Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 26

Thread: B & B experiences?

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339

    B & B experiences?

    Hubby and I are headed to Maine *waves at LP* at the end of the month for a week's vacation. We're thinking of breaking up the drive with a stop in VT. There seem to be a number of nice B&Bs in the area where we are looking to stop. I've never stayed at a B&B because of cost & also because Hubby and I are pretty private people. The idea of having to be social with the innkeepers seems like work.

    Have you ever stayed at a B&B? How would you describe your experience?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    Metro Detroit
    Posts
    6,419
    Although I've done lots of looking at B&Bs for potential weekend get aways, my wife and I have never actually stayed at one. So, I too, am interested in what others have to say.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Upstate
    Posts
    4,830
    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    Hubby and I are headed to Maine *waves at LP* at the end of the month for a week's vacation. We're thinking of breaking up the drive with a stop in VT. There seem to be a number of nice B&Bs in the area where we are looking to stop. I've never stayed at a B&B because of cost & also because Hubby and I are pretty private people. The idea of having to be social with the innkeepers seems like work.

    Have you ever stayed at a B&B? How would you describe your experience?
    Yes, quite a few. And my aunt & uncle operated a B&B on the left coast for many years - I learned a lot from them.

    There is almost as much variety in B&Bs as there is in other types of lodging. Some of 'em are what my SO calls "foo-foo": full of antiques, high-end furnishings and fluffy bedcovers. Others are more laid back, or in between the two extremes. Some have private entrances, others don't. Breakfast can range from coffee and muffins to a full gourmet spread. You get the idea. And they are not always more expensive than a hotel or motel - again, there's a wide range of prices, depending on location, amenities, season, etc.

    With my introverted tendencies, I used to be uncomfortable with having to socialize with innkeepers, but the good ones are friendly without being overbearing. One of my favorite B&Bs is in LP's neck of the woods; we've stayed there several times. (Send me a PM if you want the name of it.)

    I know you're a fan of TripAdvisor. You'll find a lot of B&B recommendations on there... that should help you evaluate specific B&Bs along your route.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,185
    I stayed mostly in B & B's in Ireland several years back. They can range quite a bit in how they cost and what the guest can expect. Some for example have a poor breakfast but a private bath. Others may have shared baths but great breakfast. Its basically a crapshoot. If you like predicibility, stay at the Quality Inn or Holiday Inn.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  5. #5
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,552
    Blog entries
    3
    I've stayed at B&Bs when they've been real convenient, for instance, being located in the middle of a dense, walkable urban neighborhood while the chains are in a dead downtown and the 'burbs.

    My qualms, though:

    * Sometimes lacking basic amenities (telephone, television, clock radio, wireless internet, etc.)

    * Privacy: if I'm with a girlfriend and we're feeling ... uhh, romantic ... at a normal hotel, those in adjacent rooms might hear nothing or else quiet muffled noises. At a B&B, with thinner walls, and residential HVAC which often has registers or cold air returns that can connect two rooms, someone in the next room would hear everything.

    * It's hard to find a B&B where the rooms aren't all foo-fooed and frillied-up like a granny's house. One misplaced swipe of the arm, and a group of Hummels or whatever expensive heirloom knick-knacks will go crashing to the floor.

    * Quirks: antique door locks that you have to use just the right pressure to unlock, toilets that you might have to jiggle, and so on.

    * Shared or shower-only bathrooms.

    * Less freedom to come and go as you please; I feel like I'm inconveniencing someone if I'm coming back to the room at a late hour.

    * Obligation to socialize with the owner.

    * Cats. Every one. They. All. Have. Cats. I'm allergic, and although my reaction to felines isn't nearly as severe as it was in the past, I don't want to take any chances.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Dixie
    Posts
    5,846
    I've stayed in a couple, not completely by choice, and give them eh, ok. I'd rather stay in an extended stay hotel
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    3,119
    I've stayed in a few, and I liked the experience. I try to find a room with a private bath, but sharing hasn't been a problem because I get up early.

