Someone needs to explain what’s so great about “bed and breakfasts” to me.
I listen to so many people go on and on breathlessly about some quaint little bed & breakfast inn they found in their travels. Their descriptions invariably involve the word “cute.”
I don’t much cotton to cute.
And I’ll tell ya what – I’m not much for enforced intimacy with other people, whether they be travelers or innkeepers. Given the choice, I will always take a hotel over a B & B. Hell, I’ll take a backpacker’s hostel over a B & B.
See, I prefer anonymity. I’ve only been in one B & B ever that was as laid back as a hotel. Every other one I’ve experienced has felt way too much like I was visiting an aunt’s house – and she definitely wants me to skip finding the local microbrewery and play Scrabble with her and her 13 cats.
I once stayed in a B & B where my wife and I were the only guests. It felt more than a touch awkward, despite being one of the coolest houses I’ve ever seen. Had it been full of guests, I might have felt a little less nerped out about the whole thing.
If you’re super-gregarious and don’t mind the fishbowl feel of a B & B, that’s up to you. Me? I’ll be at a place where I check in, and they forget about me unless I drop down to the front desk. I like service that’s there for me, but in an unobtrusive way. That’s a happy medium that very few B & Bs really have.
If I had to give you some perfect examples of that happy medium, I’d say Ann’s Volcanic Rotorua Motel (Rotorua, NZ) and the Red Agave Resort (Sedona, Ariz., USA). Ann’s was terrific; I haven’t got to stay at the Red Agave yet, but I took a tour and loved the place. Most of the cottages are separate, but there’s a communal gathering space for hanging out under the stars. Nice!
By and large, I’ve also found B & Bs to hit the wallet harder.
I’m not completely against the B & B, but they start the game with strikes against them.