10 Questions to ask before booking a B&B

Here are questions you should ask the bed and breakfast host, to make sure your visit will be everything you expect.

1. How far are you located from _________________?

Location is generally the main reason a potential guest chooses a certain B&B. Even though claims are made on web sites and/or Google maps may show they are close to a certain place, it is always good to ask!

2. Do you have free, on-site guest parking?

While this is generally available, it is always a good question to ask, particularly in a larger, urban centre. In addition, you might want to make additional enquiries if you have sports equipment attached to the car or a trailer.

3. How far are you from a good restaurant and/or shopping?

Unless you are just stopping over on a long journey, you will need to have somewhere to go for dinner, and to get out and stretch your legs.

4. Do your rooms have their own bathrooms?

En-suite baths are contained as part of your room. Private baths are accessed from a public hall, but available only for your use. If a B&B advertises shared baths, it is always wise to determine how many rooms have access to a specific bathroom. That way, you will be prepared to bring a robe and to wait for your turn in the bathroom.

5. What size of beds are available?

Most bed and breakfasts' offer double (54" wide), queen (60" wide), king (78" wide) or twin (37" wide) beds. Depending on the room, additional beds (generally referred to as cots) may be available. As B&Bs are generally located in family homes, you will seldom find 2 larger beds available in the same room. In Ontario, fire regulations prohibit more than 4 people in one room.

6. Are there specific check-in and out times?

It is important to determine whether you are required to check-in at a certain time - B&B owners may have plans and will need to make arrangements to let you in if you are not arriving at the specified time. Flexibility for check-out times should also be established ahead of time – if hired help is scheduled to arrive at a certain time to clean, etc., they need to be able to access the rooms.

7. Is there a curfew for coming in at night?

Some B&B owners require guests to be back inside of the Bed and Breakfast so that the host can lock-up prior to retiring for the evening.

8. Do you have free WiFi available in the bedrooms?

Today, many travellers still like to remain in contact with those at home or the office. WiFi makes this much easier, and is common in a lot of B&Bs. You can always ask if you require a power bar, extension cords and/or converters to make it easier for you to use all your devices!

9. What do you generally serve for breakfast?

B&B breakfasts are as varied as their owners. Breakfast can range from a cold continental breakfast to a many course, gourmet feast. It is important if you have any dietary requirements or restrictions that you advise the owners at the time of booking, so they can plan the menu for that day accordingly.

10. How can I pay?

Some B&Bs require a deposit, but not all accept credit cards. In addition, depending on the volume of business they do, some bed and breakfasts are required to charge government sales taxes, while others do not. It is best to clarify this upon booking, so that you can be prepared. If you are charged the tax, merchants are required by law to provide you with their tax number. If credit cards are accepted, generally it is only Visa and MasterCard.