We Eat and Sleep This Hospitality Stuff
The Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association was established 25 years ago and is the only group in the state with inspection standards that every inn must pass to be considered for membership. And we’re not shy about saying that not every inn makes the cut. Our B&B owners have made innkeeping their vocation. Translation: It’s not a hobby for them. Many are corporate runaways who followed their inner voice to take the path less traveled. Which, come to think of it, isn’t so different a mindset really than the people who frequent B&Bs.
Wondering what to expect at a B&B? We'll address your concerns and bust a few myths once and for all:
Top 10 B&B Myths - Busted!
Innkeepers at our member inns have heard it all when it comes to myths about B&B travel. Some of the misgivings can be quite funny while other myths have hung on for decades and simply won’t let go. So, in the spirit of the popular TV show “MythBusters” on the Discovery Channel, we bring you the Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association’s list of the “Top 10 Misperceptions about Staying at a B&B.”
1. You have to share a bathroom. FALSE.
These days, every B&B in our organization offers guests private baths, and not just your run-of-the-mill baths either. Many innkeepers have invested in luxury spa-like bathroom upgrades that include steam showers, whirlpool baths, and plush robes and slippers.
2. To be licensed as a B&B, the building has to be historic. FALSE.
While many lovely B&Bs are of the Victorian era, there are a growing number of newly built and contemporary properties. And just because a property is historic doesn’t mean it’s bereft of modern conveniences like cable TV and high speed internet access.
3. B&Bs are expensive. FALSE.
As with any other lodging category, there is a range among B&B rates. Many innkeepers pride themselves on offering personal service and a good value for the price. When comparison shopping, don’t forget to factor in that breakfast is always included. There’s an entire section of our web site devoted to specials and packages to sweeten the deal.
4. B&B owners don’t prepare the breakfast themselves. FALSE.
Many owners are great home chefs in their own right, and love perfecting recipes or coming up with new ones of their own. After countless requests from guests, the Wisconsin B&B Association even developed its own recipe book, now in its eitghth edition and available for purchase online.
5. You must eat breakfast with strangers. FALSE.
You may interact as much or as little as you like at many inns. Just communicate your preference when making the reservation. Some inns deliver breakfast to your room or have tables for 2 in their dining room.
6. Innkeepers prefer not to be asked questions. FALSE.
B&B owners are actually honored when you think of them as your personal concierge. They’re a great resource for boutique shopping suggestions, restaurant recommendations, winery tours, tickets to theatre performances, and directions to the best hiking and biking trails in the area. So ask away!
7. There’s a curfew. FALSE.
While B&Bs will each have their own policies, you don’t have to be in bed by a certain time. In fact, some B&Bs are set up with private entrances to each guest room, while other inns not only provide guests with a key to their room but a key to the front door as well.
8. There’s a front desk staff available 24/7. FALSE.
Innkeepers often serve as chef, housekeeper and maintenance person all rolled into one, so their job will take them away for brief periods of time. When making a reservation, you’ll typically be asked for your estimated time of arrival. And, as a courtesy, if you are going to be late, just call.
9. Innkeeping is a hobby. FALSE.
Many innkeepers leave behind full-time careers in the corporate world to dedicate themselves to what is often a seven-day-a-week job. Also, a requirement for membership in the Wisconsin B&B Association is that the owners live on premise or be readily available.
10. B&Bs are not for business travelers. FALSE.
Many inns offer amenities that business travelers appreciate, such as breakfast at their choice of time with the option for a “breakfast to go,” regular overnight parcel pick-up and delivery, in-room desk, WiFi, and preferred rates for extended stays. While we’re at it, we should also put in a plug for B&Bs that cater to families and those that accept pets.
Some helpful travel links: