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03 December, 2008

Etiquette of managing a Bed and Breakfast

I am not going to mention any particular bed and breakfast here, but I think that if you read enough of my blog, you'll probably figure it out.

I've stayed in more than a handful of B & B establishments in my life. And there's obviously a very wide variety of quality that one finds, in terms of quality of the first B, quality of the second B, and helpfulness/friendliness of the staff, and a variety of other things. But my current stay has made me wonder what, exactly, are the obligations of the host, and what expectations are reasonable to have.

With that, I have a few questions:
  1. If you are staying for multiple days, does the host have any obligation to perform upkeep of the room during your stay, such as replenishment of towels, bathroom tissue, or anything of that sort?
  2. Does the host have any obligation to provide a quiet, tranquil environment for their guests? This might include such things as: a) not using a rotary saw to cut sheet metal in the late afternoon, just outside the guest rooms, b) not watching action movies on a large screen surround sound system in the host family room, directly above the guest rooms, c) not engaging in a wide array of loud home improvements, involving hammering, while stomping around the house at 8:30am. The list really could go on, hypothetically. Okay, one more. d) not taking in a goat onto your grounds, who goes around the grounds making goat noises early in the morning (Edna: do not tell me that you would like the goat being there, because I know you are going to say that).
  3. Does the host have any obligation to be fluent enough in the language of their guests, or, let me qualify that, fluent enough in the native language of the country in which their establishment is located, so that they can provide guidance or suggestions to their guests?

I want to mention that my 3 questions above are not, in any way, metrics on which I am clearly judging our current dwelling to be lacking. Truth is, I really don't know if these are things for which someone should be graded down, or not. That's why I am posing the question. I have encountered (previously) odd hosts, unfriendly hosts, standoffish hosts, overbearing hosts, and perfect hosts. And I guess that the thing about a B & B is that usually people are just going to be themselves, and you will probably have a wide array of experiences. I would still never choose a hotel or motel over a B & B, because I like this variety. At the worst, it is curious, and best, you really can't beat it.

The place we are about to leave had nice hosts, it was a beautiful, well-kept house, with a great view. The breakfast was a 5/10, which is not bad. The main gripe I'd have was that it was not particularly creative, and was lacking in fruits, which for a tropical place, is a bit disappointing. We are about to head to another place, on the other side of the island. And it will be an entirely different experience, for sure. No way of knowing what it will be. But the amazing thing about a B & B is that the lodging itself becomes an integral part of the memories. That's neat.

I don't recall much about any Red Roof Inn I've ever stayed at.

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