Don’t get me wrong, I love my own bed. However, as often as I can, I slip away to a B&B for some serious pampering of my body and soul. What is it that is so special about some B&B’s, while others are just a place to stay? The innkeepers.
Good innkeepers are always one thought ahead of their guests. If you arrive in the rain, they’ll meet you in the drive with a huge umbrella to take your bags and keep you dry. Ice water will be on your bedside table when you return from dinner, and your bed is turned down. Breakfasts are the run-of-the-mill continental buffet–they are exquisite experiences, and served at your convenience. I stayed at one B&B that had the monogram of my last name on the bathroom towels; I’ll never forget that feeling of importance.
Good innkeepers provide a retreat. The common areas invite you to sit and relax; the grounds call you to come outside and enjoy. The B&B is spotless, yet you never see anyone dusting or cleaning–how do they do that?
To me, the difference between a B&B and an Inn is big. I think of an Inn as a more relaxed hotel, with more rooms than a B&B but less than a motel, and an Inn isn’t as personal. To fit into my description of a B&B, there must be less than twelve rooms, serve a full course breakfast cooked to order, and the innkeepers are present to greet you and to see to your every need.
Many people mistakenly think that they will be uncomfortable in a B&B, feeling they are an intruder in someone else’s house, which is not true. You are made to feel like an honored guest and that they want you to enjoy their B&B. Most innkeepers either live in the B&B or in a converted garage or barn. I like knowing their right there, but not in my face whenever I’m sitting by the fireplace enjoying a book and a glass of wine. They seem to sense whether I want to talk or be left along, which is very nice.