3 Reasons To Ditch Traditional Hotels and Choose a Bed and Breakfast In Texas

If you are planning on taking a trip down south to the great state of Texas, then let us talk about accommodations for a minute. In a state this big, there is no shortage of hotels, motels, and, of course, the ever-popular B & B's. Hotels will do in a pinch, certainly, but these larger…

If you are planning on taking a trip down south to the great state of Texas, then let us talk about accommodations for a minute. In a state this big, there is no shortage of hotels, motels, and, of course, the ever-popular B & B's. Hotels will do in a pinch, certainly, but these larger chains lack the charm and character that allow a bed and breakfast in Texas to serve as a bridge to the colorful history of the Lone Star state. Take a look at the following three reasons to opt instead for this quaint form of Southern hospitality.

1. Southern hospitality says it all!

Everyone knows everything is bigger and better in Texas, and the hospitality factor is no exception to the famous rule. In fact, the very definition of Texas, or Tejas, is “friendly.” And as the most western, Southern state, you will experience the quaint charm that is often associated with the region. There is no better way to immerse yourself in the lower-paced, friendly culture than staying in locking run by local residents who know the area. Most owners of a bed and breakfast in Texas stay in the same home and prepare the food. There are also extra perks you generally will not find in a larger hotel, like sweet tea, homemade quilts, free wi-fi and parking and older homes with beautiful architecture and a whole host of other amenities. The key is to find a smaller town, like Brenham, Cat Spring, or Nacogdoches. Or even larger cities like Austin, Houston and San Antonio will have B & Bs that feel like a small, welcoming town.

2. Connection to the past.

Many owners in Texas have a strong and proud connection to the history of the area in which they have settled. Many of these homes that serve as rentable lodgings act as the bridge between the past and the present. With homes in Texas dating back to the 1800s, many B & B's maintain the original carpentry and furnishings. Staying in one of these gems can offer you a fantastic glimpse into how life was in Texas. Washington County, especially, is known as the birthplace of Texas and towns like Brenham, LaGrange and Washington-on-the-Brazos feature lodgings that really focus on giving the visitor a window into the past.

3. Stay in the know for local events and festivals.

Almost every small (and big) town in Texas boasts at least one unique festival and a dozen interesting attractions and stellar restaurants. The key is to be aware of these attractions.This can be hard to do for someone who is not from the area. Since most bed and breakfasts in Texas are run by locals who are embedded in their communities, these lodgings are great spots from which to glean information. Also, bonus points to the traveler who books a home that is located conveniently near a town's attractions. This can save you some time if you find yourself in walking distance. Some B & B's in Texas will also offer discounts to local attractions in the area. Some people are surprised to learn that Texas has portions that are famous for its wine, like the wine trail in Washington County. Wine towns are especially good about offering perks related to wineries and wine trails. For more information, check with the local chamber of commerce or visitors bureau for recommendations. Some great festivals to keep in mind include the Burton, TX cotton gin festival, the Annual Round Top Antiques fair, and, of course, the famous Washington-on-the-Brazos Independence Day Festival.

What to Look For When Researching Bed and Breakfasts

Let me start by saying that I design websites for bed and breakfast providers. I have been inside many establishments, photographed them from all angles, sampled the food, experienced the difficulty of finding them if they are off the beat track and spend time with their owners. Sometimes I've felt like The Hotel Inspector. Sometimes…

Let me start by saying that I design websites for bed and breakfast providers. I have been inside many establishments, photographed them from all angles, sampled the food, experienced the difficulty of finding them if they are off the beat track and spend time with their owners.

Sometimes I've felt like The Hotel Inspector. Sometimes I've buttoned my lip and said nothing, sometimes I've politely voiced my concerns. If I've spotted something amiss it's a pretty definite bet that guests will too and will be only too keen to say so on Trip Advisor or social media.

There's a clue in that last sentence if you are researching Bed and Breakfast providers. Look them up on Trip Advisor. What experiences have previous guests had?

Were the owners friendly and helpful, or did they act like they did not want guests in their house?

The rooms and facilities were clean and tidy? Was the location peaceful or were you looking onto a main road and a building site? Was the breakfast freshly cooked and generous?

