The Difference Between a Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast and Country Inn

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You are going on vacation and are beginning to research the perfect place to stay. You may become overwhelmed by the number of options and types of hotels/inns there are. We are here to help. Below we will review what makes a Boutique Hotel, Bed and Breakfast and Country Inn different from each other so you can decide which is perfect for you and begin your search of finding the perfect vacation accommodations. 


Boutique Hotel 

Imagine walking into a small hotel where the staff greets you immediately. The atmosphere is just what you would expect to find in the town that you are in. The decor is eclectic, personal and each room is a little different. When you awake in the morning you know just where you are because your room reflects the culture of the neighborhood just outside your window. Boutique hotels tend to be small in size, usually under 100 rooms. This allows the staff more time to provide personalized attention. The staff also have in-depth knowledge of the surrounding neighborhood and are happy to provide suggestions to restaurants, bars and cultural activities in the area. Chain hotels tend to be cookie cutters of each other, the decor and ambience exactly the same no matter where you are in the world but boutiques hotels pride themselves on their unique decor that represents the area in which it is located or a particular style or theme. These hotels also provide things like pastry, beverages, bath and body products from the local area and local makers. You may worry that these unique hotels are expensive but many are surprisingly affordable making a boutique hotel an excellent option for your next vacation getaway. 


Bed and Breakfast 

You have just begun your vacation and arrived at the bed and breakfast where you have a room reserved. The owners greet you as you arrive and show you to your lovely room set in an historic home. They let you know that there will be wine and cheese by that fire that evening where you will meet the guests from the other 3 rooms in the bed and breakfast. In the morning you wake up to the smell of coffee and breakfast cooking. You head down to the cozy dining room to enjoy a wonderful home cooked meal with the rest of the guests before you head out for the day. A bed and breakfast is often located in a historic home and will have a cozy old world feel. This doesn’t mean that it won’t be elegant and comfortable though. The owners live at the B&B and have in-depth knowledge of their town and neighborhood which they are happy to share. Generally the owners are the only staff on hand but some may have a full time or part time helper. Amenities are included so you won’t be paying extra for that water or wifi. Although they may not have a state of the art gym, they do often host gatherings for their guests such as wine and cheese or evening cocktails. If you enjoy meeting other people and want a cozy homey feel then a B&B is just what you need. 


Country Inn

You arrive at the front door of a Victorian Mansion, Arts and Crafts Style Lodge or a Rustic Farmhouse. The Country Inn brings you home to simpler times with elegance and grace. The small staff has time to greet you warmly and get you settled into your room which is an elegant and comfortable space. You change and get ready for dinner joining other guests in the beautiful dining room or on site restaurant for an elegant dinner. In the morning you wake up and open the curtains to the beautiful scene outside, whether a vineyard, field or ocean and descend to the dining room to have breakfast. The Inn is larger than a bed and breakfast but still substantially smaller than a hotel. The owner may or may not live on the premises but staffing is still small enough to provide personalized service that you would not find in a hotel. Inns are generally located in smaller towns and are often housed in historic buildings. Some may have a more unique style but Inns are not as focused on uniqueness and brand as a boutique hotel. They tend to focus more on luxury and comfort and less on providing a homey bed and breakfast feel. An Inn will often provide both breakfast and dinner and oftentimes has an on-site restaurant. 

When planning your next get away take a chance, stray from the traditional chain hotels and explore one of the above options. Whether you want something small and entirely unique like a boutique hotel, want to feel like you are at home away from home in a bed and breakfast or want to be pampered in the timeless elegance of a Country Inn you won’t be disappointed traveling off the beaten path.



Why do people stay in boutique hotels?

Those who choose to stay in a boutique hotel are looking for a more authentic, personalized and unique experience than you can find in a traditional chain hotel.

How do you tip without cash?

According to the Washington Post, a good way to tip if you do not have cash is to use an APP on your smartphone such as Apple Pay, Venmo, Zelle, Paypal. All of these APPs are easy to use and will get the intended tip to the housekeeper, bellhop and concierge quickly.

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