    I like to stay in a hotel or motel when I'm headed home, for the privacy. At the begininng of a trip, a B&B can be a good thing.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    In a 480 square foot ex baseball nacho stand
    Posts
    7,032
    I have not stayed in any in 'merica.
    Stayed in a few in England and always were a good option. You do have some differences - room size, amenities, en suite, breakfast type - which are typical of hotels (except for the en suite). There is quite a variety of levels.
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
    "Budweiser sells a product they reflectively insist on calling beer." John Oliver

  9. #9
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    at the neighboring pub
    Posts
    5,279
    I've stayed in a few, but have identified the same concerns Dan mentioned above. My preference is toward small, family-owned boutique hotels. You get more personal treatment like a B&B and they often have some of the same traits as far as breakfast options, etc., but without the negatives (foo-foo decor, privacy, etc.).

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  10. #10
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hang on Sloopy...land
    Posts
    9,739
    We have had good and bad experiences. The B&Bs that are run well, are amazing. Great food, great grounds, great bed. Some though are really pretty bad. We have had luck in more touristy areas of Colorado (the last one was near Durango and it was amazing).

    I would go to a couple search engines and look for reviews. We used bedandbreakfast.com mainly because it was the first thing that popped up when we searched for b&b's, but it worked out pretty well.

    Just hope you get a good cook

    Enjoy your trip!
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Plus Salmissra's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,075
    Hubby and I love staying at B&B's, and so far our worst experience was an "OK". No horrific stories to tell, all had good to great breakfasts, and so far no overbearing hosts. We stay at different B&B's every year when we travel. It's our first choice for lodging.
    Some places will just have better prices at hotels. In fact, we scored in Park City, UT and stayed at a resort, in a suite, for less than $125 a night. It's all about timing, seasonal availability, and options. But we do look at B&B's first.

    We've found all of ours on Tripadvisor. Here's our requirements:

    -private bathroom
    -close to main destination (ie near Glacier Nat'l Park, near downtown Fredericksburg, etc)
    -reasonable price
    -free parking
    -queen or larger bed

    Here's some of the perks we've had a different B&B's:

    -free glass of wine per per per day
    -free bottle of beer per person per day
    -hot breakfasts
    -free laundry (limits based on length of stay)
    -free loaner items (bear spray, umbrellas, etc)
    -separate cabin (versus a room in the house)
    -separate entrance to the house/room
    -noticably quieter than cheap motel

    So far no noisy neighbors, bright lights, overfilled crap in the rooms, nor outside noises. We have had one room with some doilies and floral wallpaper - very feminine - and then the last one we stayed at was all wood and rustic look.

    Take a look at what's available, and decide. As you can tell from the posts, not everyone likes B&B's and not everyone has had a good experience with them. But we love them!
    "We do not need any other Tutankhamun's tomb with all its treasures. We need context. We need understanding. We need knowledge of historical events to tie them together. We don't know much. Of course we know a lot, but it is context that's missing, not treasures." - Werner Herzog, in Archaeology, March/April 2011

  12. #12
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    17,815
    Being something of an introvert, I have to say that the handful of times we've stayed at B&B's were a little uncomfortable for me. No the hosts weren't overbearing but they were solicitous enough that I found myself wishing they'd go away on most occasions. The best B&B I stayed at was in Mendon, MI and is now closed, but they had rustic cabins with hot tubs that were pretty cool and completely private. The only trouble was you had to go to the main 'house' to get your breakfast and be briefly accosted by the gushing (how did you sleep? Isn't this lovely weather? how would you like your omelette?...) host and hostess.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Upstate
    Posts
    4,830
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    I've stayed at B&Bs when they've been real convenient, for instance, being located in the middle of a dense, walkable urban neighborhood while the chains are in a dead downtown and the 'burbs.

