Find Bed and Breakfast – Traveling in Transylvania

Romania. An amazing country. People don’t know too much about it. Some know it is an Eastern European country, others heard of the appalling dictator Ceausescu. Some know Romania from television: they’ve seen reports describing the poverty of the land or counting how many homeless children live in the streets, begging, starving. Others will describe Romania in other words: the land of beautiful women, a mixture of Latin and Slavic culture, mysterious and fascinating. Bucharest, the capital of the country, used to be called the “Little Paris” and Romania has many other wonders waiting for you.

A wonder is Transylvania – the country between forests – a real Romanian territory, full of history and imposing in its splendor. The land has it all: bucolic scenery, heights that take your breath away (the Western Carpathians, also called the Apuseni Mountains, cross the county from North to South), medieval towns (Sighisoara being the most famous of all and the place were prince Dracula was born) and rustic villages, places were many ancestral traditions were piously kept and the people are friendly and welcoming.

When traveling to Transylvania there is no better way to enjoy your journey than to stay at a small, privately owned bed and breakfast villa. Remember: you are in a wine country. Romanians make delicious wines, some of which you will never find in stores, for these are homemade wines as tasty as the most expensive brands, if not tastier. So don’t choose a hotel. They are far too expensive, the service is poor (there is still a lot of work to be done in Romania when it comes to customer care and tourism) and the food is not so great. If you want to taste tradition, choose to spend your holiday in a village or in a country house outside a village, where the hostess will welcome you (on your first visit) with special, customary appetizers bread and salt and a shot of palinca – a Romanian traditional alcoholic drink, very popular in Transylvania. The bread and salt have a symbolic meaning: they comprise the Romanian way of saying, “welcome in my house”. You’ll probably not find the same custom everywhere you go, some traditions are lost, but don’t be surprised if you do encounter it.

So where should you go to be pampered as you deserve and have a real, genuine Transylvanian experience? Not far from Brasov, in Miclosoara (a little village in the foothills of the Carpathians) you find “The Count’s” guesthouses. Here you have plenty of winter activities including skiing at Poiana Resort, bear and wolf tracking (oh, yes, the land is wild: a large bear population – you’ll not find it in other European countries), bird watching (there are plenty of rare birds in the region including eagles, ural owls, wall-creepers, black-storks), hiking cross and cultural activities (many of the places you could visit are listed as UNESCO World Heritage).

The Count’s is one of the many bed and breakfast accommodations in the region. We mention it because its name – yes, it’s about The Count Dracula (although in the real life he was a prince) – makes it much easier for you to remember this destination. However, Transylvania is magic and has many other destinations waiting for you to discover them.

Bed and Breakfast Vs. Hotel Stays: Experiencing the Difference

While the comparisons made between bed and breakfasts and hotels are very much dependent on who is making the comparison, one thing is certain: The world is simply filled with rich treasures, beautiful souls and interesting people. The great playwright, Henry Miller, said this. And, when it comes to the notion of why you’re traveling in the first place, Miller’s words give us pause for thought regarding reasons why traveler’s should consider staying at a B&B on their next journey.

First, let’s talk a bit about hotels. Surely, everything has its place and the chief attribute for many (though a deficit for others) is their predictability. That is to say, some travelers desire the commonness of hotels – all the rooms the same from location to location, and very little difference from their home environment. For some – particularly overnight business travelers – this sort of predictability is a convenience that fits in well with the purpose of their visit. Where they stay has little importance in the scheme of things.

However, for many travelers where they stay is of considerable importance. For them, it is the world of Miller’s rich treasures they are seeking. The escape from the common is not only a desire, it’s a goal, and the cookie-cutter sterility of a hotel room is not for them. It is for those who want unique experiences in their travel that the B&B experience is the perfect fit. Folks who’ve stayed at B&B’s while on a trip know this, and it’s the reason why B&B stays are in and of themselves an important part of the trip.

Why stay at B&B instead of a hotel?

