Inns and Bed and Breakfasts – Are They For Everybody?
Guesthouses are a delightful alternative to hotels and resorts. They can be just the ticket to your vacation if you know how they work and work.
Are they for everyone?
No, they are not. But here are the answers to some basic questions to help determine if the type of accommodation is right for you…
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN INNS AND BED AND BREAKFAST?
Let’s start by clearing up any confusion about the differences between posadas and pensions. And it is not so much the name, but how they are applied.
First, there is no difference in accommodation. The charm of bed and breakfast can be as good as the personality of an inn. The difference is in the meals that are prepared. Bed and breakfast are just that… expect bed and breakfast, but for dinner, you are alone. But in the inns, they are also enabled for dinner, although this is usually an option and is not included in the sale price. The list will be very clear when dinner is offered. But suppose it’s just bed and breakfast if nothing is mentioned.
In many parts of the world, inns and guest houses are also called pensions.
ARE YOU RIGHT FOR MY CHILDREN?
When an inn says children are welcome, you better believe they are referring to them. There is nothing wrong with that now (I have three), but don’t expect too much peace and solitude.
You will find several entries that impose an age limit on children. For example, they say something like 12 years or more or more than 6 years. You’re not bad. These particular places are also suitable for singles or couples looking for a way to relax and be free from noise and lots of activity. If you have action-packed kids, bed and breakfasts may not be ideal for your family.
WHAT SERVICE CAN I EXPECT?
Staying in posadas is very different from staying in a hotel. Don’t expect a country inn to be like a Sheraton, with lots of staff and soundproof walls. Even a party and loud music after 11 pm. M. Will does not give you chocolate points from your host or other guests.
Remember… The host is there to offer you and other guests a unique experience in a unique setting, but they need your understanding to do so.
WHAT IS THE USUAL REGISTRATION TIME?
Your host will be happy to welcome you when you register. Normally, when you make your reservation, you will be told what the normal check-in time is. But most can accommodate your arrivals outside of these hours.
But you have to let them know if you are late so they can take you home (yes, the doors are locked after a certain time) and to your room. It’s one thing to show up at your hotel at midnight – it’s manned 24/7 – it’s quite another to arrive at an inn after 11 p.m. and wait for your host to stand up, and I greeted him with a smile.
CAN YOU NEGOTIATE THE PRICE?
You can bet!
As in the hotels, the room price for the posadas is negotiable. The main difference is that, unlike in a hotel, the person on the other end of a phone is usually the owner of bed and breakfast and can make decisions on the spot. All you have to do is ask nicely.
Remember that the owner can only have a few rooms at the beginning anyway, and if he is haggling over the last room, don’t be offended if there is no discount. On the other hand, a room in a four-room inn without a paying guest reduces a host’s earnings by 25%. So it is always worth asking for a discount!
HOW MUCH CAN YOU SAVE?
Off-peak trips save you a package.
Most posadas can reserve their weekends months in advance. But during the week, especially out of season, it is much more difficult to fill the rooms. Get the best bed and breakfast deals on weekdays and off-season. Now compare this to hotels that have the opposite problem, as they cater to business travellers during the week, but cannot bring people to rooms on the weekend.
I love staying in inns. You have big plans. Guesthouses are usually very affordable, offer much more variety than a boring hotel room, and are a great way to meet other travellers or vacationers. You will now find websites dedicated to lists of inns and bed and breakfasts. So launch Yahoo or Google and start searching… and save!