B&B’s – Are they right for you?

B&B’s are a special part of travel to Ireland and the UK and are included in quite a few of the packages that we sell here at Tenon Tours. But are they correct accommodation style for you as a traveler? We have compiled some information for you to read to help determine if a B&B stay is right for you, so you can have the best vacation possible, as that is what is most important to us!

Variations in Properties:

Every single B&B is different. A Bed and Breakfast property is someone’s home and everyone’s home is different. Some B&B’s are going to be quaint and quirky with knick knacks and creaky stairs. Some B&B’s are going to have a boutique feel to them with abstract art on the walls. Other B&B’s are going to feel like a business, as it is in fact a business for the owners. Some B&Bs are working farms with animals and a lot of land, while other B&B’s are townhouses, close to town and other properties, with no land at all. The decor of the B&B that you are staying in may not be how you would decorate your own home. Sometimes the owners decorated when they first started the B&B and have not changed their style since they first moved in! These are things that you have to be open to and ready for if you choose to stay in a B&B.

Check in/Check out:

Checking into a B&B, especially if it is your first time, can be a bit awkward. You may be prompted with a note on the front door to come in and settle into your room and find a key on your bed, or the host may greet with you smiles, conversation and tea. While many hosts want to get to know their guests, not every host will be accommodating and available. Again, it all depends on the property. There will not be a concierge desk where you can physically check in or check out.

Breakfast:

Breakfast will vary from property property. The host might ask you the night before what you would like to have and ask for any dietary restrictions. Other times there may only be a continental breakfast available. Breakfast times will also vary. Some places will accommodate breakfast 8am-9am and others may extend breakfast hours from 7am to 10am. Please check with your host when you arrive or read the material left in your room or a common space.

Bedding:

Tenon Tours has developed partnerships over the years with great B&B’s that will always be clean, but that does not mean a large room with 600 thread count sheets on your king size bed. Most B&B’s will have twin and full size beds (double), rarely a queen or king sized bed. Extra pillows and a top sheet are not common. Some B&Bs have upgrades available to nicer rooms with larger beds that they might offer if available when you check-in, but most do not. Bedding can also vary from a platform bed to a 4-poster bed, depending on how the owner has chosen to decorate.

B&B Size:

The B&B’s that we work with vary in size. Some of the properties have only 2 rooms and others have up to 10 rooms as they are purpose built. If you are staying at a B&B with only 2 rooms, it’s a more intimate experience, like you are in someone’s home. Please let your Personal Travel Specialist know if you have a preference and we will try our best to accommodate depending on location and availability.

Room Size:

All accommodations in Europe tend to be smaller in general than what you will find in the US in terms of square feet, especially B&B’s. Your room may be just big enough for the beds, you and your luggage, but that is about it! If you need a lot of space, a hotel may be a better option for you.

Shower Size & Water Pressure:

If you’ve ever been on a cruise ship, then you understand small showers. In a lot of B&B’s in Ireland and the UK you will find a similar situation. Along with smaller showers you will find lower water pressure which may mean that you have to stay in the shower a little bit longer.

Handicap Accessible:

If you have trouble with stairs or smaller spaces, or need a wheelchair/walker/scooter etc., B&B’s are not the best option for you. Very few B&B’s are handicap accessible, as many of them have rooms on the second floor of the house with no elevator, meaning you will need to be able to walk up one or more flights of stairs. If you use a wheelchair, there may be issues with getting into the home and maneuvering throughout the house as well. Please let your personal sales representative know ahead of time so that we can best accommodate for you.

Electrical Outlets:

All B&B’s are not purpose built, and many are someone’s home from before they were ever a business as a B&B. This means that you may not see convenient things such as electrical outlets strategically placed throughout the room. If you have a lot of electronics, you may need to charge them at different times, as the plugs in the room may be sparse. Additionally, they may not be placed directly next to the bed as most of us hope. You may need to get out of bed and walk across the room to turn off your iPhone alarm.

Washcloths:

As funny as this sounds, most places in Europe (this includes hotels) don’t provide washcloths. I suggest packing your own or bringing a loofa so that you are prepared if this is something you are used to having.