There are a lot of choices when you are looking for a place to stay for a vacation or a business trip. There are big chain hotels. There are budget motels and hostels. There are private room and home rentals through Airbnb and VRBO. And there are perks and minuses to all of those options. The best way to get all of the perks in one location is by staying at a bed and breakfast or small inn.
Small inns provide personalized concierge service. Innkeepers and staff love their town or area and want to share the best of it. They have built relationships with other small business owners and recommend the best of the best. They frequent local restaurants and know about nightly specials. They know which dive bar has the best martinis and whose homemade desserts are just like grandma used to make them. They know about local festivals and community art projects. They offer add-ons such as in-room massage services or cake delivery for a special occasion.
When you stay at a bed and breakfast, the inn is part of the vacation experience. Many bed and breakfasts are located on side streets or in residential areas. They provide the opportunity to truly experience the flavor and personality of a city not just the tourist part of town. A hotel in a strip mall is dull and sterile whereas an inn is full of life. An inn in a building that is in the National Register of Historic Places allow you to step into the past alongside modern conveniences. They are the chance to walk on the same floors as past presidents and local visionaries. Innkeepers are committed to maintaining the unique and historical charm of the bed and breakfast. Buildings are lovingly restored and often contain period furnishings.
You can expect as little or as much interaction with the innkeeper and other guests as you like. A shared breakfast with other travelers is a time for stories and travel tips. A glass of wine with the innkeeper may be a time to learn a little-known fact about the town. When you stay in a hotel you might nod at the other guests you pass in the hallway but you rarely get the chance to meet them. People who are drawn to owning a bed and breakfast are typically outgoing folks who like hospitality and friendly conversations. There are no strangers in their lives; instead, there are friends they have not met yet. Innkeepers are also happy to fade into the background if guests prefer quiet time alone.
When you read the information on the website for a small inn it may sound a lot like a love letter. Many innkeepers are native or local to the area. They may have grown up in town, moved away, and then moved back upon realizing that they left their heart behind. They may have never left. When they talk about their city or their bed and breakfast, they burst with pride and gush about their dream job. They don’t rush to clock out of their corporate job; they hardly feel like they are working because they love what they do. They are eager to provide personal touches such as chocolates and wine upon arrival, fresh cut flowers in each room, or information about all of their favorite photograph spots around town.
Business travel can be a real chore. You are spending time away from family and friends. Staying at a small inn can help you feel like you are coming home at the end of the workday. Guest rooms are carefully furnished with thoughtful décor instead of bland hotel room art. Home-baked treats in the afternoon can bring a smile to your face after sitting at a desk all day. Parking on a tree-lined street instead of in a concrete parking garage adds a feeling of relaxation.
Of course, we recommend that you visit Newport County, Rhode Island and choose to stay in a bed and breakfast here. First time guests should consider the live narrated trolley tour as way to get an overview of town. Return guests can learn about restaurants they have not tried yet or off the beaten path activities. We love welcoming new and returning friends to our member inns where everyone can expect wonderful service and comfort. Don’t be surprised if you return year after year to a small inn that feels just like home.