  1. Each B&B is a unique lodging experience – no two B&B’s are alike.
  2. B&B hosts are excellent concierges at no extra charge (hotel concierge service usually costs quite a bit in gratuity). They are able to steer you to well-known attractions and restaurants, as well as the local gems found off the beaten path.
  3. The decorations are charming, the environments comfortable, the linens fine, and the breakfasts homemade. Some B&B’s will have wine and cheese in the early evening, or a special tea-time included during your stay.
  4. A B&B is an experience, a part of that rich pageantry of the world. An atmosphere that keeps your spirit of travel alive throughout your stay. A hotel simply cannot be these things.

Again, there are reasons why some travelers choose hotels, and it is for these reasons that hotels do have their place. However, if the reason you are traveling is to escape the common, to discover beautiful places, beautiful souls, interesting people – then a B&B stay is the fit for you.

Remember, just like choice hotels, choice B&B’s often book many months in advance. It’s good to plan ahead by visiting the websites of B&B’s in the places you are traveling to. Unlike hotels, though, you will be able to get a good look at pictures of the very room you choose to stay in. Make your selection, book your room. The experience of staying in a B&B is one you will want to have over and over again.

What to Look for When Researching Travel Accommodations

The world travels constantly. At any given time millions of travelers are checking into rooms that were recently used by someone else. Kind of a scary thought isn’t it? Social media has participated in a major way to influence consumers to be far more informed about the quality of the accommodation they choose. Consumer sites like TripAdvisor, Google, and B&B.com to name a few provide quality information from consumer experiences that are regulated for true content before being published.

Of growing popularity are the small business entrepreneurs that own and operate bed and breakfast locations. The reason for emphasis on the individual business owner is that often they are also the operator and closely involved with daily procedures that affect the quality of accommodations the next guest will occupy. Small innkeeper entrepreneurs are a group that takes great pride in providing a service that will give customers a lasting impression. These consumers are more likely to take time to submit an honest review for future guests.

A bed and breakfast may utilize more locally originated suppliers to equip and supply the daily items used for guest comforts. Items like local, fresh in-season produce (strawberries, peaches, and apples, etc.) are amenities you won’t find at the large hotels. Often they employ high quality chefs to provide a multi course breakfast you won’t find anywhere else. In-room amenities are often provided for guests’ comfort and are equal to or exceeding premium hotels in much busier high traffic locations. B&Bs in their own, while likely costing a little more per night are a good value providing a quality breakfast; likely cooked fresh.

Consumers who are planning traveling accommodations will benefit by consulting several reviews from over a period of time; not just the most recent. Travelers leaving reviews often make comments of the quality of cleanliness, hospitality, and overall quality of their visit. While recent reviews are good, if they are consistently favorable this is a good indication that the facility is maintaining a good practice.

Many locations have convenient reservation services on the home page of their website. While this is efficient, taking a couple of minutes to speak with someone (like the owner or general manager) is also a good indicator of the quality. It’s OK to ask detailed questions if you want to know their housekeeping practices. For example, if guests have dietary preferences, by reaching to management in advance of arrival, often their needs can be accommodated, making their visit much more personable and memorable.

Why Stay In A Bed And Breakfast

Bed and breakfasts are becoming a more desirable accommodation for people on vacation. Families, retirees, and newlyweds are discovering the joy and wonder of simplicity and enjoying vacation stays at local bed and breakfasts for a variety of reasons.

In today’s economy, vacations are difficult enough to afford. Instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars to stay at a resort, or at a chain hotel with questionable service, people are seeing the value in supporting local businesses with real service. Because bed and breakfasts are so much smaller than larger hotels, quality control is given much more attention, and each detail of comfort is taken into account. It’s a more pleasant experience to enjoy your vacation in a quiet neighborhood, away from the excitement and noise of large attractions you will likely visit throughout each day.

People enjoy the respite of coming away from their busy daily activities to a quiet sanctuary, where they can unwind. Also, many bed and breakfasts offer a more personal experience, because the owners are typically on hand. Many of these smaller accommodations offer perks that may not be available at larger chain hotels. For example, many bed and breakfasts are offering hot home-cooked breakfasts and even massages on premises, which are luxuries seldom found in giant hotels, and are expensive at resorts.

Take advantage of all the perks of staying at a smaller motel or bed and breakfast during your next vacation. You’ll enjoy all the comforts of an upscale hotel, without the hefty price tag, as well as a much more personal feel. You’ll remember how relaxing and pleasant your vacation was, and enjoy the memories you made.

