Most people have stayed at a hotel (or motel) at some time in their life. Surprisingly, not everyone has stayed at a bed and breakfast (B&B) because they just don’t know how very different the experience can be. While hotels are usually a cookie-cutter, sterile environment with an impersonal staff, B&Bs are all unique. They may be Victorian, which is prevalent in Eureka Springs and is the style of the Bridgeford House Bed & Breakfast, or they might be a log home, modern style, Craftsman or even a castle! The environment will feel more like home, with a home-cooked meal and your own personal maid that leaves cookies on your bed. And, yes, you will have your own private bath, certainly at our inn. It is rare nowadays to have to share a bath in a US inn (still common over in Europe, though).
Of course, one of the key points of a bed and breakfast is the breakfast – included with the room rate. (If it’s not, you need to find a different place to stay – that’s not a bed and breakfast!) Usually cooked by the owner of the B&B with a trend towards the gourmet, quite a few B&Bs provide a full, hot 3- or 4-course breakfast. What we served here at the Bridgeford House this morning was Mixed Fruit with a homemade Devonshire cream, Edwardian Egg Casserole (maple sausage, egg and cheese casserole), Apple Crunch Bake (biscuits, apples, nuts, cinnamon and brown sugar baked together) and bacon. Of course we always have a juice (sometimes fruit smoothies) and coffee, tea and a cold glass of milk, if desired. Some B&Bs only provide a Continental breakfast, which is usually a lot of carbs (primarily pastries) but some do provide a pretty extensive Continental breakfast that is very filling.
B&Bs can be quite different in the way they serve their breakfast. We all sit down at one sitting (9:00 a.m. – we are a vacation destination after all!) and eat together, on fine china and gold flatware, with candles lit, and we serve our guests like royalty. (We also have very fun and lively conversations, which is what we prefer). Some B&Bs have separate tables that seat 2-4 people at a table and have staggered eating times, or a time range, say, 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Some B&Bs we’ve been to have baskets delivered to your room at a pre-arranged time.
But one of the most important advantages and perks of a B&B is the lack of added fees – so prevalent in hotels nowadays. Parking, maid service, credit card fees, wi-fi or high-speed Internet access, coffee and other beverages, and now charitable donations may appear on your hotel bill! At B&Bs, besides a wonderful breakfast being included, very often soft drinks, waters, coffee, tea and homemade treats are as well. Here at our inn, we have refrigerators in every room (so you don’t even have to leave your room to go down to the common pantry to get what you want) and we keep those stocked with cold soft drinks and waters (as well as chilled drinking glasses and champagne glasses). We also have a microwave in each room and provide popcorn and cocoa, and of course we have a coffee pot for those early risers that can’t wait for our fresh ground roast coffee at breakfast. We have a huge tea collection to provide you with that hot cup of tea and every afternoon you will find a plate of goodies on your bed (gooey lemon bars, butterscotch or cinnamon chip scones, fudge marble pound cake – just to name a few of the possibilities!). There are candies and chocolates in your room, as well as in the parlor (okay, so we have a sweet tooth…). We also provide soaps and shampoos and bath salts for the whirlpool rooms. You will never be charged a cent for any of those extras – because we are a bed and breakfast.
And you get to snuggle up with Sophie for free!
Jeff and Nadara (Sam) Feldman – and Sophie, too!