The 10 Different Kinds of Bed & Breakfasts

Based on my extensive international travels and research for this guide, I have identified 13 types of bed and breakfasts that you may encounter. I’ve included five instances of each kind. One of my favorite places to stay is a bed & breakfast, especially when traveling to places with distinctive local cultures. Click here to view our comprehensive guide to bed and breakfasts. Click here to read the ten reasons why visitors should stay at a bed and breakfast at least once.

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1) Deluxe Bed & Breakfasts

This is how most people think of bed and breakfasts.

A boutique is a “small company that offers highly specialized services or products,” according to Merriam-Webster. This indicates that the host of a bed and breakfast concentrates on providing for their visitors (homemade breakfast, afternoon tea, etc.). Many boutique B&Bs are family-run businesses with few or no workers and only a small number of visitors at once.

These elements usually produce a cozy setting where visitors may receive personalized attention from the host; in comparison, large hotels may feel rushed and impersonal. Boutique bed and breakfasts can provide a range of facilities. Click here to view our comparison of amenities between B&Bs and hotels.

2) Exquisite Breakfasts and Beds

Comfort is the main priority for luxury bed and breakfasts.

Luxury B&B establishments are usually too small for the major facilities (gym, pool, etc.) that are regularly found in 5-star luxury hotels. For instance, a lot of hotels have more than 100 guest rooms, yet B&Bs seldom ever have even 10. Luxurious bed and breakfasts prioritize finer touches and services above expansive amenities. (silk sheets, robes, lavish breakfast, individual cottages, etc.).

These opulent extras can be offered by luxury bed and breakfasts either as part of a package or as an addition to their nightly fee. Stays are often weekend vacations lasting two to three nights. Costs for luxurious B&B rooms might rival those of nearby 4- or 5-star hotels. For instance, in terms of style, amenities, and facilities, a lot of bed and breakfasts in the Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard regions can compete with 5-star hotels.

3) Low-Cost Bed & Breakfasts

Budget hotels strive to provide you with financial savings.

Even though they’re not usually thought of as “cheap” or “budget accommodations,” some B&Bs do provide affordable nightly prices. In order to do this, some B&Bs may give up “lesser” services, less facilities, and “extras” (such hiring staff or having a guest kitchen).

Furthermore, less expensive B&Bs could provide simpler, smaller breakfasts or provide dorm beds, which are rooms shared with other visitors, in their less expensive rooms. Click here to see our price comparison of hotels vs. B&Bs.

4) B&Bs in Urban Areas

Large towns and cities are home to urban B&Bs.

While bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) often operate in homes or small commercial premises and tend to focus more on service, hotels sometimes strive to maintain a larger guest volume. That’s why it might be costly for hosts to operate a bed and breakfast in a metropolis. Urban bed and breakfasts are often found in the suburbs around a city or on its outskirts.

If you want to stay in a city for more than a few nights, urban B&Bs may provide a cozy atmosphere and frequently serve as an excellent base. They have the sense of an apartment combined with a hotel. To entice guests to stay longer, several urban B&Bs now provide weekly and/or monthly prices.

5) B&Bs in rural areas

In contrast, rural B&Bs are situated outside of cities.

These B&Bs, sometimes known as “country inns,” might be the perfect choice for tourists who want to get a sense of the local way of life or the environment. “Rural” environments could include deserts, woods, beaches, and more. Additionally, some rural B&Bs have access to hiking trails and/or water sports.

If you don’t have own transportation, it might be challenging to get to certain rural B&Bs, but most of them offer on-site parking. Some are only reachable by rickety seaside roads, while others are nestled into the slope. In more isolated areas with fewer visitors, a rural bed and breakfast could be the sole accommodation choice in the area.

6) Bed and Breakfasts By the Water

Very near to the water are waterfront B&Bs.

This covers any substantial body of water, such as rivers, lakes, the ocean, etc. In addition to simple foot access to the coast, waterfront B&Bs may provide views from the premises. In addition, they could hire out gear for kayaking, snorkeling, surfing, and other water sports.

Seaside B&B rooms usually have higher nightly prices than “average” B&B rooms, in my experience (particularly if the establishment is located beside the ocean). If the resort has exceptional views and service, nightly prices can compete with those of the nearby 4-star hotels.

7) B & Bs in the Mountains

These B&Bs are situated next to or on top of mountains.

Mountain B&Bs, often known as “huts” or “cabins,” are a great option for those who enjoy the outdoors. Their proximity to hiking trails and ski slopes creates a social setting where visitors may unwind and recuperate before continuing their activities (driving, trekking, etc.) the next day.

Activities (such as snowboard instruction, waterfall walks, etc.) are led by several mountain B&Bs. Mountain B&Bs may have seasonal operations, especially if they’re situated in an area where extreme weather events are common. Certain bed and breakfasts along hiking trails, such as the Appalachian Trail, provide daily meals and are a crucial part of hikers’ itinerary.

8) Bed & Breakfasts on Farms

Farm stay B&Bs let visitors experience living on a farm.

They could get to know certain crops, engage with animals (pigs, horses, etc.), or just spend time on a ranch because of its tranquil environment. Check the listing to see if the host permits visitors to engage with the farm animals or plants.

Farm stays are popular with a variety of guests, including families taking their kids for an animal-petting day and adventurous singles and couples looking for new experiences. Lunch and dinner are frequently offered at farm stay B&Bs because many of them are isolated locations and produce their own food. Click here to learn about how dinner and lunch are handled in a bed & breakfast.

9) Bed & Breakfasts with Themes

The goal of themed B&Bs is to make an impression.

Themes for properties might be inspired by the host or by the history, geography, or culture of the area. Each room might have its own theme, or the entire property could have one consistent theme (or a mix of the two). For instance, a nearby tourist destination may serve as the inspiration for a room’s design.

Aiming to draw a specific kind of visitor, some themed bed and breakfasts may have seasonal themes. For instance, a host may offer some Christmas events in addition to decorating their house for the holiday season. The furniture and arrangement of the space (bed frames, bathroom, balcony, etc.) can be components of the room theme.

10) Intimate Bed & Breakfasts

Romantic holidays might be well suited for B&B establishments.

Although the term “romantic” is arbitrary, some hosts make a concerted effort to create a romantic ambiance on their property. They might do this by giving couples greater privacy or space, such as allowing them to eat breakfast alone (B&B breakfasts sometimes include guest groups sharing areas).

Certain charming B&Bs have a “honeymoon feel” and may include completely private accommodations, such as cottages. Although romantic B&Bs are more likely to provide breakfast in bed, regular B&Bs do not. Of course, a bed and breakfast’s overall romantic vibe might also be influenced by its location.