Best B&Bs and Guest Houses
Today B&B stands not only for cozy and (mainly) inexpensive type of accommodation and homemade food, but also for personalized service and special attitude to guests.
If you're looking for local flavor & ambiance, eco-friendliness or real life experience and want to get better acquainted with local people and customs, an advanced search engine will compare the offers of thousands B&Bs and Guest Houses' owners in order for you to get the best deal on your accommodation at the best price.
Every B&B is unique according to its nature (just like its owner), but there're some key features that without exception pertain to all (well, almost all) of them. These features are very pleasing for a "tired traveler" and, what's even better, provided for him at no cost at all!
— Of course price is attractive and your breakfast is already included in this price (usually there's no sense to exclude it, because it's really inexpensive and during your vacations you are rarely willing to concern yourself early in the morning with breakfast).
— Usually Bed and Breakfasts offer free on-site parking for their guests, if there's a slightest possibility for it.
— The owner of a B&B usually will provide you with his services as a concierge/bellman for no tips and anytime and will share with you his knowledge of local attractions gladly.
— Most Bed and Breakfasts provide snacks and beverages (drinkable water, coffee or tea at any time) for no price. Some may provide freshly baked desserts or cookies, farms can offer its guests yogurt, milk or cheese and so on. The possibilities are so diverse, as B&Bs themselves.
— Often you'll receive a special treat from the B&B's owner (a glass of local wine/hooch, local delicacies), they'll be very interested to see your reaction, if you are from another country (or even better from another continent).
— You'll become an opportunity to mingle with other guests. It's especially interesting if you're visiting another country and know the language a bit. Everyone is on vacations and the atmosphere will be (as a rule) corresponding to this fact (=no hustle or irritation), so you'll be able to practice your language skills and to get acquainted with local ways and customs much quicker and better, than through reading thousands of books (or internet-articles, for that matter).
But never forget, that you're staying in somebody's home. If this fact embarrasses you, you'd better choose a room in a guesthouse (something in between B&B and hotel) or in a hotel.
Most B&Bs have limited number of rooms available and because of it more strict, than hotels with their vast resources, cancellation policies. It's harder for a small business to get over even a small number of consecutive cancellations. So often you'll be also required to make a deposit.
We'll start our search for b&b / mini-hotels / guesthouses (as in the case with hotels) by reviewing the options of the big three:
- hotels.com + itunes app, with expedia.com as its parent company (+ itunes app), especially true, if our destination lies in US / Mexico / Canada...
- booking.com, hotels all over the world + itunes app,
- agoda.com + itunes app with Booking Holdings as parent company (yes, with booking.com as its leading one), worth to visit, if you are going to Southeast Asia, i.e. Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, Singapore, Vietnam, Philippines... +Australia.
- from the all services listed above we only need full name and address of a property we're interested in + we'll visit tripadvisor.com in order to read (real) customer reviews.
In this case it's only the beginning of the story, but now we already have a name and an address to start our search.
As a rule, all tourist regions have local pages, where they (at least) list all the local businesses, there we'll be able to book a room... or find out the owner's email address. And then we can write to the owner, discuss prices and other things, in this case he may agree on payment in cash upon arrival.
Earlier Booking.com and others could make an owner sign an agreement according to which he could not rent his property at a lower price, now this is no longer relevant, as such practices are being recognized as illegal in national courts (at the moment I know about verdicts in Europe).
As a result, thanks to our knowledge and efforts, we get a bonus in the form of a discount + pay for services provided and not intended;)
As we've already mentioned, a hotel provides you with an opportunity "to leave all your daily concerns behind", but everyone decides for himself, weather use it or not. If during your vacations you are ready to perform your everyday tasks, then other types of accommodation (such as B&Bs and guesthouses) will give you more money-saving options.