A Little About Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels, and Their History
The concept of a bed and breakfast has been around since the beginning of mankind. When a traveler would be seeking a place to stay for the night, people would often offer lodging. This over night stay would include a bed, and breakfast in the morning as a sign of hospitality. This arrangement was quite common before the dawn of the modern hotel and motel.
Some of the earliest examples of bed and breakfasts would be monasteries. This provided a safe alternative to weary travelers who otherwise may not have a place to stay. During the Great Depression, many people would open their homes to travelers to make some extra money. The term “boarding house” came from this type of lodging. Use of these declined after the Depression and became a little taboo for some. Bed and breakfasts during this era became seen as a lodging option for drifters, or low income people.
Most bed and breakfasts in the 1800’s catered to regular travelers. This included gold miners, pioneers, or those traveling for work. The incentive that would often attract travelers was the breakfast in the morning that travelers could rely on before they began the next leg of their trip. Most bed and breakfasts before the 1900’s would cater to a particular type of person. For example, since these were private homes, occupation and social class would be the largest deciding factor. A doctor would open up their home to other doctors or professionals. Someone in the middle class would accommodate other middle class people like miners or cowboys. This was accepted as the norm for the time period.
Progress in the Industry
Bed and breakfasts are popular lodging options in Europe, and enjoyed an influx of popularity in the second half of the 20th century. Since many young adults would spend some time in Europe, they often stayed at bed and breakfasts. Upon returning to the United States, many decided to open their own B&B as a source of income.
Today, bed and breakfasts generally are privately owned homes still. They often offer unique accommodations and are often located near historical or leisurely small town attractions. Generally, a bed and breakfast lodging in the United States is slightly smaller than a hotel or inn. The owners usually live on site and have limited front desk hours as well as check-in times. More modern facilities boast private bathrooms for each room, while some have shared facilities. Establishments called bed and breakfast inns also exist. These are usually larger than a traditional bed and breakfast because they offer more rooms to stay in. Bed and breakfast inns often offer more than just the traditional breakfast meal with stays. Today, bed and breakfasts are seen as attractive alternatives to mainstream chain hotels or motels.
As bed and breakfasts began dotting the countryside in America and Europe, hotels began to grow in popularity as well. In the early 1800’s, with the completion of the Royal Hotel in London, more and more hotels began to flourish, competing with each other by offering amenities such as meals, saunas, and more. This sparked a race to create the most luxurious, and comfortable hotel possible. Guests could enjoy new features in their hotels such as a luggage lift from the Holt Hotel in New York City, or even private bathrooms like the ones featured at the New York Hotel. By the turn of the 20th century, hotels had progressed so far as to offer all guests with electricity, a private bathroom, central heating, and even a telephone such as was the case with The Netherlands Hotel in New York.
Because of market competition, hotels have become more and more specialized toward the clientele they want to attract. There are many different types of hotels today that range from the ultra fancy international luxury hotels, to small, extremely specific attraction hotels such as those built on a historically significant site. There are even hotels that you rent a room for less than twenty four hours at, called micro-stay hotels. The benefit of a micro-stay hotel for the owner is that they can rent out the same room multiple times in a single day.
Once the turn of the 20th century hit, competition in the market has caused hotels to become more creative in their attempts to garner business. International luxury hotels emerged and are the epitome of the best comfort, luxury and grandiose all rolled into one place. They are all at least a 5 star or 5 diamond rated hotel. They all have full service accommodations on premises, custom tailored to the guests. Nearly all of them have full service restaurants on site, and offer the highest quality amenities available.
Specializations and Resort Hotels
As many people will say “cash is king” and in the hotel industry, this is often a very true statement. In most cases, you get what you pay for. While this may sound a bit negative, it can be a good thing in the sense of those who are looking to get the most out of their money. Because of this, hotels have been able to create resorts and specialty hotels for those with differing budgets and interests. Disney hotels are a perfect example of a hotel that has been able to hone its main draw to a specific (while quite large) crowd that is interested in fantasy and Disney/ Pixar movies. These are called resort hotels. Other specialized hotels could include the Burj al-Arab in Dubai, as it is unique because it is built on an artificial island, and has a very unique structure resembling a sail.
See the World!
Whether it is a bed and breakfast, a motel, an inn, or a hotel, having a place to lay your head at night is a crucial part of life. Luckily, humans have been able to develop a way for each other to travel the world and experience different cultures while having a comfortable and safe place to stay. It is just up to you to decide how you want to travel and sleep!