I opted for B&B

Posted by Analyse at 6:20 PM

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Julie’s comment on my recent post made me smile (tho I didn’t get what R and R is, lol).

Ana, this seems to be exciting. Ok ang problema mo, where you would spend your vacation. Well, you work hard and you definitely deserve R and R.

Indeed, I’ve got a good problem and I’m not complaining. I have been hiding behind my computer lately, discrete, invisible, no sign of life – no blogging nor bloghopping (sorry for that). I am in fact lurking around the net, reading travel forums and blogs, comparing hotels and prices and checking for great destinations.

Our May vacation has finally been defined. It will be a road trip around the Tuscany region up to Rome. Ok, I know, I have already been there but that was like 5 years ago and we’ve changed the Pope eversince. That’s a whole lot of difference, ain’t it? And we’re planning to do more than visiting big cities. We’re thinking of checking on cooking lessons Italian style, take a walk in small, typical villages, observe wine or olive oil making, stay in a farm..

If only I was rich and I could spend without thinking, I could have reserved whatever is there (or ask somebody to reserve for me) without looking at the € sign. But no, I don’t have that luxury.. and luckily, because I enjoy reading those comments, bargain with prices and plan the itinerary myself.

My objective is to finish all the reservations this week. I have booked for Florence and Rome – both in Bed and Breakfast (Chambre d’Hôtes in France). And I’m definitely booking B&B for our stay in the Tuscany region.

Why B&B? I don’t know. I’m probably and unconsciously fed up with hotels (reminds me of work!). Let me tell you why I love B&Bs.

- Welcome is personalized. You get to be greeted by the owner of the house like you’re a long lost friend.
- If you’ve chosen your B&B well enough, you could have yourself served with marmalades made of fresh fruits from the owner’s backyard. (well, this could not be the case in big cities like Rome and Florence but it will be another experience altogether).
- You could take your breakfast without meeting hundreds of faces without anybody greeting you good morning.
- Rooms are decorated with a touch of personalization and not for commercial purposes only.

Prices are comparable to hotels and sometimes, even more expensive. But you get first-class accommodation. I have tried a lot of B&Bs in France and all of them got my two thumbs up. I also tried B&Bs in England and in Wales (oh, they’re expensive!), but I tell you, for the same price, I would go to B&Bs rather than hotels without hesitation! Now, Italy, it’s your turn.

*There are some other types of accommodations which I find exciting but in the impossibility to do so. Couch surfing and home switching. They’re both internet-based and free. All you need to do is register in some available sites, create your profile and off you go.

Couch surfing is easy (mainly for students lol), you check for the city you plan to visit, surf for members with an available sofa (or even a little space on the floor!), and ask for permission. If it’s ok, then you visit the city without paying for accommodation. And if you’re lucky enough, you get a free tourist guide too.

Home switching is kinda different. The owners should be on vacation too while you invade their abode. I’ve heard that you could even borrow their cars! Cool, huh?

What about you? Are you ready for such kinds of travel accommodation adventures or are you the no-risk traditional traveller?

*Bed & breakfast is a term, originating in the UK, but now also used in North America, for a place that offers bed accommodation, and breakfast in return for payment, but usually does not offer other meals. Typically, especially in the UK, bed and breakfasts are private homes with only one or two bedrooms available for commercial use.

A boarding house is different from and has a longer history than a bed & breakfast. The boarding house was for longer term stays, bed and breakfast was for people travelling through the area on short stays.

Source: Wikipedia


raqgold said...

for me it is okay kahit saan but my husband who is so metikuloso, mukhang malabo yan :D

chung said...

hmmm, sounds like an adventure! hindi pa kame ganyan ka-adventurous sa vacations namin kaya i still prefer the hotel.

by the way, i decide to hide my real name! i migrated my posts to WP, changed my name and am no longer searchable sa google. anyway, please link me up but please use my new name! :D thanks! :) - chung


lovelyn said...

Hope you'll be having fun. Take extra warm get ups. Its still cold here. Bed and breakfast is a click. Lots of homes being turned into such specially when their kids or mostly KID goes to college. Rather than an empty house, they make profits out of it.

Mixednuts said...

I don't mind the B&B. I am surprised though to hear that it can cost more than a hotel. Re the "house swapping" I watched a movie with Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet (can't remember title) and this is what they did.

Your trip sounds fun!

julie said...

That would be fun, Ana. I wouldn't mind pitching up a tent where it is allowed. Though with kids in tow and the small car, we have to make adjustments pero ok pa din yun. Even my ever fave travel mag, the New England tours, they really have a lot of beautiful B & B features.

Have fun and take care. Ay, sana matuloy EB namin with Raq when she gets home soon :)

Btw, R and R is rest and relaxation.

mitsuru said...

I guess come May you can say once again- veni, vidi, vici Italia!

