Innkeeper: (lyrically) “Hello, this is the Blossom Bed and Breakfast, how may I help you?”
Guest: (less lyrically) “Yes, this is Bill Smith. We got into town a little early today, and we’d like to go head
and check in.”
Innkeeper: “Ah, Mr. Smith, your check-in time is at 4:00 this afternoon – another seven hours from now.”
Guest: “Oh, that’s okay, you can get us in right now, can’t you?”
Innkeeper: “Mr. Smith, the present guests haven’t even had breakfast yet, and won’t be checking out
until noon. I’m sure you understand.”
Guest: “Well. . .no, not really.”
As most travelers well know, there are a few basic courtesies they can exhibit to be considered good bed and breakfast guests. Some of these courtesies are commonsensical (or rather, they should be), others perhaps not so familiar. In case you're wondering what they are, here’s a short, sweet top five listing of qualities that make a good B&B guest:
1) As in the case of eager Mr. Smith above, don’t show up seven hours early for check-in. Or, six hours, five ours, four, three, or two hours early. Certainly, while a little early might be fine, try to adhere to the check-in time frame arranged between you and the innkeeper. Unless you’re very close friends of the guest checking out (and I mean very close), watching them pack their bags might be a bit unsettling for you both!
2) It’s a bed and breakfast. Without advance notice from you, the innkeeper will be providing you not only a bed, but – voilà – a breakfast as well! It’s a great courtesy to let the B&B innkeeper know if you’re not showing up for breakfast. And, with the reduced energy costs from not making the breakfast you’re not having, it’s also another great way to save the planet.
3) Let’s just assume you do show up for the great, scrumptious breakfast the innkeeper has promised. Now, there are a few different styles of breakfast service at a B&B (covered in another of our blog posts). But, whatever the service style, it’s good to remember that it’s usually not an all-you-can-eat buffet. Don’t over-do it with ordering more than you can consume. Keep in mind that B&B’s are all about quality, not quantity.
4) Another thing B&B’s are all about is atmosphere; it’s why most B&B’s are in old-architecture homes. Don’t be surprised if you hear a creak or two underfoot as you walk around the place. And, as you do, remember those
creaks will be there when you come in later that evening after painting the town red (or, whatever it is you decide to do to the town). Step lightly when coming in late, lest you rouse other guests in their more sedate states in their comfy B&B beds.
5) Lastly, here is one of those overlooked guest things I spoke about earlier. With all of that wonderful B&B atmosphere comes some quaint décor accents. Things like velvet curtains, warm libraries, or even little gourmet
chocolates on your pillow. Another thing? Three words: Beautiful, fluffy towels. Yes, that’s what I said – beautiful, fluffy towels. After your town-painting (see #4), avoid the temptation to use the beautiful, fluffy towels for wiping mascara and lipstick off your equally beautiful mug!
There you have it. Some basic elements innkeepers the world over have agreed upon in making this, the universal top five qualities of a B&B guest. Surely, there are others, and perhaps many that you might even consider to be more vital. In any case, practice makes perfect. So, when traveling, always stay at a B&B, if only but to practice your being-a-good-B&B guest skills.
Even better, bring a friend and practice them together!