A recent article
published by About.com noted: "Checking out of some hotel rooms
can give you a serious case of sticker shock. With taxes, room
service, phone charges and other "hidden" fees, that $199 deal
you booked online can turn into a $379 bill, literally
It's worth comparing the difference between hotels and B&Bs in
what's typically included in the cost of an overnight stay.
Although every B&B is different, most of the extra charges you'd
encounter at a hotel are free at a bed and breakfast inn.
Hotel: Many hotels charge 50 or 75 cents for a local or
toll-free call; long-distance rates are astronomical.
B&B: Local and toll-free calls are free at almost every
B&B; guests are usually asked to use a calling card for
long-distance calls. Some B&Bs have telephones with data ports
in every guest room; be sure to check with the innkeeper if an
in-room phone is essential to you.
Hotel: At a luxury hotel, breakfast costs $7-30 dollars
per person; moderately priced motels often offer a free
self-serve breakfast with disposable plates & cutlery
B&B: Most B&Bs provide a free full breakfast, usually
including fresh fruit and juice, main dish with breakfast meats,
plus home-baked muffins, often served on elegant china and
Hotel: Room service meals (with added service & delivery
charges) are usually double or triple the cost of eating in a
local coffee shop or restaurant.
B&B:: Although B&Bs don't offer room service, some will
serve breakfast in your room, usually included in the room rate,
or for a small extra charge. A few will serve a special-occasion
dinner in your suite. Some will allow you (upon request) to have
a meal delivered, to be enjoyed in the inn's common area, or in
your room, if an appropriate dining area is available.
Hotel: Mini-bars are stocked with tempting treats, from
candies to potato chips to soda to little packets of aspirin.
While convenient, prices are usually double or triple their
costs in a nearby convenience store.
B&B: Many B&Bs stock soft drinks, coffee and tea makings,
snacks, fresh fruit, cookies, candies, and evening desserts in a
guest pantry, dining room, and occasionally right in guest
suites. These treats are usually free, but occasionally guests
are asked (on the honor system) to contribute a small amount
($.50-$1) per item to cover costs.
Hotel: Concierge services are usually available only at
luxury hotels; tips are appropriate and encouraged.
B&B: Innkeepers are generally willing and able to provide
concierge services, i.e. restaurant & theater reservations,
advice on the best locations for shopping, antiquing, hiking,
and so on, plus assistance in renting bicycles, canoes, kayaks,
etc. Tips are unnecessary and would not usually be accepted.
Hotel: Extras like movies and faxes can quickly add
$10-20 to your bill.
B&B: Many B&Bs have a video library that you are welcome
to use for free. Innkeepers will typically send or receive a 2-3
page fax for you for free, or at a modest cost.
Hotel: Although travelers are often forced to lug
their luggage from bus to airport to bus to car unassisted,
hotel bellmen are apparently instructed to assume that travelers
are incapable of carrying their bags a short distance from the
curb to the reception desk to their room. While the assistance
may be welcome, the constant tipping can be onerous.
B&B:: The "bellman" at most B&Bs is likely to be the
innkeeper, so no tipping is required. Most innkeepers are happy
to assist you with luggage, but typically expect guests to lend
a hand with the bags. If you can't carry heavy things, don't be
shy about asking for help -- but remember to pack light, as
Hotel: Many hotels charge $15-20 (or more) a day for
valet parking; the free or reduced rate parking may be a good
walk from the lobby.
B&B: Parking is free at B&Bs, although the number of
spaces may be limited in some areas.
In conclusion, while luxury B&Bs are
not cheap, they are often a far better value than a hotel with
the same room rate. If you place a value on all the "free"
benefits included in the cost of your stay at a bed & breakfast
inn, you'll be surprised how much you're really getting.
- published with permission from: