Bed and Breakfast, a term originated in the United Kingdom is a one of its kind in the hotel business. As the name suggests, the Bed and Breakfast, or B&B, offers accommodation and breakfast but not lunch or dinner. These are usually private homes that run the business as a primary or secondary mode of income and are usually small in size, with about 10 rooms or so. The profit motive is usually low.
A B&B can have private guestrooms or suites with private bathrooms or shared bathrooms. The breakfast is served either in the dining room or the guestroom. Most of these establishments are family affairs, although some of them hire external help for cleaning rooms and laundry service. However, it may be noted that the moment a B&B hires external professional help, it goes into the category of inns or hotels.
In modern times, B&Bs have undergone some radical changes. It is now quite common to see a B&B offering free wireless Internet access, spas, free parking and other deals and discounts just like any other commercial establishments. B&Bs are quite popular in countries like United Kingdom, New Zealand, Cuba, Israel, Italy, Kyrgyzstan and all over North America.
The modern B&Bs are required by law to follow several safety regulations like fire escape plan and smoke detectors in the guest rooms. B&Bs are also members of professional trade associations - international, national, regional and local. The members meet now and then and share best practices and ideas. It is a general perception that members of B&B professional trade associations offer better service and stay.
Although B&Bs can be found in several countries, whenever one thinks of the term B&B, the image that comes to mind is a middle aged British gentleman and his portly wife who welcomes you with a smile and immediately lays down the rules of the house. Inside, there would be a comfortable drawing room with a fireplace and a wooden staircase leading to the guestrooms upstairs.
The typical guestroom will be a cozy area that would have a wall to wall carpet, a TV or a radio, a small bathroom with a bathtub. On first glance, the rooms may seem very sparse, but that is the beauty of a typical British B&B room. It's a typical British establishment with British ambiance. Although B&Bs have come up all across the globe, the quintessential flavor of a B&B is still associated with United Kingdom.