The concept of a bed and breakfast, or 'B&B', has existed in various forms for hundreds of years. The earliest examples were probably monasteries that would offer shelter and a meal to passing travellers. The term 'B&B' was first used in the United Kingdom, although it has now become an expression you will find anywhere in the world. There are many other words to describe the concept - guesthouse, boarding house, pension, parador, gasthaus, pousado, but in Dorset, Bed and Breakfast is what you will generally find.
A bed and breakfast can vary enormously in terms of what it is and the facilities it offers. Often it is a private home where a guest is provided a place to stay for the night. It may only offer one room, or larger establishments may have four or five. Breakfast is usually included with the price of the room. Apart from converted private residences, some pubs offer B&B accommodation. The same concepts of 'room and breakfast' apply, although pubs will often be able to provide meals in addition to breakfast, as well as other services not always provided in a private home.
No two homes or pubs are alike. They vary even within the same geographic area, and it is partly this diversity that attracts people to stay at a B&B. Each one has its own personality and character. In a home-based B&B you will be made to feel like a member of the family. If you're staying in a pub, particularly if it is in a village, it will likely be the focal point for the community, and you will be able to share some of that atmosphere during your stay. There is the additional benefit of being able to enjoy a couple of drinks without having too far to stagger back to your lodgings.
In Dorset, bed and breakfast is generally not the prime reason for visiting a specific area, although sometimes a particular B&B may have promoted itself to an extent that people do seek it out and plan to visit an area specifically to stay at that establishment. In such cases, the B&B may offer enhanced facilities, such as being an historic building, or having especially luxurious rooms. Or perhaps it is just very conveniently located for a particular attraction.
As well as the tourism and leisure industries, a B&B has plenty to offer the business traveller. Apart from being easier on the expense account, business travellers sometimes find the more personal approach of a B&B more relaxing than the often faceless hotels or motorway lodges. Increasingly, today's B&B offers more and more facilities to provide a real and viable alternative for both business and leisure guests.
Whatever your reasons for visiting the area, a Dorset Bed and Breakfast will offer you a warm and friendly welcome, and hopefully contribute to the overall enjoyment of your stay.
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