I’ll never forget my first Bed & Breakfast experience. We went up to Estes Park for a weekend and the place we chose was everything stereotypical about a B&B – themed rooms, socially awkward hosts, squeaky beds, and a communal breakfast table.
At breakfast, we met the rest of the guests over stuffed French toast and fruit. At one point during the small talk conversation, a husband on his honeymoon made a random and slightly inappropriate joke about his new wife. The man sitting across from me was so shocked, coffee spewed from his nose and mouth. I remember questioning whether the charm of a B&B was worth the awkwardness of meeting strangers.
Since, then we’ve stayed at some lovely places, so I thought I’d share them.
Ewich House, Crainlarich, Scotland
We stayed at this beautiful converted farmhouse while hiking the West Highland Way. The host was a retired firefighter and loved running a small farm and B&B. The rooms were simply decorated and they had a comfy living room to watch movies. We ordered dinner, which was one of the best meals we had on the hike – all locally grown and raised foods. The breakfast was incredible, as well and the set up included small, private tables rather than one large communal one.
Castle Marne, Denver, Colorado
This rambling castle-like house is one of the oldest in Denver. Each room is unique but not gaudy. The neighborhood is very walkable, so finding restaurants is easy. There is a communal breakfast table, but the host and hostess are very gracious and had a way of drawing everyone into conversation without making it awkward.
Romantic River Song Inn, Estes Park, Colorado
We stayed here for one of our tax season getaways and loved it. There are rooms at the main inn, but we stayed in one of the cabins surrounding the house. They had a comfortable common room, delicious afternoon cheese and crackers, and the option of private or communal tables for breakfast. We loved that it is adjacent to the national forest, so there was easy access to hiking trails. (And is dog friendly!)
Capitol Hill Mansion, Denver, Colorado
This was another tax season getaway, but right in town. It’s across the street from one of my first apartments in Denver, so the neighborhood has some nostalgia for me. We ordered dinner in our room, which was delicious and the breakfast was tasty, as well. Our room had a bathtub in the turret, which seemed cool at first, until it was actually time to bathe in the morning… We loved the ease of staying just 20 minutes away from our house but feeling like we were taking a vacation.
China Clipper Inn, Ouray, Colorado
We stayed here for our 5-year anniversary last summer. It was the perfect home base for hikes and exploration around the town of Ouray. (One of the most beautiful places I’ve been!) The hosts are a young and energetic couple, who have great recommendations for activities in the area. The inn is only a couple blocks from the main street, which made walkability easy. The breakfasts were hearty – perfect for a day of hiking – and there was a choice of communal table or private tables in the sunroom.
Even though the bed and breakfast experience can be a little too much interaction for a vacation, I love the variety of people you meet and quirky experiences that come from them.
What about you? Are you a hotel type of person or a B&B type? Where’s your favorite B&B?