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Bed and breakfast

Bed and breakfast

A bed and breakfast (typically shortened to B&B or BnB) is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and breakfast. Bed and breakfasts are often private family homes and typically have between four and eleven rooms, with six being the average.[1] In addition, a B&B usually has the hosts living in the house.

Bed and breakfast is also used to describe the level of catering included in a hotel's room prices, as opposed to room only, half-board or full-board.


Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom.

Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests.

Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen.

B&Bs and guest houses may be operated as either a secondary source of income or a primary occupation. Often the owners themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms, but some bed and breakfasts hire staff for cleaning or cooking. Properties with hired professional management are uncommon (unlike inns or hotels) but may exist if the same owner operates multiple B&Bs.

Some B&Bs operate in a niche market.

Floating bed and breakfasts are boats or houseboats which offer B&B accommodation; the CCGS Alexander Henry museum ship was one example. In some communities, former lighthouse keeper quarters have been turned into B&B rooms after the light has been automated or decommissioned.

International differences


In China expatriates have remodelled traditional structures in quiet picturesque rural areas and opened a few rustic boutique hotels with minimum amenities. Most patrons are tourists but they are growing in popularity among the Chinese.[2]


In Cuba, which opened up to tourism in the 1990s after the financial support of the Soviet Union ended, a form of B&B called casa particular ("private home") became the main form of accommodation outside the tourist resorts. Not all casas particulares offer breakfast.


In Hungary, B&Bs are very popular. They usually are a small family-run hotel, have an intimate ambience and a pleasant atmosphere. It provides an affordable alternate for the hotels. In Hungarian the B&B is called "Panzió" or "Szálló".


In India, the government is promoting the concept of bed & breakfast.[3] The government is doing this to increase tourism, especially keeping in view of the demand for hotels during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.[4] They have classified B&Bs in 2 categories - Gold B&Bs, and Silver B&Bs. All B&Bs must be approved by the Ministry of Tourism, who will then categorize it as Gold or Silver based upon a list of pre-defined criteria.[5]

Enormous growth in metro cities like Delhi, Gurgaon, Pune, Bangalore and Mumbai have seen such rapid growth that people are rushing to these cities to find a respectable job for their respective trades, and operating or hosting a Bed & Breakfast is becoming a favourite option among them.

Average B&B service providers are offering standard services and other accoutrements that westerners have come to expect when traveling abroad.

The basics include: air-conditioner or air cooler, free food, and free wi-fi internet. Premium providers may offer extra services to justify the increased price. Some of these services include, but are not limited to: buildings with a lift/elevator, no surcharge electricity use for the duration of a customers stay, and free geyser usage. 50Mbit/s to 100Mbit/s leased internet line for guests, an intercom system, and security with IP cameras (which is mandatory by local state government and police department) that are monitored by security guards 24*7 rounds out the services provided to premium properties. The cost to rent a room(s) at standard B&Bs are around $100 to $120 per person per month, and premium B&B packages start around $180 per person per month, but may increase if more services are provided


Registered Irish B&Bs are star rated by Fáilte Ireland.

Generally, B&Bs in Ireland are family owned & run, with a small percentage being leased/managed but still with the personal service expected in this sector.

Owners / Managers nearly always live on the premises.

Breakfast can mean a cooked "Irish Fry" or continental style buffet.


In the patio of a guest house in Tamchy, Kyrgyzstan

In the patio of a guest house in Tamchy, Kyrgyzstan

The Israeli B&B is known as a zimmer (German for 'room'). All over the country, but especially in northern Israel (Galilee, Upper Galilee and the Golan Heights) the zimmer has developed into an extensive industry. This industry began to develop in the 1990s, when agriculture became less profitable, and many families with farms in moshavim, kibbutzim, farms and even in cities decided to try their luck in the business of hospitality. In the last decade, there has been development of bed and breakfasts also in southern Israel in the Negev.[6][7]


In Italy, regional law regulates B&Bs.

There is a national law "Legge 29 marzo 2001, n. 135" but each region maintains a specific regulation.

Each region can adopt different regulations but they must observe the national law on Tourism (Law N° 135 /2001).



Bed & Breakfast in the Netherlands literally means what it says, namely 'bed with breakfast'. In the Netherlands, it is also often referred to as lodgings with breakfast, a guestroom or guesthouse. Bed & Breakfast is a small-scale type of accommodation, which is available to guests for a short stay. Nearly all bed & breakfasts are established in a residential home and are run by the owners of that particular residence. Dutch bed & breakfasts are commonly held in historic monumental houses or farms. There are approximately 5,000 bed & breakfasts in the Netherlands.

