The ABCs of B&Bs

by Paris Permenter and John Bigley

If you're looking for peace and quiet, B&Bs and small inns offer good getaways and a chance to immerse yourself in more of the local atmosphere.

These small inns are intimate properties that only host a handful of guests at a time. Here the two of you will be part of just a small group of guests, and you'll get to know each other as you would aboard a small cruise. Often the owners of the inn reside right on property, so you'll receive personal attention.

Our favorite inns make us feel like we're guests of the family returning for another stay. We enjoy chatting with other guests, usually experienced travelers, and with the owners, who give us an insight into island life. Over the years, we've shared dinner conversations with hoteliers about hurricanes, gardening, local specialties, local sports, and island life in general. It has given us a perspective on these destinations that we would never have received at a larger property.

Ask plenty of questions before booking a stay in a small inn. These properties may offer limited services and may be more restrictive. If applicable, be sure to ask:
  • is smoking permitted indoors?
  • are children allowed as guests?
  • is breakfast served at one time or as guests wander in?
  • are intimate tables available or are meals served family style?
  • are special dietary considerations met?
  • is there a minimum stay?
  • does a remote location necessitate a rental car?
Husband and wife team Paris Permenter and John Bigley have authored over 20 guidebooks and also edit the FREE, a romantic travel magazine featuring worldwide destinations.