Bed and Breakfasts and Inns are a popular alternative for people looking for a different experience than a traditional hotel with four walls and the same décor in every room. But what is the difference between an Inn and a B & B? It really comes down to two things: the number of rooms and what meals are being served. Let’s look at Bed and Breakfasts and Inns separately and answer some frequently asked questions.
A B & B generally has 1 to 5 guest rooms depending on local, state or municipal by-laws and usually have guest common areas, such as a living and dining room and garden or backyard. Owners typically live on the property and prepare breakfast in the morning which is generally offered as part of the price, thus the name Bed and Breakfast. While some B&B’s offer a continental breakfast, most offer a delicious home cooked meal. At the Boatel we like to say that “Breakfast is part of the B & B name, so it’s got to be good”.
B & B’s are often located in historic homes with antique furnishings, beautiful gardens or offer unique accommodations such as a boat or a century castle. A bed and breakfast typically offers only breakfast and guests have no cooking facilities. Most guests go out for dinner however it is common for guests to bring take-out meals back to the Boatel and enjoy the ambiance of the boat. The rooms are usually decorated like your own home (or the way you want to decorate your home) because the goal is to make you feel at home in our home.
Inns are owner-operated or they hire an Innkeeper/Manager and often the Innkeeper or manager will also live at the property. They usually have more than 8 rooms and offer breakfast and dinner. Sometimes they offer dinner only to overnight guests and others have a dining room available as a restaurant. Some Inns have the facilities to host other events such as wedding and meetings
Both Inns and Bed and Breakfasts are run and insured as commercial properties. There is also a web site called AirB&B, but don’t be fooled by the name. AirB&B locations are simply someone renting an empty room or an apartment. They don’t offer the charming unique experience of a B & B and they are not insured as a commercial property.
IS A BED AND BREAKFAST A GOOD PLACE WITH KIDS?
Most B & B’s cater to people who want to unwind and enjoy some peace and quiet, so for that reason many B & B’s do not cater to young children. For safety reasons around the boat we have set our age limit at 8 years old. At the Boatel “well behaved children are always welcome”. Our two forward cabins are perfectly set up for families with the bedrooms across from one another with a shared bathroom between.
WHAT TYPE OF PEOPLE STAY AT A BED & BREAKFAST?
There are rarely two homes that are identical and the same applies for every B & B and that is part of the reason that people choose them while travelling. Business travelers who are accustomed to staying alone in boring hotels often seek our B & B as an alternative while travelling on business in Toronto. Some female travelers have told us they feel safer staying in someone’s home. Others search the most unique places to stay in an area looking for a different lodging experience. What ever the reason you will have the opportunity of meeting people from around the world in a setting that is more intimate that a hotel dining room. However if you are really shy or don’t enjoy mingling with people you don’t know, then a Bed and Breakfast may not be the right fit for you, but on the other hand it may open your eyes to something wonderful.
I was once asked by a reporter “why would anyone want to stay on the Boatel?” to which I responded “have you ever walked by a marina and wondered who lives there?” And “have you ever wondered what it would be like to live on a boat?” to which he nodded. “That is the type of people who stay at the Boatel.”
For these return guests the Boatel is a great destination for a reunion with old friends.
Trip Advisor has 118 bed and breakfasts in Toronto for you to choose from for your next visit.