While there is nothing new about people renting out an extra room to an overnight visitor, B&Bs have been a big industry in the U.S. for only about the last thirty years. This came about partly because before the 1980s, there were no reservations service organizations. These are organizations that promote and recommend businesses that have paid a membership fee and been “vetted” by the organization. This gave people more confidence when choosing a B&B and a way to find a list of recommended establishments in the area they wished to stay.
There are actually two types of B&Bs; the B&B inn and the B&B home. The B&B inn is a multi-room structure devoted to housing overnight visitors. They often have luxurious features such as down comforters and elegant décor and can be relatively expensive. The B&B home is a family residence whose owners have decided to supplement their income by making a few rooms available to rent. These are usually less expensive.
Today, thanks to the internet, you can find B&Bs that fit your price range, location of interest and even your personality. You can choose from a pampered, romantic stay in wine country to a spell on a working ranch, or take the kids on a farm stay. Many B&Bs are historic buildings kept in the style of the time period, but with modern amenities. Usually breakfast is included in the price and often cooked by the host.
You can go as far away as Europe or sometimes as close as your own home town. The Kansas Bed and Breakfast Association has online listings with prices, descriptions, amenities and links to the websites of most B&Bs listed. From there, you can often view the rooms and make reservations. Many establishments will cater to weddings, scrapbook parties, family reunions and other gatherings.
For a stay in a turn of the century house with all the gorgeous architectural details look to The Tea Rose Inn Bed & Breakfast in Hays, Kansas. Built in 1909 it’s located in a historic district along with many shops, restaurants, antique shops and art galleries. The Inn has four rooms with charming names like the Rose Room and the Peacock Room. It also boasts a breakfast that is a “culinary event” and an afternoon tea.
If luxury is what you crave, try the Southmoreland on the Plaza. Just a block and a half off the Plaza in Kansas City, it boasts “classic New England B&B ambiance with small hotel amenities” such as complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres, turndown service and luxury linens. With twelve rooms to choose from, each room has a special feature including jacuzzis and fireplaces.
For a completely different atmosphere, there is the Wild Horse Canyon Bed & Breakfast 10 miles from Dighton in western Kansas and 30 minutes south of I-70. While the setting is the big draw (there’s actually a Wild Horse Canyon, sometimes called Devil’s Canyon), there’s also the experience of staying on a working ranch in comfortable, peaceful surroundings. You can walk the nature trails, hunt or take a short drive to historic Dodge City after a full country breakfast.
You don’t have to go to France or even California to stay in the heart of wine country. Try the Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn and Riverbluff Cottages in Hermann, Missouri. You can choose from a suite in the Inn or in one of the Riverbluff Cottages. Both offer magnificent views and luxurious amenities including jacuzzis in every suite that make this a perfect place for a romantic getaway. A recent visitor says, “It was more personal than a big hotel and they paid more attention to details. It was nice and we plan to go back.”