Hotels vs. B&B’s: Part II

28 May

As I wrote earlier this week, my husband and I had our first bed and breakfast experience last weekend.  To be honest, I’m still not sure how I felt about it.

We stayed at the Elk Forge Bed and Breakfast Inn and Retreat.  While the grounds and rooms were very nice (complete with hiking trails and an outdoor hot tub) I have to say that our arrival was very strange.  When we arrived, no one was at the front desk.  We looked around and called to see if anyone was around several times, but no one seemed to be there.  Then we noticed a sign that provided a number we could call if we arrived an no one was there.  We called the number, and discovered that the owners live in the home next door.  A young man arrived about three to five minutes later, and assisted us in checking in.

He showed us to our room, which was very nice with a private entrance.  We didn’t have the opportunity to take photographs of our room, but you can view those here at the Elk Forge website.  The room was just as gorgeous as it appeared on the website.  Large jacuzzi tub, beautiful bed, and very nice shower.  I found it kind of strange that the man did not offer to show us around the rest of the grounds, but it seemed like he might have been with some repairs or maintenance, so we explored the place ourselves.

The building includes beautiful rooms (ranging from the very affordable to somewhat pricey).  It also includes a beautiful breakfast seating area that overlooks the patio.  The inn also included nice dining room and common area where guests can borrow movies and books.  We were also told that there was a vending machine area, though we did not actually see it ourselves.

The breakfast presentation was quite nice, with batter to make our own waffles, fresh fruit, coffee and other early morning favorites.  I was a little disappointed that we weren’t able to strike up more conversation with fellow guests.  The tables weren’t really set up in a way that stimulated conversation.  Maybe I’ve watched too many episodes of Gilmore Girls, but I suppose I always imagined striking up riveting conversations with strangers over a warm cup of coffee.

So here are my impressions:

1) The bed and breakfast itself was very nice.  Nice country setting, smart layout, really nice rooms with great amenities.  Nice breakfast presentation.

2) We didn’t really see or interact with the owners very much.  In fact, when we checked out, we simply laid our keys on the front desk, as we were told we could do that if no one was available.

3) When we had questions, we weren’t really sure where to go to ask, and we didn’t want to bother the owners in their home.

4) We loved having a jacuzzi tub!

The Final Verdict

Though I kind of want to try another bed and breakfast before I make a final decision, I’m leaning toward calling myself a tried and true hotel girl.  Sure, it may seem impersonal in some ways.  But it’s nice to know that if you have a question, you can call down to the front desk and someone is paid to be there.

However, hotels don’t feature some of the amazing amenities that made the bed and breakfast so nice.  We loved the jacuzzi tub, the private entrance, and the lovely country setting.  I think there are pros and cons to every place you stay when you are away from home.  Despite some of the drawbacks, we still had a lovely time!

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One Response to “Hotels vs. B&B’s: Part II”

  1. Douglas R Dahl June 4, 2010 at 6:26 pm #

    Hotels are consistent and predictable. And you are right, it is great to know that there is always someone at the front desk even if you arrive at midnight. Plus you can cancel and get your money back. (Good if you travel on business.) However, a great B & B beats a hotel any day in personality and charm. Something there is a shortage of here in the USA.

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