Scottish Bed and Breakfast versus Hotel – which is best?

Choosing the right place to stay is a key step to planning a great vacation.  You need a comfortable base in a good location for getting around.  Studies show that availability of amenities such as  free Wi-Fi and parking greatly influence traveller’s booking decisions.  Excellent service also tops the list.

For travellers seeking local character, genuine hospitality, and free perks such as homemade breakfasts and snacks, a B&B is the way to go. Where a hotel will often charge or suggest a hefty tip for concierge service, most B&Bs offer these extras free of charge.

There are regional variations on what we call a bed and breakfast.  In the UK a bed and breakfast is a small property with 10 or less guest rooms which provides breakfast.  It doesn’t usually provide other meals and is usually run by the owners in their own home.  This can also be a guest house and in other parts of the world this could be called an inn.

If you’ve never been to a city before it’s tempting to book a known hotel brand.  You know what you’ll get and sometimes that fits the bill.  On the other hand you could be missing out on personal service, meeting locals who know the area and the chance to interact with other guests over breakfast.

Beware tempting offers

B&Bs not only provide far more value than hotels; they often offer more affordable rates as well.  Many large hotel chains use complicated pricing policies similar to the supply and demand system used by airlines.  You might have noticed that when there is peak demand, perhaps when there’s an event on the local area, prices jump up.

Budget hotels often advertise headlines rate like £20 per night but finding when these rates are available when you want them can be a challenge.  And sometimes the ‘basic’ price can leap up once you add the items you may expect to be included.  For example breakfast, parking and wifi charges can be added so you find the headline rate of £20 more than doubles.

Of course over the years customer expectations have risen and even only 10 years ago the availability of WIFI was outlandish.  Back in the 1970s my mother ran a bed and breakfast from our family home.  In those days everyone shared the family bathroom, although we were quite luxurious to have a downstairs toilet available for guests as well.  There was no tea or coffee in bedrooms but guests were invited to join us for tea and shortbread in the evening when we heard all about their day.  And for this my mother charged the sum of £1.25 per person per night for bed and breakfast.  Changed days!

Scottish Ballet