Today the savvy traveller has many options to choose from. Gone are the days of having to choose between a motel and a countryside bed and breakfast. With more options than ever, like boutique style guesthouses in the eco-reserve, ocean-side cabins overlooking humpback whale feeding grounds, well-reviewed online vacation rentals you can’t help but fall in love with, fully catered camping experiences that make camping a five-star luxury experience, boathouse rentals that let you wake up in a different spot each morning, and loads more.
When we’re on vacation we like to do our own thing. We like to come and go as we please, sleep in all day if we feel the desire, and enjoy a private oceanside balcony whenever we see fit.
For these reasons, we almost always choose a guesthouse or private entrance ocean suite instead of a bed and breakfast since we want minimal restrictions and maximum freedom.
When we’re travelling for business and have more of a set schedule, we’ve found bed and breakfasts to be an economical and convenient option but, as far as vacation travel goes, the bed and breakfast routine doesn’t fit our vacation and travel lifestyle. Travel preferences vary. Your style may be particularly suited towards bed and breakfasts or chain hotels while another traveller may gravitate more towards owner direct vacation rentals through an online company like AirBNB and VRBO over the traditional bed and breakfast accommodation.
People that have never stayed in a bed and breakfast often wonder what it’s like.
- Are there shared bathrooms?
- Is it like staying at a relatives house?
- Do I have to follow a set schedule?
- Is the door to the bed and breakfast locked at a certain hour?
While each bed and breakfast is different, you can generally expect more restrictions and less privacy at a bed and breakfast when compared with a private entrance guesthouse suite or an independent vacation rental like an oceanside chalet.
Some people love the idea of meeting owners of a bed and breakfast. It’s a great way to connect with locals and bed and breakfast entrepreneurs. We’re all about experiencing local food and culture, but for us, we prefer to do our socializing out and about in the community. The idea of a homestay with a local family appeals to us in certain situations, but for the most part, we enjoy being able to escape and relax at an accommodation that suits our lifestyle and travel adventure.
Being able to retreat to a private space where we can make a meal, watch a movie, enjoy an outdoor balcony, and maybe even soak in a hot tub is important to us, and something we want to enjoy at our own pace and schedule, without having to think about schedules and timelines. If we end up meeting owners and making friends that’s even better, but we don’t want to feel obligated to, and sometimes when staying at a bed and breakfast, we feel just this.
There are lot’s of articles out there talking about the benefits of staying in a bed and breakfast but equally, there are many reasons why you might want to try something different than a traditional Newfoundland bed and breakfast, especially if staying at a bed and breakfast is something you usually do when you go on vacation. There are some world-class bed and breakfasts out there, and we don’t want to discourage you from visiting them one bit. Here are seven reasons why you might not want to stay in a bed and breakfast.
1: THE EARLY BIRD GETS THE BACON
Breakfast is included when you stay at a bed and breakfast, but it’s not the type of all-day breakfast you’ve grown to expect at Denny’s. The food at bed and breakfasts is usually good, but if you want to enjoy it you’ll often have to work around their schedule. If breakfast is from 08:30 – 09:30 and you just woke up at 10 am, you might be doing the drive to the 24-hour breakfast joint anyways. If you like to follow your internal clock while on vacation instead of setting the alarm on your phone, you may find yourself missing out on one of the best parts bed and breakfasts have to offer.
2: THE WALLS CAN BE PAPER THIN
Because bed and breakfasts offer rooms for rent in another individual’s home, many have building designs that were grandfathered in but otherwise would not pass new building guidelines. Oftentimes walls between rooms are not soundproofed and plaster may not be as thick as in a hotel or guesthouse. This often means you can hear your neighbour, and even worse, your neighbour can hear you.
3: WEIRD AND AWKWARD CONVERSATIONS OVER BREAKFAST
We love talking to strangers, and some of our best friendships have started over a casual meal, but sometimes, early in the morning on vacation, having that morning cup of joe in peace and solitude means a lot. Sometimes not having to answer questions like “So, what are you folks doing today?” means more than the nice intention of the person asking.
4: COFFEE AND COMFORTS
While bed and breakfasts often have free food and coffee for you to enjoy, it’s usually in the common areas and hiding away in your room with endless coffee isn’t an option. If you just want to drink coffee all day in a robe while eating nachos you just cooked in the convection oven, if you’re doing this in your private entrance self-contained suite it’s easy, but it gets awkward at a bed and breakfast (especially if you cook nachos and then go hide in your room with just you, the nachos, and your favourite book).
5: ROOMS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU’RE IN A TIME MACHINE
If you’re looking for boutique-style modern accommodations with open architecture and design, you most likely won’t find it in a bed and breakfast. Most bed and breakfast operations have been around for decades, and some of their decors may seem to be frozen in time. Old fashioned decor is part of the bed and breakfast draw, and some bed and breakfasts do this tastefully, like on PEI where you can stay at green gables bed and breakfast and feel like you’re in a chapter of Ann of Green Gables or some of the Salt Box homes on Fogo Island that let you experience what life would have been like pre-confederation Newfoundland.
6: BED AND BREAKFASTS OFTEN LACK MODERN AMENITIES
Again, it’s tough to generalize, and if all you’re after is wireless internet, that may not be a tall order. If modern amenities are your thing, however, you may have more luck finding them at a five-star guesthouse or hotel. High-end guesthouses often offer in-suite spa services, massage, shuttle bus transfers, day-trip bookings, complimentary use of kayaks and paddleboards, organic gardens, BBQs, in-suite smart home assistants, and more.
You may have to make your own breakfast, but you can do it whenever you want, order delivery, or choose to go out for breakfast at the restaurant down the lane.
7: BED AND BREAKFASTS OFFER LESS VALUE FOR MONEY
When you compare value for money, for the price of a room in a bed and breakfast, you can get an entire oceanside suite at a guesthouse, complete with kitchen, living room, deck, and outdoor hot tub. Because bed and breakfasts include breakfast as part of your nightly rate, you don’t have to worry about costs associated with breakfast, but even when you account for this, you’re still coming out on top of choosing a private suite at a guesthouse or a vacation rental by the owner through one of the resellers like Expedia, Booking.com, AirBNB, VRBO, and Agoda.
Sometimes bed and breakfasts offer the best deal in town, or the only room available, and if you’ve never tried staying in a bed and breakfast but always wanted to, we encourage you to look around and book into a bed and breakfast and give yourself the experience.
By the same token, we want you to know, when it comes to selecting a short-term vacation rental that best aligns with your interests and needs, there’s a lot out there to choose from and choosing a bed and breakfast may not always be the best choice.
Look around, be savvy, and choose a vacation rental that aligns with your needs while offering you value for money.
Have you stayed at a local bed and breakfast? What was your experience like? What do you like the least and love the most? Post in the comments below and share your experience with our readers.