Fun fact about me: I love bed and breakfasts! They are my preferred accommodation type, but mostly I just love the cozy, homey, quirky uniqueness. I also love chatting up B&B owners because they’re some of the most interesting people in the world! I’ve stayed at some incredible B&Bs in my travels, and I’ll tell you another secret about me: I’ve always thought it would be fun to own and run one myself!
So, I thought it would be fun to dream up what I would want in my own B&B. And then I thought it would be fun to write about it, too! So here it is, my lucky readers: the plan for the most perfect B&B on Earth!
First impressions are everything, right? I want the outside to be impressive, welcoming, and happy. I’d like a butter yellow house with a periwinkle blue door.
Must Be Historic
If you’ve followed me for more than a minute, you know I have this overwhelming passion and respect for history. I have always wanted to own and restore a historic home—the older, the better! Whether it’s a Queen Anne Victorian, a Colonial mansion house, or a grand, architecturally interesting office building right downtown that’s fallen into disrepair, I already think it would make the perfect historic B&B!
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Must Have a Massive Porch or Deck
I’m a Southerner, through and through. I don’t care if the B&B is in the northernmost part of North Dakota, I want it to have a porch, deck, or other outdoor area attached to the house. It’s just inviting, you know? I’d want to serve breakfast out there. I’d want people to sit out there and read on the porch swing or on a bench with a cushy outdoor cushion. Show me someone on a porch, and I’ll show you someone who’s happy to be there.
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Gettysburg
Must Have a Beautiful Garden
I love a good stroll through a garden. In the springtime, I like to take my Zyrtec and go sit outside for a while to write or read. The garden at my B&B would boast beautiful flowers of every color, shady trees, probably boxwoods, and paths to walk through it all.
Must Have a Gazebo with Plenty of Seating
Gazebos are romantic, you know? Watch any old, romantic movie, and there’s probably a gazebo in there somewhere! I’d want one that’s open air, with lots of benches or other seating, and lights strung up to make it just as inviting in the evenings as it is during the daytime. This should be in the garden somewhere.
Coming soon! The Ultimate Pros and Cons of B&Bs
Must Have a Workout Area
My one beef with bed and breakfasts is that there is rarely, if ever, an area for working out. It doesn’t have to be a whole gym with the latest equipment. It could just be a wide, open, flat space with nothing! I might provide some exercise bands, gliders, an agility ladder, a bench, etc. It could be inside or outside, but if it’s outside, it would need to be covered in case of rain or snow. Nothing fancy, just functional.
Want more? Check out all my travel workouts on my Health and Wellness Page!
The outdoors brings people in, but the inside should help them want to stay there!
Must Have Germaphobic Cleaning Standards
I want the germaphobiest of germaphobes to be comfortable in my bed and breakfast. I don’t want it to smell like a hospital, but I do want people to walk in and know it’s clean. I would farm out this part to someone who’s really good at it. I’m not a fan of cleaning, but I do like things to be clean, you know?
Must Have Places to Lounge
I’ve stayed in some B&Bs with beautiful, cushy, welcoming common areas, but recently I stayed in one with no comfortable seating, only one common room that happened to be in a high-traffic area, and nowhere to plug in my laptop. I love to go to a hotel or B&B to get a change of scenery and hopefully be motivated and inspired to write, so I want to provide that for others as well!
Must Have Modern Comforts
I’m all for a historic home, but it has to be convenient for today’s guests! I want to provide plenty of outlets, wi-fi, heat and a/c as necessary, running water, etc. I feel like all that should go without saying, but so often people see a historic building, hotel, bed and breakfast, or boutique and assume it’s all falling apart and drafty. It doesn’t have to be so!
Each room should be unique! I want everyone to feel like their room is the best room in the house. They would each have a locally-inspired theme. Perhaps famous people from the region, famous parts of history, or maybe even something as simple as color themes. Life is better in theme!
Must Have Luxurious Sheets and Pillows
This is #1 on this list for a reason, my friends. If you don’t sleep well, you don’t feel well, you don’t function well, and you don’t leave a good Trip Advisor review! So, the sheets have to be soft, with a high thread-count. The pillows must be perfect (I’ll certainly provide a pillow menu like some other luxurious hotels do). The mattress has to be comfortable for a variety of needs, so maybe memory foam or something similar.
More here: The Best Hotel Luxuries
Must Have Dresser
It irritates the snot out of me when an accommodation doesn’t have a dresser. I mean, I’m not going to hang up my socks and frilly undies in a closet, right? Give me some drawers for my drawers, please! It’s also nice to have that extra “counter space” on top, too. I like to think I’m pretty low-maintenance, but I do need a place to put my stuff, you know? I think other people feel the same way, so I’m going to provide dressers with plenty of storage in all forms!
Must Have Seating and a Table
Each room must have at least one comfy chair, perhaps an antique or antique-style. And each room should have a table with that chair. Nothing to take up too much space, just somewhere to put things and eat take-out.