Trip Advisor will tell you all this and more.

Take a look at how owners respond to negative comments. Remember, disgruntled guests and those who have to complain about the smallest thing are the ones most likely to post. Did their complaints seem valid and how did the owner respond?

I always tell my website clients that bed and breakfast customers shop with their eyes. Photos, photos, photos. Guests want to see what the place they are coming to looks like. What the rooms look like, what the shower rooms look like, what the view from their window will be, what the food looks like.

If those photos are not on a provider's website, or are they grave and out of focus, ask yourself why that might be? If the website has not been updated in years, might that tell you something.

In general, you get what you pay for. A B & B that costs £ 45 a night for 2 people probably will not be as smart or as spacious as one that charges £ 145 a night. Lower pricing does not have to mean that rooms are dirty and facilities do not work.

Look to see if the room (s) you are booking have their own en suite facilities or have shared facilities. There seems to be an increasing trend in the UK for a roll top bath to be placed in the bedroom. If you are young and in love, you may be very happy to bathe together or to have your partner watching. But would you be so keen if you are two friends using the room as a twin room? Or parent and child sharing a room?

If you have pets – check that dogs are welcome. If in doubt, phone the owners and ask.

If you have young children, check that the B & B is child friendly. You do not want to find that the establishment does not accept children and have your holiday ruined. Respect those that do not accept children – they may have had a bad experience, they may have elderly owners, they may specifically run a child free establishment.

Look to see if breakfast is included in the price. Some establishments will offer a “room only” rate. This may be what you want if you are staying just one night and have an early start. Or maybe you are one of those people that simply does not eat breakfast.

Make sure you know what size the bed is. For some couples this is not an issue, but if one or both of you is tall, or a little on the wide side, you may prefer a larger size double bed – king or super king size.

Check what facilities are offered in the bathroom. Some will have a bath with over bath shower. If you have mobility issues you may prefer a separate, walk-in shower. Make sure you read the owner's description and if in doubt, phone or email to check.

If you are a wheelchair user, or have another disability, again read the description carefully and if in doubt, contact the owner to ensure the establishment meets your needs.

Most B & Bs are happy to cater to special dietary requirements. Not telling the owner your special requirements until you sit down to breakfast leads to embarrassment. Most owners will want to meet your needs and will feel upset and embarrassed if they can not – advance notice ensures that the food your require will be available when you want it.

Check the location of the B & B. You may want peace and quiet in an isolated, rural location. Or you may want to stay somewhere that is more easily accessible to the local sights and does not involve a 10 mile drive up and down the valley to reach it each day. An online mapping service will usually give you a pretty accurate location and there may even be Street View so you can see the place where you are planning to stay.

How About Bed and Breakfast To Go With That Glass of Texas Winery?”

The state of Texas is not simply a land known for its amazing barbecue, wild wild west stories, roaming armadillos, and dusty desert landscapes. Although the cowboy lifestyle runs deep in the blood of most Texans, they also enjoy the finer and more refined things in life. Not many people realize that Texas has many…

The state of Texas is not simply a land known for its amazing barbecue, wild wild west stories, roaming armadillos, and dusty desert landscapes. Although the cowboy lifestyle runs deep in the blood of most Texans, they also enjoy the finer and more refined things in life. Not many people realize that Texas has many vineyards churning out some amazing and unique wines that offer a special taste of the state. Wine tasting and weekend excursions are common, especially in the Hill Country- a gorgeous rolling hill landscape dotted with charming small towns. It is always a good idea to have a place to stay, especially after a whole day of wine tasting out in the hot Texas heat. Looking for Texas winery bed and breakfast? We have you covered.

1. First-go visit a winery

There are many amazing wineries in the heart of Texas in and around Hill Country. Each offers up their own unique spin on wines. Windy Winery offers boutique wines served up in their spacious tasting rooms with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding hillsides. The Saddlehorn Winery offers you a chance to explore the winemaking process in detail or relax in a modern tasting room away from the scorching sun. The Texas Star Winery specializes in fruity wines that are infused with pear, hibiscus, and many more. Wherever you choose to go, you will not be disappointed by the flavors and artistry.

