"Actually it's an inn," we reply.
"What's the difference?" they ask.
As it turns out, there is a difference or two. Let's see if we can clear this up for everyone.
The idea of weary travelers finding lodging with strangers in their homes is hardly a new idea. Even in the Bible it tells the story of one particular night when there was "no room at the inn". Historically taverns, inns, guesthouses and then Bed and Breakfasts were places that provided shelter and a meal. Come morning light, travelers were again on their way.
The term Bed and Breakfast was coined in Europe. Although there is no hard and fast regulations about what is provided, a B&B is usually a residence that offers lodging and breakfast. Generally, there are between 1-4 rooms with a shared bathroom for guests. Each B&B has it's own personality, and you can expect the proprietor to be friendly and knowledgeable about the area. Many B&Bs feature homes with historical value that have been restored to showcase the home in it's heyday. Antique lovers are often drawn to B&Bs for that very reason. Check in/out times are flexible, but remember if you arrive late, your host will be getting out of bed to let you in.
Inns are in between B&Bs and motels/hotels. Inns tend to be larger than B&B's and breakfast is not inclusive. Often inns will have dining rooms to offer as an option, but it is not included in the room rate. Inns tend to offer more services than B&Bs such as event planning, local tours, and more hotel like amenities. However, don't expect bell boys and turn down service at every inn. Just like B&Bs, they have their own personality and variety of staff. Generally speaking, the staff will be available during the day and early evening, but don't expect a full staff to be available 24 hours a day, as you find in most motel/hotel chains.
I found this article to be particularly helpful in explaining some of the differences. I also liked how it addressed the issue of bringing your children to inns or B&Bs. Here at Snapdragon Inn, we love kids (there are 11 little Snappers between the 5 of us). However, we recognize that if you are choosing to have a luxury inn experience, you are also probably looking for a little time away from your beloved little ones. I agreed with the point the article made that most inns and B&Bs are renovated homes, which means they aren't constructed to buffer all noise. Guests at inns and B&Bs should be thoughtful of their neighbors and focus on relaxing and unwinding. There are inns designed for families and that information should be very clearly stated on their marketing material or website.
There you have it. We look forward to seeing you soon at the INN. Give inns and B&Bs a try sometime and tell us what you find that you love/don't love.