New Zealand

A Centre of New Zealand Bed and Breakfast

A Centre of New Zealand Bed and Breakfast

The front yard of the Dupont at the Circle B&B, located at 1604 19th Street, N.W., in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Snow continues to pile up during the February 9–10, 2010 North American blizzard.

The front yard of the Dupont at the Circle B&B, located at 1604 19th Street, N.W., in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Snow continues to pile up during the February 9–10, 2010 North American blizzard.

Bed and breakfasts in New Zealand tend to be more expensive than motels and often feature historic homes and furnished bedrooms at a commensurate price.


Carriage B&B Hinto Panzio in Transylvania, Odorheiu-Secuiesc (Szekelyudvarhely), Romania

Carriage B&B Hinto Panzio in Transylvania, Odorheiu-Secuiesc (Szekelyudvarhely), Romania

The trend of B&Bs in Pakistan is quite widespread. Popular resorts like Murree, which attract many tourists from different parts of the country, have a number of such resthouses. The expenses can vary, depending on the quality of facilities. Most bed and breakfast facilities tend to expediently cater to families, given the high level of group tourism, and offer suitable overnight lodging.


While exploring Romania's countryside, smaller cities or traditional villages, visitors can stay at a bed and breakfast (usually called "Pensiune").

Bed and Breakfast in Romania are rated with daisies, from one to three, three daisies being the best rating.

A Bed and Breakfast offers clean and inexpensive accommodations as well as the opportunity to learn about the day-to-day life and culture of rural part Romania especially in Transylvania where B&B is more popular. Visitors will have the chance to try fresh, organic farm products.


Bed and breakfast is a 21st-century phenomenon in Spain. In the past, the equivalent was Habitacion con derecho a cocina which means "room along with use of the kitchen area". In Spain, bed and breakfast offers are provided by hotels, hostels, apartments, houses and Inns. Normally bed and breakfast flats or houses consist of 5-7 rooms but as they are not heavily regulated, people are free to provide their houses as bed and breakfast to pay for some of the bills.


Bed and breakfast was more or less a direct import from the British style B&B.

The B&B isn't evenly spread over the country, most are in southern province of Skåne or near one of the three larger cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö. Some breakfast hotels and other minor hotels trying to profit from the name also call their accommodation B&B.

No laws in Sweden restrict such advertising; the only restriction is from the authority of traffic (Trafikverket), who only give permission to put up the bed and breakfast sign by the local road if the owner lives in the same building as the guests.

If the proprietor has less than eight beds, no permissions from the police office is required to run public accommodations, but fire safety and food safety applies to all new facilities, regardless of the number of beds.

In a Swedish B&B there is often a guest kitchen available.

Standard is usually acceptable but sometimes with en-suite bathroom or sometimes a shared bathroom in the corridor.

United Kingdom

Little Langford Farmhouse, Salisbury, Wiltshire

Little Langford Farmhouse, Salisbury, Wiltshire

There are 25,000 B&Bs and guest houses in the UK. The sector used to have a reputation as cheap no-frills accommodation, and were generally the budget option compared to hotels. In recent years, standards have risen and up-market B&Bs have become popular. There are numerous B&Bs found in seaside towns, the countryside as well as city centres.[9][10]

B&Bs are graded by Visit Britain on a star system. 3, 4 and 5-star establishments have a higher standard.[11] A majority of B and Bs in the UK have en-suite facilities.

United States

The custom of opening one's home to travellers dates back the earliest days of Colonial America. Lodging establishments were few and far between in the 18th century and, apart from a limited number of coaching inns, wayfarers relied on the kindness of strangers to provide a bed for the night. Hotels became more common with the advent of the railroad and later the automobile; most towns had at least one prominent hotel.

During the Great Depression, tourist homes provided an economic advantage to both the traveller and the host.

Driving through town on US Highways (in a pre-Interstate highway era), travellers stopped at houses with signs reading Tourists or Guests, where one could rent a room for the night for approximately $2. While little more than short-stay boarding houses, the rooms brought needed income for the home owner and saved money for the traveller. A tourist home or guest house represented an intermediate option between inexpensive campgrounds or cabins and costly railway hotels. (The motel fad of the 1950s and 1960s later filled this niche, now occupied by economy limited service hotels.) Non-white travellers could consult The Negro Motorist Green Book, a printed directory, to find lodging at which they would be welcome despite racial segregation and widespread discrimination.

