Bed and Breakfast Inns

A bed and breakfast, often referred to as a B&B, is a lodging typically operated out of a large single family residence where guests can be accommodated at night in private bedrooms (which may or may not be equipped with private baths) and where breakfast, sometimes Continental and sometimes the full English variety, is served in the morning. In Ireland, most B&Bs serve a traditional Irish breakfast as a point of pride. The business may be operated either as a primary occupation or as a secondary source of income, and the staff often consists of the house's owner(s) and members of their family who live there.

It is possible for guests to stay more than one night, but in some cases they will be expected to be away from the house during the main part of the day. This arrangement however is generally found to be convenient, for many of the more popular B&Bs are located in beach and mountain areas, such as Hawaii and Colorado where daytime recreation and tourism activities are popular. One advantage of staying at a B&B is readier access to popular locations off the beaten path which may not be convenient to the city center.

Because most B&Bs are small, rarely with room for more than about 10-15 guests, it is advisable for anyone wanting to stay at a bed and breakfast to make reservations well in advance of their travel date. Consultation with a qualified travel agent knowledgeable in this type of accommodation is recommended; many B&Bs belong to associations, have a web presence, and are described in various books and travel guides.

The B&B arrangement is actually a very old one; before the 20th century, it was quite normal for country travelers to spend the night at a private house rather than an inn, and the custom persists in many parts of the world. However, this was strictly an informal arrangement constrained by acquaintance and social rank; a doctor might stay with a doctor or pharmacist, while a nobleman would only stay with the local gentry.

Modern B&Bs often consciously seek to recall earlier days; they are frequently established in attractive older houses that have been renovated and filled with antique furniture. In some cases an existing inn will relabel itself as a "B&B" to improve business.

Bed and Breakfast Inns have the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code of 721191. The NAICS definition of a bed and breakfast inn is "establishments primarily engaged in providing short-term lodging in facilities known as bed-and-breakfast inns. These establishments provide short-term lodging in private homes or small buildings converted for this purpose. Bed-and-breakfast inns are characterized by a highly personalized service and inclusion of a full breakfast in a room rate."

Guest Management Software | Inns for Sale | Books and Magazines | Professional Resources | Related Articles | Sample Business Plans | Start-up Issues

Professional Resources

The American Bed and Breakfast Association
An organization dedicated to the promotion of bed & breakfast (B & B) inns nationwide. Primarily a lodging directory.

Arrington's Bed & Breakfast Journal
A monthly trade publication for B&B/Country Inn innkeepers, innsitters and aspiring owners. The trade journal provides up-to-date industry information and current trends. Each issue features articles on owning and operating a B&B/Inn, recipes, and inns for sale.

Articles and Events for Innkeepers
A collection of useful articles from Pamela Lanier's Bed & Breakast Guide Online.

Bed & Breakfast Business Startup Guide
From the experts at

An international resource for aspiring innkeepers throughout Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Inn Consulting Partners
Heide Bredfeldt and Bill Oates of Inn Consulting Partners have been assisting both Aspiring and Current Innkeepers for over twenty-six years. We also offer a two and a half day seminar for Aspiring Innkeepers in an effort to ensure the successful purchase and operation of a viable Inn business.

Professional Association of Innkeepers International
Association for Bed & Breakfast owners and suppliers. It provides publications, interaction, advice, discounts, and other forms of assistance.

Sample Bed and Breakfast Business Plan
Software program that provides a business plan for a bed and breakfast that you can edit to fit your particular circumstances.

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Guest Management Software

Auberge Reservation Software
Designed by innkeepers, for innkeepers to handle reservations, track guests, prepare invoices, and generate confirmation and marketing letters as well as various reports to help run an inn or bed & breakfast.

A hotel management software program designed by hotel people for hotel people with the special requirements of medium to small properties in mind.

Availability Online
An online reservation system that can be integrated with your website.

Digital Rez International
The ROS2000 Reservation System enables staff to enter reservations, track daily revenues, maintain mailing lists and waiting lists, and provide up-to-date client information.

Easy InnKeeping
An easy-to-use software package to manage your reservations, track guests, print or e-mail confirmation letters,record referrals and create income reports. An online reservation module is also available.

InnOvation Reservation Software
Reservation and charging system especially designed for bed & breakfasts and other small inns with from one to twenty-five rooms.

InnReserve International
Reservation software designed for B&Bs and Inns with 12 rooms or less.

Online booking system, including having your rooms included in a travel reseller system.

My Inn Reservations
Hotel reservation management software designed specifically for bed and breakfast inns and small hotels.

An online availability calendar that is integrated into your website with an online Guest Management System that enables you to manage your reservations and guest database from any Internet connection.

Property management and reservation software products adesigned to provide extensive flexibility and varied choices. Scalable products and pricing for small, medium, or large businesses.

Flexible online availability and reservation services for the lodging industry. Systems are integrated directly into your website.

Guest Management Software | Inns for Sale | Books and Magazines | Professional Resources | Related Articles | Sample Business Plans | Start-up Issues

Inns for Sale

The B&B and Country Inn Marketplace
Bed and breakfasts on the market worldwide.

Bed and Breakfast Inns Online
Bed and breakfasts for sale in the United States and Canada.

Bed & Breakfast for Sale
Inns for sale around the world.

BnB For Sale
Listings for bed and breakfasts around the world.

Commerce Team
United States and international listings of Bed and Breakfasts for sale.

Cruising America
A limited group of inns for sale in various states.

Dallas Ad Mall
Inns for sale in a variety of states and Canada.

The Glendower Company
Inns primarily in Virginia and West Virginia.

The Inn Broker
Inns for sale in Michigan.

Bed and Breakfasts and Inns for sale throughout the US.

Lyman Robbins
A limited number of listings, primarily in California.

Oates & Bredfeldt
Listings of high quality inns for sale.

PAII Inn Sales
Inns listed for sale with the Professional Association of Innkeepers International.