A bed and breakfast, often referred to as a B&B, is a lodging typically operated out of a large single family residence where guests can be accommodated at night in private bedrooms (which may or may not be equipped with private baths) and where breakfast, sometimes Continental and sometimes the full English variety, is served in the morning. In Ireland, most B&Bs serve a traditional Irish breakfast as a point of pride. The business may be operated either as a primary occupation or as a secondary source of income, and the staff often consists of the house's owner(s) and members of their family who live there.
It is possible for guests to stay more than one night, but in some cases they will be expected to be away from the house during the main part of the day. This arrangement however is generally found to be convenient, for many of the more popular B&Bs are located in beach and mountain areas, such as Hawaii and Colorado where daytime recreation and tourism activities are popular. One advantage of staying at a B&B is readier access to popular locations off the beaten path which may not be convenient to the city center.
Because most B&Bs are small, rarely with room for more than about 10-15 guests, it is advisable for anyone wanting to stay at a bed and breakfast to make reservations well in advance of their travel date. Consultation with a qualified travel agent knowledgeable in this type of accommodation is recommended; many B&Bs belong to associations, have a web presence, and are described in various books and travel guides. For example, the highly-regulated associated B&Bs of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Canada are often completely sold out during the height of the Shaw Festival theatre season.
The B&B arrangement is actually a very old one; before the 20th century, it was quite normal for country travelers to spend the night at a private house rather than an inn, and the custom persists in many parts of the world. However, this was strictly an informal arrangement constrained by acquaintance and social rank; a doctor might stay with a doctor or pharmacist, while a nobleman would only stay with the local gentry.
Modern B&Bs often consciously seek to recall earlier days; they are frequently established in attractive older houses that have been renovated and filled with antique furniture. In some cases an existing inn will relabel itself as a "B&B" to improve business. For exapmle:
In the heart of the historic village of Shelburne, Vermont is an elegant bed and breakfast inn. Built in 1886 by a prosperous merchant, Cyrus Van Vliet, this handsome Queen Anne Victorian has retained its prominence as one of the centerpieces of the Village, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Village Inn strives to provide exceptional lodging, delicious breakfasts, and tips and ideas for enjoying the finest Vermont has to offer. The Village Inn is a true destination - perfect for leisure and business travel, small conferences, retreats and events.
Rooms are elegantly decorated with a mix of period furnishings and armoires. Each room is equipped with a private bath, hair dryer, air conditioning, phone service, cable television, and a cozy reading chair. Uniquely furnished and designed each room is named after an important historic Shelburne figure.
Full hot breakfast each morning with a hot entre featuring Vermont products and fresh local ingredients are included with your stay. Afternoon tea and lemonade with an endless supply of fresh baked cookies are available in the Butler`s Pantry. The special soap and shampoo of the Village Inn are complimentary with each guest room and are also available to purchase in our new gift shop. The Village Inn is the best place for special events, small weddings, and celebrations.
The Ski Inn noted for good food and good conversation, is a great gathering place for interesting people. Guests enjoy themselves and each other, in the game room, and while tuning skis at the work bench.
A fieldstone fireplace warms the knotty pine living room, carpeted with Oriental rugs. Guests are invited to share in the warmth and conversation in front of the wood fire. Background music is classical.
Rates include full breakfast and dinner. Rooms are large and colorful each with both a double and single bed.