    My qualms, though:

    * Sometimes lacking basic amenities (telephone, television, clock radio, wireless internet, etc.)

    ...

    * It's hard to find a B&B where the rooms aren't all foo-fooed and frillied-up like a granny's house. One misplaced swipe of the arm, and a group of Hummels or whatever expensive heirloom knick-knacks will go crashing to the floor.
    Interesting. This doesn't match most of my B&B experiences. I wonder if it's because you've mostly stayed in urban B&Bs, which tend to be old buildings?

    Quote Originally posted by Salmissra View post
    Hubby and I love staying at B&B's, and so far our worst experience was an "OK". No horrific stories to tell, all had good to great breakfasts, and so far no overbearing hosts....
    I'm with you, Salmissra. My worst experience was at B&B where the hosts were rather aloof & unfriendly (unusual in this business) and plopped down our breakfast plates without even telling us what our meal options were. We never stayed there again... no big deal. OK, there was a B&B in Ireland that wasn't great, but we were only there for one night, and we were in Ireland!

  14. #14
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2004
    Location
    on my 15 minute break
    Posts
    17,815
    I wonder if there is a market niche for folks that want to stay at a B&B but want to avoid all the hoity toity associations? Maybe something like a NYC tenement theme where the host/owners could take full advantage of the acoustics and play recordings audible to rooms simulating the sounds one experiences where paper thin walls exist?....(next door: squeeking springs and woman shouting out 'yes...yes...yessss') (bathroom: man grunting/grumbling to self "Ungh....unnnngh! [sigh of relief] This is the last time I eat that much peanut butter and crackers....") (room below: a couple hurling profanities at eat other followed by objects being thrown and culminating with gunshots)
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    9,920
    Quote Originally posted by Suburb Repairman View post
    I've stayed in a few, but have identified the same concerns Dan mentioned above. My preference is toward small, family-owned boutique hotels. You get more personal treatment like a B&B and they often have some of the same traits as far as breakfast options, etc., but without the negatives (foo-foo decor, privacy, etc.).
    I have found a handful of places like you mention. Often they are historic downtown hotels that have been renovated, but may still have just 8-12 rooms. Other times they are in a rural/forest setting where there are 3-4 cabins. These are good places to stay. I agree that I don't want the hassle of being social. I get into the room and I want to do some work, or watch a little TV, or just get some rest.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  16. #16
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    5,598
    The only one I ever stayed at was in Portland, ME for a couple of nights about a decade ago and we liked it. We only stayed there because it was being paid for by the parents of the girl I was dating at the time since they were staying there too. I had the same concerns about privacy as it sounds like you do Dandy but it was pretty easy to not participate or socialize if you didn't want to. I would stay at one again.

    My wife and I were going to stay at a B&B when we went to Seattle last summer but found a good deal on a hotel at the last minute. It seemed like there were some pretty good options for smaller B&Bs in some of the nicer neighborhoods where hotels were generally twice the price.
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    2,245
    I've stayed at B&B's several times and always had a great experience. They do vary quite a bit. I have never stayed at one with cats (as Dan alluded to), nor have I ever felt pressured to socialize with the hosts. Some I've stayed in had private entrances and some not. All were in fantastic locations, close to amenities or in picturesque, quaint and historic areas. One I stayed at when visiting Toronto was literally 3 blocks from Yonge Street (main drag through downtown) but was completely tucked away so it felt like you weren't even in a big city. We met some cool couple also staying there and ended up going on a tour of the town with them. One other plus is the food is usually much better than what you'll get eating breakfast at some chain restaurant or some hotel buffet.
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 1999
    Location
    400 miles from Orlando
    Posts
    13,747
    RJ and I stayed 3 nights at a place in NOLA that was advertised as an "inn" although it seemed more like a B&B to me. Owner living on premises, maybe 7 rooms in one building. It was a bit "antiquey" in the public room downstairs but I wouldn't call it "foo-foo" at all. No cats, one dog, and a macaw next door that hung out right past the fence line. The owner was a bit aloof but had a day manager who was friendly and knowledgable but not at all intrusive. We were there in the off-season (dead of winter) so it was quiet, but with the old wooden floors and staircase, it would probably be too noisy for us when busy. But we had a good time in an area of the city we had not visited before. We decided to try it due to really great reviews on TripAdvisor.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Northwestern Ohio
    Posts
    9,327
    Never stayed at a B & B......obvious to see why.....they don't allow Bears.