Enjoying Your Bed and Breakfast Stay

Does it fancy you to stay over at a couple’s humble home overnight and then having breakfast with them the following day? If it does, then you’ll certainly want to stay at a bed and breakfast. Your hosts will be more than glad to let you have a room for yourself as well as let you have a great morning meal the next day.

The practice of hospitality is a time-honored tradition of sorts. This first of bed and breakfast lodges was established in Britain and this is also where the term got coined. Eventually, the whole world got to know about it and soon enough, many a similar lodging facility was made.

As time went on, the traditional inn evolved to something that didn’t just provide you with a bed to sleep in and a morning meal once the sun comes up since more people saw it as something else, particularly as a place where couples could spend their honeymoon.

When people are asked where honeymoons normally take place, a lot of them are going to answer that these happen on luxury cruise ships, five-star hotels, secluded resorts or island getaways. However, with the cost of living only going up, many a newlywed couple looks for more affordable ways to spend their holidays. This is where the bed and breakfast comes in. Besides, the place respects privacy most of all.

While you could just look for fast food joints in just about any place, numerous tourists like to have a sample of what the locals cook. A bed and breakfast provides home-cooked food done straight-up by the place’s chef. This is excellent news if you’ve been far away for quite some time that you’ve missed having those pancakes and/or waffles that mom used to make. So, if you enjoy a home-made breakfast, you’ll certainly enjoy the one that a lodge offers.

It’s not uncommon nowadays for such a lodge to provide Internet access, free parking and spa services, among others. The larger ones have even expanded to provide meeting spaces for any sort of get together.

Whatever the reason you have for making your stay at a bed and breakfast, you might just discover something magnificent and this is especially the case when you just want to get away from many of the hassles of living life each day. Besides, you are always going to be welcome in one.

4 Qualities That an Excellent Bed and Breakfast Should Have

Booking your stay at a bed and breakfast is not just about having a place to spend the night. There are various elements that make up for a worthwhile experience. Here are 4 qualities you ought to find in such a place:

1. Location of the Lodge

Location is extremely important. When deciding on a bed and breakfast, people need to see to it that it is close to the areas that they want to see. If you intend to have the ability to travel within budget, it would be best that the location of the inn is near traveler areas and prime locations. This would certainly not just save you from spending much on charge, it will also be a time saver.

2. Warm and friendly personnel.

No matter how wonderful an area is and how great looking every little thing is inside the inn, if the personnel is disrespectful and inexperienced, the whole experience can be spoiled. Travelers should check the evaluations of previous travelers when it comes to the lodge’s staff. Inspect if there are evaluations when it comes to their sincerity and the way they render service. Businesses that make the effort to assess what kind of individuals they employ are doing a whole lot to boost their label. Quality and efficient staff means a more pleasant and comfortable experience. Lots of tourists choose to go back to a particular place if they enjoyed their stay.

3. Food and Beverages

Vacationers have to check the menu of the lodge before even agreeing to book. There are some inns that do not give meals and guests need to recognize that they have to get their food themselves. If not, the dishes are not guaranteed to be delectable. In order for you to avoid this problem, you need to research all the details you can about the inn before booking. See to it that you leave a comment or pointer that will help the bed and breakfast improve.

4. Creativity.

A bed and breakfast is generally more costly compared to a trip hotel or a budget lodge but there’s a reason. People are willing to pay even more due to the fact that one manages to offer something one-of-a-kind, something that can’t be experienced with conventional lodging regardless of exactly how luxurious or classy it could be.

The lodge has to have its very own style. It has to consist of works that are made by local artists. It would certainly be much better to get in contact with local craftsmen and have them create the lodge. This way, the owners could assist the local neighborhood while at the same time ensuring that the inn is nice and distinctive.

The Advantages of Bed and Breakfast Accommodation Part 1

If you are a visitor to a new town and plan to stay overnight, then you will need to find clean, comfortable accommodation. If your trip is connected with a special event such as a football match, concert or a University graduation ceremony, or if you need easy access to an airport or seaport from your chosen destination, then it is important to book your accommodation early.