Good Luck & Happy Heart's Day!

Analyse said...

Raqgold, yan naman ang kabutihan dito kay Frenchguy, strike anywhere talaga and mega-cowboy - reklamador nga lang hahaha.... so i don't know which is better, reklamador or metikuloso?

Chung, cute new name ;). I'll update my blogroll laterz..

hey, take more adventure now, pag may baby na, mahirap na.. ang lagay na yan e less adventurous na kami with B&B hehe, because at least we have reservations before going there.. the good thing about it is that, i could still choose what suits me, pag andun na kasi, pag no choice na, kung anong meron, yun na..

Lovelyn, We'll go there sa May pa so I think the temperature would be some degrees higher na... same here, temp in the morning is still below freezing .. so i'm still obliged to scrape off frost on my car every morning.. but i'll go to Milan end of this month, but for work so it must be less fun :(

Mixednuts, like hotels, you've got different categories too... you could go from simple houses to luxury castles.. thus the difference in prices.. from experience, a 1-2* hotel could be cheaper than a simple B&B. I'd say that starting prices are equivalent to 3* hotels..

Well, another reason why I don't like hotels in Europe that much is that, it's very rare to get a new hotel near or in the city center (they're mostly built outside the center - like 30min or more by bus - don't even dare to bring your car in the center because parking space is very rare and very expensive). Hotels are mostly built in old buildings, so sonorization is not perfect, you could hear everybody around you. Whilst in B&B, they're mostly at the foot of historical sites, with 2-3 clients.. just perfect for me ;)

Julie, we've got a tent too but May is not yet a great time to camp, lamig pa. And yes, we're campers too.. Louna started camping at 6 months yata haha.. kids love to camp!

Hey, you're having grand time with all those EBs and dine-outs. Inggit ako.

mitsuru, hahaha, right. Viva Italia! Happy heart's day to you too.

Mitch said...

Ana, I'd go for a reklamador, reklamo lang naman ang kayang gawin susunod din hahaha!

Btw, you are tagged > http://www.mitchteryosa.com/2008/02/14/to-cane-or-not-to-cane/.

Sabay ganun eh! LOL!

tintin said...

Yay, glad your plans are finalized! I will look into B&Bs next time.

+ Liz + said...

Happy V-day! :D

lareine said...

hello ana :)

TY for the visit. I prefer having our vacations in May because it's not too hot and not that cold anymore. Plus, there aren't that many tourists yet. Well, I hope you had a great time yesterday.

Till next time :)

Soy said...

When I got here in the UK, I didn't know what B&B was! Nor R&R. and that Tea was a drink as well as afternoon meal! Haaayy!

+ Liz + said...

Hello! Please add my other site. Lizzz2 @ http://Justlizzen.com Thanks! :D

Francesca said...

Ive been to ROME and Florence last June 2006. We paid 250€ each(tout compris : hotel 2nights, dinner, bfast and bus trip Nice to Pisa, Florence, Rome)

Italian hotels are expensive. In France , we can get 50to70€ per night stay.
In a Italian Hotel we stayed, it was 115€ per night, in a golf course and in the middle of olive plantations area,mama mia, somewhere in Tuscany ata yun!

If we are not full bus tourists, we could have paid more!!!
ok na yang BB. Sa Rome may kinainan kaming resto dyan, tabi ng tren station.

Hope to hear you speak italian when you come back!!!lol

arrivaderci!ciao bella!

tama ba?

Dutched Pinay on Expatriation said...

Ah nice, I love holidays. Italy is a beautiful. I love the country and Tuscany all the way to Lazio is pretty. I hope the B&B's you booked are in the little villages in between as they give you the local charm of Bella Italia.

I use booking.com because its a secured site, straightforward, and there are reviews from people who have stayed. Their prices are also quite competitive. They offer B&B's, 1-5 star hotels, and even castles and stately mansions.

Also, I have a tip for you in Florence, 'Cafe Pitti' right across the Palacio Pitti/Boboli Gardens have the best carpaccio. You've got to try them as this was definitely the best carpaccio ever that I have tasted in my entire life.

Anywho, I'm off myself to Rome, Castelli Romani, and Orvieto and will be back in a week ;-)

Auee said...

Naks ang daming destination... :-)

re: B&B rates in England and Wales
Sinabi mo! Talaga naman. But as you said most them are "sulit".

Lucille said...

Hi analyse! wishing you a happy vacation!
Us, each time we go for vacation we always opted to take a nice "gites" because we feel comfortable and more relax while vacationing. This year, luckily we still have the chance to go vacations.
Ingat and enjoy your vacation.

MegaMom said...

Nice pick, Analyse! Enjoy the food. :) But don't eat too much. For some reason, nakakataba ang pagkain sa Italy. Must be all that pasta.