    Never really had the desire to stay at a B & B. Either camping or hotels/motels for me. A few years ago my younger brother and his wife stayed at the B &B that is positioned inside a lighthouse, north of Marquette, MI. They are "lighthouse geeks" and assumed it would be cool. Final grade though was about a "C". Not sure if the building is still a B & B.

    Bear
    Occupy Cyburbia!

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
    Registered
    May 2004
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan (Detroit ex-pat since 2004)
    Posts
    4,763

    Leaving' the light on for ya

    This year I decided to experience B&Bs. This really stretches my usual extemporaneous style. I was expecting (not anticipating) foo-foo high tea, but it turns out that it's more like staying at my cousin's house.

    1 - Had a ticket for Garrison Keillor in Saginaw, and that was the evening after a big contra dance in Frankenmuth. Made a B&B reservation, and then cancelled due to excessive snow (it would have been difficult to make any of the dance). The innkeeper was very pleasant to speak with and understanding when I called to cancel (she appreciated that, as she still works F/T). I did make it to F'muth the day of the show, and checked out her place...looks nice.

    2 - For a family memorial service a couple years ago, my brother Pricelined a big hotel on the edge of the French Quarter; rooms were bad, service was terrible, add-on charges abounded. So I decided to avoid a hotel during Mardi Gras.

    Found a nice-looking B&B on-line with two nights available, perhaps the same one ZG references, and just a block off the big parade route. The room was simple, with a couple of interesting vintage pieces.

    They had Wi-fi, private bath, quiet. It was fun to hang out in the main room and visit with other guests, as well as the owner (who was very much focused on her one MG float ride). And her mother, an architect who was pleased to learn of my interest in home renovations; she offered a tour of the place, and drew floor plans to show how they'd added a bath to each room. (As a DIY-er, it troubled me that my room's new layout left an oddball unusable space near the built-in fireplace. I would have positioned the plumbing differently.)

    My only issue was that the curtains didn't close all the way (early morning sun) so I requested clothespins. (Now I bring my own.)

    3 - Left that B&B and went to one a couple blocks away, found via a search on "tourist rooms", for a three-night stay. This one was very different. Shabby and not in a chic way, but again very close to the parade route. (NOLA has many days worth of nightly parades, and they follow the same basic route. Walk over, collect a neck full of beads, go "home" to drop them off and pee, rinse and repeat.) It reminded me of an old-timey motor court.

    My travel bag now includes my own clip-on task light and an extension cord. In this guest house, I moved the floor lamp over to the desk for Wi-fi-ing, back to the bed for a night-cap of reading. And I brought a large dark blanket in from my car to hang over the curtain rod; the window overlooks a hallway with a wall light just outside the room I used.

    Since I was pedaling around NOLA (surprise!) I locked my bike and trailer to the column outdoors. No issues. My horn stayed on my bed, and the housekeeping gal asked me about it when we crossed paths in the public room. Which, again, was a fun place to spend time. Fellow guests from all over the world, and we compared notes on our findings. The innkeeper provided coffee, fruit, pastries, a microwave and a fridge, and King cake. Some of my dinner experiences seemed to be overpriced Zatarains, and it dawned on me that I could make my own meal using the provided appliances. There's also an outdoor pool with an extensive deck, shade, palm trees, and fun murals that look like they were painted by some of the Katrina helpers.

    Decor: nothing foo-foo. The breakfast room was a fun eclectic collection with chicken-motif wallpaper.