If you are intending to fly from East Midlands Airport, then you could book a room in a Derby, Nottingham or Leicester bed and breakfast, as all of these towns are within very close proximity of the airport. You could stay in a chain hotel, but many people prefer the personal homely touch that a Leicester bed and breakfast offers to the overnight visitor. With Leicester’s easy transport links, you can be at East Midlands Airport within thirty minutes.

Although you might think the opposite is the case, staying at a Leicester bed and breakfast rather than in a standard hotel actually offers you more amenities. In fact, hotel rooms tend to be basically the same as far as comfort and decor are concerned. A hotel might give you more living room, but bed and breakfast accommodation can provide a more intimate and homely atmosphere, as well as being very competitively priced. Freshly laundered sheets, comfortable beds and clean bathrooms are all provided at Leicester bed and breakfasts. However, the “breakfast” element is where a B&B really comes into its own.

The great advantage is that the truly personal service means that you can order a breakfast exactly to your liking. Do you like your eggs boiled for two minutes precisely? Do you like your bacon as crispy as possible? Do you have a gluten allergy and need to eat wheat-free bread and cereals? No problem! Just let the proprietor know in advance and he or she will be only too happy to cater for your individual needs. Service with a personal touch such as you might find in a Leicester bed and breakfast is impossible in a chain hotel, where the chef needs to cater for a great many people at any one time. Furthermore, with most guest houses being on the small side, you won’t have to compete with other busy guests for attention or for a good table. Many hotel chains have a self-service breakfast buffet and if your eggs or bacon isn’t cooked exactly as you like it, then tough luck! You get what you are given.

Flexibility wins every time hands down for B&Bs. Maid service at hotel chains is run on a strict schedule, but when you stay at a Leicester bed and breakfast, you have the freedom to arrange cleaning times with the proprietor, allowing you more time for your daily routine or exercise. The personal touch you get at B&Bs means that the proprietor will very likely know a lot about the surrounding area and will be able to recommend places of interest, beauty spots and good restaurants.

Understanding a Hotel’s Place in a Bed-And-Breakfast World

Unlicensed lodgings represent a growing change to the hospitality industry. Hotels must now face a new competitor in the form of any person with a spare room and access to websites such as AirBnB. However, consumers must also understand how the two services now differ as far as expectations, regulations and more.

For those who are unaware, new websites allow properties owners-or sometimes simply those with lax lease agreements-to list their spare rooms for lodging. There are certain expectations, but these are largely negotiated between the owner and occupant, with the websites acting simply as an intermediary for money exchange and advertisement.

At first, these upstarts represented less than a fraction of a fraction of the lodging industry revenues, warranting little more than an idle eye from the hotel industry. In the last year, however, these services have exploded-AirBnB, for example, has now coordinated over 10 million stays since its founding.

It’s important for savvy consumers and worried executives alike to understand the inherent differences between traditional lodging and these new services.

First, hotels are a regulated industry. In addition to star ratings, laws at the city, state and federal level define a minimum guidelines for cleanliness and safety. This provides travelers with a degree of certainty when booking lodging. BnB websites claim to mitigate these concerns through a review and returns process; however, such a process is reactive, leaving jilted travelers stranded in the event of a bad rental. The onus is on the consumer to vet any new or uncertain rentals.

Cities across the world are moving to address the regulatory issues of these under-the-radar rentals. Many cities already have requirements for buildings acting as BnB to be licensed, but many avoid this requirement. As a result, tax revenue is lost and minimum standards, such as handicap access, are avoided. The use of profiles, lauded as a way to connect the community, differs from the traditional lodging community, which is required to offer lodging based solely on the ability to pay. The process by which an AirBnB renter can choose who stays bases on photos and personal information opens the door to discrimination.

The interest in legitimizing these alternative services, however, lies in the consumer demand for an alternative way to stay while traveling. While hotels serve a fantastic function for business and short-term travelers, they can be ill-suited for theme and longer-term stays. Alternative lodgings often include apartment-like amenities geared towards longer stays and lower prices-services that few companies can afford to maintain in high volume. Online BnB rentals can often have fascinating themes. One example includes a jungle “tree house” on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica. Though many resorts can be “themed,” these themes are often limited to common areas and in-room d├ęcor.

As the two industries play to their strengths, it’s the consumer who will win. Hotels will likely save costs by no longer needing to pander to the demands of boutique and long-term rentals, while online rental services will slowly develop the legitimacy needed to guarantee a minimum level of service.