2. Far View Bed and Breakfast

This B & B is located inside an amazing castle like brick building complete with gorgeous landscaping and surrounded by 2 acres of land. Located close to downtown Brenham, TX the property is perfectly suited to staying in and enjoying the amenities. Complete with hot tub, pool, covered patios, and outdoor cooking, there may not be any reason to leave!

3. Wakefield Farms

This is a historic farmhouse that offers you the cottage feel with all the modern luxuries you would come to expect from high end lodging. These cottages have been renovated for maximum comfort and comes with access to a cool pool in the heat of the summer. For a more quaint yet comfortable stay- this is the place.

4. Cottages of Winedale

The name even has the word wine in it. This B & B is known as the Kolber Kottage and is located near Round Top which is known for its many festivals and especially interesting shows. This property offers up larger space for family, friends, or even double couples to stay at. It is the perfect combination from comfortable amenities and authentic country feel.

5. The Guest House at Washington

Perfectly located near all the Hill Country towns; Washington, Brenham, College Station, and Chappell Hill, this B & B offers up the chance to state in a traditional farmhouse from the 1930's but updated into a comfortable 3 bedroom and 2 bath lodging. It is complete with all the amenities you need to be relaxed and ready for adventures in any of the surrounding towns.

For that true Texas experience make sure to plan your best B & B experience today.

The Guy’s Guide To Booking A Bed And Breakfast In Texas

When it comes to booking a bed and breakfast in Texas, there are a number of choices available. But with that many choices comes “option paralysis.” It is easy to be accessible with too many possible ways to book a great trip. Guys understand that a “B & B getaway” is supposed to be romantic…

When it comes to booking a bed and breakfast in Texas, there are a number of choices available. But with that many choices comes “option paralysis.” It is easy to be accessible with too many possible ways to book a great trip. Guys understand that a “B & B getaway” is supposed to be romantic and fun, but if it is too complicated, problems the size of the Lone Star State can arise.

Not to worry. Here is a basic guide for any guy trying to put together a great B & B trip for him and his special someone:

1. Book in a Timely Way – Event though bed and breakfast destinations are available nearly year-round, you may find it harder to book a stay if there is a major calendar intrusion involved. Holiday weekends and seasonal holiday vacations can fill up vacancies in a hurry. Also, if the B & B you're interested in has a local events calendar, check to see if there any major happenings during the proposed time you want to book a room. Washington County, Texas, for example, is home to stellar wineries and beautiful face wildflower-laden landscapes. Sometimes the smallest towns can have the largest draws because of an event.

2. Do not Book Too Out of the Way – You definitely want some peace and quiet for you and your sweetie, but you also want to have a connection to civilization. Bed and breakfasts are nice in that they can offer a bit of seclusion, but if you want to venture out to check out the nearest town or take a day trip to the nearest big city, you want to plan close to enough to not spend all of your time traveling. Brenham, Texas, home of Blue Bell Ice Cream, happens to be in a prime place sitting near the halfway point of Austin & Houston.

3. Pack for Romance – You know your significant other really well, and, as such, here you are planning a great trip. Up the ante by planning a part of the trip to include an activity that your partner finds especially romantic. Maybe dancing in a historic dance hall does the trick. Sometimes hiking a trail as a couple with a scenic sunset at its end is the way to your love's heart. The key is open to do something that makes them smile from ear to ear.

4. Make Memories and Take Pictures – All too often, trips tend to have pictures taken by one person. They, in turn, are usually missing from most of the pictures. Invest in a “selfie-stick,” and keep yourself right next to your sweetheart. Try to make as many moments memorable. Take a funny pic of the two of you sharing a snack in the bluebonnet splendor in the Texas Hill Country. When you get home, you can even snuggle up on the couch and relive the awesome trip you had as you look through your snapshots.

Guys, it can be easy to let the planning of a trip to a nice B & B become a nuisance, but if you start your trip with a bad attitude, the end of the trip could be even worse. By taking the time to follow the steps above & by keeping in mind the love your life, you can make it a trip to remember.

