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Bed & Breakfasts

A Bed and Breakfast (often referred to as a B&B) is a type of boarding house typically operating out of a large single family residence. Guests are accommodated at night in private bedrooms and breakfast is served in the morning - either in the bedroom or, more commonly, in a dining room or the host's kitchen.

Guests are usually expected to pay for their stay upon arrival and leave before noon (or earlier) on the day of departure. A big advantage of this type of hosted accommodation is the local knowledge of the host(s).

Bathrooms can be private or shared (with other guests or with the family in smaller establishments) or en-suite (where the ablutions are directly accessed from the guest's bedroom).

B&Bs may be operated either as a primary occupation or as a secondary source of income. Staff often consists of the house's owners and members of their family who live there.

B&B's in the British Isles

There tend to be concentrations of B&B's in the seaside towns where, historically, the working classes holidayed such as Newcastle in Ireland and Blackpool in England but they are also widespread in isolated rural areas such as the Highlands of Scotland where there is not a year-round concentration of travellers sufficient to sustain an hotel.

In the British Isles, breakfast is usually cooked on demand for the guest and usually features bacon, eggs, sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes, baked beans, etc but, increasingly, because of either a desire of owners to economise or guests to minimise their calorie intake, a continental breakfast is becoming more common.

In recent years, bed and breakfast businesses in the UK have struggled against budget hotel chains such as Premier Travel Inn and Travelodge. Some businesses have sought to redress this balance by endeavouring to promote business more effectively, both within the regional tourism authority structures and through on-line travel agents.

Bed & Breakfasts in North America

Many B&Bs in North America often consciously seek to recall earlier days; they are frequently established in attractive older houses that have been renovated and filled with antique furniture. In some cases in North America an existing inn will relabel itself as a "B&B" to improve business and move itself "up-market".

When guests stay more than one night, in some smaller B&Bs they will be expected to be away from the B&B during the main part of the day. This arrangement, however, may not be inconvenient since many popular B&Bs are located in beach and mountain areas, such as Hawaii, New England, and Colorado where daytime recreation and tourism activities are popular. One advantage of staying at a B&B is readier access to popular locations "off the beaten path" which may not be convenient to the city centre.

Due to the secularization of North American society, bed and breakfasts have expanded to offer wedding services once exclusively the purview of religious institutions. These include hosting the wedding reception to organizing the wedding rite with a clergy or non-clergy leader.

The term "bed and breakfast" is also used to refer to a meal plan where breakfast is the only meal provided, commonly in package holidays, in a major hotel that may provide other meals to only some customers.

New Zealand B&Bs

Like the USA, Bed and Breakfasts in New Zealand tend to be more expensive than Motels and often feature historic homes and lovingly furnished bedrooms at a commensurate price. The historic city of Nelson has an unusually high concentration of both of these accommodation alternatives because it was historically the place where kiwis holidayed.

Australia B&Bs

Despite the cultural similarities, there are far fewer B&B's in the whole continent of Australia than there are in just the South Island of New Zealand despite the resident population being more than twenty times greater. (airports)

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