What to Look For When Researching Bed and Breakfasts

Let me start by saying that I design websites for bed and breakfast providers. I have been inside many establishments, photographed them from all angles, sampled the food, experienced the difficulty of finding them if they are off the beaten track and spent time with their owners.

Sometimes I’ve felt like The Hotel Inspector. Sometimes I’ve buttoned my lip and said nothing, sometimes I’ve politely voiced my concerns. If I’ve spotted something amiss it’s a pretty certain bet that guests will too and will be only too keen to say so on Trip Advisor or social media.

There’s a clue in that last sentence if you are researching Bed and Breakfast providers. Look them up on Trip Advisor. What experiences have previous guests had?

Were the owners friendly and helpful, or did they act like they didn’t want guests in their house?

Were the rooms and facilities clean and tidy? Was the location peaceful or were you looking onto a main road and a building site? Was the breakfast freshly cooked and generous?

Trip Advisor will tell you all this and more.

Take a look at how owners respond to negative comments. Remember, disgruntled guests and those who have to complain about the smallest thing are the ones most likely to post. Did their complaints seem valid and how did the owner respond?

I always tell my website clients that bed and breakfast customers shop with their eyes. Photos, photos, photos. Guests want to see what the place they are coming to looks like. What the rooms look like, what the shower rooms look like, what the view from their window will be, what the food looks like.

If those photos aren’t on a provider’s website, or they are grainy and out of focus, ask yourself why that might be? If the website hasn’t been updated in years, might that tell you something.

In general, you get what you pay for. A B&B that costs £45 a night for 2 people probably won’t be as smart or as spacious as one that charges £145 a night. Lower pricing doesn’t have to mean that rooms are dirty and facilities don’t work.

Look to see if the room(s) you are booking have their own en-suite facilities or have shared facilities. There seems to be an increasing trend in the UK for a roll top bath to be placed in the bedroom. If you are young and in love, you may be very happy to bathe together or to have your partner watching. But would you be so keen if you are two friends using the room as a twin room? Or parent and child sharing a room?

If you have pets – check that dogs are welcome. If in doubt, phone the owners and ask.

If you have young children, check that the B&B is child friendly. You don’t want to find that the establishment doesn’t accept children and have your holiday ruined. Respect those that don’t accept children – they may have had a bad experience, they may have elderly owners, they may specifically run a child free establishment.

Look to see if breakfast is included in the price. Some establishments will offer a “room only” rate. This may be what you want if you are staying just one night and have an early start. Or maybe you are one of those people that simply doesn’t eat breakfast.

Make sure you know what size the bed is. For some couples this isn’t an issue, but if one or both of you is tall, or a little on the wide side, you may prefer a larger size double bed – king or super king size.

Check what facilities are offered in the bathroom. Some will have a bath with over bath shower. If you have mobility issues you may prefer a separate, walk-in shower. Make sure you read the owner’s description and if in doubt, phone or email to check.

If you are a wheelchair user, or have another disability, again read the description carefully and if in doubt, contact the owner to ensure the establishment meets your needs.

Most B&Bs are happy to cater to special dietary requirements. Not telling the owner your special requirements until you sit down to breakfast leads to embarrassment. Most owners will want to meet your needs and will feel upset and embarrassed if they can’t – advance notice ensures that the food your require will be available when you want it.

Check the location of the B&B. You may want peace and quiet in an isolated, rural location. Or you may want to stay somewhere that is more easily accessible to the local sights and doesn’t involve a 10 mile drive up and down the valley to reach it each day. An online mapping service will usually give you a pretty accurate location and there may even be Street View so you can see the place where you are planning to stay.

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.