Why not stay at a bed and breakfast and make lodging part of your overall travel experience. We are fairly recent converts to bed & breakfasts. We had never stayed at one until I had the bright idea that we (my husband Mike and I) should buy a B&B and become innkeepers for the next phase of our lives (what I like to refer to as “semi-retirement”). From that point on, we started staying at B&Bs when we traveled and found that our B&B experience was consistently one of the highlights of our trip.
Prior to discovering the world of B&Bs, we would typically stay at a nice hotel for our travels and they were fine, but rarely were they memorable. Rather, the hotels satisfied our need for lodging. Our first B&B experience was in 2011, when we stayed at Phineas Swann Bed & Breakfast, a quintessential Vermont inn with snow covered grounds and incredible views. The historic home was warm and inviting and had several areas where you could relax, play games, work on puzzles, or just hang out. We felt right at home, even though we had just met the innkeepers and some of the other guests.
We enjoyed home-made breakfasts each morning and delicious treats in the afternoon. The smells coming from the kitchen each morning as we woke up were amazing—we could not wait for breakfast. And boy it did not disappoint—there was an array of muffins, fruit, and yogurt to start our breakfast, followed by the main course, which differed each morning. The conversations with the innkeepers and other guests at breakfast were lively and entertaining. We learned all about the history of the house and the area and received what turned out to be some awesome recommendations for food and fun from not only the innkeepers, but also from fellow guests. That stay sealed our fate and our search for a B&B was on.
During our search, which ended in us purchasing Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast in Bayfield, Wisconsin in March of 2016, we stayed at more than 20 bed & breakfasts and found that no two were alike. As we traveled, we started putting together a list of things that we loved about staying at B&Bs so one day we could incorporate them into our own and share them with our guests. I just recently came across our list and decided to write a blog highlighting the top five reasons to stay at a bed & breakfast—at least from my perspective. Here they are:
- Each bed & breakfast is unique (and often quirky) – B&Bs typically reflect the innkeepers’ personality, travels, and taste, and often are in interesting and/or historic homes—making a B&B stay a one-of-a-kind experience. The grounds are as varied as the homes themselves and add to your overall experience whether you are looking for an adventure or a quiet place to relax. You’ll find B&Bs with incredible gardens, walking and hiking paths, working farms, water features, porch swings, quaint and tranquil outdoor sitting areas, wooded areas, wide-open spaces, etc. (I could go on and on). B&Bs of today have moved away from “doilies” and “museum-like” features, to warm, comfortable and inviting spaces to be enjoyed and lived-in, not admired from afar.
- An incredible source for insider information – The innkeepers, as well as fellow guests, are a great source for information and recommendations for things to do and places to eat, and often include lesser known places that aren’t heavily marketed but well worth checking out. We love to share our favorite things to do and places to eat in the area (which are constantly evolving as we explore surrounding areas) and often include some hidden gems.
- The comfortable environment – B&Bs are small intimate places, often in neighborhoods or rural areas, giving you a true feel for the area (as opposed to commercial areas that could be just about anywhere). Most B&Bs have several areas for guests to enjoy besides their warm and inviting rooms. It may be a family room with a fireplace, a cozy nook to curl up with a good book or the one you love, an area to play games or work on puzzles, or a porch or sitting area to enjoy your favorite beverage and/or take in an awe-inspiring sunrise or sunset, just to name a few. The bottom line is that you are not confined to your room if you do not want to be (but I must say, guest rooms often have some incredible in-room amenities which may make it hard to leave).
- The Breakfast – Afterall, it is a bed & BREAKFAST. Breakfasts are homemade, often with locally sourced ingredients, and as varied as the innkeepers. Many innkeepers get into the business, not only to meet interesting people (which is a definite perk), but because of their love of cooking. My love of cooking and experimenting with food (something I discovered later in life) lead us to our new venture (or adventure) of owning and running a bed & breakfast. I not only get to live in a really beautiful place and meet some truly incredible people, I also get to share my cooking and baking with our guests. Life is good!
- The Little Extras – This may be redundant of the above, but I think it bears repeating. Innkeepers want to pamper their guests and ensure a great experience, so keep a look out for those special touches and little extras like soothing bath salts for the whirlpool tub, luxurious robes and other spa-like touches, earth-friendly toiletries, fresh baked treats and/or snacks, complimentary beverages, afternoon get-together or happy hour—the list is endless.
So what are you waiting for? Book that much needed bed & breakfast get-away today. And if you happen to be considering Northern Wisconsin or the Bayfield, WI area, we would love for you to stay with us at Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast.
We hope you get the opportunity to experience a one-of-a-kind B&B on your next vacation or get-away. Thank you for taking the time to read our blog.
Becky and Mike, Innkeepers
Pinehurst Inn Bed & Breakfast