Bed & Breakfasts in St. Augustine – Cozy Accommodations For Romantic St. Augustine Vacations

Instead of your usual dinner and a movie this Valentine’s Day, why not go the extra mile and present a gift that any lover will enjoy – a weekend getaway to Florida’s gorgeous St. Augustine. While in St. Augustine, enjoy the fabled Fountain of Youth, marvel at historical monuments, and dine at some of the best seafood restaurants in Florida.

If you are looking for a nice quite bed and breakfast to take a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day, try a bed and breakfast in St. Augustine. As one of the oldest and most historic sites in Florida, St. Augustine offers a bevy of full service bed and breakfasts to make a romantic trip turn into a slice of heaven.

  • Casablanca Inn Bed and Breakfast – Situated on the pristine Matanzas Bay, this inn offers all the comforts of a modern bed and breakfast with many additional features. Each guest room features a private deck overlooking the water. Watch the water traffic at sunset and then head inside for live jazz in the evenings. Alexander
  • Homestead Bed & Breakfast – Originally a Victorian mansion built in 1888, it has since become a popular St. Augustine bed and breakfast. The inn contains five guest rooms with individual porches, and the concierge service includes coffee delivered each morning, fresh flowers on the mantle, and brandy for bed.
  • Centennial House Bed & Breakfast – One of the larger bed and breakfasts in St. Augustine, this eight room inn provides extra large bedrooms and luxurious private bathrooms. From the Tiffany glass in the dining room to the magnificent rotunda, this inn exudes turn of the century splendor.
  • Casa de Suenos Bed & Breakfast – This charming bed and breakfast in St. Augustine is a Mediterranean style inn built around 1904. Situated along the carriage route where horse drawn buggies pass each day, the inn is conveniently located minutes away from St. Augustine shopping, restaurants, and beaches.

Before booking your Valentine’s Day getaway to Florida, visit the St. Augustine Convention & Visitors Bureau at www.getaway4florida.com to get a free map and visitors guide, and let them help you plan the best trip to St. Augustine possible.

The Appeal of Bed and Breakfast Accommodation

A bed and breakfast is the perfect type of accommodation if you are taking a short holiday and do not want to have to cater for yourself. A good B&B will offer you a friendly service, nice guest rooms and home-made food. Also, much of the time, these establishments are in off-the-beaten-track areas. This appeals to holidaymakers who wish to escape the crowds.

Usually, each bed and breakfast you stay in will have a unique character, because most of them are privately owned. Often, you get a more personal service in these establishments, compared to a big hotel chain. Generally, this is because the owner will be more involved in the day-to-day running of the business, and will want to make sure that every guest is well looked after.

Normally, the good thing about staying in a B&B, if you want to reserve your accommodation by phone, is that you can speak to the owner directly. This is far better than contacting the reservations desk of a large hotel. Talking to the owner will give you a feel for the standard of service you can expect, before you make your booking. Also, you can find out more detailed information about the facilities of their establishment. This will enable you to make a more informed choice about where you want to stay.

Nonetheless, it is still always a good idea to look online for photos and reviews about the B&B you are considering. This way, you are less likely to have any unpleasant surprises on your holiday, if the accommodation is much different to what you anticipated.

Frequently, staying in a B&B allows you to see areas of a destination that tourists who stay in bigger hotels will miss. Make sure you find out what attractions and landmarks are near to your guest house. It is useful to know the pubs, restaurants and coffee shops, and the walking and cycling routes, that are close to your accommodation. This will enable you to plan your holiday better and include any relevant items in your luggage for these pursuits, if required.

Better still, the owner of the B&B will be very knowledgeable about the local area and able to recommend the best nearby sights. Naturally, the owner will want to do this so you enjoy your time there, and come back to them again in future.

A quaint bed and breakfast has a certain charm that bigger hotels simply can not compete with. For all their impressive facilities, large hotel chains can not offer the personal touches, or the distinctive atmosphere, that make staying in a good B&B such an unforgettable experience. If you really want to get to know a destination, then booking a room in a reputable B&B will expose you to the kind of local knowledge that will make your time on holiday much more authentic.