Not Classy Enough for B&Bs

Column: Finding the Good
by Caitlin Ludwig

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to stay in my very first bed and breakfast (B&B).  Though I was looking forward to a night away tucked in at a Holiday Inn, when my hostess informed me that she had booked me a room at the local B&B, I was somewhat intrigued.  I’ve heard B&Bs are interesting places full of character, good stories and delicious food.  After all, B&Bs are supposed to be classy little joints for classy ladies and I consider myself just that – classy.   Well, apparently, my classy-ness only goes so far and it stops right before liking B&Bs.

First, let me say, I very much appreciated my hostess putting me up for the night.  I was singing in her wedding and she was very kind to book (and pay for!) my room.  Second, let me also praise the pure beauty of said B&B.  The mansion I stayed in was absolutely gorgeous.  Okay, with those two pieces out of the way, let me give you the lowdown on my stay at a B&B….

B&Bs are awkward – especially so if you’re staying by yourself.  Your room doesn’t lock from the outside – only the inside.  Granted, the amount of people that are in the B&B is quite small but it does make it difficult to leave your belongings and go out for the night and not be thinking “What if…” the whole night.

This particular B&B involved a shared bathroom.  Awkward again…. First, I have no idea how many people I’m sharing the bathroom with.  Secondly, I don’t know their schedule or if I should coordinate who’s taking a shower when with them.  What if we both have to be somewhere at 8a.m. and we both take an hour to get ready??  Pretty sure we’re going to meet both reaching for the hot water handle around 7a.m….

This particular B&B also involved a shared TV room complete with a TV from 1993 and romantic VHS tapes (anyone in the mood for Titanic?).  I don’t want to awkwardly walk in on a couple partaking in an “I’ll never let go” moment so I avoided the room all together.

My room, while stunning, was rather boring.  There was no TV and no place to plug in my laptop.  It was scarily quiet.  The only thought that kept creeping into my head was that this place would be the perfect setting for a murder spree with a young 20 something as a victim.  To pass the time in this extremely boring room, I played Angry Birds on my cell phone…. for about 4 hours… and tried to not think about the latest Criminal Minds episode I had watched.

In the morning, I was greeted to the sound of a piano… at 7:30 as well as the smell of bacon and eggs.  While that smelled delicious, I had a few conundrums.  First: Do I go take a shower??  How long is an acceptable shower in a shared bathroom situation??  Second: Do I get dressed before I eat breakfast??   Or are my p.j.s acceptable breakfast wear?  Third: Do I make my bed??  Leave it for housekeeping?  Fourth: Do I have to be at breakfast at a certain time??

I decided on the following: make my bed, lock my door and play Angry Birds for another hour.

Apparently, this was not the correct B&B etiquette because the owners actually came looking for me and asked me if I was coming down to breakfast.  I wasn’t dressed yet and decided I didn’t know anyone here well enough to grace them with no make up and just-woke-up hair so I politely declined but said some fresh fruit would be nice if they had any on my way out the door (AKA a banana to go).

I quickly grabbed the fastest shower (and therefore probably the worst shower of my life… I LOVE LONG SHOWERS) I’ve ever taken, tried to not notice that the bathmat was soaking wet from the person before me and scurried back into my room.  After trying to figure out where to dry my hair and put on my makeup in my room and proceed to pick up every little crumb possible from the floor, I was ready to get the heck out of dodge!  All my bags were pakced and I was ready to go.

I proceed downstairs, dropped by bags by the door and tried to find the innkeeper to give me key and grab my banana from.  To my surprise, there was an entire fresh fruit plate on a china dish at the kitchen table waiting for me.  While that was very thoughtful, I felt obligated to eat every single piece of fruit on the plate and chat with the inkeeper.  Honestly, it was the weekend, I had a cold coming on and I just wasn’t in the mood for small talk.  I bucked up, ate my fruit and left asap.

When all is said and done, I would compare staying at a B&B similar to staying at your grandparents but without grandma and grandpa – there’s not much to do, tons of antiques and one bathroom.

For this girl, I’ll take a Holiday Inn with my own TV, bathroom and door that locks over a B&B anytime.  Maybe I’m just not classy enough to see the appeal in B&Bs but you know what?  If that’s so, I’m perfectly okay with that.  After all, what’s classier than a bucket of ice, room service and two queen sized beds?  I’ll trade you the mansion for a Holiday Inn any day!

-Caitlin

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~ by caitlinludwig on May 3, 2011.

6 Responses to “Not Classy Enough for B&Bs”

  1. I always wondered what staying at a B&B would be like. What you described in this post is why I have hesitated to give them a try. At the end of the day, I want my privacy, a (long) hot bath or shower, and some late-night TV to wind-down the evening! But I agree — that was really nice of your friend to put you up for the evening.

    Mika

  2. Sounds like an experience that would be much better shared. I wouldn’t worry though Caitlin, but next time, try to meet the people you’re staying with. I’ve had great experiences meeting random people. And don’t worry about what you don’t know– I bet the innkeeper would have been happy to give you the low down on everything.

    Totally agree that sometimes, the anonymous room at a chain hotel is both comforting and comfortable.

  3. I agree Eric – it would have been far more enjoyable if I would have gone with someone else. That, and if I would have ventured out of my room to meet the people. It was a bit of an awkward situation because it was really just me and the wedding party. I didn’t know the wedding party really at all and the innkeeper was busy getting the mansion ready for the wedding reception the next day. I figured it would be best to just stay out of the way. I think to stay at a B&B you should be the outgoing adventurous type which, that day, I wasn’t! I’m sure you have some great stories involving meeting random people!! Probably the best part of traveling!! Thanks for the comment!!

  4. Hahaha I love this post – it’s what I ALWAYS imagined a B&B would be like – awkward and boring and full of Angry Birds lol. I have always and always will identify you as my classiest friend – B&B judgements aside 😉

  5. I’d be miserable there. I have stayed at several B&B’s and have been lucky enough to have my own bathroom and innkeepers savvy enough to give me a range of breakfast hours should I care to partake. I might well have traipsed out in jammies if he/she had come knocking at my door.

  6. I visited a bed & breakfast that was actually two mansions across the street from each other. It was also off-peak season (which I had not known before attending). We got the place across the street, which made us the ONLY ones in the place! But anyways, we did have a door that locked from the outside (for while we were gone), and our own bathroom (which was HUGE), and our own sitting room with a TV in it. It was pretty awesome! (This was in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.)

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