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Wine Country Bed and Breakfast

Why stay at a bed and breakfast (B&B) for your Wine Country visit? Because it is an experience that you just can't find at traditional hotels. The unique attributes of bed and breakfasts are what have made them so popular with travelers - the warm and cozy atmosphere and personal service. Most bed and breakfasts are locally owned with the owners living on the premises who attend personally to their guests. If you stay at a bed and breakfast while visiting the wine country, it will most likely be one of the most memorable and special aspects of your visit.

The bed and breakfast industry that is flourishing today evolved from the time-honored tradition of lodging hospitality. Throughout history, travelers would often seek out lodging at private homes if they were traveling thru an area. Stays were usually fairly informal arrangements that were based on comparable social class or mutual acquaintance. Staying at a bed and breakfast today is a somewhat more formal arrangement than in times past, but B&B guests can still expect lodging that offers personal service and local charm.

If you are looking for a bed and breakfast location, it is important to know that each and every bed and breakfast location is unique. If you have specific amenities or requirements that you require in your lodging facility, make sure that you ask the innkeepers questions before you make a reservation. Asking questions before hand is a very important part of ensuring that your stay will be a positive experience and that you will not be caught by surprise once you check-in. If you call and determine that you are ready to make a reservation, they will be happy to do that for you. If this particular B&B does not seem to be the one for you or you're not quite ready to make a reservation, just simply thank them for taking the time to answer your questions.

Many bed and breakfasts are located in historic properties or family homes that have been converted into private guest quarters. Because they were originally built as homes, they usually have fewer rooms than hotels and are often not handicapped accessible. There are also many bed and breakfast locations being newly built, due to the demand for this type of lodging. Although new, most are designed to keep the ambiance of a traditional bed and breakfast. The rooms often have a king or queen size bed, although some may have twins. The bathroom arrangements also vary between B&B rooms. Some rooms have private attached baths, some have private baths but across a hallway, and some rooms have shared bathrooms with other guests.

One great aspect of staying at a bed and breakfast, is (of course) breakfast. Breakfast is usually included in the room rate and can be expected to be wonderful, but the choices vary. Some may offer a continental breakfast, while others may offer a full course breakfast. Some may be buffet style, while others may be a sit-down breakfast. Some may have a set breakfast schedule, while others may be more flexible. In addition to breakfast, some B&B's may offer a light afternoon snack, often featuring local fruit, cheeses, and wine.

The information on a B&B's website or in a travel guide may offer some basic information about their lodging, but it probably doesn't cover everything. Contacting the bed and breakfast directly is often the best way to find out about their business. Some of the basic questions to ask might be:

  • Will my room have a private bath or a shared bath?
  • What size beds are in the room?
  • Is it handicapped accessible?
  • Is smoking allowed?
  • Is there a telephone in the room?
  • Is there internet access for my laptop?
  • Do you accept children? Or, pets?
  • What time is breakfast served?
  • What is check-in and check-out time?

There are many ways to go about finding a bed and breakfast for your wine country visit. Word of mouth recommendations are often the best way to find a place to stay, as well as one of the most important means of advertising for the bed and breakfast. Repeat business and referrals from previous guests account for a large portion of the bed and breakfasts business. Because the guests opinion matters, the innkeepers want to make sure that you have a great stay.

If you do not know anyone who can give you a good recommendation, there are other ways of finding a bed and breakfast. If you belong to a travel company, ask them if they literature on bed and breakfasts in the wine country. If you work with a travel agent, they often have contacts in the area or can make a referral. Of course, another good method is searching the internet for bed and breakfast by local area (i.e. Napa bed and breakfast, Sonoma bed and breakfast).

When you stay at a good bed and breakfast, you will really be treated as special guests. Because the bed and breakfast is often both the owners home and business, they are truly committed to providing their guests with exceptional service. They are also happy to help you with other aspects of your visit, such as finding places for dining, wine tasting, shopping, and any other activities.

If you are planning a trip to the wine country and want a special place to stay, consider staying at one of the bed and breakfast locations that can be found in the Napa Valley or Sonoma area.

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