When planning to stay in a Bed and Breakfast it is almost essential to make reservations ahead. This is especially important on weekends and holidays. Many hosts have just one to three rooms while others accept only advance reservations so they can plan around other family and social events. Deposits too are often required; and cancellation policies vary, ask when you call.
In addition, advise your innkeeper if children or young adults will be accompanying you. Special arrangements may be necessary.
If you are calling a host, rather than a reservation service, avoid calling before 10 a.m. as breakfast is usually in progress.
The time you call for the reservation is the best time to make your travel needs, accommodation interests and breakfast desires clear. Allergies to down pillows, a need for extra blankets or beds for very tall people should be discussed at that time. Inform your host or reservation service of specific health problems, concerns about stairs or special dietary needs.
Check-in time is usually between 5 and 7 p.m. If you need to make different arrangements, make sure you ask ahead—the host may be asleep or not even be home when you arrive! Hosts enjoy personally greeting their guests and make a point of being there as they enter the premises. Checkout time is usually by 11 a.m. although it may be earlier on weekdays if the host has another job. It’s important to inquire about check-in and checkout times when you make your reservation.
The time between your departure and the arrival of the next evenings’ guests is required to clean the home well—much like you do when you are expecting new guests at your home. Hosts must also do their next day’s grocery shopping, bookkeeping, sewing, minor repairs, etc. during this time. They don’t usually have employees to attend to these necessities.
It’s a good idea to ask your hosts in advance for sightseeing ideas, restaurants and activities available in the area. They are usually aware of the best around! Let them know the types of hobbies, sports or food you enjoy, and you’ll be surprised how helpful a host can be!
Most B&B hosts thrive on providing special touches. Flowers, wine or gifts can be arranged to be in the room when you arrive for special occasions. Dinner, limousine or rental car arrangements may be made for you in advance; newspaper articles and brochures on things you are planning to do can be saved and placed in you room, etc. Don’t be shy when you book, you’ll enjoy getting to know your host and it will help you enjoy your stay too!