More here: Staying at the 27 State Street B&B
Must Have Noise-reducing Windows with a View
As with sheets, noise-reducing windows will help my guests get a great night’s sleep. And a view will give them something to wake up for! It could be a garden view, front yard view, beach view, lake view, or a view of something else interesting. As long as it’s not a view of a random street, I trust that my guests would be happy with it.
To me, this is what makes or breaks any type of accommodation. If the bathroom is disorganized, lacks any places to put things, or worse–if it’s dirty–I have to question the true cleanliness and attention to detail throughout the accommodation.
Each Room Must Have Its Own Bathroom
This is the most important part! No one wants to share a bathroom with strangers. No one. Steve and I don’t even share a bathroom at home, and we’re married! I would never require my guests to share with other people they don’t know. Each room must, absolutely, without exception, have its own, exclusive bathroom attached.
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Must Have Storage
I mean, you don’t need to be filling up cabinets for a two- or three-day excursion, but you need a place to put your contact solution, contacts case, toothbrush, toothpaste, retainer, moisturizer, makeup, lotion, soap, etc., without fear of any of it falling into the sink or the toilet! My guests will have wide, flat surfaces for their convenience, be it a shelf situation or simply a large sink area.
Must Have Luxurious, Locally-made Toiletries
I bring my own toiletries wherever I go. You know why? Because even the nicest hotel’s toiletries are awful! Sometimes the soaps are good, but the shampoo and conditioner options always make my hair brittle, and the lotions are usually mostly water. So the toiletries in my bed and breakfast will be high quality. I also want to support local businesses, so I’ll try to find a local soap maker to see what they have first. Maybe we can work something out so that my guests can have a discount at the soap maker’s shop or website if they like it!
Like to travel with your own toiletries?
Check out the Ultimate Guide to Solid Toiletries for Travel!
Must Have Shower and Bathtub
Some people are devoted to bathtubs. I don’t understand sitting in one’s own filth, but to each his own! So I will be offering a bathtub in each bathroom. Ideally, this would be a free-standing, deep, clawfoot soaker. For the clean people like me, however, I’ll also be providing a large shower. There’s almost nothing worse than cleaning yourself and then accidentally touching the shower wall or curtain with your squeaky body, you know? The shower will be big enough so that won’t happen!
Must Have Soft Towels
No one wants to dry off with sandpaper. They just don’t! The towels have to be high-quality, and I’ll need to do some trial runs to find out what the best fabric softener should be.
Breakfast and Snacks
I saved the best for last! We’re really all just staying at B&Bs for the food, right?
Must Have an Epic, Local Breakfast
Here again, I want to support local businesses, and working with a local cafe or bakery would be a great way to do that! I like to cook, bake, and create, but I also know when to leave things to the professionals! I stayed at a B&B in Charleston with the biggest, fluffiest, most delicious quiche in the world. It (and incredible muffins) came from a local cafe, and it was epic! I might make the breakfast myself several days a week (utilizing fresh ingredients from the Farmers’ Market, of course!), but partnering with a local shop would be awesome.
More here: What to Eat in Charleston
Must Have Flavored K-cup Coffee, Tea, and Fixings
I’m still deciding whether to have all these things in each room or in a common area. Maybe both. No matter what, it’s not just going to be boring, bitter coffee. There will be that stuff for the coffee snobs, but for the fun ones, there will also be flavors! Blueberry cobbler, peppermint mocha, salted caramel, cinnamon hazelnut—I’ll be providing the good stuff, complete with a variety of sugars, sweeteners, and cream options!
And let’s not forget tea! I’ll make sure to provide a variety of teas. I like Twinings, but Yogi is also good, Celestial seasonings is always a winner. Of course, if there’s a local coffee roaster or tea maker or bee keeper (because what’s tea without honey?), I’ll want to work with them, too!
More here: The Ultimate Tour of the World’s Best Coffee
Must Have Homemade Sweet and Savory Snacks
This is a favorite detail of mine when it comes to boutique hotels and B&Bs! The very best ones serve homemade treats in the afternoons, and sometimes in the evenings, too! If you’ve read my Grace Lost and Found book, you know I’m a huge fan of this. Brownies, chocolate-oatmeal cookies, strawberry jello salad, chess pie, and more are all personal favorites of mine, and I’ll be happy to make them for my guests as well! There’s nothing like an afternoon break on a trip and coming “home” to the smell of something delicious and fresh-baked.
Read on: Staying at the Savannah B&B Inn
Finally, I would be more than happy to provide personalized recommendations for where to shop local, the best restaurants and coffee shops in town, things to do, and more! Having been a tour guide and blogger, I love giving recommendations and helping people find exactly the right things, whether that’s a souvenir, iconic food, the best coffee, or local favorites.
So what’s your dream? If you could have anything you wanted in an accommodation, what would it be?
Want more? Check out everything you need to know about B&Bs, hotels, and more on my Accommodations Page!
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