What to expect at a B&B

History

Bed & Breakfasts have been around in some form or another for a very long time and have been very popular with European travellers for years. The term “B&B” came into use in the United Kingdom many years ago.

For those of you who have never experienced a B&B before or are relatively new to them, we hope this information will serve as a basic guide to either help with your B&B selection or improve your B&B experience.

This is a very general guide that covers a broad industry so there are notes that apply to most B&B operations along with specifics to 4 Beaches B&B in Sooke.

What is a Bed and Breakfast?

The definition of B&B as per Dictionary.com is as follows: “an accommodation offered by an inn, hotel, or especially a private home, consisting of a room for the night and breakfast the next morning for one inclusive price”.

There are variations on this definition but this is probably the most straightforward one.

What will most definitely vary is the type of room, breakfast and services included and that is what we hope to cover here for you.

*Breakfast

Some businesses are listed as a B&B but may be in the form of a self- catered unit and possibly the breakfast supplies provided for you to make your own. The traditional B&B will provide you with a room or suite and a breakfast provided for you included in the rate. You may dine in a room at separate individual tables or at one big table along with the rest of the guests. This is a great way to get to know other visitors, hear about their travels, and is one of the things many B&B regulars enjoy - the interaction with others.

The type of breakfast served may vary from a full hot and cold breakfast to a light continental snack, and everything inbetween.

It’s a good idea to let them know ahead if you have any special dietary requirements as unlike hotels, they may not always have everything on hand to accommodate your dietary needs.

4 Beaches B&B serves a full hot and cold breakfast each morning in their dining room and the menu changes each day

*Room service

Most B&B’s do not offer a full room service option, though some may be able to serve breakfast to your room upon request, perhaps in a limited form of the usual menu.

*Bathroom

Another area that often varies from place to place is the bathroom options. Some B&B’s offer complete ensuite facilities and/or may have rooms with a shared bathroom. This may or may not be important to you.

4 Beaches B&B suites all have private bathrooms equipped with shower, washbasin and toilet

*Housekeeping

Daily housekeeping service is not usual at a B&B, though not out of the ordinary. You will likely find the details on things like changing towels, bed linens etc. in the room once you arrive.

At 4 Beaches B&B clean towels are offered after the 2nd day and bed linens can be changed after the 4th day

*Noise

Is a B&B noisy? Of course this depends largely on location but it also comes down to individual senses and tolerance. What might constitute noisy for one person could be nothing to someone else, especially when it comes to sleeping. Are you used to the sound of traffic when you go to sleep? Is it normally silent during night time, except for the occasional sound of nature? There are lots of variables here to take into account. If you are used to the hum of traffic or some other noise at night, then you might find a quiet location an adjustment, and vice versa.

4 Beaches B&B is located outside the town of Sooke but on a main road. The traffic is minimal at night time so is not generally a disturbance for our guests. As far as noise inside the house, all our suites are independent (i.e. not connected to each other) to aide in sound-proofing. The house is essentially quiet between the hours of 11pm and 7am.

Suggestion: - if you are a light sleeper, take your earplugs with you in case you find any different sounds disturbing to sleep.

*Access to house during the day

Some B&B’s may limit your access to the property during the daytime, especially if it is also the home of the proprietors, which means once you leave after breakfast, you may not have access until later in the afternoon, around normal check in time.

Keep in mind that it is during this time that the owners will likely be doing chores such as room cleaning/changeovers, vacuuming of guest areas, shopping for breakfast supplies, etc., all activities that are better accomplished while no-one is around.

4 Beaches B&B is located within easy driving distance of many island attractions, including beach walks, hiking trails, etc and so we encourage you to spend the day exploring the beautiful area of Sooke. This is, after all, what most people come for!

*Checking in time

Unlike larger hotels, B&B’s do not operate with a front desk staff (or any staff in some cases, other than the hosts!) and so check in times will be limited to their availability, usually late afternoon to early evening. Keep in mind that your hosts will be expecting you to their home during this time and so if you find you are running late it is suggested you give a quick courtesy call if possible to give them a heads up. Likewise, it is often difficult to accommodate earlier arrivals as the hosts may be out doing their errands and getting the home ready for you.

4 Beaches B&B check in time is 4 - 6pm. Later times can be accommodated by previous arrangement

*Cooking Facilities

Unless you are staying in a self-catered style B&B then there are not likely to be cooking facilities available, especially for cooking main meals.

4 Beaches B&B does not have guest cooking facilities, however there are coffee and tea making supplies in the Guest Lounge that are available any time.

*Laundry Facilities

This is something that will be totally individual to the property so if you are travelling for several days and may require this service it might be something you would enquire about ahead of time.

4 Beaches B&B does not have guest laundry facilities however there is a full service public laundromat in the town of Sooke.

*Making Reservations

Every B&B is quite individual when it comes to the process of making reservations to stay. Most will have their own website with either a direct link to book or at least a link to send a reservation enquiry for someone to get back to you.

Many B&B’s will also be listed on various online travel agency (OTA’s) services such as Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, as well as Airbnb.

One thing to mention here is that while convenient for you to make the booking, these OTA’s charge a substantial commission to the property for every booking made through them and so taking a few extra moments to contact the B&B directly will be much appreciated by most B&B owners (i.e. phone, email, B&B website). Depending on the season they may also be able to give you a better rate by booking directly with them.

4 Beaches B&B - you can send an enquiry via our own website at www.4beachesbandb.ca and someone will get back to you to confirm availability. We are also listed on several OTAs for convenience, but again, a direct contact is always appreciated.

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