If you’re planning on traveling and you’re not sure which accommodation style to choose, understanding the main differences between a bed & breakfast, a hotel, and an apartment can help!
They offer different experiences, amenities, and price points – and will depend on who you are with and what you expect. Here is a breakdown of what you can expect from each:
Bed & Breakfast
A Bed & Breakfast, often abbreviated as B&B, is a type of accommodation that provides overnight lodging and breakfast. Unlike hotels and apartments, bed & breakfasts are typically family-owned and run, with an emphasis on personalized hospitality. The rooms are usually furnished with antiques or period furniture to reflect the local culture and charm. In the UK, you’ll certainly find some quirkiness when it comes to B&Bs. They are often located in historic homes, farms, or countryside villas, providing a more intimate, cozy, and rustic feel. Breakfast is usually served in a communal dining area with other guests, and the menu often reflects locally inspired food choices and local ingredients. Quality of stay can be quite varied.
Hotels are commercial accommodation establishments that typically provide guests with individual rooms, and various amenities like in-room television, mini-bars, room service, and concierge services. They range from budget-friendly to luxurious, with various price points, locations, and star ratings. Unlike B&Bs, hotels are typically run by corporations, and they’re designed to maximize the profitability of hospitality services. They offer guests consistent and standardized service (think of Premier Inn), with access to features like conference rooms, swimming pools, spas, and restaurants. The service between different branches of the same hotel can be identical so the chances are high that if you enjoy one hotel in the chain, you’ll have a similar experience in another branch.
An apartment is a self-contained accommodation that offers guests private living spaces, including a bedroom, a living room, a kitchen, and a bathroom. They are typically available for short-term or long-term lease and are often ideal for travelers who want home amenities, privacy, and space – making them ideal for those travelling on business. Unlike hotels and B&Bs, apartments don’t offer daily housekeeping services, but they provide guests with more freedom and privacy to cook, work, and relax at their own pace. Also, apartments don’t usually have a front desk or staff to assist guests directly so it’s a balance between being looked after and being given privacy.
For people away on business, apartments can offer the perfect form of accommodation as they offer great space, good privacy, ideally also high-end appliances and furniture.
Differences between B&Bs, Hotels, and Apartments
B&Bs usually offer basic amenities like Wi-Fi, on-site parking, and breakfast. They may also offer access to gardens, orchards, or swimming pools. Hotels offer more extensive amenities like fitness centers, spas, and restaurants. Apartments offer home amenities like a kitchen, refrigerator, and laundry facilities. Hotels tend to offer a wider range of amenities but they will be shared in communal areas. There are basics that every form of accommodation should offer: Connectivity, security, comfort.
B&Bs typically offer lower rates than hotels because they offer fewer amenities and services. Hotels offer a range of prices, with luxury hotels charging top dollar and budget hotels offering affordable rates. Apartments often have a daily or weekly rate and are affordable for longer stays, although luxury apartments will go for more if they offer high-end appliances and additional services.
Which one is right for you?
Choosing the right accommodation style will depend on your travel needs, budget, and preferences. It will also depend on whether you are travelling as a family, on business, or with friends. If you’re looking for personalized hospitality, local charm, and intimate accommodations, a bed & breakfast is the way to go. If you’re looking for consistent service, predictable amenities, and access to hotel facilities, a hotel will suit you better. If you’re looking for more privacy, home amenities, and a more extended stay option, consider booking an apartment. Whatever you choose, remember that your travel experience depends on the value you extract from it, so make the most of your choice!