    The owner helped me with my tuba-hauling trailer set-up for the one parade. When I checked out, he gave me a hug.

    4 - Went looking for a B&B near my old hometown, as I had a dance calling gig and dear ol' dad's estate no longer included the family house. Tracked down a couple of places pretty far off the route I planned to take. In a phone call, one indicated that she's no longer B&B'ing (she had wildly mixed reviews on the listing sites). I ended up driving home.

    5 - Went to Midland, Mich for a bicycle training workshop, and stayed at a home-based B&B some distance outside of town. Very nice people and an interesting story: they raised four kids on their farm, then dissolved the AG use and refurbished into a B&B. They limit the rentals; several rooms share a bath, but they won't rent to unrelated guests. (If you're having a girls weekend or wedding, you can use the whole place.) They plan to fix up the barn when they figure out how to make it accessible.

    He's on the twp planning commission; guess what we talked about. That and bicycle safety, trails, federal funding, etc. Their married daughter runs another B&B that they own in Traverse City.

    Wi-fi, mid-century furnishings, Christianity was evident if you looked for it. (My mother was a patient in a hospital that was more overt.) He asked my permission to say grace, and I have to admit it was touching to have my name included as part of the gratitude. They brought out all kinds of good stuff for breakfast, using me as a guinea pig on several new items.

    Leaving to go to my workshop, both of the couple gave me a hug. They also stood on their porch waving as I drove out.

    I'd stay in any of these places again. Wrote reviews for the two in NOLA, up on Trip Advisor. I was honest but willing to accept idiosyncrasies; other reviewers of these spots seem to have a phobia of germs, or a reluctance to use products that "look different" from your typical brand-new made in China hotel decor or don't have the "sanitized for your protection" paper/plastic overwraps. B&B #2 cost less than we spent on the memorial service stay; we could have had an easier time with parking and walking and wandering around and not getting frustrated at the front desk.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339
    We've decided to stay at a working farm in the Green Mountain area. They have dogs, horses, chickens, and goats, and maybe some baby goats. There are only 3 bedrooms so I hope it isn't too intimate.

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Upstate
    Posts
    4,830
    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    We've decided to stay at a working farm in the Green Mountain area. They have dogs, horses, chickens, and goats, and maybe some baby goats. There are only 3 bedrooms so I hope it isn't too intimate.
    Agri-tourism! Do you get to milk the goats?

    Sounds lovely. Have fun.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    meh.
    Posts
    8,339
    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Agri-tourism! Do you get to milk the goats?

    Sounds lovely. Have fun.
    You can milk the goats. Although we aren't doing it this trip, the farm does offer a 2 day goat cheese making/overnight package. DH is super-excited about the possibility of trying some of their goat cheese.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,185
    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Agri-tourism! Do you get to milk the goats?

    Sounds lovely. Have fun.
    Milking goats is highly over-rated. My uncle bought a farm and had them. I kept feeling like I was one of Tom Sawyer's rubes.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  25. #25
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Lowering the PCI in the Hills
    Posts
    5,598
    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    We've decided to stay at a working farm in the Green Mountain area. They have dogs, horses, chickens, and goats, and maybe some baby goats. There are only 3 bedrooms so I hope it isn't too intimate.
    If you want to enjoy some agri-culture, I know of a nice B&B on a beet farm in Honesdale, PA: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...nsylvania.html
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. Bad restaurant experiences
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 31
    Last post: 19 Sep 2014, 1:38 PM
  2. Bad Restaurant Experiences
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 57
    Last post: 27 Feb 2006, 9:03 AM
  3. Near Death Experiences
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 13
    Last post: 06 Nov 2005, 8:48 AM
  4. Replies: 15
    Last post: 02 Feb 2005, 1:51 PM
  5. Jobs/experiences you never had.
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 32
    Last post: 06 Oct 2004, 5:29 PM