Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Our friends in the Michigan Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association are blogging about five myths that have grown up around bed and breakfasts. Last week we read about decor choices. This week it's about bathrooms.

The first question I'm asked by many prospective guests calling to make a reservation at our B&B is if their room has its own bathroom. In our case, the answer is a resounding "Yes!" The trend in 2011 is toward offering private bathrooms. Many innkeepers who own 100+ year old houses have done a yeoman's job of finding space and plumbing to provide today's travelers with ensuite facilities.

As Bed and Breakfasts become a more popular lodging option, there has been a growth of newly constructed B&B's whose floor plans can be targeted to the needs of their guests. New bathroom options include steam showers, whirlpool tubs that employ methods that make for easy sanitizing between guests, even heated towel racks.

When making the decision to renovate a private residence into a bed and breakfast, the "third B" becomes all-important. Here at McDowell-Nearing House Bed and Breakfast, the second floor had 4 bedrooms and only one bathroom prior to renovations. We decided to build an addition to the house to ensure enough space for four ensuite bathrooms.

Each guest room has its own decor. We were able to carry the room decor into each bathroom, and offer choices of whirlpool tubs and/or large showers.

Part of the fun of renovations was choosing such a variety of fixtures. The original 1940's bathroom was upgraded but still has a retro 40's look in black and white. We found moose and pinetree light fixtures for our guest room with a north woods theme, and we even decided to hang a chandelier over our large whirlpool.

Innkeepers pride themselves in the little details as well. Many B&B's provide robes, hair dryers, irons and basic toiletries. Many B&B websites list the amenities present in each room. This photo shows the supplies we keep on hand for our guests. With carry-on luggage space at a premium, it's nice to know that you don't have to pack a hair dryer or make-up mirror.

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