Modern bed and breakfast (B&B) and Inns are fast becoming the lodging of choice for many travelers, myself included. I hadn't considered staying at a B&B when I first started traveling because there were so many lodging options. Travelers today have too many options to pick from with all the value hotels and loyalty clubs to choose. It becomes hard to separate out quality versus price, and there is a huge difference between the cost of different types of lodging.
I finally had the opportunity to stay at a B&B and found I was unequivocally hooked on the experience. I loved the intimate atmosphere, the personalized service, the peaceful, quiet surroundings and of course the “5-star” breakfast. I decided hotels are a thing of the past. With more Inns taking to the internet I could look up every detail about the Inn online and decide for myself what amenities I needed. I was also able to book every aspect of the visit online. I decided I wanted to share what I have learned about the value of staying at these beautiful places with the traveling public. My goal was to build a resource full of information on B&B and Inns and traveling so that others could learn about and enjoy them as much as I have.
Know the Different Types of Lodging
To help you through the website, here are few definitions!
Bed and Breakfast
Bed and Breakfast (B&B) is what we think of when we think of the smaller Victorian homes. They are typically someone’s residence, up to 5 bedrooms. Usually, they just serve breakfast, and decor consists of antiques and interesting turn of the century architecture.
Based on categories from the Select Registry website, Bed and Breakfasts on their registry are smaller and more intimate groups of lodging. Their B&Bs typically range in size from 3 to 15 rooms. A full course breakfast is what guest can expect each morning. Generally in a central family style seating area. B&Bs under collections at selectregistry.com contain features in common with one another.
Typically an Inn is a larger establishment, eight rooms or more; they may serve both breakfast and dinner. Some Inns may have an attached Event service.
Based on categories from the Select Registry website, Inns in their registry may have 10 to 40 guestrooms. Their Inns are usually found to offer a daily breakfast and full dinner to guests and public. The Inn staff can vary by location and volume of business. These individuals who staff may include the owner or Inn manager and some may also employ other professional staff. You can find Inn collections at selectregistry.com
Boutique Hotels are small hotels with 10-100 themed rooms typically found in urban areas like New York City and Los Angeles. They are considered an upscale service. However, some “no-frill” affordable boutiques have started to catch on.
Based on categories from the Select Registry website, boutique hotels, are independent and experienced in hospitality with approximately 20 to 100 guest rooms. Depending on the hotel, they will offer breakfast and other meals depending on the property. These hotels are typically staffed by the manager and other professional staff as required. This collection of hotels can be found at selectregistry.com
History of the Victorian
Modern Bed & Breakfast (B&B) has an interesting history. After World War II, in the United States, there was a growth of new B&Bs. This growth continued through the 1990s. We typically think of a historic building, or a beautiful Victorian house when a Bed & Breakfast comes to mind. Expensive antiques and decor that fit the period were the sign of the era for a traditional B&B.
Typical service in a B&B was simple, usually providing a bed, shared bath, and a warm breakfast. Today the modern B&B has evolved to provide to provide sophisticated amenities such as; the internet, cable TV, and online reservations. However, the one undeniable fact is the architecture of many of these fabulous homes is anything but simple or understated.
The Victorian House style period is defined from 1840 to 1900. The architects and builders during the Victorian era were enjoying new building materials and access to those materials through better transportation. As a result, we started to see liberal decorations applied to homes. Architectural imagination flourished.
The Queen Anne Style
The Queen Anne house style was by far the most elaborate and romantic Victorian style during the industrial revolution, which stood out during an era that was marked by manufacturing.
The United States caught on to new technologies brought on by the industrial revolution with great excitement, and so did the Queen Anne home was seen as very fashionable. A new trend with all the technology in the rapid growth of the railroad system was to create a pre-manufactured architecture for these homes and move them by railway across the country. One such home was the Barber Kit Home.
Intricate home design and extravagant structures, inside and out are the defining feature of a Queen Anne home. One can assign several sub categories of Queen Anne home architecture to help us further understand how these homes for designed. Many will have some degree of exterior brick or stone. Queen Anne homes are known for their defining turrets or towers, but some do not have this tower feature at all.
Virginia and Lee McAlester, authors of “A Field Guide to American Houses,” identify four types of detailing found on Queen Anne homes. Refer to the website from About Home for additional information.
Four Styles of Queen Anne Homes
Spindled – The typical Queen Anne style house. Typically Spindle homes are categorized as American Queen Anne.
Free Classic – A lot of brickwork, seen in both the American and British Queen Anne homes.
Half-Timbered – This house is a Tudor style. Tudor style was popular in the Australian style Queen Anne home.
Patterned Masonry – Brickwork and masonry containing patterns. These are typical urban setting homes and was particularly notable in the 19th century British Queen Anne homes.
Evolution of an Industry
B&B Industry Evolved in Modern Flare, Sophistication, and Technology
The fascinating history of the B&B hospitality industry shows us that we are not willing to let these beautiful buildings fall into ruins. Why do we care about this information, and why is it important to understand how the industry has evolved?
Preserving Bed and Breakfasts and Inns are a means of preserving an important part of our history.
The National Register of Historic Places
This is an official listing of national resources including these historic home that is worth preserving. Cultural Resources are considered important and included if they meet the following: (refer to the website for information)
A) affiliated with an event important in history
B) are affiliated with the lives of important people
C) important characteristics of a certain type, mastery or period of construction
D) provides a lot (quantitation or qualitative) information about history
New construction Inns and refurbished B&Bs have sprung up in increasing number. The following are a few of the trending changes that are popping up to appeal to the sophisticated modern taste of today’s travelers:
- Light brighter windows and curtains replace the heavy window treatments.
- Open multi-functional common areas are created to bring people together.
- Bedspreads and throw pillows are replaced with clean, crisp sheets and duvets to assure that the guest always has a clean bed top to bottom.
- Antiques and clutter are being replaced with just a few well-placed modern decor pieces.
- Outlets, free WiFi, high-speed internet, cell phone recharging stations are added to provide a high level of connectivity for the guest.
- Bathroom ensuites in place of shared bathrooms have become the standard.
Modern Bed and Breakfast and Inns by Location
Guests are often interested in traveling to a geographical area or feature. The Bed and Breakfast industry and travel sites can accommodate this travel demand. There was a time when family trips amounted to driving to a nearby lake, perhaps a national park, setting up a campsite and accommodations were very simple. Today travelers can pull up a search on the internet, enter the destination of their dreams, book vacation lodging anywhere in the country, book transportation, and away they go.
The ability to instantly access thousand of locations from multiple travel sites from home on any device is revolutionizing how travelers and Innkeepers connect.
Build Your Vacation
Today it is possible to design a vacation using the Internet, and quality and comfort do not need to be sacrificed to get the desired location. In the B&B industry, a guest has several travel sites at their disposal that will take them to the B&B or Inn of their choice. Travelers searching for lodging in a particular geographic area, such as the mountains or water-front, need only enter the information into the travel site and search by city and state. The travel site will produce a list of lodging options in real time. Accommodations can be booked directly from the travel site or opt to search the site for more details and special add-on packages.