Most people know what to expect when staying in a hotel: they’ll check in, stay in for the evening or hit the town, then leave the next morning, ending their brief stay with little contact with the hotel staff and other guests. But bed and breakfasts work a little differently, and most first-timers aren’t sure what to expect or how they should behave. Guests can brush up on their B&B etiquette by remembering these key points.

Communication Is Key

The host is typically the person who owns the home, and these people are very busy balancing the many duties that come with running an inn. Guests will make the host’s job much easier by communicating important information when making the reservation, including dietary restrictions, food allergies, or special requests, such as handicap-accessible rooms. Hosts are usually willing and happy to accommodate most requests when notified in advance.

Guests traveling to a B&B with children or pets should also notify the hosts in advance. It’s also a great idea to let them know about any special celebrations, like a birthday or anniversary, as sometimes they may provide complimentary upgrades or gifts. Finally, visitors should always abide by the stated check-in times; most hosts expect all guests to arrive during those hours. Of course, they understand travel delays, so it’s polite to notify them if anything changes.

Respect the Space

Often, bed and breakfasts double as the hosts’ private residence, so guests should treat the space as though it is theirs. This means knocking when arriving and asking permission to use items in common areas. If anything happens in the room—breaking or spilling something—guests should let the host know. They’ve dealt with this many times before, so they won’t make a fuss out of it!

It’s also important to be gracious in the hosts’ home by giving them as much respect as possible. While they are providing a service, hosts are not servants and should never be treated as such. Complimenting them on breakfast (which is optional, by the way, as they will encourage you to explore local restaurants and businesses) or on the decor in the rooms goes a long way to earning their respect.

Get to Know Other People

It’s certainly not a requirement to spend time in the common areas of the inn or to mingle in the evening. After all, this is the guests’ vacation! But, chatting with the other guests over breakfast or spending a few minutes getting to know the staff can be highly enjoyable. There’s always something to learn from fellow travelers, and guests can glean valuable insider knowledge of the area from those who know it best.

Whether you’re looking to book your first stay at a bed and breakfast or are a seasoned B&B traveler, Ivy Lodge can provide you with an unforgettable, friendly experience in our nation’s City by the Sea—Newport, RI. Check out our getaway packages, and then call us at 401-849-6865 to book your reservation today!