Basic Bed and Breakfast Etiquette for Guests

One appealing thing about bed breakfast inns is their warm and more personal service. Hospitality is the core of this kind of business and guests book a certain inn dependent on the quality of hospitality service that they want to get. Some guests want to share a common room while some want to have privacy…

One appealing thing about bed breakfast inns is their warm and more personal service. Hospitality is the core of this kind of business and guests book a certain inn dependent on the quality of hospitality service that they want to get. Some guests want to share a common room while some want to have privacy for their belongings. They also have the option to dine with fellow guests or have the foods served right at their door.

What is the basic etiquette that every guest must know every time they check in on this kind of establishment?

• Communicate. It's important to discuss or communicate certain things with the staff of these inns because they offer various amenities and services depending on the needs of each guest.

Provide details about room preferences, food allergies, dietary restrictions and other special requests before staying. Do not forget to distribute the arrival and departure details so that they can have an organized record of arriving guests.

When celebrating a birthday or an anniversary, inform the innkeepers in advance about it. Some of them provide complimentary upgrades depending on the celebration. For instance, they serve chocolates and sparkling wine on such guests.

• It's okay to skip the breakfast they serve. While eating with fellow guests is one the fun perks they offer, innkeepers will usually understand if their guests want to skip their meals. When checking in at smaller properties with limited seats, any plans of skipping breakfast must be coordinated to any of the staff ahead of time so that the reserved seat can be opened to others.

• Know more about their policies for delayed flights and late check-ins. Innkeepers understand reasons for experiencing travel uncertainties such traffic jam and flight delays but make sure to contact them when one of these happens.

• Check their pet policy. Bed breakfast inns have various rules when it comes to bringing pets. Some find it perfect while some strictly does not allow it.

• Be honest especially when something is spilled inside the room. As part of the customer service compliance, innkeepers do not have the right to blame or shame their guests for spilling something inside their rooms. Tell them the incident right away so that they can clean the room immediately.

• Start a conversation with fellow travelers. One good thing about staying at these inns is the chance to start a conversation with other guests while having breakfast. This is a good opportunity to know more about the tourist destinations in the area and share common experiences. In doing so, make sure to stay away from topics like politics and religion because other guests may come from places or countries where there's a different belief on these two things.

• Ask for best sites to visit and activity ideas. Typically, innkeepers know more about the places to visit within the area than their guests. Take this opportunity to ask for their advice about other potential itineraries to visit. They are more than happy to provide what they know by giving away books, brochures, flyers and other helpful materials. Some bed breakfast inns also have small libraries to help travelers reach other destinations and do exciting activities.

Best Historic Bed and Breakfasts in the US

A typical bed and breakfast (B & B) usually offers lodging accommodations and breakfast. The beauty of staying at bed and breakfasts is the personalized, homey touch that is like a home away from home. For a more private and quieter stay, some travelers prefer bed and breakfast places where on the average, there are…

A typical bed and breakfast (B & B) usually offers lodging accommodations and breakfast. The beauty of staying at bed and breakfasts is the personalized, homey touch that is like a home away from home. For a more private and quieter stay, some travelers prefer bed and breakfast places where on the average, there are only around six to twelve rooms.

There are many excellent B & B places in America, and some of the best are restored manors and private homes that have historical ties in the area. These restored homes are products of two legislations: the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 and the Tax Reform Act of 1976. These legislations made it possible to get tax reductions for the restoration and repurposing of historic homes.

We have gathered a list of the best historic bed and breakfasts in America, where visitors can appreciate great architecture and experience interesting stories.

1. The Twelve Oaks

Located in Covington, Georgia, The Twelve Oaks evokes the legendary mansion of Margaret Mitchell's novel Gone with the Wind. It has been chosen as one of the top ten B & B's in the US The mansion was built in 1836, and it has eight luxurious guest rooms with modern amenities and en-suite bathrooms. It is located near the historic Covington Square and the town is filled with antebellum mansions. It is also conveniently located just 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta.

2. Aaron Burr House

This B & B stands on the very spot of the house where the third US Vice President hid after his infamous duel with Alexander Hamilton, which ended Hamilton's life. Located in New Hope, Pennsylvania, the original stone foundation is the only thing of Aaron Burr's house that remains now. All the accommodations are decorated with unique stencils and have beautiful, shiny hardwood floors. With the interest in Hamilton and Burr because of the hit Broadway musical, this will certainly generate a lot of interest.

