Bed and breakfast

Bed and breakfast

Bed and breakfast, also known as B&B, is a term, originating in the United Kingdom, but now also used all over the world, for an establishment that offers accommodation and breakfast, but usually does not offer other meals. Typically, bed and breakfasts are private homes with only one or two bedrooms available for commercial use.


Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen.

B&B's and guest-houses may be operated either as a secondary source of income or a primary occupation. Usually the owners themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the room etc., but some bed and breakfasts hire staff for cleaning or cooking. A property which hires professional management is no longer a bed and breakfast, but enters the category of Inn, Guest House or Small Hotel.Fact|date=October 2008 B&B's are a form of a tertiary business.Fact|date=March 2008

National differences


Despite the cultural similarities, there are far fewer B&B's in the whole continent of Australia than there are in just the South Island of New Zealand despite the resident population being more than twenty times greater. [Private Stay Accommodation Directory, " [ Australia] ", accessed 4 April 2007 shows 43 pages for Australia as a country and a combined total of 51 pages for various regions of the South Island of " [ New Zealand] "]

Since the 1960s the average per capita disposable income of Australians has been greater than that of New Zealanders and this has mitigated the powerful incentive to let out rooms in their homes to travellers.Fact|date=March 2008 Another factor may be that Australia has, apart from City States such as Singapore, the greatest concentration of city dwellers anywhere on the globe and these cities are amply supplied with budget hotels and motels.Fact|date=March 2008

Britain and Ireland

B&Bs, and frequently guest houses, are a budget option where owners often take pride in the high service levels, local knowledge and personal touch that they are able to offer.Fact|date=October 2008

There tend to be concentrations of B&Bs in seaside towns where, historically, the working classes holidayed such as Newcastle in Ireland and Blackpool in England, in isolated rural areas such as the Highlands of Scotland and Connemara where there is not a year-round concentration of travellers sufficient to sustain an hotel, and are present in most towns and cities in numbers dependent upon factors such as the level of tourism, York in England and Edinburgh in Scotland, for example, both have several hundred establishments known as either B&B's or guest houses.

Breakfast is usually cooked on demand for the guest and usually features bacon, eggs, sausages, tomatoes, mushrooms and baked beans, but some offer a continental breakfast.

In recent years some bed and breakfast businesses in the UK have struggled against budget hotel chains such as Premier Travel Inn and Travelodge. Traditionally, business travellers used B&Bs but many of these clients now tend to stay in budget hotel chains. However, in holiday areas the B&B and guest house still prevails. Unlike the 'chain' accommodation providers these provide a more comprehensive service and breakfast is included in the price.


In Cuba, which opened up to tourism in the 1990s after the financial support of the Soviet Union ended, a form of B&B called "casa particular" ("private home") became the main form of accommodation outside the tourist resorts.Fact|date=March 2008


The Israeli B&B is known as a "zimmer" (German for "room"). All over the country, but especially in the north of the country and the Galilee, "zimmers" have become an alternative to hotels for romantic weekends or family vacations. [ [ There's gold in them thar hills ...] ]


B&B industry is prospering in some developing economies.Fact|date=October 2008

New Zealand

As in the USA, Bed and Breakfasts in New Zealand tend to be more expensive than Motels and often feature historic homes and furnished bedrooms at a commensurate price.Fact|date=March 2008 The historic city of Nelson has an unusually high concentration of both of these accommodations and alternatives because it was historically the place where kiwis holidayed.Fact|date=March 2008

North America

Many B&Bs in North America try to create a historical ambiance, with old properties turned into guesthouses decorated with antique furniture.Fact|date=March 2008 For example, the Holladay House in Orange, Virginia is an 1830s Federal-style brick building that has been converted into a bed and breakfast. In the last ten years, B&B and Inn owners have been launching upscale amenities to improve business and move "up-market." It is not uncommon now to find free wireless Internet access, free parking, spa services, or nightly wine and cheese hours. Due to the need to stay competitive with the rest of the lodging industry, larger bed and breakfast inns have expanded to offer wedding services, business conference facilities, and meeting spaces as well as many other services a large hotel might offer.Fact|date=October 2008

The custom of opening one’s home to travellers dates back the earliest day of Colonial America. Lodging establishments were few and far between in the 1700s, and apart from a limited number of coaching inns (a few of which survive as inns today), wayfarers relied on the kindness of strangers to provide a bed for the night. Hotels became more common with the advent of the railroad, and later, the automobile, and most towns had at least one prominent hotel.

During the Great Depression, tourist homes provided an economic advantage to both the traveller and the host. Driving through town (no Interstates then), travellers stopped at houses with signs reading Tourists or Guests, indicating that travellers could rent a room for the night for about $2. The money generated needed income for the home owner and saved money for the traveller.

