Staying at an English B&B in Shrewsbury is a great way to experience and really get to know the local area. B&B owners are normally very friendly and welcoming and will share their local knowledge and give you tips for getting the most out of your stay. However it can also be a bit nerve wracking if you are a B&B first timer!
Here are my top tips for getting the most from your stay.
A B&B Is Not The Same As A Hotel
I answered the phone the other day to a potential guest who said she had seen our hotel in a newspaper article. It looked very nice and she wanted to stay. I told her that we were actually a B&B and not a hotel, to which she replied – Same Difference.
Staying at a B&B is a much more personal home from home experience than a hotel . It’s why most people choose to stay at them.
Check Out The B&B Quality Rating
In the UK there are 2 main quality bodies that assess B&Bs and Hotels – Visit Britain ( or Visit Wales or Visit Scotland ) and the AA. They all work to exactly the same criteria. The criteria have recently changed and are more vigorous than they used to be. All guest accommodation ( B&Bs, Hotels, Restaurants with Rooms etc. ) are now given stars rather than the old diamond system. B&Bs are inspected once a year and have to work hard to maintain their ratings.
B&Bs do not have to be quality rated. There are some very good B&Bs that have no stars and rely on repeat business, recommendations and inclusion in specialty guides to get business.
As well as stars your B&B may have a silver or gold award – these are given for levels of cleanliness, customer service and little extra above those that they normally expect.
Just because a B&B is a 5 star gold award does not necessarily mean it is the right B&B for you so…
Read The Description For Your B&B Carefully
To make sure your B&B is going to meet your holiday needs read the descriptions carefully and, if you are at all unsure, contact them to ask about specifics. For example, a 4 star B&B only needs to have 50% of its rooms with en suite or having a private bathroom.
Make sure it has all of the facilities you require before you book. If you do not want to drive make sure there is a pub within walking distance – not always the case with a rural B&B. Do not assume there will be a hairdryer etc.
B&B guests normally go out for the day exploring. Though it a requirement of the Quality Standards that the B&B owner gives you access to the property at all time unless they have previously specified otherwise. If you are planning to spend the day at the B&B it’s worth checking beforehand with the B&B owner that they are happy for you to do so.
Let Your B&B Owner Know About Any Special Requirements
B&Bs are, generally, small businesses so cannot afford to stock every type of tea, coffee, milk, juice going. If you specifically need something, like decaffeinated tea or skimmed milk, then make sure you let your B&B host know in plenty of time. Most B&B owners will be very happy to get supplies in for you.
If you are on a special diet then make sure your B&B host understands what this actually means. Whilst most B&B owners are excellent cooks they may not be aware of the requirements of, say, a coeliac or vegan diet.
Many people are attracted to a B&B because there are pets around. However if you are allergic to cats or have a dog phobia make sure you check with your B&B owner beforehand.
Know Your Check In And Departure Times
Unlike big hotels B&Bs are very unlikely to have a fleet of staff. Quite often they are run as one woman or one man bands. So when your B&B says check in after 4.00 it is probably because they have to go out to the shops or do the school run or walk the dogs. And departure time is at 10.30 because they have 3 rooms to clean single handedly before the next guests arrive.
If you own a B&B it is a great idea to revamp the interior and get a new design to the building. Hire a skip today and get rid of all your unnecessary items.