After World War II, middle-class Americans began travelling in Europe in large numbers, many experiencing the European-style B&Bs (Zimmer frei in Germany, chambres d'hotes in France) for the first time. Some were inspired to open B&Bs in the U.S.; tourist home owners updated their properties as B&Bs. The interest in B&Bs coincided with an increasing interest in historic preservation, spurred by the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976 and assisted by two crucial pieces of legislation: the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, and the Tax Reform Act of 1976, which provided tax incentives for the restoration and reuse of historic structures.

Through the 1980s and 1990s, B&Bs increased rapidly in numbers and evolved from homestay B&Bs with shared baths and a simple furnishings to beautifully renovated historic mansions with luxurious décor and amenities.

Many B&Bs created a historical ambiance by adapting historic properties (such as the 1830s Federal-style Holladay House in Orange, Virginia) as guesthouses decorated with antique furniture. Printed directories listed options in various cities. By the mid-1990s, the Internet made it more affordable for innkeepers to promote their properties worldwide; it provided online reservation software and allowed travellers to view detailed photos, videos, and reviews.

B&B and Inn owners have been adding amenities such as wireless Internet access, free parking, spa services or nightly wine and cheese hours.

To stay competitive with the rest of the lodging industry, larger bed and breakfast inns have expanded to offer wedding services, business conference facilities, and meeting spaces as well as many other services a large hotel might offer.

There are approximately 17,000 B&Bs in the United States.[1] B&Bs are found in all states, in major cities and remote rural areas, occupying everything from modest cottages to opulent mansions, and in restored structures from schools to cabooses to churches.


Regulations and laws vary considerably between jurisdictions both in content and extent and in enforcement.

The most common regulations B&Bs must follow pertain to safety.

They are usually required by local and national ordinances to have fire resistance, a sufficient fire escape plan in place, and smoke detectors in each guest room.

Kitchens and equipment used to serve meals are also often required to be monitored for hygienic operation, but there are significant national and local differences.

In Hawaii, it is illegal to open a new bed & breakfast on Oahu as of 1989. The reason for the moratorium is to force home owners with extra room to rent out their extra space to low income residents who otherwise cannot afford housing on crowded Oahu.

Professional and trade associations

Many inns and bed and breakfasts are members of professional associations.

There are international, national, regional, and local associations, all of which provide services to both their members and the travelling public.

Many require their members to meet specific standards of quality, while others simply require a lodging establishment to pay dues.

These associations also facilitate marketing of the individual B&Bs and provide a stamp of approval that the business in question is reputable.

While various local governments have regulations and inspect lodging establishments for health and safety issues, membership in a state/provincial/national bed and breakfast association can indicate a higher standard of hospitality.

Associations sometimes review their members' properties and tend to have additional standards of care.

In the US for example, each state has an innkeeping association (usually non-profit) that exists to promote the industry and tourism.

Within those state associations, many city and regional bed and breakfast associations can be found.

Many state, city and regional associations, have inspection criteria that often exceed government requirements for safety and cleanliness.

The two primary nationwide professional associations are the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII), based in Wisconsin and founded in 1987 by two innkeepers, and the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP).

In Australia, the industry is represented by the Bed & Breakfast, Farmstay and Accommodation Australia Ltd (BBFAA).

In the British Isles the national approval boards set up by governments are far more stringent than others and standards are expected to be high.

In Ireland there is an association that will only use the national tourist board's approved members.


Tourism Queensland study

In January 2003 Tourism Queensland conducted a review of current research to gain a better understanding of the Bed & Breakfast (B&B) market:[12]

Michigan State University study

According to a study by Michigan State University:[13]

According to this study, many bed and breakfast visitors make use of evaluations, given by other guests.

This system of independent reviews is one of the fastest growing consumer content oriented sites on the net.

ComScore study

Another study suggests that people trust online reviews posted by previous guests:[14]

Journal of Travel Research study

A study by the Journal of Travel Research stated:[15]

Prince Edward Island study

A 2007 study on Prince Edward Island[16]

TIME magazine

According to TIME magazine:[17]

See also

  • Airbnb

  • List of human habitation forms


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