Bed and Breakfast Sign

If you have never stayed at a bed and breakfast, considering it as a getaway option might be daunting. Many bed and breakfast first-timers think of a B&B as a stuffy Victorian with lots of delicate antiques. Who can relax there?

Our first B&B experience was in western Pennsylvania where we stayed for a friend’s wedding. It was a comfortable home and we really only slept there. The B&B that made us think about becoming innkeepers is Leech Lake B&B in Walker, MN. We unpacked our bags then went out to the yard where Mark immediately fell asleep in a hammock and I settled in on the dock to bask in the sun (yes, I was wearing sunscreen) and listen to the waves lap against the pontoon boat.. 

The reality is that the majority of B&B’s are people’s homes. Innkeepers love what they do because they are proud of their homes and communities and want to share them with others. And, yes, some are full of antiques, but even those are places where you can feel comfortable and use as a home base for exploring a new town or for just hanging out with a good book and a glass of wine.

Mark and I have stayed at a variety of B&Bs including a restored Queen Anne in Mankato, and a classic 1902 beauty with a brewery in the garage in Wabasha. Each stay was unique, and the hosts were fonts of local information and made kick-ass breakfasts (and snacks!)

Fortunately for bed and breakfast first-timers, VRBO has published “The First-Timers Guide to Bed and Breakfast Etiquette”. “Warm, personalized service and mingling among guests are part of the appeal of bed and breakfasts. But hospitality goes both ways. Depending on the property, you might be staying in someone’s private home, sharing common rooms, or dining with fellow travelers. At B&Bs, as in life, communication and common courtesy are key.

We asked some innkeepers for advice on basic B&B etiquette. If it’s your first time at a B&B, the following simple tips will help you have a smooth, relaxing stay. Here’s everything you need to know about being the best guest ever.”

Some of the FAQs from first-timers include:

  • What are some things that guests should tell hosts in advance?
  • Do I have to eat breakfast with other guests?
  • Is it rude to take breakfast to go or to eat breakfast in my room?
  • What if I’m late for check-in?
  • May I bring my pet?
  • What should a guest do if he or she has spilled something in a room?
  • Any advice for conversation topics around the breakfast table?
  • May I ask my hosts for trip-planning advice or ideas on what to see in the area?

If you’re in the St. Croix River Valley of Wisconsin, stay with us at LakePlace Bed and Breakfast.