Bed and Breakfasts: Room and Board on the Road
According to the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, there were more than 20,000 bed and breakfasts operating in the United States in 2006. So you're hardly alone in thinking that a bed and breakfast might be a nice alternative to a bland hotel or roadside tourist trap. Whether you're planning a couples getaway, a family vacation, a trip for your boss, or a quick stop en route to a final destination, the Web sites we've found will help you discover the possibilities.
A visit to a bed and breakfast offers a more intimate type of lodging, with uniquely decorated ... read more »
A B&B's Web site is not necessarily the best indication of its quality or character, but there are other means of determining a bed and breakfast's standards. This section has Web resources to help you evaluate a bed-and-breakfast before you book.
- Utilize the virtual tour. More and more B&B owners are posting virtual tours on their Web sites. These videos usually include large photos and 360-degree views. They are a good way to make sure the B&B actually has the amenities it advertises. (Check for that claw foot tub and bay window!)
- Rely on the reviews of fellow travelers. Independent travelers are most likely to give you an unbiased review of a bed and breakfast they have recently visited. Follow up with a private message or e-mail if you need more information from a particular reviewer.
- Check professional travel sites like frommers.com for star ratings. These can occasionally be inaccurate, but a five-star B&B usually doesn't disappoint.
- Beware of overly enthusiastic reviews on innkeepers' Web sites. Is the testimonial section full of rave reviews, excessive exclamation marks, and annoying adjectives? Chances are, you're reading reviews from family and friends.
- Consider developing a cross-site review system. When you spot a bed and breakfast that appeals to you, look it up on multiple B&B finders. If the reviews are similar and unsuspicious, you are probably safe to reserve a room.
For online reviews of bed and breakfasts by fellow travelers ...
is an interactive travel community with candid reviews of worldwide accommodations by everyday travelers. From the main page, click on "Reviews" and then "Search Reviews" to find ratings on B&Bs in a particular area. Be sure to specify "Bed and Breakfast" as your search type.
can be difficult to navigate at first but the information this site offers is valuable. Click on "Read and Write Reviews" and type in your desired B&B location. For example, if you were looking for a bed and breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine, type in "Bar Harbor bed and breakfasts" to find dozens of reviews by travelers on B&Bs in the area.
For general ratings...
is a comprehensive B&B site for foreign and domestic travel. All search results come with ratings so you don't have to navigate to a separate section of the site, making it quick and easy to do side-by-side comparisons of B&Bs.
is rather confusing to navigate but it provides helpful links to state inspection associations. From the main page, click on "For the Traveler," then choose a region to gain access to the bed and breakfast association for any particular state. These state-run Web sites offer the traveler high-quality B&B destinations.
The Bed and Breakfast Network
presents visitors with multiple pictures for each inn or B&B. Pass your mouse over the pictures of "Featured" B&Bs to enlarge them and get a better feel for what they have to offer.
Lodging Guide World Wide
has a busy, semi-confusing décor but a visit is worth it for the pictures. Search by city for B&Bs and find pop-up pics for each destination.
offers virtual tours of accommodations without having to visit the lodging's individual Web site. Although their list is limited in the United States, if you are looking for accommodation in Canada, these virtual tours can be quite helpful.
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