3. Chateau Tivoli

One of the best historic bread and breakfasts in the west coast, Chateau Tivoli is located in San Francisco, California. The structure itself is very familiar because it is one of the famous “Painted Ladies” of Steiner Street, which features prominently in postcards of San Francisco. Built in 1892, the structure was used for different purposes all through the years. The bed and breakfast opened in 1989, and it has nine lavishly-appointed accommodations.

4. Battlefield Bed and Breakfast

This is located in Pennsylvania, right on the battleground of Gettysburg. This is one of the most unique bed and breakfasts in the country because it gives visitors the unique experience of living during the Civil War era. Originally built as a farmhouse in 1809, it has the original beamed ceiling, chestnut wood floors, and stone walls. Each room has a theme that honors the South Cavalry Battlefield troops. There's a history lesson available from costumed Civil War characters.

5. Sugar Hill Harlem Inn

Located right in the center of New York, the area where the inn is located right smack in the middle of the early 20th century Harlem Renaissance. This is the area where black families moved into. Jazz legend Duke Ellington, poet Langston Hughes, and former Supreme Court Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall all lived in this area. The inn has 5 themed rooms all named after a prominent African-American.

Bodnant Welsh Food Center, Wales, UK

The Bodnant Welsh Food Center has set itself as one of the top foodie destinations in Great Britain. Visiting here means engaging into a wonderful culinary experience like no other! The complex houses a working farm, a wine cellar and gourmet restaurant among others. The center is a testimony to Wales' ever growing passion for…

The Bodnant Welsh Food Center has set itself as one of the top foodie destinations in Great Britain. Visiting here means engaging into a wonderful culinary experience like no other!

The complex houses a working farm, a wine cellar and gourmet restaurant among others. The center is a testimony to Wales' ever growing passion for regional food and its production. It occupations 18th century stone buildings, which are part of the Furnace Farm estate. This Welsh Food Center aims to attract both tourists and locals alike with its plethora of food and drinks! At Bodnant, you can embark on a true blue Welsh food tour, whether you decide to visit for a few hours or the entire day. This award-winning center lies at the heart of the Conwy Valley, with the stunning landscape of Snowdonia serving as a worthy backdrop.

Your first order of business could very well be a stop at the center's farm shop. Here, you are guaranteed to find some of the best local meat and produce in the country. Head over to the dairy section, to sample not only the local milk but also some top dairy products like handmade cheese, yogurt and ice cream. The on-site bakery, on the other hand, regularly produces fresh traditional and seasonal breads. Some of the best sellers include the Welsh Cakes and Bara Brith.

And just when you think you have died and gone to food heaven, you will soon realize that the journey is just beginning. The next section worth experiencing is the bee-keeping site, where sweet and healthy honey and honey lotions are produced. In fact, such site is hailed as the National Beekeeping Center of Wales. To see the bees in action, make your sure to plan your visit at the right time of the year.

One of the most popular sections at the Bodnant Welsh Food Center is the wine shop, which sells not only the finest local wines but also products that come from the largest wine regions in the world. Do not just browse around – go for a wine tasting and food pairing session to make the visit more memorable!

A visit to the Bodnant is not only about eating, it is the total Welsh culinary adventure. At the center's cooking school, several courses that last from one to four days are offered all year round by top Welsh chefs. You can choose to learn how to prepare and cook local fish or bake that perfect cake for the family to enjoy! But if you really do not have time for any classes, at least have a satisfying meal at the center's premier Hayloft Restaurant.

To reach Bodnant Welsh Food Center, you can choose to drive the A55 Expressway along the North Wales coast. Another alternative is to take the train that goes from London to Holyhead. Get off at the Llandudno Junction, and take a local line to Blaenau Ffestiniog. Request to stop at Tal-y-Cafn, which lies at the center of the Bodnant Estate.

If you feel like a few hours is not enough to fully enjoy the Bodnant Welsh Food Center, consider staying a night or two at the estate's 5 star bed and breakfast accommodation, housed in the 18th century Furnace Farmhouse.