends by Marriage Commissioner Doug Johnston, after which they enjoyed Cake and Champagne and then went on to dinner with the family.
Remember, Williamsburg’s Colonial Gardens Bed and Breakfast is your place for a small intimate wedding or elopement. 800.886.9715