After World War II, middle-class Americans began travelling in Europe in large numbers, many experiencing the European-style B&Bs (Zimmer frei in Germany, chambres d’hotes in France) for the first time. Some were inspired to open B&Bs in the U.S.; tourist home owners updated their properties as B&Bs. The interest in B&Bs coincided with an increasing interest in historic preservation, spurred by the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 and assisted by two crucial pieces of legislation: the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and the Tax Reform Act of 1976, which provided tax incentives for the restoration and reuse of historic structures.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, B&Bs increased rapidly in numbers and evolved from homestay B&Bs with shared baths and a simple furnishings to beautifully renovated historic mansions with luxurious décor and amenities. The next big change started in the mid 1990s when the Internet became a major marketing force, making it affordable for innkeepers to promote their properties worldwide. At present, travellers research and book B&B online, checking out detailed photos, videos, and reviews. B&Bs are found in all states, in major cities and remote rural areas, occupying everything from modest cottages to opulent mansions, and in restored structures from schools to cabooses to churches.


Regulations and laws vary considerably in each national jurisdiction both in content and extent and in enforcement.

The most common regulations B&Bs must follow pertain to safety. They are usually required by local and national ordinances to have fire resistance, a sufficient fire escape plan in place, and smoke detectors in each guest room. Kitchens and equipment used to serve meals are also often required to be monitored for hygienic operation, but there are significant national and local differences.

In Hawaii, it is illegal to open a new bed & breakfast on Oahu as of 1989. [ [ LEGISLATIVE CONCEPTS. REGULATION & PERMITTING OF VACATION RENTALS & B&Bs on OAHU] ] The reason for the moratorium is to force home owners with extra room to rent out their extra space to low income residents who otherwise cannot afford housing on crowded Oahu.

Professional and Trade Associations

Many inns and bed and breakfasts are members of professional associations. There are international, national, regional, and local associations, all of which provide services to both their members and the travelling public. Many require their members to meet specific standards of quality, while others simply require a lodging establishment to pay monetary dues. These associations also facilitate marketing of the individual B&Bs and provide a stamp of approval that the business in question is reputable.

tandards of quality

While various local governments have regulations and inspect lodging establishments for health and safety issues, membership in a state/provincial/national bed and breakfast association can indicate a higher standard of hospitality. Associations sometimes review their members' properties and tend to have additional standards of care.

In the US, each state has an innkeeping association (usually non-profit) that exists to promote the industry and tourism. However, many state associations, have rigorous inspection criteria that often exceed government requirements for safety and cleanliness.

Select Registry is a national organization that inspects its member properties on a regular basis, beyond routine inspections that may be carried out by the local government. [ ]

Such organizations as AAA and Mobil also provide periodical inspections of B&B inns. In addition, many state and local associations offer inspection services to innkeepers. [] lists inspecting associations in the US. [ ]

The Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII)

Founded in 1988, the Professional Association of Innkeepers International [ (PAII)] , headquartered in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, is a national for-profit organization with members in the U.S., Canada, and other countries. PAII currently hosts the largest convention for innkeepers and prospective innkeepers, called [ "The Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show."] PAII also provides an industry study to all of its members that details operations and finances in the industry. PAII publishes the innkeeping industry's only trade publication, "Innkeeping Quarterly" magazine. PAII has membership categories for active innkeepers, aspiring innkeepers, retired innkeepers, interim innkeepers and vendors wanting to do business in the innkeeping industry.

The Caucus of American Innkeepers (CAIK)

The Caucus of American Innkeepers (CAIK) is a social and professional networking organization for owners of B&Bs, country inns, and similar propertiesFact|date=September 2008.

The Bettina Network

The Bettina Network is a national network of private homes which accept bed and breakfast guests. All homes are thoroughly checked out by someone from the Network spending the night in the home.Fact|date=March 2008 The network handles all aspects of the room (pricing, advertising, reservations, payment collection etc). Questionnaires are sent to each guest to insure the satisfaction of all who use the service.Fact|date=March 2008

See also

* List of types of lodging


* Sakach, Deborah Edwards, "Bed & Breakfasts and Country Inns" (American Historic Inns, Inc., 16th edition, 2004) ISBN 1-888050-16-0
* Jan Stankus, "How to Open and Operate a Bed & Breakfast" (Globe Pequot Press, 7th edition 2003) ISBN 0-7627-2813-2
* Martha Watson Murphy and Amelia Rockwell Seton, "How to Start and Operate Your Own Bed-And-Breakfast/Down-To-Earth Advice from an Award-Winning B&B Owner" (Owlet, 1994) ISBN 0-8050-2903-6
* Mary Davis, "So-You Want to Be an Innkeeper: The Definitive Guide to Operating a Successful Bed-And-Breakfast or Country Inn" (Chronicle Books, 1996) ISBN 0-8118-1226-X
* Susannah Craig and Park Davis, "Complete Idiot's Guide to Running a Bed and Breakfast" (Alpha Books, 2001) ISBN 0-02-864000-4
* Cheryl Verstrate, "Homestay 101 for Hosts" (Start and Run a Successful Homestay), 1st edition,2006 ISBN 1-84685-347-8
* Sandee Wright, Owner & Innkeeper of Timberwolf Creek, Maggie Valley NC, Founder of CAIK (Caucus of American InnKeepers)


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